This pandemic has forced me to look at my finances more seriously. Even though I don’t earn independently, I usually find myself spending more and more amounts of money to fulfill my useless consumeristic needs. Having understood the power of compounding, the proportional relationship between risk and reward, the importance of starting early and the futility of buying an inflatable John Cena figurine, I started to look for opportunities to save money and use it productively. One of the ways to do this was to start investing. You might think that you do not have enough money to even begin investing, but the fact is that one can start investing with the littlest of sums. It is after all, not the amount, but the frequency and the period of investing that will (majorly) affect your returns.
I have listed two apps that helped me learn the basics of the stock market, analyzing its day-to-day activities and ultimately invest in the right one. I started off with long-term investment and not short-term or day-to-day trading, therefore the selection is in accordance with this.
Once you start investing, one of the first things you would need to do is analyze and study the market regularly. If you are planning on being an active investor or just someone who loves to see the market work live, then Tickertape is the right place for you. It is, as they describe, themselves, “a tool to screen stocks based on various fundamental and technical parameters.” What I love about this tool is that it has made complex concepts, calculations and stock-market-related jargon accessible to a layman.
For any newbie that wants to learn about the stock market and wants to do so even without investing, Tickertape would be the ideal good place to start. The app has a “learn” section that has all the resources one might need to get their basics right while allowing users to understand the interface of the app. Some modules include: “Intro to Macroeconomics,” “Comprehensive Guide to Equity Markets” and “Portfolio-Based Investment.” With more than 3000 stocks to choose from, Tickertape also provides a barrage of filters that can help the user narrow down their choice based on certain parameters.
This is probably one of the best apps that I came across during the lockdown which has made investing very interesting. The idea behind this app is to provide investors with professionally curated baskets of stock that are based on a particular theme, idea, criterion, or industry. To simplify this, let’s assume that you are going to a supermarket to buy stuff to make one of those DIY decor you saw on YouTube. Before shopping, you would ideally pick a basket to collect all your purchases and bill it together in the end. With a set goal of building a DIY decor piece, you buy all the things essential – structurally, aesthetically and logistically. So, you might buy straws, icecream sticks, glitter and more. But you will also buy a hammer and nails — something that might not directly contribute to the construction of the decor but would be useful in hanging it on the wall.
smallcase does something similar – it provides you with a readymade basket that would contain all that the professionals think are essentials. It also allows you to add anything else that you think you need into that basket. So in the language of stock markets, it creates a portfolio of stocks from different companies that are tied together on the basis of a common theme. The reason that it is so apt for new investors is that it requires you to have less knowledge about the stock market or investing in general and more information about the theme that you might be investing in. The interface of the app is also quite user-friendly; it not only filters various portfolios according to certain parameters (price, risk, investment strategy), but also provides a brief overview of every smallcase. A student who is actively looking to invest in something like a mutual fund but wants to have more control and transparency should definitely check out smallcase!
These apps are just two of the many available options. But, they stand out because of their ease of access, user-friendliness and out-of-the-box approach in helping people understand stock markets. Apart from helping people invest, the apps also aim towards increasing the financial literacy of the people in India. Your first step towards investment might seem overwhelming because of its intricacies and complexities, but these two apps have made that step a lot easier. Remember — investing is cool, but informed investing is cooler!