Advisors share their favourite mobile apps

By Vikram Barhat | July 26, 2010 | Last updated on July 26, 2010
4 min read

BlackBerry buffs or iPhone fanatics, financial advisors are doggedly devoted to their smartphones. Although merely a means of communication, these devices turn into fix-all toolkits when appropriate applications are added to their functionality. Between the two, they share an army of applications that ostensibly take the legwork out of a plethora of day-to-day tasks. enlisted the help of app-happy industry experts to pick 10 most useful apps that enhance their productivity and work management. Here’s what we got:

Thomson Reuters News Pro: Thomson Reuters’ free iPhone and BlackBerry apps provide business news and information for business professionals. It allows free access to industry news and market data from, obviously, Thomson Reuters. It allows quick access to the latest breaking news, pictures and video, together with extensive global financial data, corporate information and interactive financial charting.

Bloomberg: A great piece of software for the equity markets. You get the latest updates on the markets or your portfolio in a snap. A robust quotation system for everything you could possibly need. It brings the power of the most trusted source for financial information to your smartphone, along with tools to help you analyze the world’s markets.

Mint: A bouquet of personal finance tools from It tracks, budgets and manages your money on the go. It does a great job with analyzing your spending trends, plus provides you the ability to work out your budget, categorize your expenses and alert you to activities in your accounts. Making financial decisions in real-time is easy when you can view up-to-date information about your accounts, check your budgets and edit info right on the app. Winner of the 1st Annual App Awards. And did we mention it’s free?

Thomson Reuters Marketboard: Available only for the iPad, this app allows financial professionals and market enthusiasts to track global performance and review documents to better understand events that drive the market The news in Marketboard is heavily business and market focused, and includes a Street Events section. Easily customizable to follow your stocks or funds.

PowerOne: The developer of this app, Elia Freedman, said he wanted to solve the ‘there’s not an app for that’ problem that many professionals experience when they try to use their iPhones at work. A financial calculator for quick calculations, the app comes loaded with a bunch of templates for typical financial and statistical calculations, but also gives you the ability to create your own. The customizable, mobile, computation application is a great platform that comes in handy in a data-centric financial industry.

MyCaption: Arguably one of the best BlackBerry apps for time-strapped advisors. Its voice recognition software easily converts audio notes into email, task, appointment, memo or SMS message. The app is particularly handy for making notes after a client meeting or keeping a record of important details. MyCaption allows users to compose, forward, or reply to e-mails by speaking into the phone. Finally, some relief for your sore thumbs from jabbing endlessly at that tiny qwerty keypad.

Pocket Express: This is a free all-in-one info app that gives you the best information on the mobile web without the hassle of using a mobile browser. You can get flight status, weather forecast, add your stock portfolio, check movie listings, get updates on your favourite sports teams, as well as customized news delivery, all in one place. The application is free and is available both on iPhone and BlackBerry.

Stock Manager: Whether you are a hot shot financial planner on Bay Street or just a regular investor tracking financial markets, the Stock Manager application for BlackBerry is just the ticket for you. This application allows you to track stocks and multiple portfolios as well as world stock market indices on the go. It even allows you to track individual stocks using historical charts. Support for multiple portfolios allows you to keep different investments well classified. Delivers portfolio cost, value, profit and other statistics straight into the palm of your hand.

SplashID: Accessible on both the iPhone and BlackBerry platforms, this app is a beacon of light for those lost in the electronic sea of user IDs and passwords. Think of it is as a virtual safe that allows users to store and lock sensitive information — usernames, passwords, PINs, credit card data, account numbers, registration codes, prescriptions, etc. — and provides good protection against identity theft.

Skype: The VOIP phone service familiar to many PC users, is now available as an iPhone app. Essential when communicating with clients overseas or long distance. It’s a free app and saves countless dollars when talking during primetime long distance. Skype has built-in call management. It detects incoming cellular calls, and allows the user to hang up or ignore the call. Alternatively, it allows the user to switch to Skype calls when in a cellular call.

Although an increasing number of financial industry professionals are taking to modern technology like so many ducks to water, there are still those who remain steadfastly old-school. Curt Hanselmann, a financial advisor in Calgary, deserves an honourable mention for choosing not to fall for the charm of technical wizardry and popular appeal of smartphones.

“I’ve got a plain cell phone that does something remarkable — it makes and receives phone calls!”

He argues that these gadgets do too much and keep users permanently in work mode. He confesses to have made just one exception, though. “I’ve grudgingly learned how to text because my kids don’t appear to know how to phone on their cells.”

That is as far as he is going to get the job done.

“Personally, I think the best app for most portable electronics is the toilet.”


Vikram Barhat