Whether you invest in the market through index funds or you prefer to own individual stocks, knowing the value of your market positions at a moment's notice is a great tool. Just a few years ago, you would have had to find a computer and search for a stock quote or wait for the ticker symbol to scroll across the screen on CNBC, CNN or some other TV news station.
Today, you have the power of looking up stock quotes with the device already in your pocket. Simply pull out your smartphone, download a stock quote app and look up the ticker symbol. We like the following apps, which are all available free of charge for iOS and Android phones.
If you are an investor that wants to look at the detailed information and statistics of each stock or mutual fund you own or want to buy, you will want a more detailed stock quote app.
- Morningstar App - The Morningstar app provides you the same types of information that you would find on Morningstar's website, but in a more mobile-friendly form. You can access basic stock quotes as well as charts for durations of one day, three months, one year, five years and a maximum history.
If you subscribe to Morningstar's services, you can access detailed research and stock analysis that Morningstar provides. In order to create a watch list of your stocks to monitor, you need to sign up for a Morningstar account.
- E*Trade App - E*Trade's app is for an even more detail-oriented investor than the Morningstar app. While the E*Trade app does not provide paid, proprietary analysis on stocks, it does provide many more thorough charts to examine.
E*Trade offers more time periods on their charts as well as mountain, line, candle and bar charts. You can compare two securities on the same chart and view trading information by hours or minutes. E*Trade will allow you to set up a device-dependent watch list without signing up for an account.
If you just want to keep up with the markets and related news, or find out the current stock prices of your holdings, a stock quote and media app might work better for you.
- CNBC App - The CNBC app allows you to consume CNBC.com content in a more mobile-friendly manner. The main screen has a list of relevant articles as well as quotes of major markets, currencies and commodities. You can use the app to search for a quote and relevant news stories on a particular investment.
The CNBC app allows you to track particular stocks in a section called "My Stocks", which does not require you to sign up for an account.
- Yahoo Finance App - The Yahoo Finance app gives you access to a mobile version of Yahoo Finance content as well as basic information, charts and quotes for whichever stock you are looking for. This app is perfect for those who regularly enjoy Yahoo Finance news stories and like to track the current prices of your favorite stocks. You can customize the home page to include whichever stocks you want to follow and you do not have to sign up for an account to do so.
Technical and research-based investors will enjoy the investing apps while index investors and finance content consumers should prefer the stock and media apps. Since they’re free, give a few test runs and see which best suits your needs.