On the block next is StockAdvisor from TradeOffNews and when a developer is asking $20 for an iPhone app, we sit up and listen to try and understand what that kind of outlay will get you. As it turns out, that price covers more than just a piece of software but more on that later. StockAdvisor is a stock investment tool that strives to simplify the process of poring over the deluge of daily data (hmm, alliteration FTW) surrounding the stock market by breaking it down into 2 easy to swallow chunks of value-add; alpha and beta opportunities. An alpha opportunity is one that relates to a price decrease or negative market sentiment for a particular stock while a beta opportunity relates to a price increase or positive market sentiment towards a stock. These opportunities are identified through a proprietary linguistic and analysis engine that combs through 1000’s of news sources so you don’t have to (for more detail on this check their website). Each opportunity is further broken down into green, yellow and red to indicate the severity of the positive or negative sentiment (in that order). So what you do is create a portfolio by entering as many stock symbols as desired. A great dual purpose here is that this also serves as a quick and dirty version of the default Stocks app where you can see the latest market price data at a glance. After that, the app simply goes to work being fed opportunities from TradeOffNews as long as it’s running (goes without saying that a data connection is required). On the main data screen (where you’ll be spending all your time), all stocks are arranged in alpha order and beneath each symbol appear all opportunities in descending chronological order; newest at the top. How many are stored per stock is one of the configurable options, the other being how often the app checks home base for new data. Finally, you can email an alpha or beta oppportunity directly from the app, very similiar to how you send photos from the Camera Roll.
Let’s move on to the gripes and suggestions; not too many to report this time around.
- I was never able to add NBR (Nabors Industries Ltd) to my portfolio as the app doesn’t recognize the symbol.
- Ability to reorder your portfolio as you see fit (just maybe I want to see ZMH before AMD)
- Ability to output your portfolio in a nicely formatted email would be awesome
This developer is not just sitting on its duff. They maintain a blog about this app and have a roadmap for future improvements. Most notable is the promise of push notification support when OS 3.0 hits which will give this app major legs. So, getting back to the value issue mentioned at the onset, it’s important to keep in mind that $20 in the world of the app store is a monstrous price but in the big world of investment tools it simply is not. In fact, to get any similar kind of aggregate stock info service would certainly cost you a subscription fee where as StockAdvisor is a 1-time shot with free updates (1.0.1 is in fact already submitted with 1.1 on the horizon). Interestingly enough and notable is that they’re toying with the idea of a pro version that would do exactly that; add several more very high-profile data sources (such as Factiva and LexisNexis) to their analyses on a subscription-based model.
In the end, is this app worth $20 then? Yes, I think it is and for the specific reason mentioned above plus IMO it’s a useful weapon to add to your investment battle chest. Obviously it’s not for everyone and it’s important to restate common sense here in that you should never rely on one single tool to make your investment decisions; do your own research as much as possible and come to your own conclusions about what to do with your money. StockAdvisor and any other apps like it are simply tools to help but not supplement your own stock investment decisions.
Version reviewed – 1.0.0
Reviewed on – iPhone 3G 8GB 2.2.1