SMART TECHNOLOGY


7 Best Free Investing Apps for 2011

Bloomberg. If you’re a global investor, you’ll love this application. It provides up-to-the-minute (not delayed) quotes for stocks and major stock indexes, government bonds, commodities and currencies worldwide. With a manageable list of categories, the app is easy to navigate and gives you the same breaking economic and financial news that Bloomberg’s worldwide team of journalists produces for the Bloomberg Web site. [Available for IPhone, BlackBerry, iPad, Android]

SEE THIS STORY IN SLIDES: 7 BEST FREE INVESTING APPS

Yahoo Finance. Get this app, which brings the Yahoo Finance Web site to a handheld device, and you’ll be singing yahoo-ooh. It’s great for viewing up-to-the-minute headlines, tracking market indexes, checking quotes and getting news on specific stocks. Plus, you can watch videos from Yahoo’s Daily Ticker. One shortcoming: The app lacks the Web site’s popular key statistics and analyst estimates for each company. [Available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android]

Morningstar. Need to do some mutual fund research on the go? This app puts the great research found on Morningstar.com in the palm of your hand. The app doesn’t provide Morningstar’s fund screener or portfolio x-ray tools, but users can get star ratings and information on the top holdings, performance, expenses and management for 8,100 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. [Available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android]

Fidelity. Even if you don’t have an account, you can use Fidelity’s app to get news from several sources, including Reuters, MarketWatch and TheStreet.com. News is conveniently divided into categories, such as U.S. economy, U.S. markets, technology, international, company news, mergers and investing ideas. If you have an account, you can, of course, trade, as well as pay bills and use your phone’s camera to deposit checks. [Available for iPhone, iPad, Android]

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Charles Schwab. You must be a customer to use this one. But if you have an account, you’ll appreciate how similar the app is to Schwab’s Web site. Clients can view account balances; trade stocks, options and mutual funds; get real-time quotes; view charts and news; and build watch lists. Like Fidelity, Schwab lets you deposit a check by taking a picture of it with your phone. [Available for iPhone, Android]

ETFdb. This is the go-to app for fans of exchange-traded funds. It lets you research more than 1,100 ETFs, stay current on fund launches and read analysis about which ETFs to buy or sell now. No matter whether you’re interested in stocks, bonds, precious metals or what-have-you, the app makes it easy to search for ETFs in any segment of the market. You can get more-detailed info by clicking on an ETF for a link to its historical returns and assorted facts. [Available for iPhone, iPad]

StockTwits. Find out what the rest of the world is saying about the stocks you follow by using StockTwits. This app combs the twittersphere for tweets from thousands of professional and individual investors. You can limit the comments to the stocks you follow or receive all the tweets. Plus, users can chat with other investors, get customized financial news, and see stock charts and videos with tips on investing. [Available for iPhone, BlackBerry, iPad]

NOTE: iPad owners can use iPhone apps not specifically designed for iPads.

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