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Mobile apps are being used for more than games: Many users are turning to them for investing.

MONICA ALMEIDA/NYT

The investment industry is seeing a number of financial technology companies emerge with mobile offerings as investors turn more to mobile devices for investment analysis and portfolio tools.

In 2014, mobile application usage grew by 76 per cent year over year, according to Flurry, a mobile analytics firm owned by Yahoo. Where users once used to turn to mobile applications for games and entertainment, millennials and technology-driven investors are now pushing the needle toward applications that include financial services as many of them shift away from the traditional banking model.

For the tech-savvy investor, here are several online and mobile tools investors can tap into to keep up to date:

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Typecast: www.typecast6.com

Developed by Grapevine6 in Toronto, this mobile application sets up a personalized news feed that connects to individual social media profiles. By analyzing a user's social-media accounts (which can include Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter), the tool curates content that is most relevant to an individual's likes and dislikes.

Users can also change or update their interests to be targeted to specific areas such as financial and investment news. Investors can track particular sectors, emerging topics and companies to stay informed, as well as share articles directly to social media for their connections to read.

"By reading, sharing and discussing an area over time, investors can discover the patterns and trends that create an investment advantage," says Mike Orr, co-founder of Grapevine6. "The app helps you be a better analyst without the work of search."

Getketty: www.getketty.com

Similar to an online portfolio manager, getketty allows investors to track individual portfolios. Users can create their own customized portfolios using major index exchange-traded ETFs. Without having to transfer funds directly, the tool will track and monitor portfolios and provide real-time alerts and notifications when investors should make changes.

There is a $1 monthly fee for those who want to monitor their portfolios.

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Finimize: www.finimize.com

This startup company comes with the tag line "pocket size financial news" and provides just that to investors. The online tool e-mails users small, digestible nuggets of financial information. Similar to Typecast, investors are able to receive two personally hand-picked stories of the day, each with a read between three to five minutes each. The length of time to read the article is posted in the headline, as well as why you should care and what it means for your lifestyle and stocks. Users can pick from European, global or North American news feeds.

Robo-advisers:

Several Canadian robo-advisers have launched mobile applications to provide their online portfolio management services directly to clients. Over the past year, both Wealthsimple and Wealthbar launched mobile applications, which give clients direct access to their portfolios and the ability to review balances and see returns and asset allocation in real time.

"Mobile has been a huge success with our clients" says Wealthsimple's chief executive officer Michael Katchen. "Twenty-five per cent of our clients log into to our mobile apps every day and half of our new sign-ups now come through our apps."

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About the Author
Globe Investor Reporter

Clare O’Hara is a reporter at The Globe and Mail. Prior to that, Clare spent eight years as a staff writer at Investment Executive, a national newspaper for financial service industry professionals. More

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