Investment web apps and websites that enable consumers to manage their own trading and portfolios online have been around for years. In their wake, many financial advisors have been fighting for business, trying to prove they still add value. Yet they may find that rapid advances in the digital age work in their favor, as investment applications are reaching and teaching younger audiences. If consumers use these online tools to learn the basics of investing, financial advisors can spend more time focusing on delivering strategic value to more seasoned clients, and may experience a wave of new and “better prepared” clients in the coming years.

At Finovate Fall 2014, a multitude of investment web applications were introduced that demonstrated quick and easy ways of investing for consumers who are just getting started.

  • Kapitall

A fusion of gaming and investing, Kapitall is geared towards a younger generation, and for those who lost faith in the stock market after the dot-com bust. Users can engage on three levels:

    • Practice – use an “imaginary” portfolio to learn the basics of investing.
    • Tournament – the gaming sector where you learn about investing by competing with other Kapitall participants.
    • Live – open a brokerage account and join real-world investors with no minimums or fees.

This “fantasy-football game” for investors is a great way for people to test the waters of investment strategy, and evolve their experience until they’re ready for real-time investing.

  • Loyal3

As a fee-free, user-friendly web application for everyone, Loyal3 attracts beginners and small investors wanting to get their foot-in-the-door. The Loyal3 website explains investing to newbies, and consumers can invest in the brands they love with as little as $10.00 per stock, fee-free. It provides a great way for anyone to begin their investing journey.

  • Patch-of-Land

Ever been interested in real estate investment, but have little knowledge of how to get started? Patch of Land understands the challenges of real estate investing, and their website makes it easy for everyone. It’s a peer-to-peer crowdfunding community model that brings together investors and borrowers for sharing real estate investment know-how and funding. It covers many key bases from deal sourcing and due diligence to the legal and financial nuts and bolts of the deals.

Will new tech bring better clients to financial advisors?

While these new investment applications have tremendous potential for gaining a large following, they don’t necessarily push financial advisors aside. Their lives may get easier when fewer potential clients with little experience call with questions like, “Can you teach me everything I need to know?” Advisors may instead benefit from these technologies as a means to weed out the newbie investors who may never retain their services, and focus on the “let’s get started” customers.