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How to stay ahead in today’s highly competitive business market while staying within a tight budget? It’s a million-dollar question, but the answer is actually not that complex and it might surprise you (well, probably not because you’ve read the title, but still): CAD optimization.

That’s right, computer-aided design systems can help your business streamline a variety of operations, save money long-term, and, most importantly, produce innovative products, thereby staying ahead of your competition. And no, they’re not just for big corporations with deep pockets – today, there are plenty of budget-friendly CAD software solutions that even small businesses can easily afford.

What are CAD Systems?

Let’s start with the basics by defining CAD systems, and then we’ll move on to how to use them to optimize your operations, innovate, cut costs, and more.

In simplest terms, computer-aided design (CAD) systems are digital tools designed to help engineers and designers create, modify, and optimize their designs. These designs can be anything from commercial lifestyle products to buildings. In essence, using this process, your business can create 3D design simulations of real-world products, complete with scale and physics properties, to optimize and perfect them before manufacturing.

As you can probably tell, this means fewer costly mistakes and less wasted time and resources. Now, you might be thinking, “Sure, this sounds great, but isn’t it expensive?” It’s a common misconception, but the truth is that there are now affordable CAD software solutions that, yes, require some initial investment but, in the long run, save you money.

Investing in Your Business's Future

Before we jump into the benefits of using CAD systems, let’s talk about how to choose the right one for your business.

If you have a small business and are unsure if investing in CAD optimization is a smart move, let us assure you that it is: the long-term benefits (which we’ll go into in the next section) far outweigh the costs. Which, as we mentioned, don’t even have to be steep.

Let’s take SOLIDWORKS vs Fusion 360 as examples as they’re currently some of the most popular CAD software options on the market for both small and medium-sized businesses. Fusion 360 is a cloud-based program that can be assessed from anywhere, making it great for remote teams. It combines parametric, direct, and mesh modelling tools, but it's a user-friendly, affordable option that can practically be used by anyone, even folks with no prior experience with CAD software.

SOLIDWORKS, on the other hand, is more expensive but also better at advanced modelling, making it a better option for businesses that design products with multiple components. It’s probably one of the best CAD software for industries like engineering and manufacturing.

So, let’s say you’re considering one of these two programs: which one should you choose? While some people may think they should invest in a pricier option if they want maximum benefits – after all, it offers all the bells and whistles – this might not be true at all. The choice between these two – and any other CAD systems – should first and foremost depend on your industry, specific design needs, and, of course, your budget.

The moral of the story is, when considering investing in CAD optimization, always, always take time to consider your business’ specific needs and requirements.

Benefits of CAD Software

All in all, any business that wants to become more innovative, competitive, and operate more efficiently with fewer costs, should consider investing in an industry-appropriate CAD program.

The account reconciliation process is one responsibility that is integral for ensuring that the total amount leaving a particular account aligns precisely with the amount that has been expended.

This is not just a routine financial chore; it's fundamental for accurate reporting and robust risk management. While it may appear to be a time-consuming and difficult process, several software solutions can remarkably simplify and expedite it. In this article, let’s explore how your business can simplify reconciliation tasks with software.

What Is Reconciliation Software?

Reconciliation software serves as an automation tool designed to streamline the account reconciliation process. It encompasses tasks such as data entry, verification of account balances, and the detection of errors or omissions in financial transactions.

One of its primary functions is to compare a corporation's internal records with those in its external accounting system. This meticulous examination ensures the accuracy of account balances.

Users can electronically verify and complete reconciliations, which are subsequently routed to approvers for review. The reconciled data is securely stored in a centralized database once it is certified.

Why Is Reconciliation Important?

Account reconciliation serves as the hub for ensuring that a company's transactions and reports align seamlessly with those from independent third parties. It assures that both accounts balance harmoniously after the accounting period and that the total expenditure from an account is matching with the total amount spent.

While balance sheet reconciliation is the most conventional method, reconciling credit card and bank statements is also quite prevalent. For businesses managing several bank accounts and executing complex financial closure processes, frequent reconciliations are vital. This is a proactive measure that guarantees the accuracy, currency, and regulatory compliance of a company's internal financial data. It equips businesses to take preemptive actions in averting potential financial losses.

Benefits of Using Account Reconciliation Software

Streamlining and Automation

Reconciliation software takes on the burden of automating labour-intensive and repetitive tasks, thus eliminating manual processes. This not only accelerates the overall financial process but also upholds data accuracy, particularly in the case of data.

Focus on Other Tasks

By helping accounting teams from the shackles of manual processes, account reconciliation software lets them focus on value-added tasks, scrutinize open entries, and devise strategic initiatives.

Ensuring Reporting Accuracy

Reconciliation software furnishes a comprehensive overview of all financial transactions and ensures data precision and the reliability of financial reports. An additional advantage is the swift identification and rectification of any irregularities within financial records. It can also provide real-time cash flow insights, enabling business leaders to make informed financial decisions.

How to Select the Ideal Reconciliation Software

Selecting the most suitable reconciliation software is a pivotal decision. As a result, it's important to outline your company's specific needs and then assess whether the software aligns with those requirements. Key features to look for include:

Growth cannot be achieved by compromising the quality of the loan portfolio by any lender. A risk-based approach is adopted after due diligence of the credit assessment report of a borrower’s risk profile.  

The advent of AI with the new-age loan origination software is disrupting the cumbersome manual process of a loan cycle. Time is taken for borrower’s data collection, reviewing an application for missing or fraudulent information, financial spreadsheets, and risk modelling, the disbursal, and monitoring of the loan is fast, efficient, and free-of-human errors. 

Infographic The number of fintech companies that have entered the space to build a customised high performing loan origination system is increasing at a fast pace. The decision to choose the right loan origination software becomes difficult for a bank looking to revamp the whole lending experience for all the stakeholders.

Installing a change in the loan solutions system is capital intensive. A bank has to close a good deal after checking a few critical features in a promising LOS. Let us examine a few of these features that are highly essential:- 

Easy To Use

A good LOS will be easy to use by any person who has basic computer skills. A borrower cannot be expected to understand the beta versions of any software. The system should be backtested for the features it claims to perform. It should not have any break-points and the automation should be flawless. 

The LOS system has to integrate all the functions and service stages of a loan. Right from the origination of loan application, credit approval, disbursal, and monitoring to the closure of the loan have to be serviced through a single platform. A system that was engaged to solve manual loan generation problems should not be a source of more problems. A single interface that allows the borrower to experience a seamless experience in: - filling in personal information, uploading required documents, and interacting with chatbots of support teams from the origination to the closure of the loan is the solution for any lender. 

The backend of the LOS that can be accessed by various loan servicing departments of the lender should be able to:- communicate, read the analytics, disburse loans as per the recommendation generated by the software, and track and monitor the loans for changes in the ability of the borrower and close the loans when the final payment is completed. All this has to be serviced by a single LOS. 

Compliant With The Regulations

Credit growth is synchronous with a booming economy. But for sustainable growth, risk mitigation is imperative. The financial meltdown of 2008 cannot be forgotten in haste. A consortium of banks globally designed a regulatory accord that is popularly known as Basel III. All the major banks and lending institutions that are under the watchful eye of the federal regulator follow these reforms and update their systems to meet the requirements. 

A loan origination system that runs the applications through a quality control set to meet all the requisites of the regulator, can be recommended for its compliant features. 

Single Unified System

Banks have different loan products servicing different needs of the borrower. The features and qualifications differ from one product to the other. Any bank would like to use a single system for all the different types of loans that they offer:- student loans, consumer credit, home mortgages, commercial credit, car loans, etc.

The economies of scope and scale can be utilised by using a single unified system for LOS. Consider the case of a student who has been paying his loan in time and maintained a healthy relationship. Whenever he/she graduates and starts working they may need a car and house. These loans can be offered by the system automatically in all the digital communication systems the borrower uses. By the click of a button, the borrower will express his intention to either go ahead with the new loan offer or reject the idea for now. A holistic view of customer management can enhance their experience and engage them in longer relationships. 

Support And Maintenance

Banks understand the needs of their customers and customise their products to meet their end-end requirements in a life cycle. Likewise, banks that will be sourcing the Loan Originations Software from a technology provider, need someone who understands their workflow. The coders of the software have to step into the shoes of bankers and design the system from a lender's perspective. Minimum to no-human intervention in the stages of decision-making of a loan application has to be enabled by deep neural networks. 

The system should not stop working at any stage of the day. The idea of digitised lending software is to make it accessible 24/7 for prospective customers. When the interface works 24/7, there can be issues with tech glitches. There should be a dedicated team that looks into tech glitches round the clock. 

Easy To Customise

A lot of LOS providers have sold the same product to many lenders. The product that a lender buys should be a white plate interface that can be customised with lenders' workflow specifications. It should also be flexible to be upgraded without overhauling the entire system. 

All lenders don’t have the same pre-qualifications for loan applications. Some may have more checks than others. Subsequently, the workflow in the stages of the loan cycle may differ from one lender to another. A LOS can never be a one-size shoe that fits all. It has to be customised as per the lender’s workflow requirements, stand out in the competition, accommodate future requirements that can be easily embedded into the existing system and be easy to operate delivering accurate results. 

Conclusion

A bank after considering the features has to choose a software that is objectively highlighting the essential features. Nonetheless, such software also has to be scalable and advantageous cost-wise for the banking and lending institutions.

Automation

One way that software can help improve your business is by automating tasks. This can free up time for you and your employees to focus on more important things. Many different types of software can help with automation. For example, there are project management software programmes that can automate tasks such as creating task lists, assigning tasks to employees, and tracking progress. There are also customer relationship management (CRM) software programmes that can automate tasks such as contact management, sales tracking, and marketing campaigns. The experienced developers from a reputable bespoke software development company suggest that you should carefully consider which tasks you want to automate. Not all tasks need to be automated. In some cases, it may be more efficient to do them manually.

Workflow Management

Another way that software can help improve your business is by improving workflow management. Workflow management is the process of organising and managing the steps involved in a task or project. It can help you to ensure that tasks are completed in a timely and efficient manner. There are many different types of workflow management software programmes. For example, there are task management software programmes that can help you to create and track task lists. These are the perfect tools for businesses that have multiple employees working on different tasks. There are also project management software programmes that can help you to manage and track the progress of projects. These are perfect for businesses that have large and complex projects. More often than not, businesses need a combination of both task management and project management software to efficiently manage their workflow.

Reporting And Analytics

Reporting and analytics mean being able to track the performance of your business. This can help you to identify areas where your business is doing well and areas where it could improve. There are many different types of reporting and analytics software programmes. For example, there are accounting software programmes that can help you to track your financial performance. There are also CRM software programmes that can help you to track your customer relationships. Just keep in mind that not all businesses need the same type of software. Some businesses may only need accounting software, while others may need a combination of accounting and CRM software. It all depends on the specific needs of your business.

Communication

Last but not the least, another important aspect of business that can be improved with software is communication. Good communication is essential for businesses of all sizes. It can help to improve employee morale, increase productivity, and reduce misunderstandings. Many different types of software can help with communication. For example, there are instant messaging software programmes that can be used for real-time communication between employees. There are also video conferencing software programmes that can be used for meetings and other events. Choosing the right type of communication software will depend on the needs of your business.

Choosing the right software for your needs

One of the things you need to do when choosing software for your business is to consider your business needs. Not all businesses have the same needs. For example, a small business may not need as much software as a large corporation. This is because small businesses may only need to manage a few employees and a small number of customers. On the other hand, large businesses may need to manage hundreds or even thousands of employees and millions of customers. It’s important to carefully consider the specific needs of your business before making any decisions.

Another thing you need to do when choosing software for your business is to get input from employees. After all, they’re the ones who will be using the software. Ask them what type of software they need and why they need it. For instance, they may need software that can help them to be more productive or they may need software that can help them to communicate better with other employees. Getting input from employees can help you to make sure that you’re choosing the right type of software for your business.

Of course, you also need to think about the costs when choosing software for your business. Some software can be very expensive, so you need to make sure that you’re getting what you need without spending too much money. Once again, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your business. If you only need a few simple features, then you probably don’t need to spend a lot of money on software. On the other hand, if you need complex features, then you may need to spend more money. However, you may be able to take advantage of free or open source software if you’re on a tight budget.

Finally, you need to do some research before choosing software for your business. This is because there are many different types of software available and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Talk to other businesses and see what type of software they’re using. You can also read online reviews to get an idea of the different options available. By doing so, you can make sure that you’re choosing the best software for your business.

Choose the right software for your business and you’ll be able to improve the way your business works. With the right software, you can take your business to the next level. Rest assured that with a little bit of research, you’ll be able to find the perfect software for your business needs.

There are many areas of the business that will benefit from reinvesting profits, and you will want to focus on areas that will deliver a return on investment, help you to save money, improve the daily operation and help you to compete at a higher level. This post will look at a few of the best areas to reinvest profits that should help to take your business to the next level. 

Weaknesses

The best place to start is by addressing your weaknesses. Businesses should always be looking to identify and improve on weaknesses; otherwise, these will always hold you back. It might be obvious what your weaknesses are and the areas that you are lacking, but it is also a good idea to seek feedback from staff, customers, and other stakeholders. They may help you to discover weaknesses that you did not know the business has and have ideas on the best areas to spend to improve.

Digital Marketing

One area that can always do with further investment is digital marketing. To find success in today's day and age, you need to have a strong online presence for your business. This is not easy, especially in competitive industries, which is why you want to use an experienced digital marketing agency. Reinvesting profits into this area should help you to see a return on your investment because you will benefit from increased brand awareness, more traffic to your website, and an improved brand reputation.

Software

Software powers the daily operation of most businesses, but you will also find that there are constant improvements and developments in this area. This means that your business could be behind the times, so it is worthwhile investing in high-quality new software that could benefit the business in a few ways. Often, the software can simplify or even automate processes, which can make work a lot easier for your team while also increasing efficiency and output. If you have not upgraded your software for a while, you should look to see what is now available and how it could help your business to thrive.

Recruitment & Training

It is the employees that are the engine of the business, so this is an area that can always benefit from the investment. This will include investing in recruitment so that you are bringing in fresh talent, but also with training so that you can improve your employees and help them to progress in their careers. Training should help employees to stay engaged with the business and should help to lift performance, so it is a win-win.

Business Qualifications

In addition to your employees, you should also look to invest in yourself. Every successful business needs a great leader at the helm, so you should look to improve your own abilities as a business owner. One of the best ways to do this is with an online business analytics degree that will help you to utilize data and improve your decision-making. Business leads need to know how to use data in today's day, and age, as this will help you to improve the business, spot patterns and trends, streamline the operation and make accurate changes that will deliver positive results. An online course like this can be easier to fit into your schedule and will help you to excel in your role.

Employee Morale

Business leaders also need to make sure that they are able to keep their employees happy and engaged. Morale is incredibly important for business success as it will improve performance, create a positive workplace culture and help you to keep hold of your top performers. There are many ways to do this without spending money, such as positive feedback and flexible working, but you will also find that spending can help tremendously with keeping morale high. This can include making improvements to the office and arranging fun social events for the team and rewards.

Emergency Fund

Every business should have an emergency fund that they can use to manage an unexpected issue that might arise or simply to manage during a quiet period. Generally, it is recommended that you have between 3 and 6 months' worth of expenses that are kept somewhere that is easy to access. This will allow you to manage any issues that might arise and could be key for survival. Not only this, but having an emergency fund in place can also provide business leaders with peace of mind, and this is something that you cannot put a price on.

Research

Research is an essential part of business as it helps you to learn, grow and improve. Businesses should spend time and money researching the industry, competitors, their target customers, and new opportunities so that they can make positive changes to the business and achieve higher levels of success. The world is constantly changing with new trends, technology, challenges, and consumer habits, so it is important that you are able to keep pace with all of these. Now is a partially good time to invest in research as so much about life and business has changed as a result of COVID-19. This means that there could be exciting new opportunities to take advantage of, and you might be able to find a way to attract new customers to your business.

These are a few of the best areas of the business to reinvest profits into. Reinvesting profits back into the business is a highly intelligent strategy that will help you to sustain your own growth and should help you to earn more money now and/or in the future. Businesses always need to be looking to grow and improve, but this often requires spending, and it is much healthier to use your own profits as opposed to having to borrow money from an external source.

A recent study by 365 Data Science revealed that sought-after data scientists switch employers every 1.7 years on average. And developers are quick to change jobs also. A February 2022 survey conducted by Salesforce's Mulesoft found that 93% of 600 IT leaders from enterprises across the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia were finding it more difficult to retain skilled developers and 86% were also finding it more difficult to recruit since the start of the pandemic.

That’s a big problem for financial services firms as business processes are becoming more data-intensive. To avoid drowning in data, firms need to digitalise and become more data-driven and they depend on expert technology and data specialists to provide that capability.

Delivering technology and tools

 Every data scientist and developer wants to be paid well for what they do but they also need a challenging work environment and to be able to work on interesting problems using cutting-edge technology. In addition, they want their job to allow them to hone their skills and advance their career. Critically too, every working environment should be supported by appropriate cloud infrastructure allowing for easy and fast data onboarding and data sharing as well as the use of the latest open source technologies, that give data experts the creative freedom and processing power to experiment with different scenarios.

Many financial services organisations are still failing to hit the mark when it comes to making the latest technologies available to these employees. Recent research by Alveo in the UK, US, and Asia that focused on ESG data analysis specifically reveals that just 37% of data scientists in financial services firms currently use AI, machine learning and other advanced technologies in their key analysis and investment processes and workflows. This underlines the fact that, despite the potential of AI and its rapid growth, harnessing its capability for practical benefit can be more challenging.

Why data scientists and developers need to be stretched

Many data experts working for financial services firms are weighed down by basic administrative, and/or routine tasks. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents to the Alveo survey say quants and data analysts in their organisation have to spend between 25% and 50% of their time collecting, preparing and quality-controlling data. 

Even if they are getting paid well for their efforts, most data scientists will not want to work in roles where they spend their time dealing with basic data aggregation and quality control issues rather than inferring new insights and conducting statistical analysis on large data sets.  Getting mired in clerical work will prevent staff from developing the skills and capabilities they need to advance their careers and keep them motivated. Integrated data management and analytics solutions together with data modelling, data quality and data onboarding capabilities will ensure staff hit the ground running.

Training and the wider working environment

From the financial services firm’s perspective, this enhanced technological capability has to be accompanied by relevant training. It is often a key way of engaging these important workers and keeping them loyal.  

That also plays into the need to build a flexible environment for developers and data scientists to work in. This may include offering hybrid work arrangements and giving staff the opportunity to work remotely if needed. Developers, in particular, value working in a calm, quiet location that allows them to focus their attention on their creative work. It is important here to ensure that the home-work environment is secure and that staff have what they need to work as efficiently as possible.

Providing a challenge

It is also key to ensure that these staff are supported in using popular, widely leveraged technologies like Cassandra and Apache Spark: technologies that once learned by data scientists can become portable skills. For data scientists, the equivalent is likely to be the latest productivity tool, that allows them to get to complex analytics tasks as fast as possible, skipping over the more mundane data collection mastering and aggregation jobs

Highly skilled and trained developers and data scientists need to be given the latitude to work in a way that suits them best. That should be a collaborative process, likely involving brainstorming sessions with colleagues but there should always be an element of freeing up the creativity of your analysts and developer experts.

Financial services firms can further accelerate data scientist and developer engagement by ensuring these employees are able to work on challenging projects with interesting, ground-breaking clients: the sort that pushes them to work hard and deliver to their full potential.  

Enabling staff to hone these skills working for demanding high-end clients from central banks to leading hedge funds will help drive their development. As a result, firms can counter The Great Resignation, keep data scientists and developers engaged for longer, build their skills to position them well in their long-term careers and reap further rewards in terms of efficient project execution and enhanced client engagement. 

About the author: Martijn Groot is VP Marketing and Strategy at Alveo.

1. Keep better track 

With every business, there is one recurring problem, keeping track of the work done so far and the work in progress. Especially when you have ten or more employees, somehow you easily lose touch with what is left to be done or what is already done. For a more productive output, however, you’ll need better control. That's where software kicks in, doing the job for you. Good business software easily outmanoeuvres pen and paper. Every software has a timetable sheet and worksheet, where you can keep tabs on what the employees are currently doing and what they have finished so far. And it is beneficial for you too, as you can plan projects based on the work done so far. 

2. More customers 

With excellent business software, you can attract more customers by simply looking at the data available, according to which you’ll know how sales and services have been going so far. You can also reach a bigger number of clients via good software, for example, take out food if you are in the restaurant world. According to the data provided by the algorithm, you can drastically upgrade customer services, attend to complaints, reevaluate the costs of transport and revenue, and more. For example, if you get job shop scheduling software, it will provide you with all the above-mentioned services and more. This software is also providing you with the possibility of looking at your cash flow, profits, and losses, and a better look at the available human resources in your business. The best part is the ability to connect to your customers effectively, as you’ll have a breakdown of all the feedback you received. This kind of control and better overlook makes you more motivated and gives you the chance to improve. 

3. Stay ahead

Do not be fooled, all your competitors are already in the game. The ones trying to stay ahead see the importance of good software. Information is power, so they say, and it has been true for a long time. The more you know about the flow of your business the better, as it can give you the chance to rethink your marketing strategy and maybe change the direction the company is heading. With more information, you can evaluate the stock movement and production, if it is too low or not high enough. As everyone is trying to make a name for themselves, you’ll have to work twice as hard, luckily you are not alone and at least you know what aspects of the business to target and invest more and where to cut down a bit. 

4. Reduce costs 

A decade ago, you would probably have to pay at least five people to make sure everything is going as planned and all the information is available to you when you need it. Now, improved software takes over and you save a lot of money, thus you can either redirect into promotions, holiday bonuses or expand the business. And it is not only efficient, but rather you’ll avoid certain mistakes from happening, and we as humans sure make them. 

Do not think twice, as your business is surely much more valuable to you. Good software provides all the services you’ll need to effectively stay in touch with your company even when you are not around. 

Online trading can be a profession or a hobby. Either way it helps to have sophisticated trading software that empowers you to know what's happening with the market in real time. Many traders lose money in the beginning because they haven't learned about the tools that can help them weigh risk with reward. Here's a guide for choosing the right electronic trading technology.

Purpose of Trading Platforms

Trading platforms are computer systems designed to provide traders with analysis along with tools for evaluating the market and making online transactions. As financial researcher Gartner notes on its website, "Trading platforms directly or indirectly facilitate the placement of orders for financial products with another financial entity or intermediary over a network." If you want to read reviews on trading platforms, there are products that can assist you in your research.

Evolution of Trading Platforms

The first electronic trading platforms were used by some brokers in the 1970s over private networks. In this early period, trades weren't executed in real time. The first online trading platforms aimed at retail traders appeared in the early 1990s. The internet became a global sensation by the middle of the decade as online trading became part of the frenzy of the dotcom boom.

In the 2000s, online trading was popularised by CNBC host Jim Cramer, a former hedge fund manager who mixes humor with stock picking. His emphasis has been on short-term swing trading and portfolio diversity. Day trading became trendy in the new century, but many day traders were wiped out due to not practicing risk management or having all the relevant market data at their fingertips. Since then high-frequency trading software has become part of the equation for top pro traders.

Level 1, 2 and 3 Quotes

Understanding the three different levels of market quotes is essential to gaining an edge as a trader and choosing the appropriate software. Most of the stock prices published on popular websites are Level 1 quotes from a system that delivers basic market data such as the best national bid and ask prices for any security. This level is often used by long-term traders who don't care much about daily price fluctuations.

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Levels 2 quotes provide more comprehensive market information, which is why it's the preferred choice of day traders and swing traders. You get up to ten bid and ask prices, enriching you with insights on which direction the market is leaning at any moment in the trading session. Level 3 provides even deeper information, but it's mostly used by brokers and market makers. This level provides up to 20 best bid and ask prices.

Consider Your Trading Style

Professional traders usually develop trading styles that reflect their personalities in terms of how they approach risk management, market research, trade execution and analysis. Each trader has their own unique style, so think about what type of trader you want to be. If you just want to make occasional trades, all you need is a platform that connects with Level 1 quotes. But if you want to make trading your full-time career, you'll need Level 2 quotes.

Ask yourself if you want to immerse yourself in vast amounts of market data on a daily basis. If so, invest in trading software that delivers Level 2 quotes. The more data you analyse, the greater the edge you'll develop over traders who rely on minimal homework and good luck. Another dimension to successful trading is predetermining how you will exit a trade, depending on how the price moves.

Trading platforms commonly provide tools for making various types of market transactions such as buying or shorting stocks. Many pro traders use limit orders to set their own prices and wait for the market to hit their targets. Market orders pose more risk as they are executed at the current market price. Ideally, the software should be seamless, user-friendly and provide up-to-the-second market data.

Conclusion

While being a profitable trader comes down to entry and exit strategies, it helps to conduct your market research, transactions and analysis all on one trading platform. The key to finding the right platform is evaluating how much time you want to devote to participating and studying market activity.

Many tools and apps have been designed to assist stock traders in day-to-day trading. These apps can help you analyse your potential stock investments while minimising the risks. A trader needs a good trading platform based on the market they prefer to trade in. But other than that, we believe that every trader needs these five apps to capitalise on opportunities with minimum risk. 

Portfolio Tracker Apps

A portfolio tracker is an essential part of preparing yourself for stock trading. It is especially useful for traders who hold a position overnight or invest money in long-term trades. You can use it to track a stock portfolio before and after you invest in it. A stock portfolio tracker can help you make smart investment decisions.

You can also use it to manage your budget and keep a record of all your investments. Sometimes traders tend to hold onto losing positions, hoping that they would be able to earn their money back.

A portfolio tracker will remind you to stay away from bad investments. You can also use it to identify the trades and investments that are right for you. These are some of the features that you must look for when choosing a stock portfolio tracker:

Stock Charts Apps

You might need a stock chart to plan your future trades. It will provide you a graphical representation of the stock data along with the price and volume. A simple stock chart will display the price data as a line graph, which will keep changing with time.

A trader needs a good trading platform based on the market they prefer to trade in.

Some stock charts also display candlestick charts as indicators for trading volumes. Many complex stock chart apps allow you to set any added indicators that you need to analyse your trading activity. There are many free stock chart apps available, but they come with certain limitations.

You can expect a 15-minute delay on the chart updates, which may not be apt for day trading. Some free charts also have limits on the volume reports and would only display limited information on exchanges. On the other hand, paid apps will provide real-time price and volume updates and several other charting options. 

Financial News Apps

With stock trading and investments, news updates and your reaction time can make a huge difference to your profits or losses. Therefore, you must have financial news apps on your smartphone. They give you access to actionable business information, financial news, and stock market data.

You can switch on notifications for breaking news alerts to take real-time action. Some apps also give you access to interactive charts, real-time stock quotes, and global business news.

Practice Trading Apps

Practice trading apps are investment simulators that help you prepare for stock trading without any risks before you invest in real trades. It gives you the experience of trading in the stock market so that you can get a hang of it. You will be able to invest virtual dollars in the trading simulator and see whether your choice of stock would have been profitable or not.

It allows you to test your stock analysis skills and come up with learning goals. You can also use practice trading to formulate multiple investment strategies for the future. It is a useful tool to learn the intricate working patterns of stock markets and practice the theories.

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Automated Trading Apps

Automated trading apps are the perfect solution for you if you want to take the psychological elements like emotions out of the trading. You can use these apps to set your parameters to choose potential stocks, allocate investments, and open or close positions. But using an automated trading app does not mean that there are no risks involved.

You would still have to set the initial guidelines along with the entry and exit positions. The app will use its algorithms to monitor the stock market according to the conditions you have set. There are many advantages and disadvantages of using automated trading apps, so consider them carefully before you choose to use one.

So which are the right apps that can give you an edge to earn maximum profits and minimize losses? It is probably one of the most debatable topics because every trader has their own choice of apps and tools. There is no doubt that certain apps are better than others, so read reviews and get referrals before you select the apps for your trading arsenal.

2020’s COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly problematic for financial markets. As investment professionals, we are always looking to find the best investment opportunities for our clients. Now more than ever, investment professionals need to find ways to set themselves apart from the competition and build trust amongst their clientele.

Experience in the financial sector is what gives us confidence in our abilities to play the market. However, in this volatile age, even the best investor could do with a few tools to give them unique insights and help them do their job more efficiently. If you are looking for an advantage over other professionals in the field, here are some of the best tools that can help you on your way:

Stock Screeners

Stock screeners make life easier for investors by scanning the whole stock market to provide information on average trading volume, stock prices, chart patterns, and much more. These tools allow the user to set a predefined set of criteria. For instance, an investor could set the screener to search for stocks trading under USD2 that have an average volume of at least 3 million shares. The screener will output all the stocks that fit these particular specifications. Free stock screeners can help to get you started in exploring the market.

Stock Simulators

These are also known as paper trading accounts or dummy accounts. They allow potential investors to practice fundamental analyses of the market and test out their traditional strategies without actually risking any money. In these tumultuous economic times, it’s a good idea to test the waters using a stock simulator, especially when dealing with unfamiliar stocks.

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Charting Software

If you are looking to gauge information on the performance of a particular stock, fund, or index over a period of time then you need to get to grips with some charting software. These charts are made up of using lines or candlesticks. Day traders tend to use candlestick charting software to ascertain the right time to buy and sell stocks.

Newsletters

Keep on top of the latest financial news by tapping into the top trading newsletters. These are expertly crafted emails that are intended to tell traders about any unusual market movements, new developments, or innovations in the field. They also offer some interesting insights through articles written by experts. Depending on the particular newsletter you’ve subscribed to, you may receive as often as each morning or as sparsely as once every quarter.

As frequent traders, it is important for investment professionals to have the latest information available to them. The stock market is an incredibly fast-paced place, so having the right insight into prices, movement, and charting patterns. The type of tools discussed here offer us useful, real-time insights into the market, which can be invaluable and user-friendly. What’s more, you can tailor the tools you use as each trader will be different in terms of the strategies they hope to implement.

Once you realise that you need CRM software or better accounting software, you then have to decipher how to choose the right software for your needs. Fortunately, that process is a lot more straightforward than you might think.

Establish What’s Not Working

Many business owners and managers start looking at their software options when something in their line of work isn’t working. You may feel like your remote team isn’t working hard enough, or your finances are all over the place. Write down the problems you’re having so you can prioritise the systems that could streamline your daily operations. Sometimes, it can help to do this at the time of the issue so that you don’t forget. For example, time tracking software could get your remote team back on track, and bookkeeping software could shine a light on your financial problems.

Research and Compare

In an ideal world, the first piece of software you come across would be perfect for your business. That’s rarely the case, which is why using specialist companies can help you research and compare. You can gather information on each software type within a single category and compare the features of each. When all the data is laid out for you, it can be a lot easier to make an informed choice. The alternative would be to spend a fortune on software and only realising later that it’s not quite what you had in mind.

Rate the Features

When comparing one software type to the next, there’s a lot to consider. Think about the features you must have, those you may be able to do without, and some that would be nice to have but aren’t essential. It can also be worth finding out if a particular software type is customisable to suit your unique operations. Some software providers are more than happy to create plug-ins and extra features if it means it’s more compatible with your daily needs.

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Read Reviews

When your stress levels are high enough, wasting money on software that’s not fit for purpose could send you over the edge. This is why reading reviews can assist in choosing the right programs for your needs.

You’ve already looked at the pros and cons, but genuine customer feedback can be a deciding factor. Look for information relating to customisation, flexibility, price, customer support, and features. Around 91% of people read online reviews before purchasing a product, so there is certainly peace of mind to be gained by finding out what real purchasers think.

If you want your business to run like a well-oiled machine, new software can be the answer. However, the type of software you need remains to be seen. By researching and comparing options before rating the features and reading reviews, you may stand a better chance of finding that winning program that makes daily operations much more manageable.

A number of the world’s biggest private equity firms, including Silver Lake Partners LP, Thoma Bravo LP and Blackstone Group Inc, have seen their stakes in software firms greatly devalued following a wide-reaching hack on software provider SolarWinds Corp.

SolarWinds stock has slid 20.8% from last week’s close after reporting on Sunday that suspected Russian hackers had inserted malicious code into software used by the company to carry out updates, allowing the operatives to access sensitive systems undetected.

The “Sunburst” operation, remarkable for its size and sophistication, constitutes the biggest cyberattack against the US government in more than five years. Around 300,000 companies and agencies use systems provided by SolarWinds, with around 18,000 believed to have used compromised versions of its software since the attack began in March.

SolarWinds’ customers include most US Fortune 500 companies, all of the top 10 US telecom providers, the US military and various other government branches. The UK government and the NHS are also listed among the company’s clients.

Silver Lakes holds a stake of nearly 40% in SilverWinds. Following the plunge in the value of its shares, this stake is now worth $2.3 billion, and Thoma Bravo’s 33% stake is now worth $1.9 billion.

Blackstone’s $400 million November donation in cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc also suffered from the hack, as the company’s shares fell 11% after hackers stole a collection of hacking tools used to test clients’ cyber defences. FireEye, which has contracts across the US national security sector and with its allies, uncovered the SolarWinds breach while probing this attack.

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Regulatory filings showed that, following the theft of its tools, FireEye amended its deal with Blackstone and co-investor ClearSky to make it more favourable to the private equity companies. The firm opted to convert the FireEye-preferred shares that the investors stood to receive to common stock at $17.25 rather than the initially agreed $18.

FireEye shares traded at around $13.58 on Tuesday afternoon.

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