How to Make an Investment Management App.
Investment and technology go hand in hand. The mere idea of multiplying all your savings with a smartphone in your hand, while enjoying a nice coffee in the comfort of your own home is blissful. With each passing day, advancements in technology are making our lives easier. Of course, the importance of investment is also increasing day by day. With prices of anything and everything on the rise, saving up for the future is more crucial than ever.
Thanks to technology, the task of securing one’s financial future is now easier than ever. Mobile apps that assist investors are popping up everywhere, so it makes sense to discuss how to develop one yourself (if you are a developer with a keen interest in finance, that is). The process may be long drawn out, and a bit trickier than developing most regular feature apps, but the results will surely be sweet. Let’s get started on the road to building an emphatic investment app.
Structure of a solid investment app
The first thing to realize here is that the fundamental building blocks of an investment app are sure to be based on concepts different to regular apps. Because of the financial element involved, it is a different ball-game altogether. Special knowledge in both the fields of finance and development is needed, with a clean hand at the major tools required for development and deployment. Perhaps the first and foremost task would be to create a server capable of accepting a trading bot. This resource requirement can be quite massive, as the storage needed for such an application which would be able to handle mathematical operations and updates can be quite huge. Managing this server also becomes a challenge due to the aforementioned points.
Specialized software for operation of the server and processing of storage would be a great help to server administrators assigned. Security is also of great concern, since the server will house financial information of potentially millions of users, every byte of which needs to be kept secret. After implementing the basic structure and management facilities of the server, comes the gateway implementation. In order to directly communicate with the global market resources, a special programming gateway would be needed to send, receive and propagate data to all end users. One important thing to note here is that access to the market is only granted to license holders, the reason behind stockbrokers existing to serve this very purpose.
Since the amount of data received from the market can be billions of terabytes, big data technologies would be beneficial in order to sort and extract useful information from the data. Implementation of protocols and plugins that allow developers and engineers to work on the large volume of data is another vital step. Software packages such as Wealthfront can be of good use in these situations. When all the tech is set up, developing the operational structure of your app is the next step. Since basically, your users are going to invest money and withdraw when in profit, a proper process for the aforementioned basic operations is crucial to develop. Offering choices to the user in terms of investment instruments, adding payment methods, and other personalization options would certainly prove to be beneficial for your app.
Now, you would probably be thinking, “Hey, all of this is done by everyone out there, what will make my app so special? Why am I even reading what this guy has to say?!”
Fret not. Let us discuss what actually makes an investment app popular.
The secret behind the popularity of investment apps
What makes a mobile app popular?
Is it the easy-to-understand interface?
Or the best-in-class features?
Perhaps it is the design!
In all honesty, it is none of the above, and all of the above combined with security, and a unique feature that makes it a cut above the rest. When it comes to investment apps, security is of prime importance, add to that an amazing feature such as commission-free trades, and you have yourself a masterpiece. This part of the article isn’t about some specific feature that apps should incorporate to boost popularity (we’re leaving that for the next section), rather it is about developers discovering what their platforms are capable of doing, and what people want to see out of them. A well designed, cost-effective and secure investment app is sure to tick all checkboxes in a customer’s expectation list.
One more interesting feature to explore can be the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. For instance, based on a user’s previous trades, the app can predict/recommend the next investment for a particular user. Another criterion for these predictions can be the previous performance of stocks and other investment instruments; analyzing this data with the help of machine learning algorithms and then predicting the best instrument to invest in would surely be a game changer.
Apps like these attract investors in hordes since they bridge the gap between beginners and expert tradesmen.
Essential features to have in an investment app
Now that we have talked about the X-factor of an investment app, let us focus a bit more on the basics. The features listed below are some of the most crucial ones to have in an investment app since they help users to carry out the most fundamental of operations easily. Simulators, trackers, and updates are a few of the features that we touch more on as we proceed. Let’s get started.
Guidance to investors
For beginner investors, delving into the depths of the market can be a challenging task. Guidance and mentorship is what they need to get going with their investments. Connecting people with expert investors, mentors, and people who know most about their trades is the most basic method of guidance that apps can provide their users with. Helping novices firmly plant their feet into the investing sector is what will ultimately lead to the success of the app.
As discussed before, this feature can also be accomplished with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. For instance, some apps evaluate the performance of over 10000 stocks and mutual funds, in order to provide their users with customized stock suggestions. This is also a job for big data enthusiasts since analyzing and assessing the performance of such a large number of instruments is surely going to generate a big bunch of data. With advancements in these sectors happening by the minute, it is fortunately not too difficult to find machine learning and big data experts to do the job for you.
Having a budget or investment tracker can do wonders for your mobile app. Having people plan weekly or monthly budgets, track their expenses and then invest their savings is one convenient way to manage all monetary activities under a single roof. Syncing bank accounts, credit cards, and other expense trackers can help users find all their financial information in one place. This also allows investors to plan how much they are willing to spend in a given time period, thus knowing exactly how much they will have to invest. Having that mental control over finances can really help users extract the best out of their investments, and such a feature in your mobile app is certain to assist them in doing so.
Another nifty tool for novice investors, a market simulator can help beginners get a first-hand experience of investing in the market, without the risks involved. This can help them gain invaluable experience, and learn from any mistakes that they make. Having a no-pressure environment in which to test their investment performance can prove to be beneficial in the long run for investors. A simulator can also be used to test out any new or different investment strategies that experienced investors are looking to apply in the real market. Results of the simulation can offer them an insight as to what can be expected from the actual market when that strategy is applied. Aiding beginners and seasoned investors alike, a market simulator is bound to make a positive impact on the investment activities of your customers. Learning from one’s mistakes is the best learning experience that life has to offer, so why not make the most of it!
Live feeds and updates
The market is one commodity that changes every second of the day. Thus, it is only sensible to include features such as live feeds and tickers in your app, to keep people on top of whatever instruments they want to watch. Much like the sliders seen on news and business channels, livestock market updates on your app can assist investors in tracking prices of a certain commodity or instrument, helping them eventually decide for or against investing in it. On the face of it, this seems like a very minuscule feature to have, but when considered together with the interface and UI of the app, it all adds up.
As we are becoming more and more technologically capable, we are leaning towards utilizing that very technology to save the environment. Wastage of paper is one of the leading causes for concern in the corporate industry, therefore, if your app requires minimal to no paper (this includes services like KYC and other authorizations), you are bound to stay a cut above the rest. Paperless documentation is increasingly becoming a norm, and to keep up pace with the trendsetters, it is only sensible to adopt this concept as soon as possible. Even if we do not consider the wastage concept, the hassle of managing and sorting large bunches of papers can prove to be a herculean task. Do yourselves a favour, and ditch the paper!
Whenever financial data is under consideration, security follows close behind. Monetary assets are by far the most valuable material assets that man possesses, hence, security of these assets is of prime importance. All sensitive personal data should be encrypted, and collaboration with leading security and legal associations be maintained. Maintaining secrecy of investor data is one thing that you, as an app developer, simply cannot mess up. Implementing the latest protocols and all security considerations is a job that should preferably be outsourced to professionals. It won’t hurt to cough up a bit extra cash in the long run, but it certainly would sting if your servers are breached and millions of dollars’ worth in data and assets stolen. All security considerations in the fintech sector must be adhered to.
The features are done. Now what?
Now comes the actual development process, along with the costing involved. Unless you’re a not-for-profit organization, you might want to read up on this part a bit more carefully than others. The timeline involved in such a project can be divided into three major parts, one for each of the two big mobile platforms, and one for the backend. It is estimated that the total number of hours involved in such a project can be upwards of 2000.
Setting up registration features, menus, data feeds, calendars, guidance algorithms, market connections and other essential features takes up the bulk of the time. Setting up and QA are the major operations into which the development process can be divided. With rates of professional developers ranging from USD 20 to 35 per hour, roughly the app development process will cost you about USD 45000-80000, if you outsource the entirety of the work. If you are a developer yourself, the costs can be drastically reduced, but it is hard to design and deploy such a big-scale app all by yourself. Take all the help you can get.
The Testing Phase
Merely designing and implementing all the above features and protocols is not enough for your app to become a success. As is the case with all regular apps, designing the interface in a very user-friendly manner is perhaps most important for continued usage of your app. The visual impact that a platform has on its users goes a long way in retention of the userbase. Animations, transitions and visual elements that are easy on the eye should be incorporated into your platform. The flow of all actions should be easily comprehensible and clear to see. Taking care of these little things is what will eventually make your investment app a large hit. For instance, clear and visible button presses are a great way to let a user know that a certain action has been initiated. Sliding and swiping animations are two things that designers overlook, so paying a bit of extra attention to them is certain to have an effect on your app’s interface.
As for the testing part, this is probably the last phase of development before deployment. White box, black box, alpha, beta, volume testing- all the different testing techniques should be carried out on your platform to make sure that it is ready for deployment. Ironing out any last-minute bugs or glitches that might have crept into your app is important from a business point of view.
If you followed this article thoroughly, we can assure you that you’re ready to deploy your own investment app, now that you have all the adequate know-how. So, plan, research, and take action!
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Sodio has been working on a number of apps with teams spread across the world. From security to design that generates trust in the customer, everything can be taken care of If you are looking to make an investment management app, feel free to get in touch for any kind of consultation regarding your project.
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