Investment management is defined as managing various securities and assets in a professional manner, so as to meet certain specified goals of the investor. An investment portfolio is the list of financial assets held by an investor, taken collectively.
Investment portfolio management is the process in which an investment portfolio is acquired and maintained. There are various professionals who specialize in this function. Today, there are software available, which will help investors manage their stock portfolios on their own. To illustrate this fact, let us look at the different features which most portfolio management software provide:
- Management of records: It helps you keep a record of the investments made and disposed of, with date and time, often linking to the exact trades. These records help you when you are calculating your monthly or annual income from the portfolio.
- Accounting: Different accounting methods are supported by the software, thus, helping the investor to do financial record-keeping for calculating tax liability and filing his returns.
- Multiple portfolios: A software will have the facility of creating and storing information for a number of portfolios. So an investor may keep separate records for the investments he has made for each of his family members.
- Real-time prices: It will show real-time prices of different stocks in the market, in which the investor is dealing in or has planned for the future. The graph may also show various markers for 'buy' or 'sell' prices. For this purpose though, the user must be connected to the Internet.
- Financial and technical analysis graphs: The software will also show the financial and technical analysis of a company in the form of different charts (such as a 12-month moving average chart). It will offer the user the option to choose the chart as and when he wants. The charts can also show historical data for the investor to conduct his own analysis.
- Real-time alerts: While making a trade, the investor can specify certain price alerts such as stop-loss, buy, and sell. As soon as the trade occurs, the investor is alerted, either with a pop up window if he is online at that time, or with email or mobile alerts, if he is offline.
- Support for multiple currency trades: For those who trade in global markets, it will support multiple currency transactions.
- Generation of various types of reports: The software offers a variety of reports which can be printed out for record-keeping or for the purposes of filing tax returns. These can be configured as per the user's requirements.
- 'Try before you buy' option: This is one of the most important features for software available on the Internet. It allows the investor to download a trial version, and try it out for a few days before purchasing the full version. Thus, the investor doesn't end up buying a tool, which he isn't looking for, or is not comfortable with.