If you have stocks, you’ll more than likely want to keep an eye on your portfolio in order to ensure your investment is increasing rather than depreciating in value.
Vest, a new app from Montreal-based Fasterre, is one that aims to crunch all the numbers for you to make it easier to monitor your own stocks and positions as well as keep tabs on future opportunities.
Vest, of course, enters an iOS landscape already well-served by similar apps — not least Apple’s own Stocks app that is pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad. In an effort to differentiate itself from the competition, Vest puts a focus on not just following stocks but following your own personal investments.
When you first open Vest, you are prompted to set up an example portfolio. This is a good place to start, as it gives you a good feel for the app without having to begin entering your own positions and investing your time into the app up front.
You can edit this portfolio and get the app up and running with your own information easily by adding it manually and letting Vest take it from there. Enter the buy and sell transaction data you know and you can straight away begin seeing your portfolio’s direction.
Viewing a portfolio shows you an overview of each stock within it and an easy-to-interpret, real- time graph showing percentage increase or decrease, as well as the portfolio’s overall worth.
You can drill deeper into each stock and view its current and historical data. Tabs give you a glanceable Overview showing real time valuation as well as editorial picks for related news items — which I am happy to say can be viewed in-app and do not require switching out to Safari. A History tab shows you a stock’s value over time — hourly, daily, monthly or all-time. In its Compare tab, you can also see how your stocks are performing in relation to each other with indicators such as gains/losses, earnings per share, and dividend yields.
While Vest obviously uses your internet connection to keeps its data up to date, it can still be utilized when offline with market data downloaded locally to your device when a connection is available.
One of the best features I found of Vest was its notification feature. Once I had learned how to enable it (it is hidden within a settings screen within the editing screen of your portfolios), it is simple to get Vest to alert you of any significant change to the portfolio value or splits or dividends of positions you own, or simply provide an end-of-day summary of the portfolio’s value evolution after markets close.
For obvious privacy reasons, Vest keeps your personal data stored locally by default but iCloud sync can be enabled to keep your information up to data across your own iOS devices.
Uniquely, multiple portfolios are supported if a Vest subscription is purchased. This allows you to track different segments of your investments separately if you prefer — or creative prospective portfolios to keep an eye on future opportunities — a feature that I imagine would be extremely useful to more experienced investors. Vest is a free download and is free to use for one portfolio with a subscription costing $0.99 per month or $9.99 annually for multiple portfolios.
Vest feels rather data heavy and dense. At first, the wealth of information can feel a little overwhelming. The example portfolio goes a way to helping with this as you can play around with the app without impacting the accuracy of your own portfolio. The UI of the app, while good looking, also takes a little getting used to with a plethora of tabs and menus to wade through.
Vest currently supports the NASDAQ, NYSE and TSX market exchanges in portfolios of Canadian or United States Dollars currency, with historical exchange rates taken into account automatically — this solves a real headache for casual users and is super useful. While more markets and currencies are expected in the future, if you trade outside of these bounds then Vest will be of no use.
Overall, Vest is a solid offering with a deep data set that will satiate the information-hungry investor. While the app takes some getting into, casual to intermediate-level investors, or those with larger portfolios, will benefit from the app’s added feature set and ability to track the value of personal investments.