Smart Investing

Top brokerage firms are rushing their iPad applications out the door, according to research firm Corporate Insight.

July 1, 2011

Smart Investing

Research firm Corporate Insight describes iPad investing apps that are available for consumers so far:

  • E*TRADE, the first big brokerage with an iPad app, offers the most intuitive navigation, allowing clients to easily scroll through a variety of account and market information modules.
  • Merrill Lynch’s app anticipates the needs of clients on-the-go by incorporating detailed research and portfolio views as well as a customized display option.
  • TD Ameritrade offers the most powerful charting capabilities, providing more than 200 different technical indicators and taking advantage of the iPad’s expansive screen and intuitive controls. Fidelity allows charts
  • to be expanded full screen.
  • Bank of America’s iPad application excels in displaying bank account information, and integrating Merrill Lynch brokerage account information into the display.
  • Chase currently is the only firm with remote deposit capture for the iPad, allowing clients to submit electronic images of a check instead of depositing it in an ATM.

Watch for The ‘Wallet’

Later this summer, Google will expand its “Wallet” to more consumers. The Wallet will allow shoppers to touch their phone screen to select a card, and tap the phone to a credit card reader in a store or restaurant.

Google makes money by selling coupons and advertising that come along with the experience.

Cell phone companies, card issuers, and eBay’s PayPal payment service are among the entities competing for consumers’ payments business. All are looking for the most successful ways to tie together phones, retailers, and financial institutions.

Initially the Wallet will work with a MasterCard from Citigroup and with a Google-issued prepaid debit card. But a hurdle for all phone payment apps remains getting retailers to invest in terminals that talk to phones, The New York Times notes.

So far, the Wallet operates on only one smartphone: Google’s Nexus S 4G by Sprint.

The Looming Retirement Crisis

Bookmark “Condon’s Critiques” on your list of must-read book reviews. It’s written by Mark Condon, CUNA’s senior vice president of business and consumer publishing, and is available at

Of “When I’m Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them” by Teresa Ghilarducci, he writes:

  • The book “investigates the effect of pension losses on older Americans, and proposes a plan that includes a mixed system that combines Social Security and a new type of personal retirement savings account known as a Guaranteed Retirement Account.
  • If her proposal is adopted, Ghilarducci believes it could “guarantee workers 70% of their preretirement income once they’ve worked 40 years.”
  • Ghilarducci’s book“clearly outlines the crisis facing Americans in retirement.”