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No spare time to invest? These services will do the work for you

Investing has never been easier thanks to the help of these certain types of services that investors can use.

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In the past, investing was an endeavor few would even consider trying. It took time, a need for vast amounts of information not readily available, and experienced practical market skills. It was a risky monetary endeavor, requiring a focused education. No one would think of doing it every now and again, and especially not as a hobby after-hours from their other full-time job.

Suddenly, people from all walks of life are investing, and not small amounts either. They don’t necessarily have any financial background, and they may be working in a field that stays far away from the concept of numbers. Often is the case that people barely have time to breathe after work, let alone engage in or consider investing.

The facts remain that we have so many more choices today when investing, because making those choices is much easier. We have technology that makes investing possible for people without spare time to learn the ropes or carefully consider each and every trade. Take a look at this Personal Capital review for one of my favorite services.

These services will make investing possible even if you don’t have much spare time.

Personal Capital

As I mentioned, Personal Capital is my favorite investment tool. Actually, it is more accurate to describe it as a toolset. It does just about everything. Firstly, you can link it with your investment accounts, which is the bare minimum an investment tool should do. Financial tools like Mint will also do that for you, but Personal Capital goes a lot further.

Personal Capital takes the constantly changing data from your investment accounts and makes sense of it. It gives you a rundown on exactly how your investments are doing. Furthermore, it proactively advises you on recommendations to make the most informed decisions possible.

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Technically, you could call Personal Capital a robo advisor, but it is so much more than that. Whereas your typical robo advisor will make decisions based on an interpretation of the data, Personal Capital gives you a greater level of control while using a much wider base of data.

Here are some of the features that make it so worthwhile.

It knows you

Smart investing is not just about finding promising investments. It is about finding investments that are promising for you in particular. An investment may be great for one person and terrible for another. This is for a multitude of reasons, including how long a person plans on investing for. In other words, a person in it for the long run will more readily accept occasional market volatility rather than someone working for quick returns.

But it’s not just a matter of personal preference. On a simple scope the investment strategy analyzes who you are and factors in data such as age and background, as well as risk aversion.  On a broader scope, Personal Capital will analyze economic, social, and geopolitical implications and trends and specifically how it relates to your investments. Personal Capital takes these factors into account. If you are a risk averse person, the system will advise you on less risky investments. They may not bring the same returns as riskier options, but you’re more likely to stay the course than you would if the situation gets rocky.

Investors have plenty of investment options today. (Source)

Age and location are also considered, due to certain factors that determine how you’re likely to act. This is how any artificial intelligence software should work. It should be a personal matter, rather than treating all investors as essentially the same.

Big data

The concept of big data is at the heart of this. Big data draws on the unthinkably massive range of information available from people using insurance and similar services over the past centuries, as well as the data gleaned from people using the internet every single day.

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Thus, robo advisors can understand how humans are likely to make decisions more intuitively than any one person could. It can understand people’s habits and it can adaptively learn your habits too. Personal Capital has the best ingredients for a recipe for making the right investment choices.

Human input

However, do not negate the nuances of humanity that cannot yet be programmed into an algorithm. There are many things that make sense to us that would be impossible for a computer to understand, as well as vice versa.

This is why software like Personal Capital ultimately leaves the control in your hands. You can step in at any point and change the course of your investments. You might sense something that has more to do with a particular political climate than with regular human behavior and make good decisions accordingly.

Is it easy?

Investing will never be a simple matter. There are complex principles to understand, and you have to have a basic understanding of how the economy works. However, most of us have that understanding from school and from living in our capitalist world. With robo advisors and similar software, investing is made both easy and convenient.  Bridging the gap between human intuition and accelerating technological advances is just one of the many situations made easier with this dashboard tool.

You don’t need loads of time to invest and you could be doing a job that barely correlates with your investment habit. But you can still have a lot of fun with a hobby that will make you money.

Desmond O’Flynn is Irish but he’s not into boxing. He writes about finance and investing, as well as world politics and global economy. He used to believe that he didn’t have the luck of the Irish since he failed his art class thrice, but this immediately changed after meeting his wife Katarina, a startup interior design consultant based in Dublin. He is also a financial adviser.

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