I really wish I could have written this article two years ago, or save it for two years from now. Things aren’t likely to change in the next few months, though, and I’ve been asked to write about some stock checking tools for your BlackBerry, so now’s a good a time as any. Now that I’ve aired all my insecurities, we can move onto the actual content. We’ve gone over hundreds of different BlackBerry applications in the past, but haven’t really focused on ones which track your stocks. This is strange, since it’s something the BlackBerry handles with efficiency. You can get a quote, check your portfolio, and even make a trade if you’re so inclined (and using the correct application). So here we are, a roundup of stock market applications for your BlackBerry.
For some of you, TheStreet.com might ring a bell. That’s because their senior technology correspondent, Gary Krakow, was fairly vocal about his displeasure with the BlackBerry trackball. He was mad that his broke a bit too often, and through the IT department found that his frustration was shared by others. We promptly showed Mr. Krakow how to clean his BlackBerry trackball so issues like this wouldn’t arise in the future. We even talked about replacing the trackball if it came to that. This time, we’re talking about TheStreet’s mobile application for BlackBerry. No, you can’t use it to make a trade, but you can do just about anything else market related with it. This includes compiling your portfolio for easy tracking, the ability to nab a stock quote, and to read up on the latest market news. It features auto-downloading of content, so you can read the material even when you’re underground in the subway or otherwise out of wireless reach. In other words, it’s a simple, comprehensive application which can serve most of your market needs. Best of all, it’s free. You can head to m.thestreet.com from your BlackBerry browser to get the one-time download. The auto-download might make this a bit data intensive, and therefore harsh on the battery, but otherwise this seems like a viable option for market hounds.
It’s always hard for a paid application to compete with a free application, and that’s the burden for e-Mobile Stocks, brought to you by e-Mobile Software, Inc. It provides most of the information you get with TheStreet.com’s application, including stock and mutual fund information, quotes, a portfolio manager, and market news. However, it does have its drawbacks, and that includes the price. The one big issue I have with e-Mobile Stocks is that the news doesn’t appear to be organized by anything other than date, and because there is no one platform supplying the headlines, there seem to be some duplicates (as you can see in the accompanying screen shot). This means you might spend a few more minutes scrolling through information. It also provides it on an as-needed basis. The advantage is that it won’t eat the battery as much. The downside is that you won’t be able to access information when you’re out of signal range. Again, price is the biggest factor here. You can get e-Mobile Stocks from the BBGeeks Store for $24.95. That doesn’t look too appealing when held up to the free TheStreet application. Another paid alternative is Stock Manager for BlackBerry, which has the capability to provide alerts on your portfolio. That’s $29.95, though, so you’d have to be a pretty big fan of the application to give it a whirl. I’d absolutely recommend the free trial if you’re even thinking about it.
E*TRADE Mobile Pro
Surely you’ve seen the E*Trade commercials on TV. You know, the ones with the baby talking on the cell phone. For those unfamiliar with their outfit, it’s a service which allows you to invest and trade online. This includes all the major securities: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, and all sorts of others. Last year they released an application for BlackBerry, and it’s certainly one worth checking out. That is, if you’re already signed up with their service. Otherwise it’s not of much use. If you are, it can give you access to your account via your BlackBerry. You can view your account, create lists of stocks to watch, transfer money to and from an account, get real-time quotes, and even trade stocks and options. The only thing it doesn’t do, it appears, is find market news for you. But with other popular BlackBerry news aggregators, like Viigo, you can use the power of E*TRADE Mobile Pro and get your news elsewhere. Like TheStreet.com’s application, E*Trade Mobile Pro is free for account holders. Point your BlackBerry browser to etrade.com/mobile and follow the download instructions. Also, make sure to check out their Mobile Pro homepage, where they’re offering up a BlackBerry Bold for $99.99 (with mail-in rebate and two-year AT&T agreement). They also have other BlackBerry devices for free (same deal, just with other carriers).