Information Overload? There’s an App for That.


Like many people, I like a little “background noise” around me when I’m working.  Since most of my clients are in financial services, this usually means CNBC or Bloomberg TV, where many of the ads tout new web and mobile services for people who want to keep a constant eye on the markets.  Recently, I’ve noticed more ads highlighting a new take on this idea: financial media apps for mobile devices.

Now, I have enjoyed seeing how both the web and traditional media have made the markets more accessible to mainstream investors.  But I’m starting to wonder if we’re hitting a point of diminishing returns.  The US savings rate still lags most of the developed world and, according to the National Foundation For Credit Counseling, the number one New Year’s resolution for Americans is to get out of debt.  Is all this access to financial markets information really helping us achieve our investment goals?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining.  One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job has been finding new ways to capitalize on changes in the media and technology environment.  It’s just not clear to me yet that all these new ways of staying abreast of market action are really making us better off.

I am all for transparency in the markets and investor access, but isn’t there a point where the added information starts to become the background noise that adds to our stress levels and even encourages the obsessive side that most of us deny that we have?  Put another way, how can we harness the torrential information flow to make us better investors?

This is the challenge that I find most exciting as I consider where we’ve come from over the course of my career and think about where we might be headed next.

What do you think?  Are you taking advantage of apps and other mobile financial tools to help you on your way to a more financially sound 2011?

To reach Donna:

Phone:  212.584.5479
Twitter: @donnamcsorley