The Goalwise App is out and why you shouldn’t use it


It's here! The Goalwise app for android devices is out and you can download it here.

Visually it looks different from the website and we have chosen an unusual but attractive theme (we love experimenting!). The current version is a view-only app which you can use to track your progress on your goals and see how your investments are doing on the go. You won’t be able to get your KYC done or make new investments from the app in this version. We will be adding these and more features in the coming months - prioritised based on user feedback - so be sure to let us know what you would like to see :)

But tell you what - you are better off not using the app. That’s right. We have spent a lot of time, effort and money to build the app and now we are (or at least I am) telling you not to use it. Probably the first time a company is asking you not to use a product that it has made.

Why you shouldn't use the Goalwise app (or any app for that matter)

Most of us want an app so that they can easily keep track of how their investments are doing everyday. Is it up today or is it down? How much did I make last week? Which fund is under-performing? etc etc.

On a daily basis, stock markets have almost as many negative days as they have positive days. And the best funds also under-perform their peers almost 40% of the times. Hence, checking your portfolio daily means you will be seeing down-ticks half of the time in your equity Mutual Fund investments. And it is a well established fact that we react more emotionally to the losses than to the gains (about twice as much).

And what do we do when we react emotionally - we end up taking ad-hoc decisions. Suddenly the market starts looking riskier. The pundits in financial media re-inforce it. The result - long term investment plans get derailed by short-term loss aversion.

I am not saying this just from my own experience and observations - there is ample research to prove it. A study published last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research, USA, finds that traders/investors who pay the closest attention to the stock market’s short-term gyrations significantly underperform those who don’t check their portfolios often. The close watchers get scared more often and end up allocating lesser to equity over time and hence earn returns lower by almost 30-50% as compared to those who don’t track their portfolios so often. In another study by Fidelity, they found that amongst all the investor accounts they had, the ones that did the best were of investors who had literally forgotten they had an account with Fidelity.

So, by having the ability to check your investments daily you are just setting yourself up for sub-optimal results. If you had bought a house, would you care about how much it was worth everyday? It is not as if real estate prices are immune to economic events, as recent times have shown. If you can show the same amount of indifference to the short term ups and downs with your Mutual Fund investments, you would become one of the most successful investors in the world. In fact, you should go ahead and switch off that business news channel also if you want to improve your returns. No kidding!

A silver lining

Okay enough of the party-pooping news. There is a silver lining. As advisors, it is our job to help you invest better and that includes educating and promoting good investment behaviour. And this can only be done by continuous engagement for which the app is a good medium. In the coming months we are going to experiment with some innovative features (did I mention we love experimenting?) for our app that will help you keep your emotions in check and discourage you from taking ad-hoc decisions. This is where we will be breaking new ground (not just in India but also globally) and we would love to hear your ideas on it - from small tweaks to radical measures - we want to hear it all.

You can send in your ideas and feedback on the app to me at ankur@goalwise.com or just write your comments below.

Happy investing! :)

P.S. All ye iPhone users - we will start working on the iOS app after a few months when we have the android one fully fleshed out. In the meanwhile, you can continue using our bots on Facebook Messenger and Telegram.