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The IFA App: Portfolio Tools & Original Content Go Mobile

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Mobile devices are gaining technological horsepower at an increasing pace. And that's opening new opportunities for investors to track their portfolios and learn about how best to meet their overarching financial goals. 

To help investors harness greater mobility, we've developed the IFA App. Besides bringing our clients handheld access to powerful wealth-management tools like eMoney, IFA's Retirement Plan Analyzer and Index Calculator, we're making available a vast array of educational articles, videos, films, interviews, charts and market data to anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android-based device. The app can be downloaded in Apple's app store or your Android device's store.

So let's take an abbreviated tour. As shown below, the IFA App is designed to be very intuitive and easy to navigate. From the home screen, you can access a wealth of information by clicking icons with a similar look and feel as your phone's or tablet's home screen. Several icons take you to sub-screens, and swiping provides access to about a dozen additional screens with 200-plus icons, some of which are shown below.

IFA app MenuThe app is built to be especially useful for those who want to log into their accounts from a handheld device and/or tablet. Several options are offered to access accounts held at Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity. You can go to the "All Logins" button to check all of your accounts — either through these third-party custodians' brokerage sites or by logging into your personal IFA account.

In particular, the "IFA Login" icon is set up to let investors go to introductory account pages tied to individual portfolios. By clicking on the corresponding "Downloads" tab, you can get your latest IFA Performance Report. (See screenshots below.) Besides offering links to each client's most current report, past editions are archived and made available for mobile access.

IFA Performance Reports let our clients dig deeper into their portfolios. Each current position held in a portfolio — i.e., each index fund — is reviewed by portfolio weight, units held, price and overall market value. These funds are also delineated by asset class and ticker symbols. Current allocations (as of the end of each month) are compared to longer-term target allocations, both in percentage terms and dollar values. Such figures are listed both in terms of asset class and portfolio totals. 

These breakdowns of portfolio holdings include data related to a portfolio's opening value for the quarter-to-date and year-to-date. Such numbers are delineated by account activities such as withdrawals, interest and dividend payments. Closing values for each timeframe are given by: total gains, dollar-weighted returns, time-weighted returns and benchmark returns. An analysis of portfolio performance since inception makes up a separate data set. 

As mentioned earlier, another feature provides one-click access to data and charts found on IFA.com regarding different IFA Index Portfolios. (See photos below.)

Given how much data is made available relating to global equity and fixed-income markets across a broad set of different asset classes, these mobile pages can be used by any investor, not just IFA clients. (Note: IFA Index Portfolio numbers refer to the percentage of the allocation to stock indexes. Thus, Index Portfolio 70 has a 70% allocation to stock indexes and a 30% allocation to bond indexes.)

IFA app Portfolios

Getting all of this information reformatted so it can easily be read in the palm of your hand has been quite a challenge. It's taken our founder, Mark Hebner, and IFA's app development team years to perfect. 

Charts and information included relate to many aspects of investing. Among other graphics, the IFA App puts into an investor's hand the ability to view the annualized return, standard deviation of returns and growth of $1 for each index portfolio between any two months over the past 90-plus years. Also built into the app are various measurements of SPIEs (Simulated Passive Investor Experiences) and T-stat data relating the elusive alpha that active managers are trying to generate for their investors.

A unique value-added feature developed to help our clients take full advantage of everything IFA offers — from investment and retirement planning to Social Security optimization, college planning and charitable giving — is the "Fiduciary Services" icon. (See below). It even provides resources to tap into our set of referral services to specialists like estate planning attorneys, insurance experts and tax services offered through our tax planning and preparation group at IFA Taxes. 

IFA app icons

The IFA App, though, isn't just enhanced to help investors work alone in understanding their portfolios better and exploring different big picture wealth-management solutions. The app includes an interactive "Wealth Advisors" icon. (See below.)

While it is true we've tried to enhance communications between advisors and their clients at several different levels, you can tap the "Wealth Advisors" icon and select an IFA wealth manager by name. It's another way to initiate discussions via phone, text or email with an advisor. Each advisor's client services specialist is also listed here. (The "About IFA" icon, which can be found at the top of each page and is pictured below, is another way to get more information about our team.) 

IFA app Menu

One other tip: If you haven't taken the Risk Capacity Survey for a while, it might be a good idea to re-check if your financial situation has changed enough to trigger a new discussion with your wealth advisor about a portfolio's allocations between more volatile assets (stocks) and bonds. You can also download from the app a detailed report. This report is designed to give you a fairly comprehensive breakdown of your risk capacity score, which is used by IFA's advisors to recommend the most risk-appropriate portfolio for each investor. (See screens below.)

IFA app Risk Capacity Survey

Despite all of our work to provide investors with a cutting edge portfolio analysis and investment education tool, the IFA App is a work in-progress. Our in-house development team continues to refine and improve the app's current capabilities. As a result, we plan to add more content in the future in order to evolve the IFA App's user experience. 

If you have any suggestions on features you might like to see included in future iterations of our app, please feel free to reach out to your IFA wealth advisor. In our role as a fiduciary working on behalf of each client's best interests, IFA strives to take advantage of the latest technologies to help educate our investors about their portfolios and holistic financial plans.

This is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, product or service. There is no guarantee investment strategies will be successful. Investing involves risks, including possible loss of principal. Performance may contain both live and back-tested data. Data is provided for illustrative purposes only, it does not represent actual performance of any client portfolio or account and it should not be interpreted as an indication of such performance. IFA Index Portfolios are recommended based on time horizon and risk tolerance.  For more information about Index Fund Advisors, Inc, please review our brochure at https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/ or visit www.ifa.com.