That's where upstart Scout Finance comes in, looking to level the playing field for both the retail and the professional investor.
Scout popped onto the scene in December 2015, offering a free iOS app (and now a desktop version) that allows its users to access market data 24/7. Within two years, the little startup was snapped up by Money.Net. But its mission remains the same.
Scout Finance Features
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- FREE mobile access to professional-grade financial data — Provides both individual investors and professionals with top-shelf financial data anywhere, anytime.
- Interface built for mobile access — Other financial data providers have taken their data and made it mobile, which creates a “clunky” experience for users. Scout developed and designed a mobile product that delivers a pleasant experience for mobile users.
- Historical financial data — Scout gives you access to a company's income statement, balance sheet, cash flow and metrics for the past five years.
- Offline access — Auto caching of documents for offline reading when you don't have wifi access.
- Store financial reports — You can direct financial reports to a Dropbox account.
- Customized watch lists — Create your personal watch list(s) and choose what data you want sent to you via email or notifications.
- Professional-grade data — Developed to be an all-in-one solution for Wall Street professionals, Scout provides expanded content, including access to documents like Investor Presentations, Earnings Call Transcripts, Filings, Earnings Releases and Earnings Call Audio.
- Mobile-optimized stock charts — Scout’s charts are easy to view and manipulate on even the smallest mobile device.
What Is Scout Finance?
Scout Finance allow users to monitor stock prices and access financial statements, company analytics, investor presentations, filings, earnings transcripts and more, no matter where they are, from their Apple mobile devices or on the web.
The platform was started when its creators saw an opportunity — in mobile technology — to provide retail investors, money managers and financial professionals alike with 24/7 access to the most useful stock market data previously available only to users “tethered” to Bloomberg terminals.
Bloomberg, the longstanding industry tool for financial advisors and researchers, is cost-prohibitive for retail investors at roughly $24,000 for an annual subscription and one access terminal. Free apps, like Google Finance, are criticized by users for inaccurate data, confusing interfaces, annoying ads and limited free features. Google charges a premium of $29.99 for all features and no ads, or $9.99 for no ads. Another alternative we've reviewed is YCharts. which starts at $40 per month. Scout is currently a free and ad-free experience.
Scout’s app delivers immediate access to professional-grade financial information in a format that makes it extremely easy to navigate and quickly find exactly what information users are looking for. It has streamlined the complexity and removed the redundancy you find in other online apps.
- Download the app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Create your personal watch list to ensure your “Activity” feed has documents and other content for the companies you care most about. You can give your list a unique name and easily populate it with companies from the drop down menu.
- Access the financial data you want whenever and wherever you are.
While Scout Finance appears to be a great entry into this marketplace, it still needs some improvements to be a serious contender compared to the other offerings — free or paid. Being mobile-only does make this service somewhat unique, and I believe Scout has the potential for some greatness in future editions.