76 The Best Portfolio Management Tools for Free





The Best Portfolio Management Tools for Free

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Prevent unpleasant drops in your portfolio from the poor performance of one investment by analyzing and adjusting your portfolio diversification with free online portfolio management tools.

Online portfolio management tools fall into two categories: those that determine how to allocate your assets and those that analyze your current portfolio to see if it matches your asset allocation goals [Hack #74]. The tools that provide recommendations on asset allocation ask you questions about your goals, tolerance for risk, and the length of time until you want to withdraw your money. Some of these recommendation-oriented tools analyze your current portfolio taking into account your time horizons to suggest some allocation guidelines. With an asset allocation goal in hand, you can use other tools to see what your portfolio looks like now, whether your stock and fund holdings overlap, and your chances of achieving your goals. You can also use these tools to figure out how to rebalance your portfolio to get back on track [Hack #75].

Figure lists the best free portfolio management tools available online. Read about the best and worst features of each site and check out the extra features you can use to improve your portfolio performance.

Evaluating the top portfolio diversification tools

Features

Morningstar

SmartMoney

Motley Fool

FinanCenter

Tools

Portfolio Allocator; Portfolio Manager; Instant X-Ray

Asset Allocator; Portfolio Tracker; Portfolio Map

My Portfolio; Analyzer; Allocator

What kind of investor am I?

How should I allocate my current investments?

How does my risk tolerance affect my portfolio?

Will I reach my investment goals?

Best features

Instant X-Ray analyzes your portfolio by asset allocation, style box diversification, stock sector, stock type, fees and expenses, stock statistics, and top ten holdings.

Easy-to-use worksheet to view your current asset allocation and specify settings to define an ideal allocation. You can import existing portfolios into Portfolio Tracker. Portfolio Map provides graphical displays of diversification.

Analyzer allows you to chart each holding for multiple time periods up to ten years and compare them to four different market benchmarks.

Easy-to-use and extensive help sections explain the intent of each tool.

Worst features

Instant X-Ray requires the input of ticker symbols and dollar values each time you use it. Portfolio Allocator requires you to specify target percentages by sector and industry. Doesn't allow Mac users to import or export portfolios.

Can't integrate your portfolio with the Asset Allocator information or save your ideal allocation.

Doesn't provide tools to help you figure out initial allocations or set allocation targets.

Some questions are strange and wander into speculative-investment territory.

Extras

Extensive article archives on investing and diversification, and statistics and analysis for thousands of funds.

Numerous tools for all aspects of investment planning and analysis.

Tons of articles and tools on all aspects of personal finance and stock and fund investing.

Numerous calculators and planners that help with overall financial planning and plans specifically for retirement and college.



Morningstar (http://www.morningstar.com/tools )

Talk about knowing what you own—Morningstar's Instant X-Ray slices and dices your portfolio, serving up useful views of the types of assets you own and how they are deployed, as shown in Figure [Hack #75].

Morningstar's X-Ray Overview shows portfolio diversification from every angle
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SmartMoney (http://www.smartmoney.com/tools )

SmartMoney's One Asset Allocation System helps you determine your ideal asset allocation. Enter your current dollar amounts for investments in cash, bonds, small caps, large caps, and international stocks on the left. Use the sliders on the right to define parameters, such as your years to retirement, the money you want to leave to heirs, the equity in your home, your tolerance for volatility, and your view of the economic outlook. You can view a pie chart of your current allocation and select Ideal Allocation to see what SmartMoney recommends. SmartMoney suggests amounts you should add and subtract in each asset class to reallocate your assets to a more appropriate allocation model. You can also use special versions of the One Asset Allocation System if you are a parent or retired.


The Motley Fool (http://www.fool.com )

After you create a portfolio on the Motley Fool web site, access your portfolio by clicking My Portfolio in the top toolbar. Click Analyzer in the Portfolio toolbar to view price histories for individual holdings with index comparisons for periods from three months to five years. Click Allocation to see pie charts of your portfolio by ticker symbol, sector, or asset class. Although short-term price changes aren't something to focus on [Hack #79], you can see whether you gained or lost money the day before.


FinanCenter (http://www.financenter.com/products/planners )

The only site on the list that doesn't work with a stored portfolio, FinanCenter nonetheless offers worthwhile tools that help you assemble the nuts and bolts of portfolio diversification and asset allocation. If you're a newbie to the world of asset allocation, start with the "What kind of investor am I?" tool to figure out your risk profile. From there, you can move into "How should I allocate my current portfolio?" to see where you are and get suggestions of what to do. It's best to have at least a rough idea of where your money is now so that you can obtain meaningful results. The most valuable tool is "Will I reach my investment goals?," which tells you whether you have a chance of reaching a particular retirement, college savings, or overall goal, based on your current situation.


Standard & Poor's (http://fc.standardandpoors.com/htdocs/corp_v2/calculators_edups.html )

The Standard & Poor's Financial Communications tools warrant a brief mention. Two asset allocation calculators list questions that you answer easily by selecting options.

Entering your portfolio at a new web site can be a major pain when you're getting started with portfolio diversification tools. In addition, you must keep your portfolio up to date to obtain meaningful feedback. Spend some time determining which site you want to use before you enter portfolio information, or you'll end up with portfolios scattered all over the Web. If you want to analyze your portfolio taking into account all your transactions, including dividends paid, choose a web site that enables you to import portfolios, such as Morningstar or SmartMoney.



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