Those who are into investing and are always looking to optimize their portfolios to generate the most income are usually spread out over multiple accounts, banks, and brokerages.
This can be a pain when wanting to take a step back and get a bigger picture of what your total investments look like.
Veteran investors will tell you to learn to use spreadsheets and that no extra tools are necessary to manage this however why go through the extra trouble when there are specific tools developed just for the tasks you are looking for.
There are many investment analyzers out there and they all have their pros and cons, some are better for long-term investments, while others are better for shorter terms and more involved traders.
Regardless of the kind of investor you are, there are tools out there to help you optimize your accounts and invest more efficiently.
Why Use A New System If Mine Works?
There are certainly many investors who have developed their own strategies and ways of navigating around the issue of using multiple accounts and the use of tracking sheets.
Certainly, these people are going to be more difficult to persuade to learn a new system. Luckily, most investors like to optimize.
While spreadsheets and tracking sheets can be a foolproof system, many of these analyzer tools also offer a host of other services that spreadsheets and papers simply cannot compete with.
Loads of articles, blogs, studies, tools, and services in addition to portfolio analytics are plenty of reasons to make a change and try a new system.
In addition to saving you an enormous amount of time on tedious spreadsheets, you can instead use that time to use tools such as a Retirement Planner to start learning to invest early for that.
Types Of Portfolio Analyzers
Just like when choosing the right investment, picking the right service to handle your funds can be intimidating, nerve-wracking, and tedious.
It’s important to understand not all Portfolio Analyzers are the same and many offer differing and additional services.
If you have a particular goal in mind such as long-term retirement planning, short-term investing, learning, self-control, or account analysis there is most definitely a particular service that is more tailored to your needs.
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular Portfolio Analyzers on the market and see which one is better suited to your needs.
Of the many Portfolio analyzers on the market right now, two of the biggest and most popular ones are Personal Capital, and Morningstar. These two giants in the industry both offer free trails and free versions to help beginners get started on their journey.
This US-based investment service company has its headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.
The company was founded to provide with the goal of providing a more personalized and streamlined investing experience by giving customers access to their full financial portfolio all on one screen.
Personal Capital provides service to over 2.8 million users and has over $16 billion in assets under its management.
Providing wealth management solutions at 3 tier levels beginning at $100k and up. The 3 levels are:
Personal Capital’s entry-level service offerings are for investors in the $100-$200k range. This is quite a high standard for entry-level services and you can be certain that doing business with Personal Capital is an elite experience.
With the entry-level service pack, you have access to customer support from a team of financial advisors around the clock, a Robo-advisor to professionally manage funds, access to investing tools, and your funds will only be invested in ETFs.
The intermediate Wealth Management services offered to clients with over $200k offer the same benefits as an entry-level account with some additional benefits.
In this tier, you have access to 2 dedicated financial advisors, free consultations with sector-specific investment specialists, and the ability to invest in Individual stocks.
Private Clients require at least $1M in investments and are given every service the two previous tiers offer with some exclusive bonuses for the highest level clients.
This tier offers access to Personal Capital’s investment committee with more in-depth estate, tax, legacy, and wealth planning advice than previous tiers.
Additionally, this tier allows you to invest in private equity and hedge funds and trade individual bonds on top of stocks and ETFs.
The Dashboard has been developed over a long time and is now a wonderful centerpiece to access all of Personal Capital’s services.
From this Hub, you can access all your investing information such as net worth, performance, and available cash to invest.
This dashboard also allows you to connect your credit cards, and your bank account allowing for total coverage of all your assets.
Personal Capital’s Retirement Forecast helps you stay on track with your savings plan.
Providing valuable information such as when you can realistically retire based on some variables. This kind of additional service is perfect especially for a service that brings all of your financial accounts into one place.
Not only will you earn and save more money, you are enticed to save for your retirement by a service right there in front of you.
Retirement savings can be difficult to start and maintain, having it at a glance right in front of you is very encouraging and useful to many users.
The pricing schedule is also a tiered system based on your total holdings. Personal Capital charges an annual fee for their services ranging from 0.49% to 0.89%.
One of the best parts of Personal Capital is that its spending tracker and financial planning tools are free to use! We highly recommend an account with Personal Capital for the financial tool on their own.
The only downside to making use of Personal Capital’s other services is to deposit $100k which is most likely a lot more than the average person has just laying around.
Additionally, the fees on Personal Capital are a bit higher than average however the service is top-notch and you get your money’s worth making it a fair give and take.
Personal Capital’s free services are a no-brainer for those who have multiple accounts or needing help managing their spending and money. Additionally, the free financial tools are perfect for those looking to get a good grasp of their finances.
Founded in 1984, Morningstar is an investment news, and advisor tool that benefits from over 150 in-house analysts that provide the most useful information on mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and ETFs.
Morningstar operates in 27 countries and has over 5000 employees worldwide.
Specializing in mutual funds, Morningstar is a long-term investment tool for those planning far ahead.
Morningstar’s most prominent and useful feature is the Rating List.
This is a constantly updated list of the best stock, ETF, bond, and mutual fund picks according to Morning Star’s in-house analysts.
These picks are rated on a 5 star rating system with a twist. Only the top 10% of picks can be ranked a 5-star rating and the bottom 10% a 1-star rating.
Any mutual fund that is younger than 3 years does not qualify. Morningstar also offers lists for stock traders as well as ETFs.
A free fund screener is available from Morningstar with the premium version being a lot more thorough. This Fund Screener has over 100 criteria to choose from allowing you to set the strictest requirements for your screening.
Finding success with a particular fund is inspiring and Morningstar helps you find similar investment opportunities by simply typing in the name of your fund and Morningstar will spit out a list of potentially similar funds.
Searching for similar funds can be based on similar performance, risk, expenses, and several other criteria.
Information is the most important tool when making financial decisions. Morningstar educates its users with a free educational blog with hundreds of informative articles.
There are also paywall blocked articles for premium users only. These are filled with valuable information and are a great reason to go premium on their own.
Morningstar has a free version that is more than enough for beginner investors looking to start their long investment journey.
The paid advertisements you must endure to use the app allow it to be free but with limited functionality.
The premium version is available with a 14-day free trail after which the price is $29.95 monthly. An upfront yearly payment will save you some dollars at $199 per year.
The premium version allows full access to all features which are more capable than the free version and are best for active and experienced traders.
When it comes to Mutual funds, Morningstar is at the top of their game, offering analyst-backed ratings, articles, and blogs that are overflowing with information.
The 150+ in-house analysts work to continuously change and update ratings and advice as the market changes. However, by comparison, the stock and ETF lists and ratings are a bit lackluster in comparison to the mutual fund listings.
Knowing that Morningstar is specialized in mutual funds, we would recommend this to anybody who is looking to get started and learn the long game.
Mutual fund investing is a long-term game with plenty of hurdles, but you can be sure you are in the most capable and responsible hands when investing with Morningstar.
The biggest and most popular does not always mean the best or most suited for the task. Competitors offer services that are tailored to more experienced or specialized investors that outmatch what the big brands offer but are more complex and difficult to use.
In 2006, two computer techs created a website called “Wikinvest” which was a wiki-style page, that simplified the creation of an online portfolio manager.
After winning several awards and mentions, including Time magazine’s “2010 best websites” list the two techs evolved the company into SigFig, a registered investment service, with a continuing flair for functionality and capability.
Offering 2 types of services, a Portfolio Tracker and Asset Management. The portfolio Tracker allows you to view your entire investment portfolio in one place, is free to use, and requires no minimum investment either.
The Asset management portion of their services keeps your portfolio balanced and diversified while maintain as much earning potential as possible. This service is also free up to $10,000 with a minimum of $2000 deposited and is 0.25% annually of the account afterward.
It is important to note that unlike services such as Personal Capital, SigFig does not have the ability to link credit cards or checking accounts to the service.
SigFig only offers the ability to link brokerages to the service itself, keeping your personal finances separate.
To some users this clear separation is preferential, Tax Loss harvesting is available after a minimum account balance of $10,000.
This service helps simplify the process of minimizing capital gains taxes by optimizing the sales and purchases of investments.
Additionally, SigFig offers tax-efficient migration options that are held in tax-sheltered accounts.
The mobile app is very easy to set up and use. Regarded as one of the best investment apps on the market for having nearly the same functionality as the desktop version of the service.
Automatic Dividend reinvesting is the most efficient way to maximize gains on your investments. Compounding your dividends is the most efficient use of your profits and SigFig can help manage your dividend reinvestment while ensuring there is a minimum available balance to cover any fees.
SigFig offers a goood free service for those starting their investment journey.
Anyone starting under $10,000 will pay no fees the first $10,000 is managed without the annual fee as well.
Additionally, the Tax Loss harvesting feature can be extremely useful to save on those capital gains taxes.
SigFig does a great job with the introductory services but we find seems to underdeliver in other key areas.
The portfolio advice is ok and can have a few inaccuracies, as well as recommending investing in funds with higher fees. This is counterproductive to an income-generating portfolio and SigFig loses some points for that.
We would recommend using SigFig for their tools and features and not for the advice and recommendations lists.
Quicken has been around for quite some time, long enough that it was once the only alternative to a spreadsheet.
In today’s market, Quicken is just one of the many personal finance platforms that help budget and track your investments.
That being said, Quicken is still a great choice, especially with an updated list of features Quicken offers. This service is Windows and Mac-based and until recently was not cloud-accessible like many other competitor’s services are.
Because Quicken was once the only alternative to a spreadsheet, they have a lot of experience when it comes to this type of service.
Because of this, Quicken is a personal finance platform that can do almost everything.
Quicken offers some of the most robust budgeting services available in any product on Desktop, mobile, and web platforms.
Quicken also has the ability to export data to excel which is a very useful feature for many users, especially more traditional ones.
All your bank and credit card accounts are secure in one place and you can categorize your expenses automatically to get a better picture of your spending habits so you can begin to make gradual changes.
Quicken can evaluate your investments using Morningstar’s Portfolio X-ray tool to evaluate and your asset allocation. This tool can pinpoint concentrated positions, view stock holdings behind your mutual funds, show sector weightings, and many more things.
Quicken Premier costs $70 per year and includes everything in the Deluxe and Starter packs with the addition of Free Online Bill payments, priority access to customer support, and simplifying your taxes and investments. This service is a bit on the more expensive side of this of things but truly is one of the most comprehensive personal finance tools available, with the history to back it up too.
Quicken is a great choice for personal finances, you really can’t go wrong. The only issue with it is the price.
While Quicken does offer a vast amount of features the price point is very high especially when freemium choices such as Personal Capital and Morningstar offer free services with more complex usability locked behind a small paywall.
It makes it difficult to justify recommending an overpriced product when there are free and similar choices offering competitive services.
If money is no option to you and you want to have the usability and functionality when you need it then this is a perfectly adequate choice. We recommend complete beginners stay away from quicken as the number of features and functionality can be overwhelming at first.
The most technical and difficult to use on this list, Portfolio Visualizer is free to use but comes with a caveat.
It can be intimidating and difficult to use, especially when you don’t know which tool does what.
Portfolio Visualizer service is heavy on quantitative analysis which is perfect for the experienced and knowledgeable investor, however, newbies will get lost amount all the lingo and tools.
Portfolio Visualizer has an incredibly large amount of tools available for use, the only issue is that they give very little in the way of definitions and use.
The service assumes the user is experienced and capable to not have to guide them through the process of using their standard analysis tools.
The most notable feature of Portfolio Visualizer apart from the aggregation of all your finances is the ability to backtest all the way back to 1995.
It can run 3 separate asset allocation tests at a time.
Portfolio Visualizer can also perform analysis on nearly every security and asset class that exists. This is a perfect tool for foreign stock analysis and this service would prove more useful in the hands of a skilled foreign investor.
We can only recommend this service to those who are experienced enough in investments and finances that they won’t be intimated by the language and amount of tools available.
Portfolio Visualizer is the farthest thing from beginner-friendly and I highly suggest starting on a simpler program if just starting your investment career.
While many websites, platforms, and services exist to manage your personal and investment finances, there are differences between the products that can have a significant impact on your usability.
Choosing the right platform for you will depend on what asset types you are holding or investing in, whether you want to include personal finances in your aggregate results or not, the cost of the service, and other personal preferences.
For beginners and those still fairly new to the investment game, we would recommend sticking with one of the more popular and user-friendly services such as Personal Capital or Morningstar.
These services have become large and prosperous precisely because they are easy and simple to use and appeal to a large user base. If you are an intermediate-level investor then getting a premium account with one of the big 2 services will still teach you plenty until you are ready to move on to bigger and more serious analysis.
For those who are more advanced and ready for serious analysis tools such as Quicken and Portfolio Visualizer offer the most functionality to somebody with the know-how to understand it.
Quicken is a more traditional tool geared mostly towards budgeting and management, whereas Portfolio Visualizer is geared towards in-depth quantitative analysis.