6 Best Portfolio Management Software Tools for Investors
The Best Portfolio Management Software Makes Your Life Easier
Investors need to keep track of their mutual and exchange traded funds, individual stocks and bonds for many reasons. You want to examine your investment returns, fees, asset allocation, as well as plan for retirement and more. Of course you can do it by hand or on an excel sheet, but with the excellent investment portfolio management software available, why bother? From free, to a one-time payment or on-going fees, there has never been a better selection of investment management software on the market. Both price and features matter and we’ll explore both.
We’ll start out with the free offerings, next the one-time fee platforms and finally those investment and portfolio management tools that charge an ongoing fee. Some of the offerings also include cash management tools, although this article will concentrate on the best investment portfolio management software.
Free Portfolio Management Software
1. Personal Capital
Personal Capital may be the perfect free investment and portfolio management software. The platform, with mobile and computer access has a load of features. The easy set-up takes a few minutes to sync your accounts after which your personalized dashboard is available. The Personal Capital program incorporates all of your bank, credit card and investment accounts and gives you a 360 degree view of how your investments are performing along with other useful money information.
The Personal Capital tools help you:
- Analyze your cash flow including both income and expenses
- Calculate your net worth
- Check on and analyze your investments
- Plan for retirement
- Analyze your account fees
- Perform an investment check up
- Review your asset allocation
The investment check-up offers priceless tools. The overriding question that the investment check-up answers is “Could your portfolio give you greater returns for a reasonable risk level?” The program answers this question by comparing your current asset allocation to the recommended target.
The retirement planner calculator tells you best and worst case retirement scenarios. It shows how much monthly spending your current portfolio will allow throughout retirement.
The only caveat with this tool is that you may need to field a call from a Personal Capital representative. Other than that, the tools are all free to use. I’ve used this tool and appreciate how all of the accounts auto-populate so that I don’t need to input data. In fact, this free product just might be superior to Quicken portfolio management software (which I also use) that can be purchased for installation on your computer.
For more detailed information about the free Personal Capital portfolio management platform, read our 3 part review.
WiseBanyan is a free, with paid add-on options, automated robo-advior. Their mission is to help clients start investing as soon as possible while slashing fees. The WiseBanyan platform gives clients diversified investment portfolios designed to match up with their financial goals. The company automates everything from portfolio balancing, to dividend reinvestment with an a la carte priced menu.
The free pricing structure for the bottom tier of options is a big draw for the new investor. You can enjoy free (Actually, the initial investment amount is $10) automated investment portfolio set-up, dividend reinvestment, and appropriate asset allocation. In addition to the ‘no-fee’ model, there are also no minimum investment amounts required. One of the add-on services is the newly launched WiseHarvesting that gives users tax-loss harvesting for .25% of assets under management (AUM) fee, with a $20 per month cap. This monthly fee is quite competitive in the automated investing arena.
Free WiseBanyan services include:
- Investment management
- Portfolio rebalancing
- Dividend reinvestment
To participate, you transfer your funds to Apex Clearing Corp through the WiseBanyan site from their existing accounts. Through the secure portal, Wise Banyan manages the investments. The WiseBanyan approach starts with a typical risk profile questionnaire. After you respond to the queries, you get a “risk score” which is used to create your recommended portfolio.
Within the investment portfolio are exchange traded funds (ETFs) in line with your risk tolerance. WiseBanyan offers an exceptional array of ETFs including U.S. and international stock and bond funds as well as municipal tax-free and government bond ETFs. You’re able to manually adjust your risk score as well. The company chooses well-researched funds with low fees and constructs the portfolios in a reasonable fashion, in line with modern portfolio theory.
This portal is an online investment management service, and doesn’t handle your day-to-day income and expenses. Unlike some of the other companies included in this list, WiseBanyan only manages investments, not budgeting or overall money management activities. At present, after providing your email on a sign up form, investors receive an ‘invitation’ to use the robo-advisor. Currerntly, WiseBanyan is offering a $15 sign-up bonus.
The popular and free Mint.com investment and money management web-based software has a lot going for it. With quick linking to your accounts, similar to Personal Capital, you get a quick overview of your financial picture. Mint tracks all of your financial accounts including credit, banking, investment and retirement. Mint also highlights your fees, so that you know how much of your money isn’t being invested for your future.
Mint offers these financial tools:
- Income and expense categorization and tracking
- Investment tracking
- Free Credit Score
- Bill pay
The Mint investment and portfolio management tools are satisfactory for beginning investors. Mint claims to help “Get the right tools for your investment style.” The online portal offers tips and advice for both active and passive investors. Although, Personal Capital is a more sophisticated alternative than Mint for investment portfolio management.
In general, for investors, Mint is too simplistic. Yet, if you’re looking for a free basic money management, saving, spending, budgeting and tracking tool, it’s worth a look.
Investment Portfolio Management Software: One-time Fee
4. Quicken Premier 2016
Quicken’s been my go-to financial management software for decades and I continue to use both Quicken and Personal Capital to view and analyze our investment portfolios. The Quicken Premier 2016 is a desktop application that you install on your computer. The program also has an online app and portal for on-the-go money management. Similar to Personal Capital, after synching your checking, saving, debt and investment accounts, you have a comprehensive financial management portal. The Quicken Premier platform is both basic money management, budgeting, debt tracking and cash management software as well as a comprehensive investment portfolio management program.
- Scores of money and investment management reports with deep level customization options
- Investment account downloading and tracking including income, dividends, fees and more
- Reports include; capital gains, rate of return, performance versus the market, investment transactions, cost basis, tax reports and more
- Risk/return analysis
- Retirement planner tool
- The Portfolio X-Ray tool from Morningstar® with detailed drill down into your overall diversification and portfolio characteristics
- Option trade tracking
In addition to the investment capabilities there are robust income, expense, budgeting and money management capabilities. This all sounds great, but I’ve had problems downloading data from several of our investment and credit card accounts. I’m not certain if increased security from the banks and brokerages is to blame or the Quicken program. The platform recently updated so I’m hopeful that they’ve addressed the downloading and synchronization issues.
Quicken was recently sold to a private equity firm, so how the platform progresses will unfold over time.
Investment Portfolio Management Software: Ongoing Management Fee
These portfolio management software platforms fall under the robo-advisor umbrella as well. The following companies charge low ongoing management fees and don’t require you to transfer your assets to their firm.
Many low-fee robo-advisors require the investor to move all of their assets into the company account. SigFig offers portfolio management for investors with existing Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade accounts. This is a convenient feature, especially for those investors with larger portfolios seeking to avoid the tax implications and complications of transferring their existing investments.
Our SigFig Review drills into this independent portfolio optimization platform that helps everyday investors track over $350 billion in assets. Through its partnerships with Fidelity, Schwab, and Ameritrade, the company’s algorithmic investment strategies work to analyze, monitor and improve any portfolio, automatically balancing and diversifying investments, while reducing risk and minimizing fees. SigFig’s Asset Management technology instantly analyzes your current investments, learns about your goals and risk tolerance, and tailors an individualized portfolio strategy. The automated systems constantly monitor and optimize your investments while reducing management fees.
SigFig’s investment portfolio management services require investors to invest a minimum of $2,000 and offer free service to all accounts valued less than $10,000. For investors with accounts valued at more than $10,000, the annual 0.25% fee of assets under management (AUM) covers these services:
- Portfolio monitoring and analysis
- Access to investment advisors
- Commission-free portfolio management
- Portfolio rebalancing
- Tax reduction strategies
An investor with a $20,000 account will pay an annual 0.25% or $50.00 for the investment portfolio management fee.
Another player in the robo-advisory field, this investment management platform offers a free and fee-based service. FutureAdvisor manages investors accounts held at either Fidelity and/or TD Amertrade. Their approach is to build diversified and tax-efficient investment portfolios. Similar to other automated investment platforms, FutureAdvisor recommends low fee exchange traded funds in their portfolios in accord with the consumers risk profile. The company also rebalances your portfolio when necessary.
After a 3 month free trial, the investment management fee is 0.50% of AUM. As with all funds, there are also low underlying ETF management charges.
For those investors seeking guidance and willing to execute the recommendations on their own, there is a free, DIY option. An investor can sign up for FutureAdvisor, link their portfolio and receive personalized recommendations. The investor then has the option to follow the FutureAdvisor investment management recommendations or not.
The paid FutureAdvisor features include:
- Access to licensed financial advisors and service specialists
- Tax-loss harvesting
- Portfolio dashboard with overview of past performance, trades and holdings
- On the dashboard, rortfolio health is graded according to performance, fees, tax efficiency and diversification
The Robo-Advisor Pros Takeaway
Investment portfolio management software is useful to track returns, asset allocations and individual investment performance. From DIY spreadsheets to robo-advisors, there are many available options. Choosing an investment management system ultimately depends upon the features you’re seeking. Regardless of which option you choose, the free Personal Capital dashboard provides excellent investment insights.
In addition to these top 6 investment portfolio management programs, there are many additional low fee robo-advisors for your investment management needs. Check out our ever-growing Robo-Advisor Pros; Reviews and Commentary section.
Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t believe is valuable.