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Investing can be complicated but keeping an eye on your portfolio doesn’t have to be. These are the 5 best investment tracking apps that will save you time by making it easier than ever to monitor your money.

best investment tracking apps

Among the multitude of free investment tracking apps, most offer only minimal investment related services. However, we’ve zeroed in on what we believe to be the five best investment tracking apps. In our opinion, the top app is SigFig. It’s also a free service, but it offers tools and features with the most tangible benefits for the largest number of investors. The app is also highly regarded in many other online evaluations.

The average return on the broad stock market–measured by the S&P 500–has been about 10% for the past 90 years. It’s highly likely very few individual investors are matching that average return. A big part of the problem is difficulty in managing multiple investment accounts.

If you’re like most investors, you probably have a taxable brokerage account or two, a mutual fund or two, an IRA, a current 401(k) plan, and maybe some old 401(k) plans you haven’t gotten around to doing anything with.

With that type of “portfolio,” your money is sitting in several different “cookie jars.” While it may be possible to track what’s going on in each account individually, it’s a real nightmare getting a handle on the big picture. Investment tracking apps can help you track several investment accounts on a day-to-day basis. That’s the only way you’ll know how your investments are performing, and where you may need to make changes to improve that outcome.

At-A-Glance

  • Best app for investment analysis: Personal Capital
  • Best for serious investors: Morningstar (with SigFig a close second!)
  • Best for casual investors, more interested in general financial management: Mint
  • Best for ongoing portfolio management: SigFig
  • Best for customer support: SigFig
  • Best for tracking real-time stock news and data: Yahoo!Finance

Our Selection Methodology

We used the following methodology to determine what we believe to be the five best investment tracking apps:

  • Number of investment tools available on each app
  • Relevancy of the tools and features provided
  • Investment assistance provided, short of using a paid management service
  • Cost of the app
  • Availability of additional services, including direct portfolio management, budgeting, or overall financial management
  • Reviews by third parties

The 5 Best Investment Tracking Apps

1.    Personal Capital

 

This really was a close evaluation. SigFig may have come out on top, but only by a nose. Personal Capital has many similar features to SigFig, including the ability to shift over to a managed portfolio option. The single factor that shifted our opinion in favor of SigFig was that the advisory fee on Personal Capital’s wealth management option is much higher.

But Personal Capital is an excellent choice nonetheless. In fact, it’s probably the world’s largest investment tracking app, with at least twice as many users as SigFig. You really can’t go wrong with either app.

Personal Capital might be the most popular investment tracking app. It has 1.6 million registered users, tracking $500 billion in assets. Much like SigFig, they also have an asset management component, but they offer plenty of free investment services, even if you don’t take advantage of the premium service.

Some of the services they offer for free include:

401(k) Fee Analyzer

This tool analyzes your 401(k) plan(s) and determines the level of fees you’re actually paying. This is an important tool, since employer-sponsored plans often have fees that are not entirely obvious to the plan holder. Not only does it show you the fees, but also how much you’re losing to those fees.

The fee analyzer can point you to less expensive investment options within your plan. But it might also be a signal that you’ll need to diversify your savings beyond your 401(k). That could mean opening an IRA, or even a taxable brokerage account, either with lower fees.

Investment Checkup

You enter your various investment accounts, and this tool will give you an evaluation of where you’re at. That includes portfolio target recommendations, rebalancing suggestions, and a determination of the risk level in your portfolio.

Retirement Calculator

This tool calculates your expected monthly retirement income, including projected Social Security income.

2.    SigFig Portfolio Tracker

 

SigFig is a free app, but it comes with a number of first-class investment tools and features.

SigFig is primarily a robo-advisor platform, providing automated portfolio construction and management. But they also offer their Portfolio Tracker tool. It’s free to use, even if you don’t subscribe to the robo-advisor itself.

The Portfolio Tracker provides weekly email summaries on the performance of your investments. It also breaks down the week’s top movers, the latest portfolio news, and provides a graphic on how well your portfolio is performing. The service is being used by more than 750,000 investors to track over $300 billion in investments.

It doesn’t actively manage your portfolio, or make investment suggestions but it gives you an opportunity to view your various investment holdings on a single app.

When you subscribe to the Portfolio Tracker, you also get use of the following services:

Investment Account Sync

SigFig can sync accounts for more than 80 brokerage firms. That includes brokerage, retirement, and advisor accounts. You can enter the information either automatically or manually, giving you a holistic view of your entire investment life.

Real Time Market Tracking

SigFig provides up-to-the-minute stock market quotes, news and commentary from over 500 sources.

External Analysis

This service enables you to find hidden fees in your portfolio, as well as determine if you might be overexposed to a single stock or industry. It will also alert you if you are taking too much or too little risk in your portfolio.

The Portfolio Tracker offers phone and live chat support. That’s not something you find in most free apps.

And like Personal Capital, with SigFig, if you decide you need investment management help, you can always opt to upgrade to the robo-advisor service itself.

3.   Morningstar  

Morningstar has one of the most comprehensive investment apps available. You can set up an online portfolio, and also get access to ratings on both stocks and funds.

It has a feature called “Portfolio X-Ray,” that shows you the breakdown of the individual stocks held within a fund. For example, if a fund is holding 100 stocks, the tool will show you what those stocks are, and the dollar amount that each represents in your fund position.

This ability can be more important than it seems at first glance. If you hold several funds, you want to know if there’s a duplication of stock holdings within those funds. For example, you may find that seven of 10 funds you’re invested in have substantial positions in the FAANG stocks–Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. That awareness may cause you to change some of the funds you’re holding, to avoid being too heavily concentrated in a small number of stocks, regardless of how successful those stocks may be. It may also be a way of discovering that you’re not quite as diversified as you believe.

When you’re a subscriber to Morningstar you also get various support services. For example, you can get The Morningstar Guide to Mutual Fund Investing, or The Fund Investor Online.

Morningstar also has a subscription fee. It’s $145 per year for the Morningstar Fund Investor Newsletter, or for the Morningstar Stock Investor.

4.    Yahoo!Finance

Whatever your thoughts may be about Yahoo as a search engine, they have a pretty good app in Yahoo!Finance. It’s available for both iOS and Android, and absolutely free to use. What’s more, it has over 1 million users.

Since Yahoo!Finance has grown to be one of the primary business and investment news sites available, you’ll have access to articles, commentary and investment information as it develops.

The app enables you to get personalized information, in real time, for the specific investments you own and need to track. You can add stocks to watch lists, and get real-time quotes and news about them. But you can also track currencies, bonds, commodities, world indices, and futures. You can track the performance of any holdings you have, using interactive screen charts.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Yahoo!Finance app is that it does include ads. That’s the price for using the free app.

5.   Mint.com

Mint is well-known as budgeting software, and it’s one of the most popular budgeting apps available. The services easy to use, and also completely free.

I you’re primarily looking for a budgeting app that also provides some measure of investment tracking, then Mint can get the job done.

You enter your accounts into the app, including taxable brokerage accounts, mutual funds, IRAs and 401(k) plans. The app will measure the performance of each account against various market benchmarks, letting you know where you stand.

The app also determines fees from your various accounts, including those charged by investment advisors. They’ll let you know how those fees will affect the long-term growth of your investments and will help you to reduce those fees when possible.

Mint will also provide you with the tools to help you manage your portfolio, though it’s not a particularly deep selection.

But if you want some level of investment tracking, along with budgeting, bill paying capability, account alerts, and even your free credit score, Mint is worth a look.

Factors to Consider

What Works Best for You?

Though we’ve organized what we believe to be the five best investment tracking apps, investing is a highly personalized activity. You have to select the app that has the best tools and features for you.

Know Your Own Investment Style

If you’re an active trader, it may be worth paying an annual or monthly fee for a comprehensive investment tracking app. But if you’re more passive, a simple, free version will get the job done.

Too Many Features Can Do More Harm Than Good

If you have a relatively simple portfolio, you don’t need an app with complicated features. Too many tools can confuse more than inform.

Do You Need a Pure Investment Tracking App or a Hybrid App

If you’re a serious investor, with a large, active portfolio, you’ll probably want to go with a pure investment tracking app. That will eliminate some of the “clutter” that results from additional services. On the other hand, if you’re comfortable combining services, like budgeting, a hybrid app will work well. In addition, if your portfolio is small and not particularly active, the hybrid app may work just fine for your needs.

Final Thoughts

If you only have one or two investment accounts, say a taxable brokerage account and an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, you may not have any need for a dedicated investment tracking app. This is particularly true if the account where your investments are being held provides similar tools and features.

But if you have three or more accounts, it can be very difficult to organize and track your investments in multiple locations. Perhaps the biggest advantage of investment tracking apps is their ability to take a diverse set of accounts, and convert it into a single comprehensive portfolio. That will enable you to make intelligent, long-term decisions, that will maximize the return on your investments.

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We’ve tracked bank rates since 2008. The latest list shows the best bank interest rates available nationwide as of June 2018 (with daily updates).

best bank rates

Since many banks are constantly updating their interest rates offered on savings, money market and checking accounts, this chart should come in handy. On the 1st of every month, this page is updated to show the most accurate rate information available.

Banking Deal: Earn 1.85% APY on an FDIC-insured money market account at CIT Bank.

This list is organized into two sections. The first section includes FDIC-insured savings or money market accounts and the second includes FDIC-insured checking accounts. Each list is sorted alphabetically and unless there is a notation listed, the APY rate applies to all amounts.

Current rates

Use the table below to search for current interest rates available on money market accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit. For historical rates, scroll down.

Historical interest rates

Bank Account Name Tier Notes 6/1/2018 1/1/2018 1/1/2017 1/1/2016 1/1/2015
Synchrony Bank Online Savings All No minimum balance  1.65% 1.30% 1.05% 1.05% 1.05%
Ally Online Savings All No minimum balance 1.60%  1.25% 1.00% 1.00% 0.99%
CIT Bank Money Market All No minimum balance 1.85%
American Express Bank High Yield Savings All  1.60% 1.35% 0.90% 0.90% 0.80%
Barclays Online Savings All  1.65% 1.30% 1.00% 1.00% 0.90%
Capital One 360 Online Savings All Formerly ING Direct  1.00% 1.00% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75%
Discover Bank Online Savings All  1.60% 1.30% 0.95% 0.95% 0.90%
GS Bank Online Savings All No minimum deposit  1.70% 1.40% 1.05% N/A N/A
EverBank Money Market $5k to $10k Includes 1st year intro rate  1.50% 1.31% 1.11% 1.11% 1.11%

Savings Account Rates

As you review the current and historical rates for savings accounts and money market accounts, keep the following in mind:

  • Fees: The best offers come with no monthly maintenance fees. Even a small fee can wipe out much of the yield, particularly in the current low rate environment. Before opening an account, make sure you understand what if any fees you’ll pay. The best savings accounts don’t charge fees.
  • Minimum Deposit: Many bank accounts require either a minimum deposit or a minimum balance going forward, or both. Be sure you know these requirements as you shop for the highest yield.
  • Tiered Rates: Some, but not all, banks offer tiered rates based on the amount of your balance. While one might assume that the rates go up as the balance goes up, that’s not always the case. Some banks actually lower the rate for balances over a certain limit.
  • Online Banks vs Traditional Banks: As a general rule, online banks offer the highest rates. Many brick and mortar banks offer yields as low as 0.01%. It’s as if they don’t want your money. In contrast, online banks offer yields of 1.00% APY or more.

Checking Account Rates

With checking accounts, the interest rates tend to be lower. That’s generally fine because most people don’t keep a lot of money in a checking account. Any extra money one has should be moved over to a high-yield savings product. That being said, many banks do offer interest checking accounts. Here it’s critical to consider fees, which are more common than on savings and money market accounts.

Finally, if you know of other bank accounts or deals we should include in our list, please leave a comment below.

Do you spend at least $350 per month on groceries? Chances are you spend more, which means you’d be able to take advantage of the welcome bonus from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Even with an annual fee, this card is a great option for shoppers. We’ll tell you why in our review below.

blue cash preferred card review
AMEX Blue Cash Preferred

When the Credit Card Act was passed years ago, many thought it would be the end of credit card rewards programs. Despite increased costs of operations, credit card issuers continue to beef up their attempts to attract new customers, with bonuses for signing up and growing perks.

The best cards you’ll find today seem to include the same 1% cash back on most purchases with 5% cash back for select spending categories that change every three months. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a nice surprise, offering a welcome bonus and up to 6% cash back on everyday purchases. It’s simple and straightforward with no rotating reward categories and no enrollment required.

American Express offers new cardholders of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express a welcome bonus. They’ll give you 200 Reward Dollars after you use your card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. The welcome bonus offer is not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months, or any other consumer Blue Cash® Card account within the last 90 days.

Learn More: Compare this and other rewards cards, and apply online HERE.

Also included with this offer is a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. Once that introductory period has expired, the purchase APR will vary with the market based on the prime rate. It is currently at 14.49% to 25.49% variable, based on your creditworthiness.

The best feature of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is its cash back rewards program. This is truly unmatched right now, and every eligible purchase earns cash back in the following amounts:

  • 6 percent cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases
  • 3 percent cash back on gasoline at US gas stations
  • 3 percent cash back at select US department stores
  • 1 percent cash back on other purchases
  • Terms and limitations apply.

Your cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit and is earned only on eligible purchases. Unlike previous versions of the Blue Cash Card, where rewards could be redeemed only once a year, cardholders can redeem rewards as soon as they’ve accumulated $25 or more.

Unfortunately, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is not free. It comes with a $95 annual fee. However, considering the savings at the grocery store and gas pump, this card can potentially save you hundreds of dollars every year, even with the annual fee.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — when you add up the 200 Reward Dollars and the cash back program — might be one of the most rewarding credit cards offered by American Express. Be sure to review the terms and conditions for restrictions that apply to this offer. Terms and restrictions apply.

learn_more

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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One of the most important financial decisions you’ll make is choosing a credit card. Timing is everything. Before you apply for a card, you’ll want to ask yourself these 5 questions to make sure the time is right to charge forward.

questions before applying for a new credit card

If you’re like most Americans, chances are you receive credit card solicitations on a regular basis. These prescreened credit card offers are meant to entice you to apply for new credit. And sometimes the cards that are offered can be a good deal.

But don’t get too excited, especially if you know your credit card score isn’t too great. Even though these offers say they’re pre-approved, it just means you are pre-approved to apply. So you could apply and then get turned down, which isn’t good for your credit score. Or you could apply and get a new credit card–which could also be bad for your credit if you don’t make good decisions with it.

Of course, applying for a new credit card isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some of today’s bonus offers are very enticing and could save you a lot of money when used wisely and well. But you need to be sure you’re applying for the right credit card and for the right reasons.

To figure out if this is the case, use this quick list of questions any time you’re about to apply for a new credit card.

1. Am I likely to qualify for this credit card?

First, you need to figure out how likely you are to qualify for the credit card in question. Remember that just because you’re getting the offer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll qualify. So do your homework before you start haphazardly filling out applications.

Luckily there are some simple ways to make this happen. More and more websites are popping up that allow you to get an educational copy of your credit score for free. Some of my personal favorites include Credit Karma and Quizzle.

These sites give you your score for free, but they make money by recommending financial products to you based on that score. If you start an account with one of these sites, you can look at credit card offers for which you’re likely to qualify.

You can also do some digging around online to find the card’s average approved credit score. If you don’t come in above that score, try applying for a different one if you actually need the credit.

2. Is more credit going to cause spending problems?

If you’re already in credit card debt, you may want to hold off on getting another new credit card. Carrying more than one card can be helpful. But carrying balances is definitely not.

Consumers are more likely to overspend with plastic than with cash. And if you’re trying to meet a credit card’s threshold for introductory bonuses, that problem could be compounded.

So unless you’re currently free from credit card debt and in real control of your spending, think twice before you decide to open a new credit card account.

3. Do I understand how the rewards work?

Maybe you’re considering getting a new credit card because you like its rewards system. That’s not a bad thing. If you can pay off your balance each month, you can net some serious rewards from today’s travel and cash back credit cards. The key is to find a card–or a couple of different ones–that suits your current spending patterns.

So if you don’t understand how a credit card’s rewards system works, don’t apply yet. Read the fine print to find out how the rewards work and look out for common cash-back traps. For instance, multiple cards that favor grocery store spending exclude many stores, like big box stores and warehouse stores, where you may do most of your grocery shopping. That’s a no-go unless you decide to seriously change your shopping habits–which would likely end up costing you money.

These days, rewards systems are often fairly streamlined. But you still need to understand how spending is most rewarded. Find out if you need to sign up for rotating categories and other details about the rewards card. Be sure you’re on top of this before you apply.

4. Will the rewards system change my spending habits?

“Hacking” a credit card by leveraging it to get rewards on money you’re already spending is a great option. But you have to be disciplined to make this work without actually spending more money than you would otherwise.

For instance, say you apply for a card with a great cash back bonus as long as you spend $2,000 in the first three months of card ownership. For many families, that’s not a hard threshold to hit. Just use the card whenever you buy gas or groceries for three months, and you’re there.

But if you’re a single person living on a tight budget, that may be a stretch, especially if you can’t pay things like your rent or mortgage with the credit card. Trying to get to that bonus threshold could lead you to spending more money or even carrying debt from month to month. And that’s just not worth the rewards.

Again, ask yourself if you’re actually disciplined enough to handle this card wisely and well before you apply.

5. Are you simply desperate for credit?

If you’re applying for credit cards left and right just because you really need credit, you need to take a step back. Getting into a cycle of applying for more cards and running up more debt won’t get you anywhere. In fact, after just one or two cards in a few months’ time, you’ll likely find yourself completely out of credit options.

When you find yourself in this type of situation, it’s time to rethink your finances. This may mean radically restructuring your budget. It might mean taking on an extra job so that you can get out of debt, or even applying for federal or local assistance programs. But right now, applying for more credit is not what you need to be doing.

In fact, applying for another credit card, especially if you’re already in debt or have applied for other cards recently, will only put you in a worse situation. The application itself will ding your credit slightly and if it’s one of a string of similar applications, the drop will be even deeper.

Credit cards, and their attached rewards, can be a great tool for building credit and earning rewards from the spending you’re already doing. But that doesn’t mean you should apply for every credit card offer that hits your mailbox, inbox or that you find online. Instead, take the time to think the decision through before you put in your application and have to deal with the potential consequences.

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