MONEY

Best 5 apps to invest smarter

Money magazine picks the best apps to help you invest and manage your portfolio.

  • Motif Investing

    The promise: Offers customizable, themed portfolios of up to 30 stocks
    .
    Price:
    Fre
    e
    Avail
    able on: Website, iPhone

    Motif lets you invest in a very narrow sector — say, clean tech or companies tied to the housing rebound — using one of 90 themed portfolios. The site requires a $250 minimum and charges a commission of $9.95 per portfolio.

    You wouldn’t want to use Motif for your retirement fund, but it’s a fun way to invest your mad money if you play the market. The service could also be a good introduction to investing for novices, says MIT finance professor Andrew Lo.

  • SigFig

    The promise: Puts your investment data on a single dashboard and recommends ways to optimize your portfolio.
    Price: Free
    Available on: Website, iPhone, Android

    This site-and-app combo syncs with more than 90 brokerages to track your 401(k), IRA, and stock market investments.

    You can also see charts breaking down your asset allocation and risk level.

    What really sets SigFig apart from other investing tools, though, is that the service checks your portfolio weekly for hidden fees, overcharges, and underperforming funds, and suggests alternatives.

  • Personal Capital

    The promise: Tracks and analyzes your investment, bank, and credit card accounts. App allows you to make payments and transfers.
    Price: Free
    Available on: Website, iPhone, Android

    Best for investing and budget

    By combining money management tools with a full listing of your investment accounts, Personal Capital provides a broad financial picture in a single application, says Jim Breune, editor of NetBanker.com, which covers online financial tools.

    Personal Capital offers fee-based financial advice, but you don’t need to buy in to use its website and mobile app.

  • Your broker's app

    Follow your investments in real time with an app.

    Mobile offerings vary by brokerage (Fidelity’s version is still the most downloaded), but most also let you check news and quotes, says Brett DiDonato of OnlineBrokerRev.com.

  • Bloomberg

    Price: Free
    Available on: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone

    A treasure trove of financial info. Track your investments in real time or use interactive charts to get more detailed data about their performance.

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