Computerized Investing > January 28, 2012


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Jemstep is a free online portfolio guidance and management system designed for individual investors. According to Jemstep, the website uses technology to provide objective, transparent ratings for more than 20,000 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds ETFs. Jemstep takes into account your objectives, goals and risk tolerance and identifies recommended investment options. In addition, Jemstep is able to track your holdings.

The first step to starting to use the website is to create an account. Jemstep works by allowing users to create individual goals. There are four types of goals from which to choose—retirement, college savings, large purchase and wealth building. If you choose retirement, the website asks for several inputs on the first screen, including birthday, gender, retirement age, and the age you expect to live to. In addition, users need to specify risk tolerance.

After creating your goal and answering simple personal questions, Jemstep asks you for your risk and return profile. There are two options for building your risk and return profile—basic and advanced. If you choose basic, Jemstep will simply ask you to answer two questions, one regarding financial security and one regarding past performance. Choosing advanced will prompt Jemstep to ask six questions regarding volatility, risk-adjusted returns, total returns, historic gains, historic losses and data period for ranking.

When you have finished creating a goal, it will appear on your dashboard. At this point, you will have several choices as to how to proceed. You may link your accounts directly with the website. Jemstep will then rank each of your holdings according to your risk and return profile. Conversely, you may choose to “Rank Funds.” This option allows you to enter in a specific fund you wish to rank. Jemstep will identify a similar fund and compare the two, presenting you with a summary, details and a performance comparison. The summary shows a basic return chart, along with its current price and Jemscore (out of 100). The details page outlines the fund’s investment style, yield, worst three-month performance, and three-year return. The performance table lists three-month through 10-year performance.

Finally, if you linked your brokerage or retirement accounts, Jemstep can also track your portfolio. The portfolio tracker shows your performance against various benchmarks for a set period of time.

Jemstep provides guidance for your investments free of charge. Unfortunately, the website only rates mutual funds and ETFs. In addition, if you want to maximize the website’s ability, you need to link your brokerage and/or retirement accounts with the website. Even though the website states that it uses bank-level security, having extra passwords and bank account numbers saved on the cloud is never 100% safe.



Jim from WA posted over 6 years ago:

JemStep looks interesting to me. I find much of what it does similar to using the free Morningstar "Fund Compare" tool.

Morningstar says that:
"Fund Compare allows you to quickly evaluate funds against one another to see which have the best returns, the highest ratings, the lowest expense ratios, and much more."

I plan to sue JempStep but only on a limited basis until it offers a "watch" portfolio option that enables me to manually enter my portfolio of funds. There is no benefit to me for JempStep to actively "link" to each of my accounts. They could offer me all the services I'm interested in if they allowed me to manually enter my portfolio. Indeed, by only offering the full service to those that link to active accounts, they prevent me from entering various "scenario" portfolios and monitoring them over time.

Lee Dunn from NC posted over 5 years ago:

I looked into this a few months ago, and asked them why they insisted in getting into my brokerage accounts. I thought that their answer was a little evasive and became suspicious of their service. Why would they provide a free service and insist on having access to my brokerage account? Without more, my conclusion was that there might be a scam going on, and decided to avoid this service. Would be interested to know if others have used their service with any benefit.
lee dunn

William from NC posted over 5 years ago:

I thought the same about them linking to my accounts . I would never give that info to anyone especially on line. One can only assume the worst. I called my brokerage , and they have never heard of them till I mentioned it. Too risky for me.

Suzanne Pallo from CA posted over 5 years ago:

I came across this post, and wanted to say many thanks for taking the time to write your comments about Jemstep. We are excited to be able to offer our service to the public and invite investors to give Jemstep a try for themselves.

I’d like to point you to 2 areas on our site that deal comprehensively with security and privacy. I hope these give you a sense of our extensive security measures:

Also, I wanted to mention that Jemstep is gearing up to launch a new retirement tool, Jemstep Portfolio Manager in the next month or so. We've been listening to our customers and it's the retirement planning and management tool our customers have been asking for. Plus, it will have the ability for you to enter your holdings manually.

We'll keep AAII posted as to when it will be available.

Thanks again.


Suzanne Pallo
Sr. Director of Marketing, Jemstep

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