Computerized Investing's Best of the Web

CI editors list and review the best investment and financial websites.

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Portfolio Tracking, Analysis & Optimization

No matter what type of investor you are, keeping an eye on your portfolio is always a priority. Portfolio trackers allow you to garner useful insights into the productivity of your portfolio over time. Portfolio optimization goes a step further, using analytics to provide even deeper insights that you can use to make your portfolio more efficient.

In this category, there are a variety of websites that offer a myriad of options that may appeal to different types of investors. While most services are good at portfolio tracking and optimization, not all do the latter, and methods for portfolio tracking can vary in subtle ways. The responsibility falls on individual investors to determine their requirements.

The majority of online portfolio trackers can only handle cash, stocks, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and their customization is limited. The upside of these online trackers is that they are typically free (at least partially) and usually easy to learn and use. Additionally, investors can check for smartphone or tablet apps that work with the programs.

While most brokerages allow you to track a portfolio held in your account at their website, investors with multiple accounts do not have an overall consolidated view of their investments without an independent portfolio tracker. When comparing portfolio trackers, look for limits on the number of portfolios or number of holdings within portfolios, as well as types of securities accepted, simplicity of use and email alerts. Although there might be a cost for expanded access to portfolio analytics and optimization, the added value from the deeper information is often worthwhile, depending on your needs and skills. Typically offered analytics include sector/industry analysis, correlations and benchmark comparison.

Here we highlight several Best of Web candidates that we feel are above and beyond the rest for their simplicity, offerings and cost.