If your knowledge of investing apps begins and ends with Mint.com — a great service but also one that’s been around since 2006 — then check out the March issue of Money magazine. Money publishes an annual list of personal finance-related apps called the Money Mobile Guide. This year, I helped out by researching and reviewing investing apps and online tools.
The 2013 list includes some tried-and-true standbys like your brokerage’s app (Fidelity, E*TRADE, etc.) and Bloomberg’s comprehensive financial news and data app. But the focus is really on the new tools: Motif Investing, Personal Capital and SigFig. All three offer creative ways to optimize your portfolio, whether through themed buckets of stocks geared towards trends and interests (Motif), user-friendly summaries of your spending and investment accounts (Personal Capital) or customized weekly investment recommendations (SigFig).
Novice investors may find SigFig a good place to start monitoring and managing their various accounts. The free service imports users’ investment data into a single dashboard for easy viewing and quick analysis. SigFig’s weekly recommendation emails are free, too. Users don’t need to follow SigFig’s advice, of course, but it is designed to reduce fees, uncover hidden charges and increase returns.
UPDATE #1: After this story went to print, Motif Investing began letting users build their own buckets of stocks — a.k.a. motifs — from scratch. I haven’t tested that feature but it’s certainly an intriguing notion.
UPDATE #2: A few months after finishing this story, I did an interview with U.S. News & World Report on the same topic. You can check out that story (slideshow, actually) here: 10 Smartphone Apps to Boost Your Budget.