E*TRADE Seminar #4: “Take Action with E*TRADE Tools”

The fourth seminar for Retirement Education Day 2014 is “Take Action with E*TRADE Tools.”

E*TRADE actually has some really good tools to help you out on your financial journey. They are described below.

Portfolio Analyzer

Available here: https://us.etrade.com/investing-trading/portfolio-management-tools (You will need login credentials with E*TRADE.)

The Portfolio Analyzer answers the question “How diversified is my portfolio?”

I have mutual funds in a 401(k) and in Roth IRAs. I also have two 529s for both of my kids. I’ve identified, I feel, fairly diversified mutual funds for each of these accounts. But how can I be sure? Also, how can I be sure that I am diversified across all of the accounts?

That’s where the Portfolio Analyzer comes in. It’ll provide information about how well your portfolio stacks up against a handful of benchmarks. It also breaks down which asset classes you’re in, which stock sectors are in your mutual funds, how the mutual funds are geographically distributed, etc.

It is very powerful. If you have access to E*TRADE, it’s free to use, and I would definitely recommend it.

Risk Analyzer

Available here: https://us.etrade.com/investing-trading/portfolio-management-tools (You will need login credentials with E*TRADE.)

Risk Analyzer is separate tool, but it’s almost an extension of Portfolio Analyzer. As its name suggests, it analyzes how much risk is in your portfolio.

I mentioned that I have mutual funds in various retirement accounts and college savings accounts. I have evaluated each of the mutual funds for its historical returns, its expense ratios, and have tried to evaluate their riskiness.

Risk Analyzer will give me a real look at the riskiness of the mutual funds in my accounts. Like Portfolio Analyzer, Risk Analyzer is very powerful. Again, if you have access to E*TRADE, it’s free, so give it a shot!

Retirement Planning Calculator

Available here: https://us.etrade.com/e/t/plan/retirement/quickplan?vanity=calculator

This E*TRADE tool is free for everyone! Yay! This is another good tool, and it is very much like other online retirement planning tools. You input your age, income, when you want to retire, how long you expect to live, etc.

You then can change your investment style (risk tolerance), how much you can invest per month, and several other parameters to see the likelihood of you achieving your retirement goals.

There are many other online tools out there, and I would recommend using several of them when you run these calculations. They all have differing underlying assumptions, so you’ll want to verify each tools’ calculations again each other.

All in all, it’s free, so there’s no harm in trying it out. I’ve used many of these tools, and this one is near the top of the list for my favorites.

Online Portfolio Advisor

Available here: https://us.etrade.com/investing-trading/online-portfolio-advisor

The Online Portfolio Advisor tool is probably the best of the bunch.

Suppose you are looking to start a Roth IRA and don’t know what to invest in. Online Portfolio Advisor will help you out with this.

Rather than just provide an analysis of your existing portfolio or run retirement planning calculations, the Online Portfolio Advisor takes in inputs and recommends an investment solution that includes ETFs and mutual funds.

Or you can build your own portfolio and the Online Portfolio Advisor will tell if it’s up to snuff.

There is a guest version of the tool, so it’s free for everyone. I recommend this one.

My Thoughts About This Seminar (and the Tools)

The seminar was awesome (at least, in a nerdy kind of way). It scratched the surface of 4 different tools offered by E*TRADE, which all seem very user friendly, quite intuitive, and are free (2 of them require login credentials). I recommend them all as resources for you to evaluate your portfolio and to enable you to establish your retirement goals.

Truth be told, I only tested out the tools during the seminar’s 1-hour duration. Even still, it’s hard not to recommend free tools when a 15-minute sampling of each tool proved positive.

Great seminar, and great tools.

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