Do it yourself (DIY) financial planning and analysis tools:
There are various websites that offer financial planning tools to help users keep track of and plan for their complete financial life. These sites act as a starting point or a warm-up tool to financial planning. A quick review of popular websites shows that these can be a good starting point for simple tasks such as assessing an investor’s retirement goals, and figuring out a high level overview of how to structure investment, spending, and saving to achieve them.
E$Planner (basic.esplanner.com), from Economic Security Planning Inc., offers an easy and free plan. The basic version of E$Planner helps an investor enter his/her family details, current and projected salary before retirement, retirement age and assets, among other things. The tool generates information on an investor’s sustainable living standard and allows a user to build scenarios based on change in salaries or housing move or retirement-account contribution to figure out impact on living standard. The basic version recommends annual amount of discretionary spending, savings, and life insurance coverage for an investor. The program includes a lot of important details on taxes, inflation, and social security benefits that other free financial planning tools tend to leave out.
GoalGami (apps.goalgami.com) is another tool that helps users determine the most appropriate investment plan based on their household balance sheets and financial goals. It helps users in building scenarios based on what-if events related to changes in income and expenses to ascertain how the changes affect their lifetime goals.
Betterment (www.betterment.com) is a goal-based financial planning tool that suggests a portfolio construction approach based on user’s goals. It walks a user backwards in the steps required to meet his end goal. Betterment calculates the chances of achieving a user’s objective from the information on initial deposit, monthly savings, and time horizon that a user provides. There is also a slide bar that allows users to set change the allocation of their assets between equities and bonds to see the impact on returns.
Motif Investing (www.motifinvesting.com) looks for trends, ideas and world events that could create an investment opportunity. Based on the identified trends, Motif selects stocks and weight them based on exposure to the idea. Investors can also use slider bars make to change weights or add/delete any stock/ETF.
Personal Capital (www.personalcapital.com) provides funds and account tracker services for people who manage a wide variety of finances — a mortgage, a retirement fund and so on. Personal Capital also offers customer-focused financial advice over the phone, email and through video chat.
We will keep updating this list as financial planning tools are improved and when new financial tools become available.