4 Cool Online Tools For ETF Investors

It’s fitting that 21st-century securities like ETFs should be accompanied by cutting-edge online tools.

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Reviewed by: Cinthia Murphy
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Edited by: Cinthia Murphy

Technology is a very cool thing, particularly when it allows us to do things in a better way. In the world of ETF investing, there are several online tools today that set out to do just that: make investing easier.

We found a few user-friendly tools that allow you to make better, more informed investing decisions. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and we welcome suggestions of other tools you might be using yourself (use comment box below).

But what’s exciting is that these top-notch tech-driven solutions are completely free, and accessible to anyone.

Here are our picks:

BulletShares ETF Bond Laddering Tool

Guggenheim’s latest invention offers the opportunity to build a hypothetical bond ladder using the company’s BulletShares target-maturity-date funds.

The mechanism of this tool is so simple to use, it allows you to tinker with the amount of credit risk you want to take, the maturity you want exposure to, as well as to the weighting of the ETFs in your portfolios.

What’s cool is that as you adjust these variables, the “Results” table (on the right-hand side of the page) immediately reflects those changes in the projected outcome of your selection. At a glance, you are told what your yield to maturity will be, yield-to-worst, 30-day yield, distribution rate and effective duration, among other things.

If you aren’t sure bond laddering with ETFs is for you, the tool also offers a laddering guide that explores why laddering might be the way to invest in fixed income today. What the tool doesn’t offer is a “Buy It Now” button that allows you to easily purchase the portfolio you just created.

 

 

 

Finviz ETF Heatmap

This tool is all about visuals. At first glance, you might find this heat map overwhelming in the amount of information it provides. But it doesn’t take long to realize the wealth of data served up in an easy-to-use tool that puts ETF performance at your fingertips.

ETFs are categorized by sectors and styles. If you scroll over U.S. Small Cap, for example, every ETF in that segment pops up with performance data and a corresponding chart. As the user, you can determine the performance window—one day, one week, one year, year-to-date—in a pull-down tab to the left.

The use of the colors green and red to denote positive and negative performance is also intuitive and easy to grasp. What’s also cool here is that if a map comprising boxes isn’t your thing, you may change the display to a bubbles chart (also on the left hand side.)

 

 

 

Trading Economics

This tool has neither frills nor impressive graphics, but it does have a ton of useful macroeconomic information by country. We are talking about at-a-glance access to things like interest rates, inflation, GDP, GDP growth, population, currency, etc., for individual countries.

If there’s one thing that’s increasingly a theme in the world of ETF investments, it’s a growing awareness that opportunities abound outside of the U.S. and investor dollars have been flocking to international equity funds at an impressive rate.

Here, you can not only view important economic data about each country, you can also view news and a calendar of upcoming data releases such as unemployment rate, manufacturing orders, etc., all in one page.

 

 

 

ETF.com ETF Finder

This may seem a bit self-serving, but we would be remiss not to point your eyes to ETF.com’s ETF Finder—the only tool of its kind today that allows you to quickly find the ETF you are looking for among the 1,700-plus U.S.-listed ETFs in the market.

The tool consists of several drop-down boxes that allow you to begin your search as macro as possible—think, picking asset classes and geographic region—to as micro as individual niches and strategies.

If the 14 initial drop-down choices don’t narrow the pool of possible ETFs enough for you, there’s a “More Filters” tab that allows you to narrow it even further by picking active versus passive funds, or selecting specific weighting methodologies such as fundamental or equal, etc. With every selection, the results automatically adjust at the bottom of the page, giving you a list of the ETFs that meet your criteria.

The universe of ETFs is ever-changing, with more launches and some closures taking place every week. This tool may very well be your best compass to finding your way to the best ETFs for your needs and goals.

 

 

Cinthia Murphy is head of digital experience, advocating for the user in all that etf.com does. She previously served as managing editor and writer for etf.com, specializing in ETF content and multimedia. Cinthia’s experience includes time at Dow Jones and former BridgeNews, covering commodity futures markets in Chicago and Brazil equities in Sao Paulo. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.