5 Best Apps to Help You Invest Smarter

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Money magazine has picked its favorite apps for helping people invest their money and manage their portfolios. Take a look:

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5 Best Apps to Invest Smarter
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5 Best Apps to Help You Invest Smarter

The promise: Offers customizable, themed portfolios of up to 30 stocks.
Price: Free
Available on: Website, iPhone

Motif lets you invest in a very narrow sector -- say, clean tech or companies tied to the housing rebound -- using one of 90 themed portfolios. The site requires a $250 minimum and charges a commission of $9.95 per portfolio.

You wouldn't want to use Motif for your retirement fund, but it's a fun way to invest your mad money if you play the market. The service could also be a good introduction to investing for novices, says MIT finance professor Andrew Lo.

The promise: Puts your investment data on a single dashboard and recommends ways to optimize your portfolio.
Price: Free
Available on: Website, iPhone, Android

This site-and-app combo syncs with more than 90 brokerages to track your 401(k), IRA, and stock market investments.

You can also see charts breaking down your asset allocation and risk level.

What really sets SigFig apart from other investing tools, though, is that the service checks your portfolio weekly for hidden fees, overcharges, and underperforming funds, and suggests alternatives.

The promise: Tracks and analyzes your investment, bank, and credit card accounts. App allows you to make payments and transfers.
Price: Free
Available on: Website, iPhone, Android

Best for investing and budget

By combining money management tools with a full listing of your investment accounts, Personal Capital provides a broad financial picture in a single application, says Jim Breune, editor of NetBanker.com, which covers online financial tools.

Personal Capital offers fee-based financial advice, but you don't need to buy in to use its website and mobile app.

Follow your investments in real time with an app.

Mobile offerings vary by brokerage (Fidelity's version is still the most downloaded), but most also let you check news and quotes, says Brett DiDonato of OnlineBrokerRev.com.

Price: Free
Available on: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone

A treasure trove of financial info. Track your investments in real time or use interactive charts to get more detailed data about their performance.
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