Sensible-Investor: Best by category

This is Sensible-Investor’s selection of stand-out sites in major personal-finance and investing categories. (For a more complete list of topics covered by Sensible-Investor, see Contents, A-Z .)

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Best financial commentators Best investment goal calculator
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Best asset allocation calculator Best socially responsible investing sites
 
Best financial commentators online

The typically excellent columns by syndicated personal finance columnist Humberto Cruz are accessible through the Web site of Florida’s Sun-Sentinel. Other good commentators include:

  • Scott Burns at the Dallas Morning News. Don’t miss his Couch Potato Portfolio. (Signup is free, not too burdensome.)
  • Chuck Jaffe at CBS Marketwatch.com. Free signup takes time. You have to work your way through lots of free offers -- either accepting them or declining them (by removing the default check mark.)

Best asset allocation calculator

None of the quick calculators stands out. Try several to get a sense of generally recommended allocation proportions for your level of risk toleration and the length of time you have to invest. Some typical possibilities to consider are calculators from:

Financial Engines is a good place to turn for more detailed analysis of the probable outcome of your current asset allocation -- but that service is no longer free. When last we checked, the fee was $40 per quarter or $150 per year.

Best quick investment goal calculator

MSNBC Investment Toolkit goal calculator.

Best sites on socially responsible investing

10cents-2Which site is best for you? That depends on your political, social, environmental or religious agenda. Watch for the return of Sensible-Investor’s description (currently being updated) of the best sites and their particular  viewpoints.

 

Best list of links to sensible investment sites

Two lists of links stand out:

  • Managed Account Services, an investment firm run by Morningstar columnist Frank Armstrong, provides a list of “High Quality Web Resources for Investors,” some but not all of them quite demanding intellectually. (Like Sensible-Investor, MAS gives high marks to the Vanguard site, stating, “You might expect that the guys with the white hats would have one of the most useful sites

    For college savings

    There’s no clear winner in this category, but you can look here to see the best the Web has to offer for parents who are worried about saving for their children’s education.

    around. And you would be right. Lots of educational information, retirement calculators, a complete library and much more.’’)
  • Efficient Frontier, a Web site focusing on asset allocation, also has a good list of links on its page titled “What the Investment Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know.”

 

Best retirement planner

Top-ranked Financial Engines site will analyze your retirement portfolio for free or -- for a fee of $40 the last time we checked -- will make specific recommendations about what’s best for you among the options in your 401(k) plan. Other useful sites: SmartMoney.com: Retirement Strategy and Sensible-Investor’s guide to other worthy retirement sites.

Best for new investors

We keep looking, but so far all we find to recommend is here: Sensible-Investor’s step-by-step introduction .

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Morningstar February

Allocators February

 

 
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