Jemstep Review: A Free Way to Monitor and Improve Your Portfolio

April 17, 2013

JemstepFeeling unsure about whether or not you’re saving enough for retirement? Feeling unsure about whether or not the money that you have saved is being invested in the right way?

Saving for retirement can be a daunting process. Essentially, you need to invest enough money to support yourself for the rest of your life. Plus, if you feel like you don’t get the same kind of high-caliber advice that wealthy people get, retirement planning can be that much scarier.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to make it much less daunting. just launched their new Portfolio Manager service to help people optimize for retirement and have more money for themselves and their family, all while taking the complexity, difficulty, and anxiety out of investing.

Jemstep gives you tailor-made guidance – the same kind of personalized guidance you’d get from a sophisticated advisor in a fancy office. Plus, it uses proven strategies and analytics used by top institutional investors. And they wrap it in an easy to use online service that guides you each step of the way.

How Jemstep Works

It works in four steps. First, you answer some questions about your situation and input your account info so that Portfolio Manager can show you, in real time, how much retirement income you are on track for with your current portfolio.

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Jemstep then recommends what your target portfolio should look like in order to give you more money in retirement, while not taking on any unnecessary risk. Plus, it shows you how much more money you will have if you follow Jemstep’s recommendation.

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Then Jemstep will give you an action plan that contains specific recommendations for what you should buy and what you should sell. Just follow their step-by-step instructions, and your portfolio will be optimized to give you a richer and more secure retirement. For example, it will tell you to sell five shares of a particular mutual fund, because of its high costs or poor performance, and to buy eight shares of a much better fund.

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Jemstep also gives you periodic reminders when it’s time to rebalance. It’ll watch out for when you need to buy, sell or hold something.

Also, just to let you know: Jemstep is a registered investment advisor, which means that it’s obligated to give you advice solely based on your best interest. It doesn’t get fees or commissions from any of the funds that it recommends. In other words, it’s here to serve you.

One thing to keep in mind is that Jemstep can’t recommend funds that don’t have publicly recognized ticker symbols. Some 401(k) retirement funds, 529 college savings plans, and other investment accounts offer specialized investments that lack traditional ticker symbols. Portfolio Manager can’t get accurate fund profile and historical information about these types of funds. A company spokesperson says Jemstep is working on providing this in the future, but it’s not ready yet.

Additionally, if you are the type of person that likes to be hands off with your portfolio (although I recommend against this), Jemstep may not be right for you. The product will give you an action plan, but you are the one responsible for executing the trades. You won’t see any improvements in your portfolio until you act on the information. However, if you want to take an active role in your retirement planning, Jemstep helps automate the process by giving you custom-tailored advice.

Jemstep offers a basic account which gives you a way to track all your investments in one place, an analysis of your portfolio and Jemstep’s portfolio recommendation all for free. They also offer a premium account, which provides a full action plan and rebalancing alerts. So sign up and check it out . . . there’s no reason not to.

Have you tried Jemstep? What do you think of it? Leave a comment!


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One Response to Jemstep Review: A Free Way to Monitor and Improve Your Portfolio

  • Kevin Cimring

    Hi Ben,

    Many thanks to you and Paula for this great review of Jemstep. I hope the service is of real value to your readers.

    Just a quick comment about those folks who like to be “hands-off” with their portfolios – even though they may delegate the management of their portfolio to a third party, Jemstep is a great way of getting an objective second-opinion that the action your adviser is taking for you looks right.

    Thanks again,

    Kevin Cimring
    Joint CEO