Top 50 Free Online ETF Tools

by on September 2, 2009 | Updated December 8, 2014

As the world of ETFs has expanded from a closet industry to a mainstream investment vehicle, the number of funds has skyrocketed, meaning investors have more ETF options than ever before. Sorting through all of the funds offered today can be a daunting task, particularly with recent innovations to the industry that have introduced increasingly complex and unique ETFs. Fortunately for ETF investors, there are dozens of useful free web-based resources to help you research potential ETF investments and determine which fund is right for you.

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What's in your ETF toolbox?The ETF industry may have started small, but it has expanded rapidly from 2004 to 2014, and the number of exchange-traded products available to investors as of 2014 has swelled to more than 1,600. With so many funds, finding the ETFs that are right for your individual circumstances can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are a number of robust ETF screeners available that allow users to sort through all the product offerings by dozens of different criteria.

  1. Bloomberg ETF Screener:Allows users to search for ETFs traded in dozens of countries around the globe. This ETF screener also allows users to sort by expense ratio and recent performance.
  2. Index Universe ETF Data Query: Allows users to sort primarily by performance metrics, including one month, three month, year-to-date, and ten-year returns.
  3. MarketWatch ETF Screener: This resource provides a number of screening criteria, including beta, average daily volume, and fund price.
  4. Fidelity ETF Evaluator: This user-friendly screening resource features a style/capitalization box and a region selection map for choosing international ETFs.
  5. ETF Guide’s ETF Database: ETF Guide’s Index Strategy Boxes allows investors to select from three security selection strategies (quantitative, screened, and passive) and security weighting (capitalization, fundamental, and fixed weight).
  6. This resource provides a comprehensive list of performance measures and technical analysis indicators.
  7. ETFdb Screener: This free ETF screener allows users to filter the universe of ETFs by a variety of criteria, including asset class, industry, region, issuer, and expense ratio. Unlike many screeners, the ETFdb screener uses proprietary technology to prevent users from selecting options that will not return any results.
  8. Morningstar ETF Screener: Allows users to graphically apply screening criteria to narrow the ETF universe by expense ratio, return metrics, index correlations, and exposure to particular stocks.
  9. Schaeffer’s Investment Research ETF Center: This handy tool allows investors to find ETFs that are trading above or below their moving day average for a variety of different time periods, from 10 to 200 days.
  10. ETF Connect Fund Sorter: Allows users to screen both closed-end funds and indexed ETFs by a number of criteria, including premiums to NAV and distribution rate.
  11. Yahoo! Finance ETF Center: Filters all ETFs into a “best fit” category, such as Large Cap Blend, Emerging Markets, and Long-Term Government Bonds.
  12. NASDAQ ETF Screener: Provides users with five categories for screening exchange-traded funds to find the one that is right for you. Options include size, style, returns, and share price.
  13. ETFdb Category Pages: Offers a list of approximately 65 “best fit” categories that contain the universe of all available U.S.-listed ETFs. ETFdb Categories stretch across all asset classes, and even include leveraged, inverse, and multi-asset funds.
  14. ETF Tips: Provides a number of ways to sort available ETFs, including by industry, investment style, and region. ETF Tips includes information on ETFs traded on global stock exchanges.
  15. ETF Research Center: Offers a variety of screening fields, including fundamental criteria such as sales and earnings growth and valuation criteria such as price-to-sales and price-to-earnings ratios.
  16. ETF Trends Analyzer: The ETF Analyzer at ETF Trends allows users to sort funds by ticker symbol by clicking on a letter. ETFs can also be sorted by a variety of different criteria.
  17. ETF Experts Screener: Has capabilities to search for ETFs by investment philosophy, index composition, asset class, and region.
  18. ETF Screener: This screener includes a field that allows users to filter funds by recommendation and risk ratings.

Comparison Tools

Even within particular asset classes and investment styles, investors are often provided with multiple ETF options for acquiring the exposure they seek. When trying to decide between multiple ETFs, there are a number of tools that allow investors to compare ETFs by various criteria, including expense ratio, size and liquidity, market exposure, and others [for more ETF analysis, make sure to sign up for our free ETF newsletter].

  1. NASDAQ ETF Comparison Tool: Allows investors to see the best and worst performing ETFs over a number of time periods, from one day to five years.
  2. ETF Database Expense Ratio Comparisons: Displays a list of the 25 ETFs with the highest expense ratio and the 25 funds with the lowest expense ratio.
  3. Vanguard ETF Comparison Tool: This resource from Vanguard allows potential investors to compare ETFs offered by different sponsors on a number of different points, such as expenses, total assets, and historical returns.
  4. Largest ETFs By Volume and Market Cap: Liquidity is a key concern for any investor. These tables allow users to view the largest ETFs available by either average daily volume or total market capitalization.
  5. ETF Table: Allows users to rank ETFs by various criteria, including historical returns and moving average crossovers.
  6. Best and Worst YTD ETF Performers: This ETF Database tool allows investors to view the best and worst performing ETFs year-to-date.

Quantitative Analysis

For investors looking to do more in-depth research into potential ETF investments, expense calculations, asset correlations, investment outlooks, and fund ratings may be of particular interest. There are several free resources that allow investors to quantify the impact the addition of certain ETFs will have on their portfolio and objectively analyze investment opportunities.

  1. Enables construction of custom correlation tables to show the strength of the relationship between various ETFs and asset classes.
  2. Macro Axis: Allows investors to construct 30-day moving average correlation tables and clouds with up to 15 ticker symbols.
  3. ETF Ratings: Provides ratings, on a scale of 1 to 10, for ETFs based on several criteria, including structural integrity, risk-adjusted performance, and yield.
  4. Rydex Trading Expense Calculator: Helps investors compare the costs of investing in ETFs versus no-load mutual funds. Investors enter a few inputs and this resource computes which trading route will be the cheapest.
  5. ETF Investment Outlook: This site features breadth charts and rankings for more than 100 ETFs to help investors find the next up or down movements.
  6. Master Data: Ranks ETFs and indexes by specific key statistics such as price change and volume, as well as breadth statistics such as number of constituents above moving averages and constituent uptrends.
  7. Morningstar ETF Snapshot: This screen presents style box details, valuation metrics, asset allocations, and sector weightings for hundreds of ETFs.
  8. TradeRadar Stop Calculator: Calculates stop levels for leveraged ETFs, an essential tool for any investor using these investments in their trading portfolio.
  9. ETF Total Return Calculator: This tool allows investors to quickly calculate the total return they earned on any ETF investments.
  10. ETF Heat Map: Provides a visual representation of daily ETF price movements and volume.

X-Ray Tools

One of the most appealing factors of ETFs relative to traditional actively-managed mutual funds is the transparency they offer by disclosing their holdings on a daily basis. But when investors have a complete portfolio of ETFs, calculating exposure to certain investment styles and regions becomes more challenging. Fortunately, there are tools that can do the work for you, providing an “x-ray” of ETF holdings.

  1. ETF Desk: Provides information on the underlying holdings of ETFs, access to fact sheets, related funds, and ways to play each ETF.
  2. TD Ameritrade Instant X-Ray: Users enter ETF tickers and holding values and this tool reports the asset allocation, sector breakdown, style box diversification, expense summary, and regional allocations.

Portfolio Trackers

Many investors are curious to try out their skill at portfolio management with ETFs before jumping in with their hard-earned cash. For those interested in either tracking their actual ETF portfolio or managing a virtual portfolio of funds, here’s a few free tools to track ETF holdings.

  1. Fidelity ETF Tool: Allows users to customize, analyze, and trade an ETF portfolio. This resource also includes “market lenses,” broad market indexes that can be broken down into mutually exclusive components.
  2. Kaching: Allows investors to create and manage a virtual portfolio, track other users portfolios, and join social investment groups.
  3. MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange: Test your ETF investment strategy with this virtual portfolio center that allows you to track returns, access news and research reports from various sources, and utilize other free research and analytical tools.

Social Media

Social media has become a valuable tool for investors looking to gauge market sentiment, pick up actionable investment ideas, and hear the latest news on the Street. While there are a number of sites offering discussion boards and forums to discuss investing news, these sites offer a little something extra to set themselves apart.

  1. Tip’d Social Tickers: This resource tracks stock and ETF tickers across the social web, featuring the latest Tweets, blog posts, and stories for each company or fund.
  2. StockTwits: Self-described as “Bloomberg for the little guy and gal,” StockTwits is an open, community-powered investment idea that allows traders and investors to swap tips and ideas.
  3. Board Central: Brings together financial message boards and stock-related tweets to provide one of the largest online financial communities. Check out their BuZZ pages to see this most-discussed tickers.
  4. Motley Fool Ticker Pages: Compiles the latest news on ETF tickers, as well as user-generated performance polls and bull and bear cases for each ETF.

ETF Charts

Any thorough quantitative analysis includes historical performance charting. Again, there are a number of sites offering charting capabilities, but these few provide investors with several options for time periods, presentation style, and metrics graphed (i.e., these can show more than just simple price movements).

  1. ETF Database: Chart any one of 850 ETFs in a variety styles (including simple lines, candlesticks, and directional bars) over customized time periods.
  2. Apply more than a dozen studies to ETF performance charts, including momentum, directional movement indexes, exponential moving averages, and historic volatility.
  3. ETF Desk Charts: Includes an option to graph any ETF relative to major indexes, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq.

Research Tools

For investors looking to learn more about the ETF industry, particular issuers, or more general classes of ETFs, there are several research tools available that efficiently categorize and present this information [for more ETF analysis, make sure to sign up for our free ETF newsletter].

  1. American Stock Exchange Option Chain Finder: Displays options chains available on exchange traded products, along with the ticker(s) for the options.
  2. Monthly NSX Data: The National Stock Exchange provides monthly data on the ETF industry, including changes in asset size and fund flows. The NSX data provides data for individual funds, fund families, and investment styles.
  3. Morningstar ETF Filings: Access prospectuses, annual reports, and other regulatory filings for hundreds of ETFs from Morningstar.
  4. ETF Zone: Offers asset class reports with ETF analysis, ETF detail, and comparison of ETF performance including charts.

Update (11:15 am CDT): One additional ETF tool that I find very useful but forgot to include:

ETF Daily News has a great collection of ETF tools, as well as daily news and commentary on the ETF industry.

Found another useful ETF tool on the Web? Let us know about it in the comment box below!