Tools and calculators
Additional discussions and reviews of these Tools and calculators can be found in the discussion page (tab at top). Caution: Past performance does not guarantee future results.
- 1 Backtesting
- 2 Bond calculators
- 3 Broker check
- 4 Charitable organizations
- 5 College savings planner
- 6 Credit report
- 7 IRA
- 8 Inflation data
- 9 Insurance
- 10 Life expectancy calculators
- 11 Loan and mortgage calculators
- 12 Mutual fund fee calculators
- 13 Portfolio tools
- 14 RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators
- 15 Retirement calculators
- 16 Roth IRA conversion calculators
- 17 Social Security
- 18 Stock/Fund charts
- 19 Taxable-equivalent yields
- 20 Treasury data
- 21 References
- Simba's backtesting spreadsheet (view forum discussion) or (download the Backtest-Portfolio-Returns spreadsheet)
Find out what your bonds are worth.
- Savings Bond Calculator (from the U.S. Department of Treasury, your tax dollars at work)
- US Savings I Bond Value and Interest Rate Calculator (from Savings-Bond-Advisor)
- Yield to Maturity (from Morningstar) - requires Morningstar membership
- The yield to maturity of a bond is the total return it will earn if held to maturity, assuming all interest is reinvested at that same rate.
- Bond yield calculator, from Money-Zine.com
Those considering a business relationship with an investment adviser should perform due diligence to validate a financial adviser, broker, or investment firm's background credentials and complaints on file. The SEC and FINRA provide free tools to help consumers with this process.
See: Investment adviser
From the IRS, Exempt Organizations Select Check is an on-line search tool that allows users to verify that an organization is tax exempt and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. You may search for.
- Organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub. 78 data),
- Organizations whose federal tax exemption was automatically revoked for not filing a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years, or
- Form 990-N (e-Postcard) filers and filings.
College savings planner
- Vanguard College Savings Planner
- College Savings Calculator
- Analyzing 529 College Savings Plan Fees and Expenses, from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Compare how fees and expenses can reduce returns. Enable browser cookies.
- AnnualCreditReport.com, enable browser cookies
AnnualCreditReport.com is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - and is the only service authorized for this purpose. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to obtain one free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months.
- Department of Labor Consumer Price Index
- Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 39,000 economic time series from 38 sources. Download, graph, and track economic data. Downloadable tools, such an iPhone/iPad app and an Excel Add-In are available.
Calculate insurance coverage for a group of deposit accounts.
- EDIE, the Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Use for qualified banks.
- E-Calculator, the Electronic Share Insurance Calculator, from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Use for members of the NCUA.
Life expectancy calculators
These calculators use historical models to predict your life expectancy based on your lifestyle and family history.
- Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator (enable browser cookies)
- MSN-money Life Expectancy Calculator
IRS life expectancy tables
The IRS also has a view of your life expectancy, which is used solely for determining the Required Minimum Distribution of your IRA. Your age, your spouse's age, and beneficiary status are taken into account.
This Google Docs spreadsheet will calculate your life expectancy (or distribution period) based on Tables I, II, or III in IRS Publication 590 (IRAs):
- Spreadsheet calculator: download as xls, ods, pdf
- Life Expectancy Tables from IRS Publication 590 (view in browser)
Loan and mortgage calculators
A mortgage is a type of loan dedicated for financing the purchase of real estate. You can sometimes find mortgage calculators grouped with other types of loan calculators. The links below contain both dedicated mortgage calculators as well as calculators used for other types of loans.
Key loan parameters are principal, interest rate, periodic payment, and duration. Mortgage calculators can also include parameters such as rate of inflation and taxation. "Rent versus buy" decisions are specialized forms of mortgage calculators.
- On its default setting, note that rent increases 3% per year while homes appreciate at 1% per year. A suggested assumption is for both to increase at the rate of inflation.
- Mortgage Calculators and Financial Calculators (from HSH® Associates, Financial Publishers)
- Contains numerous mortgage and financial calculators both online and download versions (email registration required for download). Includes various loan calculators (amortization, payments, etc.), refinancing, rent vs. buy, PMI with amortization.
- Mortgage Calculators (from the Mortgage Professor)
- An extensive number of mortgage calculators. With one or two mortgages, there's a calculator for: Debt consolidation, extra payments (prepayment), refinancing.
- Also: When to terminate Private Mortgage Insurance, housing affordability, Adjustable Rate Mortgages with / without negative amortization, comparison of fixed-rate versus Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), points and fees, downpayments, terms, annual percentage rate (APR)
- Caveat - Some calculators only work with Internet Explorer.
- Contains mortgage calculators for just about anything.
- Be sure to check Financial Calculators from DinkyTown.net. There are (claimed to be) 300 financial calculators that should cover just about anything financial.
- This calculator enables you to accurately calculate the tax savings of the mortgage.
- Compare mortgage terms (from the Washington Post)
- Use this calculator to determine the total cost in today's dollars of various mortgage alternatives taking into account your opportunity cost of money.
- A calculator that uses slider bars to graphically show the principal vs. interest breakdown over the period of the mortgage.
- Excel Loan Amortization Application Spreadsheet (from Microsoft)
- Free from Microsoft, for Excel 97 or later. To download, use Internet Explorer with cookies enabled (Firefox will not work). Microsoft will install an ActiveX control. The download will open a new spreadsheet in Excel.
- When you put in the interest rate, points, term, etc. it shows a monthly tally of principle and interest payments. You can then compare what you are paying now with the new loan. It will also show total interest for the term of the loan. For any monthly payment you can enter a lump sum payment to see what happens to the total interest as a result of accelerating your pay schedule.
Mutual fund fee calculators
Fees and expenses are an important consideration in selecting a mutual fund because these charges lower your returns. Compare the fees and expenses of different mutual funds before you invest.
- Effect of Expenses on a Portfolio, to see how investment expenses affect a portfolio over a long investment time horizon.
- Fund Analyzer (from FINRA - Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)
- The Fund Analyzer offers information and analysis on over 18,000 mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs). Estimate the value of the funds and impact of fees and expenses on your investment. Look up applicable fees and available discounts for funds. Enable browser cookies to use. Features:
- Real-time online comparison of up to 3 funds. (Use different calculator if the fund is not listed.)
- Expense analysis: Slider bars allow variation of your investment, return and period (duration held).
- Fee/Discount report: View a breakdown of the fund's expenses. If the information is not provided, the field is blank.
- You must accept the Terms and Conditions when you first enter the site (check the box and hit OK).
- Google search for mutual fund fee calculators, for those who want to go further
- Mutual Fund Expense Calculator (from Dinkytown.net)
- An easy to use calculator that graphically shows the impact of fund expenses on your final balance.
- Identical to the calculator from Dinkytown.net
- A Canadian mutual fund expense calculator. It will also work with US equities. Referenced from Finiki, the Bogleheads' affiliated Canadian wiki site.
- The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is a popular web site for retirement information. No calculator, just links to calculators from the SEC and FINRA, already mentioned above.
- The basics. It's somewhat lacking from what you would find elsewhere.
- Using a Spreadsheet to Maintain a Portfolio: a wiki page with tips and spreadsheets for maintaining your portfolio
- Boglehead David Grabiner's asset allocation worksheet
- Boglehead David Grabiner's worksheet for computing and comparing tax costs
- Fundanalyze.com: comparing fund costs
- Morningstar Tools
- Optimal lazy portfolio rebalancing calculator: rebalance optimally without making any "backwards" transactions - from forum member Albert Mao (the_one_smiley)
- T. Rowe Price: you can sign up for a free online account and have access to Morningstar tools
- Vanguard - Get a mutual fund recommendation: Vanguard offers an easy-to-use tool which will help you select a three-fund portfolio. See: Need an investment recommendation?, then select Answer a few questions for a recommendation.
- Vanguard Portfolio Watch
RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators
The RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators should be checked against the IRS Life Expectancy Tables to be sure that the appropriate table is to be used in your situation. Additional comments in the discussion page (tab at top).
- Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Calculator - MainStay Investments
Roth IRA conversion calculators
Forum member BigFoot48 has created a spreadsheet for use by retirees, or those nearing retirement, which will estimate the financial impact on your portfolio, income taxes, RMD and other factors from doing Roth conversions.
- The spreadsheet and additional details can be found in the forum discussion thread: Retiree Roth Conversion Decision Model
- Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?, by Fidelity.com
- Estimates the potential long-term tax and financial impact of converting to a Roth IRA, based on information you provide and a number of important tax and growth assumptions.
From EmergDoc's Roth Conversion Thread in the forum.
- This web site sells financial calculators for use in web sites. There's no description of how the results are calculated, use with caution.
Discussed in the forum here: Social Security Calculators. Provides links to the articles below, recommended reading, and additional suggestions. Discusses a Social Security calculator for financial professionals.
- Finding the Right Social Security Calculator, an overview from about.com Money Over 55
- Social Security Calculators - Don't Claim Without Trying One First, a list of 6 social security calculators. The first three charge a fee, the last 3 are free.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration maintains several benefits calculators to estimate your potential benefit amounts using different retirement dates and levels of future earnings. In order of ease-of-use.
- Quick Calculator - This calculator gives you a simple, rough estimate when you input your date of birth and this year's earnings.
- Retirement Estimator - Produces estimates that are based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
- Online Calculator - Input your date of birth and your complete earnings history to get a benefit estimate. You may project your future earnings until your retirement date.
- Detailed Calculator - This calculator provides the most precise estimates. It must be downloaded and installed on your computer.
An analysis by SocSec Analytics, LLC determines the optimum age to claim Social Security benefits. It is not a replacement for retirement planning and only determines when the maximum benefit will be received. The user enters an email address and Social Security information into an online form. A comprehensive report is then emailed back to the user. A limited report is available for free; a fee is charged for the full report.
Forum discussion: Web/Online calculators: When to Collect Social Security?
- Yahoo! Finance Charts - nice interface, but does not factor in dividend distributions as stockcharts.com are reported to do
- Big Charts
- ClearStation - nice charts, also each stock/fund you chart displays news, user recommendations
- Also worth checking out Google Finance as they are making big strides at last
- Green Street Advisors has a chart of REIT prices vs. their fair value estimate
If an investment is taxable, the yield is after taxes are paid (not before). Use these calculators to find the yield that's equivalent to a tax-exempt investment.
- Vanguard Taxable-Equivalent Yield Calculator
- Boglehead tfb's Bond Fund Yield Calculator, (the full article with instructions)
- You can also use this calculator to compare against a bank savings account, which is a federal and state taxable fund. APY is equivalent to compound yield.
- Bond Calculator, taxable equivalent bond yields (from Morningstar, login required)
- Determine whether you’re better off investing in taxable or municipal bonds.
- Daily Treasury Real Yield Curve Rates - daily rates for 5/7/10/20 year TIPS
- Daily Treasury Rates - daily rates for 1/3/6 month, plus 1/2/3/5/10/20/30 year bonds
- St Louis Fed 10 yr TIPS yield - this is a graph from 2003 to present, from Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 39,000 economic time series from 38 sources. Download, graph, and track economic data. Downloadable tools, such an iPhone/iPad app and an Excel Add-In are available.