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Building a budget is one of the basic premises of personal finance. A budget can help you come up with a spending plan, so you can give each dollar a job and actually know where your money is going. In the past few years, Mint.com and YNAB (You Need a Budget) have reigned supreme in the battle of budgeting software, but a new contender is entering the ring.
With the amount of personal finance apps and tools available, it can be overwhelming to know which ones are the best, and how they can help you manage your money. This is why we created this list as a shortcut for your personal finance needs.
Formally known as Robinhood Financial, LLC, the Robinhood app takes from the rich and gives to the poor. Well, no it doesn’t do that, it just allows you to make stock trades for free. Robinhood is a no-frills stock broker with no minimum deposit.
The financial systems is full of regulations, old-school ideas, and processes for saving money. But thanks to up-and-comers like Acorns, Digit, and now a new banking software called Simple, we have access to better banking and saving methods. I had a chat with Amy Dunn, who’s the lead for the communications department for Simple and how they plan to revolutionize the world of banking.
Blooom is a registered investment advisory firm that manages your 401(k) plan for you. And no, that’s not a typo, it actually does have three O’s in the name. A firm that manages your 401(k) for you is not common, but it should be. After all, millions of people have their non-taxable investment accounts managed for them by a third party, such as an investment advisor or a robo advisor. Why not have professional management for what is usually the single largest investment account you posses?
There are some online brokers out there that provide you with the chance to invest on your own at a reasonable price. One of the more novel brokerages is Motif Investing, a discount brokerage that helps you invest based on themes. It’s like building a mini-ETF. Motif has ranked for two years in a row as a CNBC Disruptor 50. This review has been updated for 2015.
As I’ve discussed in my Mint review, I think Mint is great as a budgeting tool but inadequate for investment planning. Mint is targeting people who are just starting out with their finances. As I mentioned previously, I wished for service that focused more on the investing side of personal finance; retirement, asset allocation, and taxes. Personal Capital is two services, the free to use portfolio aggregator, and their paid advisory service.
With the amount of personal finance apps and investing tools available today, it’s not easy to determine which are the best ones to manage your money and investments. So we’ve created this simple list as a shortcut for your budgeting needs.
For many of us, investing can seem overly complicated and somewhat intimidating if you don’t know the ins-and-outs. But Acorns intends to simplify and demystify this process through their revolutionary mobile app. The father-son team, who are based in California, created Acorns with the intention of removing any mental roadblocks, or anxiety about becoming a regular investor. With help from the father of Modern Portfolio Theory, Dr. Harry Markowitz, Acorns recommends optimized portfolios and keeps them on track with automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvestment.
You’ve doubtlessly heard plenty of chatter about hedge funds — about how the very rich and “insiders” are using them to gain investment opportunities that are unavailable to us less privy investors. There’s plenty of hyperbole concerning hedge funds, but you may no longer be excluded from the party. A firm called Sliced Investing is democratizing access to hedge funds, so they’re not just for the rich and connected anymore.