We spend a lot of time using and researching different financial services and fintech products. We are very picky about what we use and research as much as possible before recommending a product for you to use. We do have partnerships with some of our recommendations, and for others, we don’t have any relationship. Regardless, we must use, test, and love a product first and foremost before sharing it with you, our community.
Below are different apps, services, and products we recommend for you. They are designed to help you in your journey in wealth. They are from reputable companies, offer good services, and can help you grow your net worth to reach financial freedom and generational wealth.
Wealth Management & Tracking
It’s extremely important to understand where your money and assets are and how much you have. If you don’t know your net worth, you don’t know the basics about your personal wealth. You can do this using pen and paper, spreadsheets, or with a free online tool. We like the online tools because they handle a lot of the legwork of looking up accounts for you and can provide you with insights that are hard to reproduce on your own.
The Best Way to Track your Net Worth
We are big fans of using Personal Capital to measure your net worth. Your net worth is how you measure and track progress in your journey in wealth. Personal Capital allows you to connect all of your accounts, monitor your monthly spending and offers a ton of advanced tools to understand your assets and net worth.
It will check all of your accounts for high fees. It has a retirement planner that can project your net worth growth over the next 30 years. It can go through all your accounts and determine your asset allocation. And Personal Capital will give you a target asset allocation based on your risk tolerance. It’s a free tool and one of the best money management and asset tracking tools we have seen for really building wealth.
We are such big believers of Personal Capital we go in depth about using the tool in our 10-Day Know Your Net Worth Challenge. In just ten days, we will work with you over email to understand what net worth really is, how to calculate it, and tools to grow it over time to reach your wealth goals.
We love robo-advisors as a way to easily create a diversified portfolio. They are significantly cheaper than having a personal financial advisor and saves time compared to creating your own portfolio of index funds. Fees have dropped from 0.25% down to free. Here are some companies we recommend if you’re ready to add a robo-advisor to your asset mix.
Robo Advisor for the skilled investor.
M1 Investing is now our main robo-advisor recommendation, after being Wealthfront before. There are two main things that make M1 stand out for us and has become our new highly recommended robo advisor: 1) 0% advisory fees; 2) Advances diversification options.
Saving the 0.25% fee is a big advantage. A few years ago it was hard to find a good option without any fees. Now, advances in fintech have driven down costs and competition has created new companies with lower fees.
A standout feature for M1 is their ability to customize your asset mix down to the percentage and using single company stocks. You can choose specific sectors or individual companies to augment your portfolio. It isn’t the best for absolute beginners, so we recommend it for anyone who has a good understanding of stocks and asset allocations.
M1 Investing also allows you to borrow a portion of your balance for your needs without removing it from the market. This can be useful if you need to access the funds temporarily, but don’t want to take your money out of the market.
Affordable and Dead Simple Robo Advisor
Acorns is widely popular as a saving app, but it’s really a great robo-advisor with low fees and a lot of fun features for beginners. Acorns have become famous for their ability to round up purchases and save, but behind the scenes is a dead simple robo-advisor with low fees.
Acorns has dropped the fee for their robo-advisor to $1 a month. With the average fee of other robo-advisors around 0.25%, if you hold more than $400, you will be saving money monthly. And if you are serious about building wealth and have a large balance, this can lead to a large saving every year and over the life of your investment.
Best Tax Management Option
Wealthfront was our robo-advisor or choice for years but has fallen in our eyes. They are competitive with their 0.25% fee and offering the first $5,000 managed for free if you use our link. They offer more advanced tax savings with their tax loss harvesting. If you have over $100,000 in your account, you can enable stock level tax-loss harvesting which can provide more tax-loss harvesting opportunities. Wealthfront also offers a borrowing feature where you can access part of your balance without removing it from the market.
But, what we don’t like is the introduction of their Risk Parity feature. It significantly increases the average fee you pay to Wealthfront and is enabled by default. If you do use Wealthfront, we recommend disabling this and avoiding the extra fees. Also, Weallthfront used to offer the first $15,000 for free and has lowered this to just $5,000.
Books We Love
Reading is an important part of creating the right money mindset for building wealth. Financial freedom and generational wealth are ambitious goals and you will need to seriously understand money and your finances if you hope to get there. Here are some great books which will help you in your journey in wealth.
This book has been around so long you may have read it twice already. When it comes to starting from 0 in terms of learning about your finances and money, this classic is a great first read and worth re-reading every few years. The story of Robert and his “two dads” is easy to follow and relate to. But the concepts of assets & liabilities and outlines the basics of understanding your net worth and how it relates to financial freedom.
The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Intelligent Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing!
We are big fans of bigger pockets when it comes to learning about real estate. We are also big fans of buy and hold rentals as a way to quickly build wealth and is accessible to most people, including turn-key. Brandon has a very approachable style of writing that helps to teach and not overwhelm. Even after owning rentals for years, this book provides insights and a refresher on all the basics. Their community is also great with a very active forum, a great podcast, and tons of articles.
We wish we had discovered this book earlier in our lives. This modern classic really gets into living a life of financial freedom and what that may look like. There is a misconception that early retirement and financial freedom means doing nothing forever. Instead, this book offers a modern approach to living financially free, working less, and living a life of purpose. In addition to living a lifestyle of wealth, there are practical tax, business, and money management advice for anyone looking for financial freedom.
Everyone needs a brokerage account! Stocks and bonds are one of the easiest and well know ways to invest your money. And with the rise of low-cost index funds and ETFs, it’s the default method of investing for anyone looking to build wealth. You don’t need to be (nor should you) become a daytrader to profit from the stock market. Having your account setup means you have a place to put any money in need of an investment home.
Dead Simple Free Stock and ETF Trading on your Phone
If you are looking for your first brokerage and want to avoid the $4-$10 brokerage fee you pay per trade, then check out Robinhood. The brokerage was designed to be mobile first and offers everything you need in a well-designed app designed for millennials. If you want to pick up some basic ETFs or funds, it’s a great option. We’ve also had the chance to talk to the company’s founders before and really like their approach and desire to make investing more accessible.
But, if you are more advanced with your trading and need more tools and information, we would recommend you look at larger brokerages offering products like margin accounts, options and contracts trading, and advanced analysis platforms.
Online Savings Account
When it comes to creating an emergency fund, we are strong believers in an online savings account. The high-interest rate will help your money grow over time. And the extra time to transfer the funds will help you build it up and only tap it in case of emergencies. These accounts will help you keep three to six months of living expenses saved in case you have a huge expense, get laid off, or face some other financial hardship.
Very High-Interest Rates and Low Minimums
We have heard great things about the new savings account by Goldman Sachs and they are offering one of the highest online savings rates we’ve seen with a very low minimum balance. Marcus is a new offering by Goldman Sachs. They are looking to compete in consumer banking and catch up to some of their peers.
And they are doing it aggressively. They have been constantly increasing the interest rate they offer for their online savings account and are currently the highest we’ve seen. Goldman Sachs is a very old bank which usually caters to high net worth individuals. This is one of their first products aimed at everyone. As of this writing, they are offering 2.05% on a $500 minimum account. As with other savings accounts, you are limited to only a few withdrawals each month. This will not work as your regular checking account but is good for your rainy day or emergency fund.