Note: This page contains affiliate links for different financial resources that I use every day. Like always, all of the opinions are my own.
From time to time, I’m asked about which financial products I personally use and which I would recommend to others. Below is a list of many of the different financial resources, firms, services, and products I personally use.
Financial Resources that I Recommend
The Total Money Makeover – You didn’t really think that I would get very far on a financial resource page and mention Dave Ramsey did you? Be sure to check out what I have written about Dave Ramsey’s baby steps in previous blog posts. I’m a huge fan. I give away tons of free copies of his bestselling book, The Total Money Makeover. Be sure to check out how you can possibly get your free book from Money Q&A by simply asking a personal finance question!
Finimpact.com – funding small online businesses is always a hustle. However, this can always be easily solved if you try out Finimpact. They offer funding solutions for your business through an easy online application. The service they offer is connecting you to the top and best-fit matches comprised of funding providers.
To get business funding from Finimpact.com, you are required to follow three simple steps. The first step is to answer some questions that they will ask. They will then find the best matching funding options. You will then be connected to the best lenders. The amazing thing is that this is all done online! Can small business funding get better than this?
Blogging Services and Resources
The same is true for the many different programs that I use for blogging. So, I’ve tried to round up all the programs, companies, and services that really help make life easier and provide a great service.
Intuit Quickbooks Self-Employed
I’ve just started using QuickBooks Online and love it. The online portal and app are so easy and helpful. It links to all of my business bank accounts and helps me manage all of my income and expense tracking.
QuickBooks is the #1 Accounting Software in the US, Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed – Helps freelancers automatically track mileage, expenses, and deductions and prepare for quarterly taxes. QuickBooks Self-Employed: Untangle Business and Personal Spending. Start Your Free 30-Day Trial!
MeetEdgar is an incredibly powerful social media scheduler. MeetEdgar is a simple and efficient way to schedule your posts on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. I have all of my blog posts broken down by category and scheduled to be sent out.
It’s a never-ending cycle of content for your social media channels that randomly rotate the blog posts you have scheduled. So, you’ll never run out of things for your audiences to read and share on social media.
Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram
Tailwind is an incredible tool for Pinterest and Instagram. It allows you to upload images in bulk, drag-and-drop to a calendar, makes multi-board pinning easy and fast, and adds many more shortcuts built with your busy schedule in mind.
With Tailwind, you can automatically optimize your Pinterest and Instagram schedules based on your most engaged audience. It includes analytics and insights on your published content that allows you to see what’s working and what’s not. Tailwind’s Browser Extension lets you easily create multiple posts from any site with a single click. It even repins on Pinterest.
Tailwind allows you to be more efficient. You can post all your visual marketing content to Instagram and Pinterest from one tool with a single workflow. I highly recommend it.
I use Freshbooks to invoice all of my clients for my freelance writing business. Most of the advertisers here on Money Q&A. Freshbooks has a great accounting system and professional invoices and makes it very easy for me to track the expenses and income of my websites.
The Best Investing Apps for Your Smartphone
Robinhood’s number one selling point is that it offers online investors free access to stock and ETF trading. This is almost unheard of. Even “low-fee” online investment platforms still cost investors considerable rates of commission on each trade. E*Trade and Scottrade charge $6.95 per trade, and Fidelity and Schwab charge $4.95 per trade.
These low-fee online trading platforms also have considerably higher account minimums ranging from $500 (E*Trade) to $2,500 (Fidelity and Scottrade). Robinhood, on the other hand, charges $0 per trade and has a $0 account minimum requirement. This makes it easier to invest even if you have little money upfront.
Robinhood’s no-fee trading undercut old-school brokerages. TD Ameritrade routinely charges $6.95 per equity trade, and Schwab charges $4.95.
Robinhood is able to make money through its Robinhood Gold program and collecting nominal interest on account balances. If you’re looking for a truly no-cost way to get started in the stock market, then Robinhood is a great place to start.
Many online brokerage services charge fees for trades, ranging from $0.99 to $6.95 in many cases. While this is still much more affordable than a traditional brokerage, it limits the number of trades you might want to do to avoid incurring lots of fees. Low-fee trades are extremely important for the average investor, and M1 Finance takes the affordability factor to the next level with its no-fee trades.
What makes M1 Finance truly unique from other online brokerages and other robo-advisors is the way it gives you more control over the allocation of your investments with the help of the Pie. With this option, you can customize how much of your money you want to invest in certain stocks, industries, or ETFs by choosing a target weight for each slice of your Pie. For instance, if you want to invest in Amazon, Best Buy, Chevron, and Google, then you can choose how much you want to be allocated towards each stock (e.g., 25%, 10%, 25%, and 40%, respectively).
M1 Finance has nearly 2,000 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) available for you to choose from. And can invest in any individual stocks available on either the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), BATS, or the Nasdaq.
M1 Finance also has “Expert Pies,” which allow you to choose from various Pies designed by investment professionals. The Expert Pies are ideal for investors with specific goals (e.g., saving for a down payment on a home or retirement) and investors who want more control over how aggressive/conservative their portfolios will be. Sign Up for an M1 Finance account.
Streitwise is a real estate crowdfunding platform for both accredited and non-accredited investors. Anyone with as little as $5,000 available to invest and a desire to diversify their portfolio beyond stocks and bonds should consider investing in commercial real estate with Streitwise.
Streitwise directly owns and operates its own commercial properties, whereas many other web-based investment platforms serve as middlemen between everyday investors and real estate property managers.
Since its inception, Streitwise has produced almost a 10% dividend for its investors, whereas public REITs produced 3.79% dividends and public bonds produced 2.78% dividend yields. Streitwise just declared their latest dividend payout for Q2 2021, at $0.21/share, or 8.4% annualized dividends. The site has hit its target return range for a 17th straight quarterly distribution with each dividend payout over 8%.
You can also check out my complete review of Streitwise on Money Q&A. If you’ve been wanting to get more active in real estate investing for just a small sum, then a platform like Streitwise might be a great addition to your investment portfolio.
Betterment is a website and one of the best financial resources to help you start investing, whether you are a veteran or a novice investor. Novice investors will receive the most bang for their buck. Even if you think you do not have enough money to invest, Betterment has an answer to help you. You can invest as little as $25 per month to start, and their automatic deposits make investing a snap.
Betterment.com will even give you $25 for just trying out their service too! If you do not know where to start or which mutual funds to invest in, Betterment helps you get started with their pre-built mutual fund portfolio. You simply choose the allocation between stock and bonds that you want to invest in.
Betterment’s managers have chosen six electronically traded funds (ETFs) that mirror the Dow Industrial Average, S&P 500 index, and the broader stock market. And, they have also chosen two bond ETFs that invest in inflation-protected bonds and short-term bonds.
One of the greatest financial resources to manage your 401k retirement plan is blooom. Let the experts at bloom take a free peek at your 401k. Get real advice on how it’s doing and how it could be performing better.
When you become a member, blooom then makes trades to optimize your account based on your goals. Blooom can manage your 401k, 401a, 403b, 457, or Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Be sure to read my review of blooom.
Blooom - Grow Your 401k, Free Analysis! Price: Free Analysis of Your 401k Get personalized suggestions on how to invest your current 401k. No Hidden Costs. Cancel Any Time. Analyze 401K for Free. Simple To Understand.
The main idea on Stash’s homepage is: “Stash is investing, simplified.” Stash emphasizes mixed portfolios of ETFs that you can customize for your age, lifestyle (e.g., personal values and political beliefs), and investment goals. For instance, environmentally conscious investors can opt to invest in green-friendly companies and ETFs, tech-savvy beginning investors can choose from an array of top-notch tech funds, and social media superstars may choose to invest in publicly traded social platforms that they know a lot about.
Stash only charges $1 per month to manage accounts with less than $5,000 deposited, or 0.25% annual management fees on accounts with more than $5,000 (which equates to roughly $12.50 per year for an account with $5,000 deposited). You can set up auto-deposits on your investment accounts directly linked to your bank accounts to ensure you’re regularly adding to your balance and growing a nest egg for the future.
There are no hidden fees involved. After all, Stash is all about simplicity in investing. So, $1 per month isn’t much compared to the more expensive alternatives!
If you are considering becoming a landlord like I just did, I’ve also compiled a list of landlord resources as well.
What financial resources do you like and use? I’d love to hear about new ones that I should add to this list. Please send me an email!