Your Money Matters – Wsj.com

The Best Online Tools for Personal Finance

Consumers are paying closer attention to what they buy, how much they save, and where they invest. These resources can be a huge help. Even better, most of them are free.

Podcast: The Best and Worst Advice

Video: Some Online Tools

via Your Money Matters – Wsj.com.

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Finovate – Yale and Microfinance

You know what kids love these days? Microfinance.

At least that’s true of the kids at Yale University’s student-run micro finance program, the Elmseed Enterprise Fund. The fund supports local entrepreneurs with advice and micro loans. In 2013, the program provided consulting for 38 clients and provided more than $13,000 in loans to five.

The student volunteers at Elmseed also love a good deal when they see one. And when they went looking for a better way to handle their customer data., the solution they found was Mambu.

via Finovate.

Online Financial Innovations: Latest Trends in the Internet Banking Industry.

Online Financial Innovations is a boutique research firm focused on the future of financial and banking technology. We publish advisory reports and subscription newsletters for the financial services industry: banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, card issuers, professional advisors, and technology providers. Our flagship publication, Online Banking Report, has been published monthly since 1995 and is read by financial services executives in more than 50 countries. In addition, we organize the groundbreaking Finovate conference series which showcases the most innovative new ideas and technologies in finance and banking.

via Online Financial Innovations: Latest Trends in the Internet Banking Industry..

Budgeting tools

The first and perhaps most effective step to managing your money online is signing up for basic budgeting sites such as Mint.com, from Mint Software Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., Wesabe.com, from San Francisco-based Wesabe Inc., or Geezeo.com, from Geezeo of Hartford, Conn.

via The Best Online Tools for Personal Finance – WSJ.com.

SimpliFi.net tool

SimpliFi.net, from SimpliFi LLC in Winston-Salem, N.C., uses a virtual financial adviser named Sophie to guide you through a planning process based on financial goals, such as saving for retirement or reducing debt. The site assesses how much you should spend and save to reach your particular goal and tells you how likely you are to achieve it with a “Goal Point Average” ranging from A+ to F. (You don’t give the site any of your financial-account information, but you do have to input approximate balances.)

The site can provide details on how much you need to save over a certain period to reach your goals and offer recommendations on types of investments to consider. The site is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which offers investors a measure of protection: Among other things, the site must comply with SEC rules for registered investment advisers and is subject to examination by SEC staff.

via The Best Online Tools for Personal Finance – WSJ.com.

Planwithvoyant.com tool

Another site, Planwithvoyant.com, from Voyant Inc. of Austin, Texas, helps investors forecast the impact of unforeseen events. Step-by-step wizards guide you through the initial preparation of a financial plan, such as identifying your goals and entering income information and expenses. Then charts and graphs show your current financial condition and allow you to test the financial effect of what-if scenarios, such as an unexpected pregnancy or an early retirement. You can also run simulations on how to mitigate those risks, say, by adding insurance or altering your investment strategy.

For specific questions and advice, you can reach out to Voyant’s online community forum or check in with a financial professional in your area. If you choose this free option, you’re presented with a list of local advisers, where you can check out their credentials and choose to ask one of them for feedback. (The site says advisers in this service must be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra. They pay for subscriptions to the service, and offer help, as a way to drive new business.)

via The Best Online Tools for Personal Finance – WSJ.com.