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Recommended products and services

The best places to save money and maximize your investment return

For traditional and ROTH IRAs:

Betterment | Investing made better
What is it?

Betterment is an automated investing service that provides smart investment decisions to customers who want a better way to manage their money. Their revolutionary software helps people reach their financial goals through efficiency, for a lower cost than almost anywhere else.

Why we recommend it?

The Betterment portfolio is designed to achieve optimal returns at every level of risk. Through diversification, automated rebalancing, better behavior, and lower fees, even beginner investors that use Betterment can expect 4.30% higher returns than a typical DIY investor.

 

For financial advisors:

WealthMinder | Find your financial advisor
What is it?

Find a financial advisor you can trust in minutes with WealthMinder

Why we recommend it?

WealthMinder helps financial advisors and individual investors work together to plan for and achieve the individuals investors to work together to plan for and achieve the individuals long-term financial goals. 

 

For student loan refinancing:

SoFi | Social Finance
What is it?

SoFi is a modern finance company that partners with members to offer great service and low rates for student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans.

Why we recommend it?

The process is easy - get pre-approved in just 15 minutes. Quotes are free and no-obligation, and members save $18,936 on average when they refinance student loans with SoFi

 

For budgeting software

YouNeedABudget | Social Finance

What is it?

YNAB is a highly recommended, drop-dead easy, award-winning budgeting software for prioritizing spending, paying down debt, and setting and achieving financial goals. 

Why we recommend it?

The testimonials speak for themselves: like Dan & Tracy, who used YNAB to pay off more than $50,000 in debt and save $25,000 for their upcoming wedding in just 18 months. Plus, you get 34 days free and if you don't love it, cancel and pay nothing. 

 

For Taxable brokerage accounts

Firstrade | Leading online brokerage firm

What is it?

A leading online brokerage firm with low costs, no account minimums, innovative products, and award winning customer service. Firstrade offers investment products such as Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Treasuries, and CDs. Firsttrade will help you fine tune your trading and increase your profits with an easy-to-understand approach that ensures you keep more of what you earn.

Why we recommend it?

Firstrade lets you choose from a full suite of investment choices and account types, so you can trade and invest as you see fit. Plus, get 100 commission-free trades when you open and fund a qualifying new account

 

For HSAs (Health Savings Accounts)

HSA Administrators | HSA investment that grows and moves with you

What is it?

With ongoing changes in healthcare, a Health Savings Account (HSA) is increasingly more important. It’s not only a tax-advantaged health savings account, it’s part of a comprehensive retirement package. 

Why we recommend it?

When used appropriately, an HSA is able to provide the benefits of both a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, meaning you can contribute pre-tax dollars, (as with a Traditional IRA), but you can also utilize tax-free growth and tax-free distributions (as with a Roth IRA). The result is tax-free contributions, tax-free growth, and tax-free distributions out. HSA Administrators provides access to high quality, low-cost Vanguard index funds, aasy online access, access to a checking account with a debit card if desired, no minimum account balance, and a low annual fee of only $45. For examples of the types of things you can spend HSA money on, click here

 

For Credit Scores

myFICO | Your Comprehensive Credit Picture

What is it?

myFICO is the leading expert in providing actual credit reports, scores and information to consumers online.

Why we recommend it?

90% of Top Lenders use FICO® Scores.  Instantly access your 3-bureau credit report and FICO® Scores—including the FICO® Scores most widely used in mortgage, auto and credit card lending, and the newly released FICO® Score 9. 

 

For savings accounts and CDs

DiscoverBank | High Yield Accounts

What is it?

Discover Bank is an FDIC-insured direct bank that offers a variety of deposit products for consumers, plus $0 Liability Protection so you are never responsible for unauthorized debit card, online, or mobile banking transactions.

Why we recommend it?

Their rates consistently beat the national average on all products, including CDs and IRA CDs ranging from 3 months to 10 years, and a tiered-rate Money Market account, making it a great place to hold emergency funds and other liquid accounts. 

 
 

SmartCityMoney 

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Please note that this is general financial advice that is applicable to most people, but it is not a substitute for consulting with a professional financial adviser. Your mileage may vary. Affiliate links may be used on this site when they are offered by the service provider.

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