Techy finances

These apps are great for finance on the go.

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These apps, as recommended by the 2017 Top Financial Professionals in Northern Virginia, are great for finance on the go.

Mint

“I am a big fan of Mint: Personal Finance, Budget, Bills and Money By mint.com, and I recommend it to my clients. The first step to saving money is being intentional about where it’s going and then identifying where you have opportunities [to save] that you didn’t see before. People don’t think to re-shop those every couple of years—phone plans, for example.”
–Angela Bender, CFP, Managing Partner, AMJ Financial Wealth Management

Credit Karma

“Credit Karma to keep on top of credit scores and security notifications. Credit apps also can indicate whether one may have a personal security breach as they track credit card issuance.”
–Bradford R. Coyle, CRPC, Managing Director – Investment Officer, Coyle Financial Group

“Credit Karma [is] one I recommend because it helps to know where you stand in the eyes of credit agencies so that when you go to buy a house or car that’s going to impact what you pay for your loan. It also gives you little tips on what to do to increase your credit.”
–Jeffrey Grinspoon, Partner, VWG Wealth Management

E-Money

“There’s a tool available to us (VWG Wealth Management) called E-Money. Our clients are able to access all of their accounts no matter where they are, but what makes it more powerful is that you can connect your credit cards and itemize where you are spending money to help set a budget. It provides an e-vault where you can put important documents like wills, passports, et cetera, which sounds pretty scary when you hear all the hacking going on today, but E-Money is owned by Fidelity, so it’s pretty secure. E-Money is not available to the public, but the closest I’d compare it to is Mint.com. However, when you use Mint.com, you are giving information, and Mint.com is using that information so advertisers could sell to you, marketing you to credit card companies. E-Money doesn’t sell the data. Fidelity bought E-Money years ago, but other advisers may have access to it as well, so I recommend that people ask their financial adviser if E-Money is available to them.”
–Jeffrey Grinspoon, Partner, VWG Wealth Management

Yodlee

“A great account aggregation tool is worth its weight in gold. Until the last few years, these tools created more account “aggravation” than “aggregation,” but with much better security protocol from two-factor authentication, everyone who uses the internet should be using one of these tools. This, along with Mint and E-Money, is the go-to killer app, and it works great. In a nutshell, anyone using this service can see all of their financial accounts in one place: from the 401(k) at work to the mortgage and value of their house to credit cards [to] all investment and bank accounts. It is very helpful to look at a unified portfolio with respect to making asset allocation changes.”
–Brandon Mink, Managing Director, Mink Wealth Management

Acorns

“For the teenager with a little extra lawn mowing or babysitting money, Acorns is an awesome app that rounds up a purchase and invests the difference. For example, if a $3.20 coffee is purchased at Starbucks, the app will round up to $4 and invest the $.80.”
–Brandon Mink, Managing Director, Mink Wealth Management

What to watch out for with apps

“I would suggest using  fewer  apps. While there may be some apps that save money, every time we play around on our phone, we are bombarded with distractions, which pull on our time, money and attention and can detract from our personal and financial well-being. Save as much as you can, increase the amount you are saving quarterly, and go on living your life.”
–Curtis Congdon, CFP, CRPC, Senior Vice President, Wealth Management, Lara May & Associates LLC

I use very few financial planning apps for iPhone/iPad due to privacy issues and potential identity theft. While I know there are many out there that have very good ratings, I have at least a dozen clients each year that get hacked or have identity theft issues, and it creates havoc with filing their tax returns. So I try to limit my recommendation of financial-related apps to clients.”
–William S. Duvall, CPA and CVA, DuvallWheeler CPAs

(September 2017 Top Financial Professionals)

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