These Are The Tools I Use
Below are the actual apps and tools I use to manage my personal and small business finances, as well as the operation of this blog.
If it's on this list, it's because it's an integral tool to my daily life, and not just something I think is cool. Now this doesn't mean I don't try other tools. Quite the opposite... but it takes a lot to make me switch from what's already working.
If you have any recommendations, please drop me a note about it. Always looking for suggestions!
Before you start poking around further, I do want to provide this disclaimer:
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I use the tools regardless of whether I get a commission or not, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals!
Fidelity is a traditional brokerage firm that has been around forever and offers ton of different services across the financial planning spectrum.
One thing that stands out about them the high quality research and evaluation tools they make available to their customers. They manage our 401K's, College Savings, and our "rental house" investment fund.
Robinhood is a online broker with a simple value proposition. They offer 100% free trades with a simple to use app. You won't find much information on the stocks besides simple trend graphs, so you'll need to do your research elsewhere. The best part is THERE ARE NO FEES!
I use Robinhood for managing a dividend portfolio which is one of the prongs in my long-term passive income strategy.
Wealthfront is a robo-advisor, which means once you set up your account, the only thing you do is set your risk tolerance on a scale of 1-10, deposit money, and sit back while their machine learning algorithm does your portfolio allocations.
I started using them as a test to compare against the Fidelity account I manage and so far I'm impressed!
Personal Capital is my go-to tool for aggregating all my investments and savings under one, intuitive interface. The thing I love about Personal Capital is how simple it is to go from a bird's eye view of ALL my finances, to a super-specific view of any one of my banking accounts, investments, or homes.
They offer personal investment management services for clients with larger portfolios, but the app is always 100% free to use!
Quickbooks Online is an accounting tool I was introduced to when I was doing some small business consulting work. Since then, i've used it to manage all my accounting, which include household finances and rental properties.
It's overkill for personal use, but if you are growing a small business, it's an awesome accounting solution.
Unless you are diehard MS Office user, you need Google Docs.
It provides word processing, spreadsheets and slideshow tools that all integrate seamlessly with each and Gmail. There is something to be said about tools that just work the way you expect them to. That's Google Docs. It's also 100% free.
I LOVE WHITEBOARDS!
I'll get that out of the way now. There is something magical that happens when you write down your goals, budgets, dreams on a whiteboard and look at it every day.
For some reason, they start to happen. Go figure 🙂
EXPO DRY ERASE MARKERS
What's a whiteboard without dry erase markers? I know it may seem like a weird brand affinity, but EXPO markers are the best. They don't dry out quickly, and the felt tips still hold up after a lot of usage.
No one likes writing on a whiteboard with a crappy marker.
MEAD SMALL SPRIAL NOTEBOOKS
Every day I make a list in my spiral notebook of all my meetings and activities for the day, as well as the top 3 things I need to get done. I'll also keep a running list in the back of the notebook of things I'd like to do when I have the time. This keeps me organized and allows me to stay focused on what's important. I've tried using various apps for this, but for some reason, there is something magical about writing stuff down.