Online Financial Planners: How Do They Work?
Even though consumers have been using online banking and mobile applications for years, the concept of online financial planners like Mint.com is still new. In comparison to a traditional face-to-face financial planning relationship, how do online financial planners work?
Online financial planners allow you to:
- Develop plans for your finances that are comprehensive enough to include college funds, estate planning, insurance investments, long-term investment management, spending trends, and retirement.
- Analyze your debt, understand how debt management works, and develop a plan to pay down debt.
- Access finances at any time. You don't need to make appointments with a financial planner, or schedule an office visit plus travel time.
- Analyze your financial situation and run scenarios to cover "what if" questions about your financial future. You can change your financial plan at no extra cost.
- Keep your information private. Unlike a traditional financial planner, no one else needs to see your personal information, and you can rest assured your information is stored securely.
- Run quick reports, and understand them easily.
With online reporting, your days of using a manual calculator are over.
What to Look for in Your Online Financial Planner:
Your online financial planner should offer the benefits of a traditional financial planner, plus more:
- Portfolio and Asset Tracking: Get up-to-the-minute data on your investments and total assets, and get advice on your investment portfolio.
- Risk Analysis: Quickly understand the risk level of any proposed investment, and get advice on risk management.
- Mobile Features: View your account from any device, including smartphones and tablets. Make updates and changes from anywhere, anytime.
- Financial Calculators: Make "what if" projections, calculate potential return, and plan for the future.
- Goal Tracking: Set up financial goals, and easily see how you're tracking against them. Services like Mint even offer email and mobile alerts, bill reminders, and more, to help you stay on top of your goals.
Everyone needs a road map. Online financial planners allow you to set specific goals for your retirement, education, investments, and spending, and stick to them. Ultimately, good online financial planners help you make wiser spending and purchasing decisions, and cheer you on as you achieve your financial goals.
Mint.com is a full online financial planning suite, and it's completely free. Click here to sign up!