This post is going in a different direction than what I would normally write about. Friends often ask for my advice when it comes to methods for securing their financial future. I have used tons of different online banks and investment platforms, so I feel like I can give good advice when it comes to this subject. This is my list of the best financial services for saving and investing. This is mostly targeted to US residents, as I’m not sure these services are available worldwide.
Best banking platform – Discover
The Discover Cashback Debit Card & Checking Account is the best bank I’ve ever used. Most of the time when you hear about a percentage of spending as cashback, you would think of credit cards. In this case, you get 1% cashback with your DEBIT CARD. This is a huge advantage that other banks don’t offer. This means that if you spend $1,250 a month with your debit card, you would be paid $12.50 per month or $150 per year. Discover offers a modern app with mobile check deposits via camera, an easy-to-use online interface, money transfer services like Zelle, free ATM access nationwide, 24/7 customer service, and a savings account. Not only that, but Discover is a trusted banking institution and they don’t charge fees on these services:
- Monthly maintenance
- Withdrawals at over 60,000 ATMs nationwide
- Replacement debit card
- Standard checks
- Official bank check
- Online bill pay
- Expedited delivery for debit card replacement
- Expedited delivery for official bank checks
- Deposited item returned
- Stop payment order
- Insufficient funds
- Account closure
Best budgeting platform – Mint
Mint helps you keep track of your spending. You cannot build wealth and financial security if you don’t spend carefully. It connects all of your bank and investment accounts under one platform, helping you track all of your spending and saving. You can create custom budgets based on your actual financial transactions and track them in real-time. If you overspend, you will receive alerts via text/email.
Best investment platform for beginners – Wealthfront
Wealthfront is a great tool that I highly recommend for securing your financial future. It’s a simple roboadvisor that can produce great returns. The thing I like about automated investment platforms like Wealthfront is that they take the human emotion out of investing, using algorithms and historical data to create a diversified portfolio of proven investments for you. Not only that, but roboadvisors like Wealthfront act as “financial advisors” for a fraction of the costs associated with traditional human financial advisors.
When you sign up at Wealthfront, you get asked a series of questions to determine your investment risk tolerance on a scale of 1 through 10. After you answer the few questions, they will create a customized portfolio for you based on that scale as well as other factors like your current age. The portfolio will be tailored to your specific financial situation in life, assuring that you’re making good investments at the moment. Wealthfront takes the guesswork out of investing and makes it so easy that anyone can do it.
- Automated monthly investing made simple
- Customized, diversified portfolio
- 0.25% annual advisory fee (5k managed FREE with promotional link)
- Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, 401(k) Rollover
- 529 College Savings
- Individual Accounts, Joint Accounts, Trust Accounts
- SIPC insured up to $500,000.00
- Withdraw at any time
- Finacial planning for retirement, homebuying, college, or time off for travel
Best investment platform for advanced users – Fidelity
Fidelity is an online brokerage that allows you to invest in things like stocks and bonds. It is targeted to more advanced users compared to something like Wealthfront, an automated system that does all your investments for you. The reason I use Fidelity is that I wanted to create a custom portfolio based on aggressive income investing, this portfolio is separate from my main growth portfolio over at Wealthfront. I use this secondary portfolio for income NOW, where my Wealthfront portfolio is more of a long-term thing. If you feel like you have the knowledge required to create your own portfolio by choosing the exact assets you want, then Fidelity is the best broker for you. So why use them compared to all the other available brokers?
- 0% commission trades, no fee to buy or sell
- STRONG security, two-factor authenticaiton, voice recognition phone support
- easy to use website & app
- Fidelity is trusted, they have a great reputation and have been around a long time
Fidelity does offer a roboadvisor service now, but I’ve never used it so I can’t recommend it compared to other roboadvisors that have been around longer like Wealthfront. I use Fidelity for their traditional brokerage service, not their roboadvisor.
Best investment platform for cryptocurrency – Gemini
Gemini is my favorite cryptocurrency investment platform. They are definitely one of the biggest out there. Gemini is a regulated exchange based out of New York. They follow all regulations set out by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and the New York Banking Law. They have great security features like two-factor authentication, an easy-to-use interface, and low fees compared to others in the industry. Join with this promotional link to get $10 in free Bitcoin, signup is free.
- Buy, sell, trade, and store over 40+ different cryptocurrencies
- Earn up to 7.4% interest for holding your cryptocurrencies at Gemini
- Gemini Active Trader is a powerful tool for advanced users
- Well made mobile apps for Android and iPhone users
These are great tools for helping you build wealth. What are your favorite financial platforms? Let me know in the comment section below. I plan on updating this guide as I discover new banks or investment platforms worth looking into.