Let’s face it – there is an overwhelming number of smartphone apps, online financial tools and products designed to either make you rich or separate you from your hard earned cash. Needless to say, some of these efforts are far superior to the counterparts. The trick is finding the right ones. Below, we’re reviewing three of our favorite ones.
Every time a new product or service is unveiled, we make it our business to test drive them. At a minimum, we review the processes, explore the terms and conditions and do a bit of investigating to see how others see the programs. In the past few months, we’ve found some less than perfect so-called solutions that would likely become another problem for consumers were they to institute it. Ah – but we’ve also come across many that are easy to use, meet the needs of the consumers, deliver what’s promised and are either free or almost free. Here are three of those gems that we would encourage consumers to consider.
It’s enjoyed an incredibly popular arrival as thousands of banks and credit unions continue to integrate Popmoney personal payment options into their arsenals. It’s also enjoyed great reviews, too. Popmoney can be downloaded on its website and your bank can also provide assistance – remember though – it has to be a part of the network and if it’s not, you’ll need to go through the Popmoney website. It’s powered by Fiserv and this company moves more than $1 trillion every year and handles 20 billion transactions. Every day, close to 60 million people use the program and you may be using it without even knowing it since many bill payments are processed through the Popmoney network.
Hailed as whole new way to send money and pay people, these folks sought to provide this convenience as a way for consumers to easily send money from their bank accounts – whether it’s cash for their college students or “just because”. It also wanted the program to provide benefits for small business owners. To meet that challenge, it allows its business customers to pay vendors and even their employees’ payroll right from their smartphone. Further, there exists a way to send invoices, too. All of this can be done from your checking account (provided your bank is a partner with Popmoney). It really is a all inclusive solution, especially if your business requires you to be away from the office. You can still easily manage your finances.
It’s easy to use – simply sign into your account on your computer or smartphone and click “Payments or Transfers”. You key the information, including who the invoice or recipient is being sent to and the dollar amount that you’re sending or that you’re requesting be paid. Once you are enrolled, you can add contacts (payees), and quickly send money to any U.S. banking account.
This is another great tool, but one you might not have heard of – which is really surprising because it is an incredible tool that will inspire confidence in your efforts to find the best professional broker for your financial needs.
BrokerCheck is a free tool, so it’s not going to cost anything at all to check it out. It’s designed to to help investors research the professional backgrounds of both current and former FINRA-registered brokerage firms and brokers. You can also search out the backgrounds of investment adviser firms and representatives. Already, it’s a resource tool that’s been transitioned into many investors tool box. It can help anyone make better choices when they’re trying to find the right firm or broker.
It should be the first resource investors turn to when choosing whether to do business or continue to do business with a particular firm or individual. Here’s what you can do with this resource:
- Search information regarding brokers and brokerage firms
- Search for information about investment adviser firms and representatives
- Obtain online background reports, if available
- You can even link to other resources you use, too.
If you’re wondering where the information is being pulled from, the primary sources include the Central Registration Depository (CRD), the securities industry online registration and licensing database. Information in CRD is obtained through forms that brokers, brokerage firms and regulators complete as part of the securities industry registration and licensing process. This makes information on more than 1.3 million brokers readily available.
Finally, we wanted to mention how much information is available on the website. You can review market data, view the list of each state’s securities regulators, take advantage of a host of various financial calculators and much more. There’s even a breakdown of various breaking news stories and they’re categorized under headings such as “market news”, “bond news” or “equity news”. The economic indicator calender allows you to keep up with the latest numbers coming out of Washington and the Dow.
We’ve reviewed this company in the past, when it was still in its infancy. Loyal3 allows consumers to purchase stock right from their Facebook app. The goal of the folks who founded this brilliant business model have one simple goal: to make buying and owning stocks an easy and affordable process – the way it should be.
Most recently, it added some of the biggest brands in the world, including Apple, Amazon, Coca Cola and yes – even Facebook. It’s shaping up to become the new way of buying and selling on the stock market and with the vast majority – upwards of 80% – of Americans who don’t, won’t, can’t or are too intimidated by the fast pace they see on TV and the confusing verbiage, Loyal3, in one fell swoop eliminates all of those doubts and roadblocks.
Buying stock is as easy as keying your credit card number, selecting your investments and then running with it. There are no pesky membership fees and no brokers fees; and in fact, you can start with as little as $10. I’ve said it before – this could be the one single, most powerful tool we can use to ensure our kids growing with a sense of the American financial sector. Any parent should want to consider this if for no other reason than its educational purposes.
It announced earlier this year that it had revamped its website – which, by the way, is easy to navigate, too. Plus, it just announced that you can sign up now to be informed when the company begins offering IPOs.
So will you get rich using Loyal3? I don’t know, but what it is obvious is the opportunity that’s now available because of its founders’ efforts of lifting the confusing and overwhelming veil of trading on the Dow.
Of course, these are not the only worthy resources, but they are three of the ones we believe have the best potential to becoming a part of our financial landscape. Have another one you believe is better or you’d like us to test run? Drop us a line in the comments, join the conversation on Facebook or tweet your ideas. After all, there’s only one way to discover whether it’s worth the time investment – and we’re always looking for great new efforts or products that will benefit our readers.