Finding the Best Personal Finance Sites
Dec 15th 2007 10:00AM
Updated Dec 17th 2007 11:17AM
You'll find lots of personal finance information online, but what can you truly trust? I have my favorites that I check out regularly. You can trust them and you will get good, solid financial education and advice.
If you're comfortable managing your finances online, rather than deal with the hassles of downloading your financial data into a money program on your computer, a good safe website is Yodlee Money Center and it's free to use. The initial set up can be a bear, but once you've gotten through the process of getting access to all your financial stuff - bank accounts, credit cards, reward programs, loans, investment accounts and so, you're ability to manage your financial picture will be greatly enhanced. Yodlee manages the online services for many banks, so the security is tight.
You can get a quick view of your net worth. You can manage your bill payment. You can get an automatic monthly calendar of bills due. You can get alerts for fraud protection, budget tracking, late payment avoidance and low balance warnings. You can categorize all your expenditures and get clear reports of your spending.
Once you've got your finances in order, you probably want to find websites where you can get good solid personal finance education and advice to improve your financial picture. Well, of course, stop by Wallet Pop regularly, but other spots that you should frequent include:
SmartMoney Personal Finance - SmartMoney University is by far the best personal finance education spot on the web. You can find excellent online courses on just about any personal finance and basic investing topic. In addition to SmartMoney University you'll find in-depth articles on retirement options, education savings options, college planning, debt management, health care, insurance, real estate and taxes.
Kiplinger's.com is one of the most respected websites for personal finance. You'll find a wealth of excellent articles as well as tools and calculators. Kiplinger's basics section is a great place to start to learn about almost any money issue.
Morningstar Personal Finance is an unknown jewel. Many people think of Morningstar as the place to go for information on mutual funds, but there's a lot more for you to explore. You'll find information on retirement investment options, education investment options, annuities, portfolio planning, mortgages, refinancing, stock options, tax tips and a lot more. So check it out.
Lita Epstein has written more than 20 books including the "Pocket Idiot's Guide to Investing in Mutual Funds" and the Complete Idiot's Guide to Improving Your Credit Score.