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In today’s increasingly expensive economy, a college degree can mean the difference between long-term financial security and a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. In fact, according to data from the Social Security Administration, a U.S. male with a bachelor’s degree will earn approximately $900,000 more in his lifetime than one with only a high school diploma. The same male with a gradate degree would earn $1.5 million more.
Of course, enrolling in college isn’t enough to guarantee financial success—you have to actually finish your studies. Statistics show that this may be easier said than done, with one in three students forced to leave college for at least one semester and 41 percent failing to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree within six years of enrollment.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m too young to worry about investing for retirement.” Or maybe it was, “I’m too old for investing to make any difference.” Perhaps you’ve even thought, “I don’t have enough extra cash to invest right now.”
Whatever excuse you’re using to avoid making a financial plan for the future, it’s time to cast it aside. You only need $1 (and a mere five minutes) to open an investment account at Wealthsimple, an online investment management company that was designed to make smart, automated investing available to everyone regardless of age, income or net worth.
Filling a Hole in the Investment Management Market
“Our CEO, Mike Katchen, and the other Wealthsimple co-founders, came into a little bit of money for the first time when they sold their previous Silicon Valley company,” Rachael Factor, Wealthsimple’s communications director, told RewardExpert about the organization’s beginnings. “Mike had been investing since he was a teenager, so the rest of the team turned to him for advice.”
“In the process, they all discovered that there wasn’t really a great way to invest in a smart, simple way,” Factor continued. “On the one hand, there was the DIY approach of purchasing individual funds through a brokerage and rebalancing them yourself. On the other, you could turn to full service advisors who were charging high fees. There wasn’t really anything for a regular person who wanted to invest.”
Katchen and his co-founders created Wealthsimple to fill this hole in the market with an online service that combines user-friendly digital tools with personal financial advice, low fees and no minimum account size.
Customized, Hands-Free Investing
Since its launch in September 2014, Wealthsimple has grown to manage over $1.5 billion for more than 75,000 clients in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Factor noted that the service has been popular with investors of all ages.
“Our oldest client is 102 and our youngest is 18,” she said. “But about 80 percent of our clients are 45 years old or younger.”
Getting started with Wealthsimple is exactly what the company’s name implies: simple. “You can sign up for an account on your computer or your smartphone,” Factor explained. “Answer a few questions about your goals, time horizon, investment experience and appetite for risk, and we’ll suggest a custom diversified portfolio. Then we do the rest for you with automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvesting and tax-loss harvesting.”
Wealthsimple Basic investors with less than $100,000 in their account will pay 0.5 percent in management fees. Once your account balance reaches $100,000, your management fees drop to 0.4 percent as you’re upgraded to Wealthsimple Black.
“Any client, no matter how much or how little they have invested with us, can access real advice from a licensed financial advisor at any time,” Factor added.
Short- and Medium-Term Savings Solutions
But Wealthsimple isn’t just for long-term investing. Earlier this year, the company launched the Wealthsimple Smart Savings account to help its clients save for short- and medium-term goals as well. As with the investment accounts, the new Wealthsimple Smart Savings account doesn’t have an account minimum or maximum. It offers a 1 percent interest rate and carries zero additional fees—you can even transfer and withdraw as often as you want for free.
“We have a really great solution to help people meet their long-term goals like retirement and such,” Factor said, “but investment isn’t appropriate for short-term goals—like that vacation you want to go on in six months—because markets can go down in the short term. Clients were asking us for a product that would help them with this type of savings as well. That was the impetus for us to create Wealthsimple Smart Savings.”
Factor said that Wealthsimple asks clients to name their savings accounts upon setup and has identified three general categories of short-term goals as a result. “One is emergency funds,” she explained. “Then there are savings accounts for major life expenses such as a down payment on a home or wedding fund. Finally, there are all the fun things. We have a client with a savings account for a kid’s surprise Christmas vacation in Florida. There’s another saving for a New Zealand trip and one for a Chanel double-flap.”
Wealthsimple Smart Savings accounts integrate seamlessly with Wealthsimple Basic or Wealthsimple Black investment accounts. Deposits to the savings account count towards your total investments with the company as well, making it easier to earn Wealthsimple Black bonus benefits including VIP airline lounge access and dedicated financial planning.
To learn more about Wealthsimple and how its services can help you invest in your financial future, visit www.wealthsimple.com.
Health Savings Accounts or HSAs, are more than just useful for paying medical expenses. According to leading HSA provider, Devenir, “HSAs are one of the most tax advantaged accounts there is, and are often called a ‘triple-tax advantaged’ account.”
RewardExpert had the opportunity to speak with SVP of Research & Technology at Devenir, Jon Robb, who discussed how the company is committed to helping HSA consumers save for their future.
If you’re currently planning a vacation, you’re not alone. According to Discover’s recent survey, 58 percent of U.S. adults intend to take a trip this summer—though their ideal destination varies somewhat by age. In fact, while beach vacations were preferred by Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X travelers, road trips topped the list for Baby Boomers and cruises were the travel mode of choice among the Silent Generation.
Buying a home is a serious investment. Not only is it the biggest purchase most people will ever make, but it’s often their largest source of debt. Hazard insurance, which pays for property loss and damages in the event of disaster, is required by lenders to protect their loan’s collateral: your home.
The New York Stock Exchange started with trading five securities under a buttonwood tree in the 1800s, but since the late 1990s, online trading has taken over the world of investment. How do investors find the right broker to do their bidding? It’s a veritable ocean of online possibilities out there, so having the resources to make the right choices for your personal investing is second to none.
A college education does not come cheap. According to the College Board, the average public four-year college charges in-state students $9,410 in tuition and fees each year. Out-of-state students pay even more ($23,890), as do those who choose to attend private four-year colleges ($32,410). While most students receive some sort of financial aid, every dollar you save for your child’s future education expenses is a dollar (plus interest) less he or she won’t need to take out in subsidized or unsubsidized student loans.
Figuring out the best way to invest can be tricky. It’s a complicated world with many risks, but also great rewards. Being able to make educated choices is the key, and that’s why Index Fund Advisors (IFA) was created—to help everyday investors, as well as seasoned professionals, make the best investment decisions possible.
There are all sorts of tips and tricks to try when you’re buying a home. But what really works? Is it the real estate agent a friend referred to you because they had a pleasant experience? Or maybe online research will be the key? You may even be on the hunt for yard signs in the neighborhood.
Real estate is one of the most popular alternative investments. But what if you don’t have the time or capital to buy and sell physical property? And what if the public REIT (real estate investment trust) offerings are less than attractive? That’s where private real estate investments, which are investments in real estate assets not tradable on a public exchange, find their niche.
It’s a different day and age in the world of finance and accounting, and there are many companies that are here to help. BlackLine is one of them, providing cloud-based solution that are transforming the financing and accounting industry.
This is done via automating, centralizing and streamlining financial close operations, intercompany accounting processes and other processes for large and midsize organizations. It is designed to complement financial systems like SAP, Oracle and NetSuite.
Investing in real estate is different than it used to be when your grandfather did it. It’s even different than when your father did it.
BiggerPockets is helping to spur that change by altering the way the world invests. Founded in 2004, the company provides education, networking and various other tools for any individual interested in real estate investing. Currently, BiggerPockets boasts the largest real estate investing community.
Would you drive a car without insurance? Of course you wouldn’t. How about run a business without the protection of an insurance policy? If you’re like nearly half of the small businesses surveyed by Next Insurance earlier this year, the answer is yes.
Do you have high interest credit card debt you’d like to consolidate? Do you want to make a few home improvements to increase your home’s value? Are you starting a business, planning a wedding, or having a baby? A personal loan can provide the cash you need to make any dream a reality, and Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending platform, can make applying for and obtaining that loan easy.
There is no question that renewable energy projects can have benefits for the environment, your physical health and your financial health. Imagine paying less on your electric bill because you use solar power. Imagine saving money because your car runs on electricity and not gas.
There’s no doubt that when it comes to protecting your money against economic and market downturns, cash is king. However, making sure you’re earning the most interest possible while protecting your cash accounts, can be more challenging, especially in a low interest rate environment. That’s where MaxMyInterest (Max) comes in.
There are ways to become financially free, even with all of life’s challenges. The secret is a relentless focus on growing your wealth, according to Todd Tresidder, creator of FinancialMentor.com
Tresidder is a self-made millionaire who shares his tips and tricks with anyone who wants to listen. He’s coached and mentored hundreds of people, and believes that anyone can become financially independent if they do their homework.
Mintos is not your traditional peer-to-peer lending platform. It is a leading global online marketplace for loans. RewardExpert spoke with CEO and co-founder, Martins Sulte, about the uniqueness of Mintos and how the company has grown.
If you’re tired of earning less than 1 percent interest on money languishing in your savings accounts but desire an alternative to the usual stocks and mutual funds, you may want to consider investing in commercial real estate. According to RealtyMogul, an online real estate investing marketplace, real estate has outperformed the stock market nearly two to one for 15 years—even in robust bull markets like the one we enjoy today.
According to American Century Investments’ annual National Plan Participant Study, 90 percent of U.S. employees feel at least some regret about saving for their future. Among the 1,500 full-time workers surveyed for the study, more than half feel that not saving enough is one of the greatest mistakes of their lives.