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Do any of you use a financial aggregator?

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  • Do any of you use a financial aggregator?

    I've been playing the points and miles game for a few years, and with most of my bills now being paid via multiple credit cards I'm finding it increasingly difficult to track my spending.  I'm thinking about signing up with Mint.com in order to better track my spending patterns, as it could pull all the data into a single source, but am nervous about using a third-party aggregator to link all my various accounts together (especially my checking account, as Wells Fargo's website also gives access to my retirement accounts).  Do any of you use a tool like Mint, Personal Capital, YNAB, etc., and if so how do you like it?

    Because I write so few checks these days, one compromise I am considering is to use a tool like Mint.com to link up all my credit card statements, and just enter the deposits and checks/direct withdrawals from my checking account manually, so I could avoid linking my Wells Fargo account to the aggregator.  But I don't know how cumbersome manual entry of data is with these programs.

    Personal experiences and suggestions are welcome!

  • #2
    I found Personal Capital not quite good enough.  It would, for instance, double count brokerage windows in my 401k, fail to log in to certain bank accounts, and I found their portfolio analysis to be no better than M*.

    I've given up on tracking personal spending.  Like you I have too many accounts.  In the last year I've probably made ten credit card bonuses, 10-12 bank account bonuses, and my invested assets are spread around my 401k, HSA, Roth IRA, and four different custodians for taxable accounts.  The best "aggregator" I use is Vanguard, which still lets me modify everything in "outside investments" even though I moved all my accounts out last year.  Well, that and the bookmarks on my browser.
    I sometimes have trouble reading private messages on the forum. I can also be contacted at [email protected]

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    • #3
      I use all 3 to some extent(Mint, PC, YNAB)

      I started with Mint and found it lacking in the tracking investments and budgeting features. I like it to have access to all my spending in one spot, credit cards, bank accounts, etc. I just look at the transactions mostly to see things I have missed to input in ynab, errors, fraud.

      I signed up for Personal Capital to track my investments. It has nice graphs and looks pretty.  Has some nice calculators.  The cold call you once in a while, but I tell them 'no thanks I like to do it myself'.

      I use YNAB for budgeting.  You have to input things into it so it's not connected to you accounts.  But it is by far the best budgeting tool I have found.

       

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      • #4
        Yes, I use Personal Capital and love it.  It doesn't link all my accounts but I have 9 retirement accounts, 6 of which are linked automatically and 3 of which I manually entered the holdings.  Enter the holdings once and it will track fairly accurately.  It is nice because it updates with daily ETF/fund changes.  I also link my bank account and credit cards so can track spending.  It does take a leap of faith as you are basically giving them access to all of your financial data.  That will be a dealbreaker for most.

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        • #5
          Use Mint and PC. Both have some useful aspects and some terrible ones. PC was supposed to be great for investments but given it cant keep track of buying, selling, or having some cash in the account it turns out to be less useful. Drives me crazy that it counts a sale like you lost a ton of money, or lumps in a buy of some ETF to a random spending category. Some months Im like..."we spent 35,000 at Home Depot!?" I start to go a little crazy and then find out its just a purchase in the retirement account erroneously categorized. I dont have the time to fix all the errors anymore.

          The only thing I find it useful for is an overall snapshot of finances and accounts, and at tax time where I can download all transactions in certain categories to my tax spreadsheet. Even that is far more painful due to terrible UI than necessary.

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          • #6
            My bank's software/app let me link and monitor outside accounts. All my CCs, student loans, mortgage, investment accounts, checking, savings, 529...right there. Very easy. As for budgeting etc, it imports the spending category from the business ID # or whatever (same way CCs flag things as travel, dining, etc). I haven't felt a need for anything else.

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            • #7




              My bank’s software/app let me link and monitor outside accounts. All my CCs, student loans, mortgage, investment accounts, checking, savings, 529…right there. Very easy. As for budgeting etc, it imports the spending category from the business ID # or whatever (same way CCs flag things as travel, dining, etc). I haven’t felt a need for anything else.
              Click to expand...


              The bank keeps offering to do this as well, maybe I should try it out since if it worked you could dump these other aggregators altogether, and then no need for clunky performance metrics as mine are at same bank account with excellent performance tools.

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              • #8
                I used to use Mint but found it tedious assessing each purchase and placing it in the right category.

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                • #9
                  I use an excel spreadsheet which I update about once a month just to give me an idea of our net worth, annual interest payments, etc. for shits and giggles.

                  I really don't care to track every little purchase we make.  I guess we don't have a spending problem.  I'm not going to adjust how much gasoline we buy, groceries we buy, how much we go out to eat, diapers I buy, etc.  If I buy an expensive gift or something, I know I spent the money without having to have an app tell me I did.

                  That said, even making my little spreadsheet every month takes a few minutes of logging onto about 9 different websites, and I have to bust out my written list of usernames and passwords each time.  I suppose an aggregator site might be nice for that, but only if it could capture every single account.

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                  • #10
                    All my bank's app/site does is ask me for my login info for each institution and automatically queries once daily (can manually do it more often). It groups it into banking/CCs, mortgage/home value, investments, student loans, etc (also customizable). It gives each line item and the sum of each category.

                    If I want a quick net worth calculation, I can just add the four numbers it gives me (cash, house equity, investments, minus loans). That seems like all I really need for monitoring imo. Also gives me monthly credit score and report and a real-time watch list widget for my portfolio holdings. I'm pretty satisfied overall with the institution (other than their own investing arm, which I quit).

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                    • #11
                      What financial institution are you using, DMFA?  My Wells Fargo account has a basic budgeting tool, but since it doesn't actually pull account statements from other financial institutions, it can't do what I need it to do.  Telling me that 80% of my monthly spend is "credit card payments" isn't helpful.

                      I think I may sign up for Mint, synch the credit card accounts, and just manually enter the data from my Wells Fargo account (which I don't want to synch to Mint) every month, and see how it goes.  What do I have to lose?

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                      • #12
                        I think Bank of America has this option, which I have, and use Merrill Edge for investing, which I am almost absolutely satisfied with except for the blocking of certain ETFs which means I have to have a separate brokerage account.

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                        • #13
                          I use quicken desktop version largely for this exact reason. It has the best integration of investment options and pulling credit card transactions. I download around 15 credit cards into it. I track cost basis of old non covered securities. I do have an excel spreadsheet I export my quicken data into to compare my desired asset allocation across investment accounts to what I actually have, but quicken has an ok aggregator for investments. I can pull budgets, quickly note fraudulent transactions or missed credits ect.... I use the calendar function with scheduled transfers to track cash flow for paying all of my sapphire reserve, chase ink plus, spg, boa gas rewards and boa travel with platinum honors ect from a single BOA checking account. I even created an expense catagory called MS to track the manufactoring spending I do to meet minimum spends and with the chase ink plus. I also fear online storage and quicken is on my desktop with password protected files. I now have 8-10 years of data I could mine if I so desired.

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                          • #14




                            What financial institution are you using, DMFA?  My Wells Fargo account has a basic budgeting tool, but since it doesn’t actually pull account statements from other financial institutions, it can’t do what I need it to do.  Telling me that 80% of my monthly spend is “credit card payments” isn’t helpful.

                            I think I may sign up for Mint, synch the credit card accounts, and just manually enter the data from my Wells Fargo account (which I don’t want to synch to Mint) every month, and see how it goes.  What do I have to lose?
                            Click to expand...


                            I have USAA.  Works great imo.  I imagine others probably have similar options.  For me, the prompt is "Add a non-USAA account" and type in my login credentials for it.  They have a finite number of sites they can pull data from; my old student loan servicer wasn't on there, but my new one is.  They've got Chase, BoA, Paypal, Fido, Vanguard, Schwab...even the military-specific credit cards and retirement plan accounts.

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                            • #15


                              I have USAA.  Works great imo.  I imagine others probably have similar options.  For me, the prompt is “Add a non-USAA account” and type in my login credentials for it.  They have a finite number of sites they can pull data from; my old student loan servicer wasn’t on there, but my new one is.  They’ve got Chase, BoA, Paypal, Fido, Vanguard, Schwab…even the military-specific credit cards and retirement plan accounts.
                              Click to expand...


                              Hey, I use USAA for my auto and home insurance!  This may be a workable option for me!  I'll log in tonight and check it out.  Thanks for the info!

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