Not an Affiliate Advertisement
Let me start out by saying that I am not getting compensated for this review or any interest in their website that follows this review; however, I am sharing this because I truly think Smart Asset is a valuable resource, and when I find things I like, I like to share them. Many of you know that I am a financial planner with my own company, and as a stand alone service provider, I do not have a number of in-house tools and resources that I utilize to provide analysis for clients, so I love when I find options out there that do the “heavy lifting” for me, so I can better serve my clients. Smart Asset is a site that I have added to my tools to help me assist my clients in reaching their financial goals and dreams.
What is Smart Asset?
Smart Asset was started when one of the founders was looking for an easy to use site to help him determine home buying decisions. His frustrations in his search for information, led him to create a site that could inform users contemplating financial decisions in an easy to use, and easy to understand format. What started out as a site predominantly focused on home buying decisions has now grown to include student loans, credit cards and insurance with more decisions to be added in the future.
Why do I like Smart Asset?
- It’s free – I love a site that not only provides amazing information for me, but then doesn’t charge me for it. The only area on the site where you would be asked for credit card information is in the credit monitoring service that they provide. However, it is not necessary for you to sign up for this service to utilize the site.
- Easy to Use – Despite the fact that I consider myself to be in the “smart blonde” category, I still love when I find resources that are easy to use an understand, especially when you are not “in the industry.” Personal finance decisions are complicated, and I hate when people are led to making poor choices because they didn’t understand all of the variables. Even if you do not know what you “need to know” to make an informed financial choice, Smart Asset knows for you and will ask you all of the relevant information in an “simplistic” process.
- It remembers me – At first I was weirded out by the “a little about you” section on the side, as the site kept asking me for more and more “personal” information. It felt a little like Big Brother, but then I realized that this information is stored to be utilized in other decisions. So if you start out using the site for a home buying decision, but then need to analyze student loan options for your child, it already has the pertinent information to help you make a decision and saves you time. The Smart Asset team has assured me that they only use your information for your personal decisions; however, you do not have to have your information stored in the system.
- Depth of analysis – In a few sections, I was surprised at some of the questions I was asked, and then I realized that it was because the analysis that I was provided took into account a number of different factors like tax benefits, family situation and state specific implications when assisting me.
- Awesome Graphs – In many of the sections, you are provided with a graphical analysis of your options, but these graphs are not just stagnant graphs, rather they illustrate your options throughout the continuum of your decision making scenarios.
What should you know about Smart Asset?
- Even though it is a free site, they do charge for a credit monitoring service, so you will definitely see a number of ads and links to get you to this offering.
- They do have financial advertisers; however, they present them in a way that is “best” for you the end user.
- The insurance category is new, so it is not fully developed, but they will be adding more to this down the road.
Here are some screen shots that illustrate what I love about the site.
Have you used SmartAsset? What are your thoughts? What financial decision would you like to see them help you analyze? Are there other sites that you would recommend other than this?