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All of these products will save you money, make you much more productive, or help you build wealth.
Money And Investing Resources
Following are resources you can use to upgrade how you money skills, improve your investing, and dramatically accelerate your path to financial independence.
Simply put, Personal Capital is the best free financial planning software you can find on planet earth. The software provides visual representations of your asset allocations, investment performance, and even tracks overall portfolio income. Read my detailed review of Personal Capital here and sign up for the free service here.
The Six Steps I Used To Retire At 42
This report outlines the six steps I used to reach financial independence by 42 (actually a little earlier, but I wanted to be conservative in my time estimates). You won't be able to duplicate every single one of these. The report is meant more to inspire to use your own creative thinking to accelerate your path to financial freedom.
The Five Key Books
Following are the Five Key Books I suggest you read to get yourself moving quickly towards financial independence. Read them, and never be the same.
- Your Money or Your Life
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street
- The Millionaire Next Door
- The Overspent American
- Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
These can be read in any order. Just start with the one that interests you most.
Vanguard was the pioneer of index investing and remains the leader in my book. The firm is owned by the shareholders (people like you and me who invest there); so there is less of a conflict of interest when you invest with Vanguard. It's extremely important to only put your money with highly ethical firms. I believe Vanguard is among the most ethical financial institutions on the planet. Also, the costs of investing in index funds with Vanguard are among the lowest in the industry.
If you use a credit card for most of your purchases, you can track all your expenses automatically through Mint.com. Mint will categorize your spending for your automatically. Mint also does a great job updating real time your total net worth by linking in all your investment and savings accounts. I don't recommend using Mint to analyze your investments. The software is just way too kludgy. Also, when you are first getting a handle on your finances, I suggest you physically write down every expense for several months in a notebook and manually total the figures monthly. Tracking your financial flows by hand will drive home on a deep level exactly where your money is going. You can then eventually graduate to using Mint.
Compound Interest Calculator
Use this calculator to calculate compound interest estimates. There is nothing special about this particular link and calculator. You can find tons of these with a quick google search.
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Other Resources To Save You Money Or Make You More Productive
Republic Wireless Is An Insane Deal. Here's Why:
Try out Republic. You'll find out why I love this company and their service.
If you do any writing for work, whether in a corporate context, as a freelancer, or as a student, I highly recommend the writing software Grammarly.
Grammarly analyzes your writing and makes sure you aren't making any bone-headed mistakes. I use Grammarly every day -- even for important emails to make sure I'm not accidentally including any truly embarrassing typos or grammar mistakes.
You can try GRAMMARLY for free. I think you will find it quite helpful.
If you ever work on your computer in cafes or on other public wifi networks, you need a virtual private network (VPN) provider. For less than $100 per year, you can take your laptop anywhere and do whatever work you need to--banking, your taxes, whatever--so long as you are signed into your VPN.
I shopped around for VPNs several years ago and settled on Strong VPN.
Strong VPN has treated me well, and will do the same for you.
Have you ever used a password manager? If not, you don't know what you are missing. Seriously.
Password managers help you keep track of all your online passwords in one place. They automatically log you into a website, and they let you know if your passwords are not strong or are duplicated on more than one site. They also help you login on cell phones--no more hunting and pecking as you try to type in your password on a small screen.
My life before Dashlane:
- Several times a week I am trying to log into a website and totally forget the password. I'm hoping for the best and get locked out after three attempts. Then, the cumbersome process of recovering my password begins.
- I keep all my passwords fairly simple to try to remember them, and I use the same passwords for multiple sites.
My life after Dashlane:
- I go to a website, and--boom--I'm automatically logged in.
- I have a unique, super-strong password for each site that I use. (This is huge from a security point of view.)
- I no longer avoid logging into sites on my cell phone because I dread logging in and trying to peck in the password on my phone.
I shopped around and tried more than one password manager provider before settling on Dashlane. I picked Dashlane over its main competitors because the software is quite user-friendly. Some of the other password managers user interface is really hard to deal with. They just aren't intuitive. Also, with over three million users, I trust that Dashlane is less likely to compromise my passwords. Hugely important. So That's why I picked these guys--they are just easier to use and I trust them.
Give Dashlane a try. You won't regret it.