By Scott Brown
As I write this article on April 18, 2022, which happens to be both Easter Monday and Tax Day, I’m reminded how much we have to be grateful for and yet at the same time how busy and complex our lives seem to be. I can envision many of us enjoying the holiday weekend with family and friends while at the same time scurrying to finish filing our taxes at the last minute.
With that visual in mind, I thought we could discuss the potential benefits of “cleaning up” or consolidating many of your personal finance accounts and services. One way to accomplish this is to use an account aggregator (AA). AA’s are regulated entities that help individuals securely and digitally access and share information from one financial institution where they have an account with another regulated financial institution on the AA’s network. This would include bank accounts, loan information, credit cards, investment accounts, 401(k) accounts, etc., all consolidated in a single platform to provide a holistic perspective on personal finances.
Some things to consider when choosing an AA would include breadth of data and connections (how many institutions they have on their AA platform), ease of use (do they have an app and is it user friendly for you to enter your pertinent account information), data cleanliness and accuracy (how quickly and how often will the AA refresh your balances, transaction history, etc.). Many of these services allow you to pull up your net worth and cash flow statements simply by signing on to the AA’s website or app.
Other ways to “clean up” or consolidate the management of your personal finances include limiting the number of credit cards you have, banks you use, investment companies and/or financial advisors you work with. Keep in mind, there are many reputable financial institutions that offer one-stop shopping for those services and many more. In fact, as your wealth grows, you may receive real financial benefits by consolidating your finances with one or just a few reputable companies.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly okay to have relationships with multiple finance institutions. With that said, be sure to introduce all your centers of influence to include but not be limited to: your attorneys, accountants, wealth management advisors, etc. so that they have a strong working relationship and work as a team to look out for your best interest.
Always remember, the less time you spend managing all aspects of your personal finances the more time you’ll have to Enjoy the Ride!
The opinions expressed here reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of the report and are subject to change without notice. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Additional information is available upon request.
All investing involves some degree of risk, whether it is associated with market volatility, purchasing power or a specific security, including the possible loss of principal. Stocks offer long-term growth potential but may fluctuate more and provide less current income than other investments.