Deciding what to do with your retirement payout when it comes is difficult for most retirees.
Thinking about which financial advisor to trust with that function can be intimidating—nobody likes the thought of losing their life savings to an ill-considered investment. In short, financial literacy is a widespread and growing problem.
Well, the smart people at SmartAsset thought it was about time someone did something about this. In this review, we lift the lid on how their product accomplishes that aim.
Table of Contents
What Is SmartAsset?
SmartAsset is a financial technology company with personalized financial modeling software.
It helps people make informed decisions about their finances. The company’s website is a treasure trove of tools and guides to help you decide what to do with your money.
Besides that, SmartAsset uses its software to link users with financial advisors, in their area or online, to help them with specific needs.
How Does SmartAsset Work?
It is straightforward. You have an issue of a financial nature that confuses you. After typing a question into Google, you land on their site through one of their many financial guides.
Perhaps you want actual figures on:
- The total monthly payment breakdown on your mortgage,
- The federal taxes you owe, or
- The amount of money you must save every month if you want to be comfortable in your retirement.
We are talking about the sort of personal financial information regular folks don’t always have at their disposal.
So directly, or through their guides or their smartreads, you will land on one of their calculators.
All you do is fill in your personal information and location, and the calculators will tell you precisely what you can afford, what you owe, or what you must save now to have your goal amount saved upon your retirement.
As you will see below, SmartAsset helps users with a lot more than just mortgage and tax calculations.
Features of SmartAsset
The SmartAsset suite of calculators and guides is offered under different branches of personal finance. Below we break these down and expand on how they deliver on the platform’s core promise.
Financial Advisor Search
Smart Asset has a great platform for finding a financial planner in your area. Not only do they vet all the financial planners in their network, but they also take you through a short questionnaire to match you with an advisor that meets your needs.
The process is quick, the questions are easy, and the results are instant. You don’t even have to get bombarded by phone calls because the information for each advisor in your area is displayed on the screen.
If you are looking for a financial planner, but aren’t sure where to start or who to trust, the SmartAsset financial advisor service will jump-start your search.
SmartAsset has several tools to help prospective homeowners make the right decisions.
From which house you can afford on your current income, to the mortgage you will pay on the property, and the costs for closing the lease, to even whether you should buy a home or should instead be considering renting.
So, all the tools you need to qualify your choices and options when buying property are right there at your fingertips. You don’t have to do anything beyond filling in the fields on your income and where you intend to buy a property.
There are comprehensive guides on purchasing a home on the website. Comparisons on the different mortgage rates currently obtainable in the market are included, and there are reviews for the leading mortgage providers.
Nobody likes to attract the scrutiny of tax authorities, because tax evasion penalties can be ruinous. So, come tax season, the average person wants to make sure they are up to date with their tax obligations.
However, taxes are just too complicated for regular folks like you and me. So, the SmartAsset calculators on the different taxes we must pay are a great help. The calculators on the platform include income tax, property tax, tax returns, paycheck, and retirement tax, calculators.
There is also an in-depth tax guide, as well as reviews of tax software like TurboTax, Credit Karma Tax, and TaxSlayer. There is even a guide on how to fill out your W-4.
Are you planning your retirement? It is always best to get that sorted early. SmartAsset has the tools to help you validate the many options you may be considering—one of which could be what Robo-Advisors to use.
A selection of the retirement calculators SmartAsset provides under ‘Retirement’ includes social security, 401(k), and retirement calculators. There are also guides on retirement planning, financial advisor selection, and estate planning.
Planning for your retirement is a good thing to do. So is making sure your current financial matters are in order, and for that, you need the right bank.
If you are a little green as to how the different banking accounts operate, it may help to first read through the checking and savings guide provided.
When you are familiar with how the various accounts are structured and what they offer, you may use the bank reviews provided to help you decide which bank is the right fit for you.
Here there are no calculators, just reviews and comparisons of the different credit card options. The best travel cards, the best balance transfer cards, the best cashback credit cards, the best rewards credit cards, and a few others are compared here.
If you are new to credit cards and would prefer to read up on them first, SmartAsset has got you covered with guides on rewards credit cards, balance transfer credit cards, and credit cards in general.
When investing your hard-earned money, you want to make sure you are making the right choices. You want up-to-date information on where to invest your money.
Should you go with Mutual or Index funds? Does the stock market perhaps offer better returns? How about bonds?
SmartAsset has guides that give you more qualified advice and answers to the above questions. The website also compares brokerage accounts and has different calculators for investment returns, capital gains tax, asset allocation, and inflation.
What happens to your loved ones after you are gone? Will they be comfortable?
SmartAsset covers those worries somewhat with a calculator that shows you how much life insurance you need. It also advises on life insurance providers and benefits, as well as guiding you on how to go about buying life insurance.
Think you can get better terms for your current loan under a new credit facility? SmartAsset has a refinance calculator and guide.
It also has a tool to compare the different rates, so you can decide if this is the right option for you.
Some emergencies cannot be covered with your savings and current income, so you may have no option but to take out a personal loan.
You may still have questions on whether you can afford the loan repayments, however. There is a SmartAsset calculator to help you with this, as well as helpful guides and rate comparisons.
A good education will open many doors in your future and set you up for financial prosperity and professional fulfillment. But a college education is expensive, which explains the huge student debt albatross hanging America’s neck.
SmartAsset has a student loan calculator and other resources to guide your choice of provider. If your current loan obligations are draining the life out of your finances, the platform provides useful information on the different student loan refinancing options available to you.
SmartAsset Feature Overview
|Financial Advisor Search
|Find Vetted Local Advisors Quickly
|Instant, Hassle-Free Advisor Search
|Tools for Homebuyers: Affordability, Mortgage, and Rent vs. Buy Calculators
|Simplify Home Buying Decisions
|Calculate Income, Property, Tax Returns, and Access In-Depth Tax Guides
|Simplify Taxes, Maximize Returns
|Plan Retirement with Social Security, 401(k), and Retirement Calculators
|Secure Your Financial Future
|Evaluate Savings, Checking, and CD Accounts with Calculators and Guides
|Choose the Right Bank Confidently
|Compare Travel, Balance Transfer, Cashback, and Rewards Cards
|Find the Best Credit Card for You
|Get Advice on Mutual Funds, Stocks, Bonds, and Compare Brokerage Accounts
|Optimize Your Investments
|Calculate Insurance Needs, Explore Providers, and Access Buying Guides
|Secure Your Family’s Future
|Improve Loan Terms With Refinance Calculator and Rate Comparisons
|Save Money by Refinancing Loans
|Access Loan Calculator, Guides, and Compare Loan Rates
|Make Informed Loan Decisions
|Manage Student Loans, Explore Refinancing Options, and Access Resources
|Tackle Student Debt Wisely
For users of its software – people looking for help with their financial decisions, SmartAsset is free.
So, you might ask:
How Does SmartAsset Make Money?
The SmartAsset website isn’t crawling with all manner of ads. You get the feeling the last thing they want is for people using their calculators to be distracted by pop-ups and display ads.
So, if they are not charging the users for using their tools, they have got to be monetizing all that traffic somehow. They have two main ways of converting traffic to revenue.
In any article that contains advertising SmartAsset clearly states they are compensated. This compensation does not affect the recommendations made and, in most cases, you are given a list of several advertisers where you can choose the right one for you.
This means SmartAsset is pointing you to top-level companies without making a single recommendation about which one to choose.
As a part of their placement tool with financial advisors, SmartAsset receives compensation for the leads they send out. As we mentioned before, these CFPs are all carefully vetted to meet SmartAsset’s standards.
This arrangement works for everyone if you look at it. Users get connected with qualified providers who are better placed to help with advice SmartAsset’s automated tools can’t provide.
Financial advisors, in turn, who host expensive seminars and buy free meals for people who may never convert as customers, receive warm leads with high chances of conversion.
SmartAsset for its part can make an income without charging the very same users they depend on for the leads they sell. That’s how they keep their tools free to use.
Should You Use SmartAsset?
Other than your time, using SmartAsset does not place any financing cost or obligation on users of its automated calculators. Also, there is a ton of resources on personal finance matters of any kind. We don’t see why you shouldn’t at least give the platform a try.
There are murmurs of disgruntlement from a few current and former employees of the company anonymously posted on the employer review site, Glassdoor. The reviews, though, are mostly positive.
It’s a growing startup, after all, so a bit of disorder and growing pains are to be expected.
After trying the different calculators, we can testify that the software works without glitches. The platform gets our recommendation.
The Bottom Line – SmartAsset Review
In a financial world fraught with complexity, SmartAsset emerges as a beacon of clarity, offering a range of personalized financial modeling tools to assist individuals in navigating their monetary futures.
Whether it’s deciphering taxes, planning for retirement, evaluating investment options, or determining life insurance needs, SmartAsset equips users with easy-to-use calculators and guides.
The company also serves as a bridge, connecting users to vetted financial advisors, and ensuring personalized expertise where automation falls short.
While SmartAsset’s monetization strategies raise questions for some, its dedication to providing free, user-focused services shines through.
As with any growing enterprise, challenges persist, but SmartAsset stands firm as a valuable ally in financial decision-making.
How We Review Banking or Financial Institutions
Good Financial Cents undertakes a comprehensive review of banking and financial institutions, analyzing service offerings, customer satisfaction, and financial stability.
Our intention is to provide readers with a balanced overview, aiding them in their financial journey. We consistently emphasize editorial transparency.
We source data from these institutions, reviewing account offerings and other key services. This data, when combined with our in-depth research, forms the foundation of our evaluation. Institutions are subsequently rated on a range of criteria, resulting in a star rating from one to five.
Product Name: SmartAsset
Product Description: SmartAsset is a fintech company that offers personalized financial modeling tools to assist individuals with their financial planning. With an array of calculators and guides, it addresses diverse areas like taxes, investments, and retirement. Moreover, the platform connects users with vetted financial advisors tailored to their specific needs.
Going beyond the simple offerings of many fintech platforms, SmartAsset provides comprehensive financial solutions, from tax calculators to mortgage and retirement planning tools. The user-friendly interface ensures individuals, regardless of their financial acumen, can make informed decisions. Another standout feature is the company’s commitment to connecting users with local or online financial advisors, matching them based on a questionnaire that captures their specific needs. This dual approach of automated tools and human expertise creates a holistic financial planning ecosystem.
Cost and Fees
- Wide Range of Tools: Comprehensive suite of calculators addressing diverse financial queries, from taxes to investments.
- Advisor Connect: Unique feature that matches users with vetted financial advisors, offering a personal touch to financial planning.
- User-friendly Interface: Intuitive design ensures ease of use for individuals of all financial backgrounds.
- Transparent Monetization: Clear disclosure on how they make money, ensuring unbiased advice for users.
- Growing Pains: As a growing startup, there might be occasional system glitches or inconsistencies.
- Employee Feedback: Some anonymous reviews on Glassdoor indicate potential internal company issues.
- Not Comprehensive: While it offers a wide range of tools, it may not cover every nuanced financial need of all users.
- Dependence on External Advisors: While SmartAsset vets its advisors, the quality of advice can vary based on the individual advisor’s expertise.