Robo Bank

The employees are underpaid. The services are slow. Sales are pushed.  It’s never a pleasant experience.

Yes, I am talking about banks and the typical financial services experience that consumers have had for decades.

The times have passed where people would flock to banks to take care of all of their financial needs.

Banks are truly a dying breed.

Many people, especially millennials, prefer to take advantage of online platforms.

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Millennials don’t like to be pestered with useless add on services and pay extra fees for things they don’t need. We also strive to have the fastest technology, something most traditional banks don’t offer.

So what online platforms are worth more than a shot?

Banking

Ally Bank

I have written about Ally Bank in the past as they are a great online banking system offering almost all of the services as a traditional bank. The fees are minimal to none on their services and they offer some of the most competitive interest rates on savings accounts.

Want to talk to a human? They offer 24/7 customer service.

Simple

Simple does not offer all of the services as a traditional bank, but it does offer checking accounts along with budgeting and saving tools.

Simple is an innovative company based out of Portland, OR offering some of the best technology I have seen. They are definitely worth checking out.

Investing

Robinhood

“Dear Robinhood team and creators,

I recently joined your movement and became a Robinhood user thanks to the mention of my good friend Pervez Soomar and I just have to say thank you.

I am currently with XXXXXXXX private banking and my family uses them as our financial advisors. You speak of avoiding $10 trades but it costs me a whopping $100 per trade through my current financial advisors with XXXXXXX.”

This was a note that was sent to Robinhood by a friend. In it’s short run so far, Robinhood is changing the investing world by offering $0 stock trades with the absolute best technology available on the market.

The company wants to encourage people of all ages to invest without having to worry about being suckered for fees. Not to mention, they are backed by some of the world’s strongest investors along with Jared Leto and Nas.

Wealthfront

Wealthfront is another investment platform that is making a lot of noise in the marketplace. This Silicon Valley based startup builds and manages a diversified investment portfolio while charging .25% for the first $10,000 you invest.

After you give them some basic info about you and your current financials, they will build you a personalized plan.

Budgeting and Saving

Mint

Though Mint was one of the first great saving/budgeting platforms, it has still remained one of my favorites. It allows you to link all of your accounts (checking, savings, student loans etc) and track your spending while making sure that you are staying current with paying your bills on time.

It is an excellent tool for people to stay on top of their financial game.

Insurance

Oscar

Backed by some big name firms like Goldman Sachs and Google Ventures, Oscar is an online marketplace for health insurance. Oscar users typically don’t have health care through work and don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

They have easy-to use technology and provide several tools to find the best plan for you.

Lending

Lending Club

Lending club is one the biggest online marketplaces to get a loan.

While offering business and personal loans, Lending Club has made a name for themselves in the online financing world. They pride themselves in offering some of the most competitive interest rates through their fast and efficient online process.

These are just some of the awesome companies that are making noise in online financial services. It is always best to do your own research and find a platform that works best for you.

 

No Fitbit, No Problem

Even though I do some sort of exercise five to six days/week, I am no fitness expert, but I do know a thing or two.

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One of the biggest trends the last couple of years has been wearable technology. These devices started off as fitness trackers like the fitbit, and led into things like the Apple watch.

Before I go further, I would like to say that I am a big fan of fitbit. It is a great company that I admire.

Unfortunately, people have started to think that they NEED a fitbit to be “healthy” and “fit.”

If you think you need to buy a fitbit before you start your journey to living a healthy lifestyle, either fitbit’s marketing team is doing a great job or you are being lazy.

I think it is a mix of both.

Fitbit can be a great tool to have if you use it correctly and can afford to pay the hefty price tag.

But again, it is just a tool. It does not magically make you fit. It does not yell at you and tell you to go workout. It does not prep your meals. It does not get you off the couch. It does not snatch that donut from your hand. It does not make you wake up earlier, or drink more water, or do anything else that you should be doing.

It does do a few things like track your steps and look cool on your wrist (I think they look slick).

The point of all of this is that you don’t need much to be fit.

So what do you need?

First, you need to respect your body and mind enough to WANT to be healthy. If you want to accomplish big things, you need be prepared for war at all times. Not literally, but you know what I mean.

Most successful people exercise regularly.

Jessica Alba has her 5:15am yoga classes.

The Rock is already doing cardio at 4:45am.

Boone Pickens is working out with his trainer by 6:30am.

You get the point.

There is a reason these people have enough stamina throughout the long days and nights of closing business deals and accomplishing massive things.

Second, you need improve your diet. Key word is improve.

There is no need to go on a juice cleanse or a hardcore 21 day diet to start. Those don’t work. You need to have a lifestyle change.

If you are currently eating three bad meals a day, cut it down to one. After a couple of weeks, make it only once a week. This will help keep your life enjoyable while also making strides that are easily accomplishable.

You can use the $150 that you saved from not buying a fitbit, to buy one months worth of groceries consisting primarily of veggies, fruits, lean meats, eggs, cookies, and wine.

The cookies and wine are to treat yourself.

After you have gotten your new diet figured out, figure out what sort of exercise you will do and where you will do it.

DON’T go buy an expensive gym membership until you have figured out what sorts of exercise you want to do and what location would be the most convenient.

Every gym has some sort of trial period. Take advantage of those before committing.

If you enjoy the outdoors, skip the gym and go on a run to the park. The local park can also be a great place to do pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups.

That’s all you need right?

Lastly, develop a routine. If you know that you won’t go exercise in the evenings since you like to watch the Bachelor or enjoy cooking dinner, wake up an hour earlier and get it out of the way.

Don’t be fooled into buying things that you don’t need. Just start.