Finally settling in from FinCon last week, and MAN what a whirlwind… Tons of great talks, food, scenery (was hosted in San Diego!), and most importantly of all – friends. It’s not every day you get to see bloggers in real life, and many of us took full advantage of it either in the halls or on the dance floors (but mainly on the dance floors ;)).
One of the highlights of the trip for me, though? Receiving this at our annual awards show:
(The one time a year I dress up ;))
Lifetime Achievement Award!! How cool/hilarious?? I joked with everyone that I was going to hangup the keyboard now (and REALLY wish I had brought one on stage and “dropped it” for full effect ;)), but needless to say it was a complete joy, and I couldn’t have been more honored. You never know what random projects will take off and make a difference to others, and this blog here just continues to surprise me with each passing year.
So THANK YOU, everyone! Thanks for all who voted, all who come back to the site every day and encourage me, and thanks to all you haters too! ;)
This means the world to me, and was just what I needed to pull the trigger on something I’ve been needing clarity on for quite some time… We’ll get to all that juiciness later, but first – thought I’d share a bunch of new financial technology companies on the scene that starred in our annual FinTech Competition! (Similar to Shark Tank, only cooler ;)).
The 12 Fintech Startups:
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to judge this year due to scheduling conflicts (l’d like to think I’m the Mark Cuban of the judges ;)), but I did spend some time talking to most of the founders after the event and checking out their sites.
Some were okay, and others super promising, but thought you’d enjoy hearing about them and coming to your own conclusions. You never know what the next Mint.com or Personal Capital will be (they were all startups!), so here’s your sneak peek at the next wave of financial technology…
In no particular order…
Tip Yourself (tipyourself.com) — An app that allows you to transfer small dollar amounts from your checking account to your secure Tip Jar. So you can reward yourself anytime, anywhere, whether it’s just $1.00 or a larger amount for something special. I really REALLY like what these guys are doing (so easy and uncomplicated!), and wouldn’t be surprised to see them take off a bit. Been following them throughout the year and know the founder pretty well. Give ’em a shot!
CashCrunch 101 (cashcrunchgames.com) — A (FREE) digital board game aimed to help teens learn about income, expenses, spending and saving in a more entertaining way. I haven’t played the game myself, but in my short meeting with the founder I can tell they really have heart and are in it “for the right reasons.” The game can be played online or off (and they have apps for both Apple and Androids), and I’m sure they’d LOVE feedback if you want to have any of your kids give it a try :)
Debitize (debitize.com) — If you’ve ever wanted to mix the benefits of both credit cards and debit cards, this is the tool for you :) Debitize monitors your credit cards for new activity, and then automatically initiates a transfer out of your checking account into your Debitize account whenever you make a charge. When your credit card bill comes due, Debitize pays it for you – automatically and on time – with the funds from your Debitize account. Pretty interesting! (And they received Runner Up)
iSow (isow.com) — iSow is a platform that lets young people save for important goals by “planting seeds” for their futures but also “dispersing seeds” to help others. You set up a profile, decide what you want to sow for, and then share your link with others to help fund it. Mainly for birthdays or holidays or any other special events (and great for parents so your kids don’t get any more “stuff”!). These guys were super sweet and not shockingly won “People’s Choice” award :)
Pocket Change USA (pocketchangeusa.org) — Another (free) financial app that uses gaming to improve your knowledge of how money works in the real world. They also have a kids-focused version similar to CashCrunch, but this one here is aimed at anyone. While I haven’t tested any of them out myself, I was convinced that its parent company – Transformance – is a pretty legit non-profit. And anyone trying to help the underserved is a well served friend of mine! (I think that made sense?)
Stock Trend Spotter (stocktrendspotter.com) — Stock Trend Spotter analyzes over 6,000 stocks on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges, and then issues Buy Signals every day for the top 3 stocks using its proprietary performance criteria. It also calculates conservative share positions and stop loss adjustments for each signaled stock as well. We had a friendly debate over index funds, but in the end were all laughing (and hugging) and I actually came away learning a lot more about the markets in general. Interesting founders, and interesting service!
ProActive Budget (proactivebudget.com) — ProActive is a cash envelope budgeting system, only digitized. It uses a prepaid card instead of actual envelopes, and instead of taking out the cash and buying something, you open up the app and tap the category instead, and then just swipe the card. If you forget to choose where the money’s coming from, it gets declined (forcing you to consciously choose similar to real envelopes). I got the gist of it eventually, but not gonna lie – it took me a while to figure it out. And the site does it no favors either.
iConsumer (iconsumer.com)– A coupon site that allows you to earn actual shares of its own company (iConsumer) as you use their coupons. The more you use them, the more shares you earn! Which in theory you can sell one day and become a kazillionaire ;) Unfortunately I missed the chance to talk with these guys because it def. sounds intriguing, but something tells me it won’t work exactly as well in practice… But hey – worst case you get a ton of coupons!
Envudu (envudu.com) — Another envelope budgeting app, only instead of using a prepaid card, it harnesses your (already owned) debit card. And the rep was much nicer than the other, for what its worth… How does it work? Instead of viewing your checking account through your bank’s site, you see it inside Envudu’s app. But instead of just one large chunk of money, you see your money broken down into the separate spending envelopes. Whenever you’re ready to spend money, you just open the app, choose the envelope, swipe your card and you’re done!
DIY.FUND (diy.fund) — DIY.FUND helps you “create and maintain a portfolio based on Modern Portfolio Theory (“MPT”), which is the framework for combining uncorrelated assets to generate the highest returns possible at a given level of risk.” I’m just copying/pasting that there as it’s all above my head :) I have seen the name pop up among some pretty popular bloggers though, so they def. seem to be doing something right. In a nutshell you set up your investment goals with them, monitor your portfolio, understand your risk, and then do it yourself. And they claim to give you the same tools as professionals on Wall St use – only for free.
Pluto (gopluto.io) — An app that helps you spend less and save more for the goals that actually matter. It’s currently not live yet, but it looks like it uses bite-sized “Spend Less” challenges in order to help you break your bad habits using your history (you connect your accounts to them), and then they automatically save the difference towards your goals. I didn’t get a chance to talk with these guys either, but I do like the personal challenge idea. Could be something?
And then lastly…
Kavout (kavout.com) — A (free) AI-driven investment platform that the judges awarded 1st place to, along with a $4,000 check. Kavout applies big data technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning to stock analysis to make finding, screening and analyzing investment opportunities efficient and intelligent. So if you like using technology to help pick your stocks, these are the guys to see. Though I must say my only interaction with them wasn’t really the greatest. Went to congratulate a rep and was pretty much brushed off, soo…. congrats?
Hope you found these interesting! I was going to keep my personal impressions of all the founders/representatives to myself, but figured it’s something to keep in mind since it’ll usually reflect one way or the other in their product (or customer service). For the better or the worse.
Anyways, if you plan on testing any of them out let me know! Or if you’re already even using one (you hipster, you). And if you’re gonna be around Dallas next year…
I’m so bummed to have missed the FinTech competition this year. I’ll be interested in checking out the companies that I haven’t heard of before.
The proactive budgeter seems amazing if you would use it. I’ll have to check out their free trial offer.
Lemme know how you end up liking it!
I had my ticket this year, but couldn’t make the trip. Congrats on the award! I saw some of the photos and noticed how well your were dressed. :)
I’ve never been to Texas, so hoping to make it back to FinCon17! I’ll have to check out CashCrunch 101 with the kids.
We missed you, man :)
Wow, it’s so cool to see all of the new services coming out in the FinTech space these past few years. Once my blog is generating a little cash, I need to get out to FinCon!!
Thanks for sharing!
Maybe you can rep a fintech company and get sponsored to go out for free :)
It was awesome to meet face to face finally! Thanks for coming over to the houseboat- it looked like you were having a good time haha. I talked to the Pluto people. They were incredibly nice. It sounds like their app is targeted towards the “just waking up to a spending issue” crowd. I’ll be keeping an eye on it once it’s out of Alpha stages. See you again next year in Dallas (if not sooner ☺️!)
Thanks for letting me finally be able to say that I crashed a houseboat party :)
Thanks for introducing all of these companies to us. Some of them look awesome. I’m thinking that Tip Yourself would make a very convenient way to incentivize the kids as an allowance for doing extra chores without me having to make sure to have small bill on me at all times. I love seeing the new FREE money technology that is being offered out there. I wish that all of these things were available when I was younger but at least my kids will have a nice foundation to gain from them.
YES!! Great idea actually!!
Check out http://famzoo.com/ too. They were in last year’s competition and won People’s Choice if I recall. Great founder (you’ve probably seen him online and in social sharing everyone’s articles) and great way to teach and manage kids’ money.
I tell everyone, but this is probably the most under rated product out there. I think every family should have this for their kids (college too)!
Thanks for sharing the fin tech startups. I’m especially interested in the cash crunch app, always good to have a fun tool to teach kids about. Im actually suprised we haven’t seen more like debit i.e. As alternate payment methods seems to be the hot thing in the finance world.
Congrats on the award, well deserved! The computer drop would have been pretty hilarious.
I like the idea of Cash Crunch 101, always like seeing new ways to help teach kids money lessons. The more the better since some kids will respond to certain things more than others.
I also like the big data companies you listed, which will help take the emotion out of stock picking. I’d like to see their historical performance demonstrated to prove out their strategies before I jump in though.
Thanks for the list, J$.
I’m pretty sure they have all those performance numbers and stats showcased all over their sites :) Of course compared to the best periods where they look good, haha…
Congrats on your award. Very much deserved! I’m hoping to make it to FinCon in 2017 to see what the fuss is all about :) Here’s to another year of blogging!
I’m a hipster?! Best Friday ever! Just kidding. I’ve been using TipYoursrlf since last year. It’s been awesome for saving purposefully. I’ve filled my Tip Jar twice! This is such a great list of companies to root for. I follow most of them on Twitter already and will get to following the rest today! Thanks for the insight.
Heck yeah!! #TipYourself #YouEarnedit
@ Penny – I’ve heard you were their super fan :)
Congrats on the award! It seems like a lot of fun was had by all! Maybe next year for us. Although Mr. Mt isn’t a huge fan of Texas weather. One work conference there in August seems to have colored his perception. =)
One douse of FinCon and he’ll never care where in the world it is, nor about attending any other conferences in the future either :)
Glad to see another round of Fintech companies, continue the disruption!
Will see ya next year! Already registered!
Congrats on the award! That’s a really cool honor. I’m planning on flying out to Dallas for my first FinCon next year! Everyone’s write-ups have made me super jealous that I missed out this year but also really excited for next year.
Met the DIY folks last year and they’re very nice peeps.
See you in Dallas! Bought my ticket while in my seat after PT’s announcement. A little eager am I? And David’s got his too! :) Sooooo excited for next year and I’m still idea-hungover from this one!!! Now, back to writing I go.
Haha yeah – I don’t think you fully recover until it’s time to do it all over again :)
Very surprised David got his so early though! He doesn’t strike me as a conference lover, so we must have really wowed his pants off haha… We’ll need to have a session on how to run a successful non-financial blog too with people like him showcased!
Meeting with him next week to “debrief”. Can’t wait to hear more about what he thought.
Very cool idea about that “other category” session. No matter what we talk about, it’s about connecting with other people. My friend and roommate at FinCon, who is a fitness/lifestyle blogger, also found FinCon offered valuable info and intends to attend again next year. It’s the people that make the difference I tells ya.
Amen to that.
So glad we got to meet! You’re even more rad in person. :-) And you totally deserve that Plutus, so I’m glad you won! I was talking to the Envudu rep and am pretty eager to use it once it launches on USAA… It could help us non-budgeters actually live on a budget in retirement! Xoxo
SO FUN MEETING YOU IN REAL LIFE TOO!!
I love knowing the faces and personalities of the writers behind the screens… Even more so the anonymous ones as it feels like you know a secret :)
So thanks for unveiling yourself!
Huge congrats on the award–it’s well-deserved. Very cool to hear about these start-ups, too. I love the idea of the digital “cash” envelope system. And iSow sounds like a cool tool to help out that “future self.” I’m looking forward to the news you’re alluding to, as well.
Thank you for the shout out! Super fun times at Fincon this year. Congrats again on the Plutus Award! #MicDrop
Cheers to the exciting future ahead. Thanks for all the support!
Yeah dude! Pleasure meeting in person after all this time :) We’ll be connecting real soon once I get my vision up and running!
Wow, there is really some awesome talent there, man! I didn’t make it to this year’s FinCon, but I’ve already bought my ticket for next year in Dallas!!! So looking forward to getting out there and meeting so many people and seeing more ideas like these!
That Tip Yourself App looks awesome! My wife and I use personal blow money to satisfy our personal spending fights. She gets to buy her stuff and I get to save up and buy my tech! This would be a cool way to incentivize each other to work harder at saving more in other areas of our budget!
Also, congrats on winning your trophy! I know you’ve done a lot to inspire me with your work! You deserve it man!
Thanks man :) And KILLER idea w/ the “blow money” too. We also used to have that and it was nice not having to justify anything (or even tell the other person what we’re buying!). Over time we stopped really buying much of anything “extra” so we’ve slowly merged everything, but if i catch us getting feisty at any time it’s back to the blow accounts we go :)
congrats on the lifetime achievement award! You deserved it!
The dance floors and hall way talks at FinCon were awesome. Unfortunately my voice is STILL recovering. But it was great chatting with you a bit,. I look forward to another great year of budgets are sexy content, and then I will see you in Dallas. Got the early bird price!
You’ll be hearing from me much sooner than that on my philanthropy idea ;)
Thanks for the list! I read through your descriptions and plan to check out Debitize right now! I love the rewards of credit cards but I have to admit, I spend more money with plastic than cash… this will likely help!
That’s the idea! They could be a sleeper company too and totally take the industry by storm… Always takes a while for people to get used to something so different, but I’m really surprised it hadn’t been done before? (Or it has but failed?).
You’ll have to let us know what you think once you give it a shot :)
Debitize sounds cool if you lack discipline, which limits their market to only 99% of people alive. Also, I hope during your acceptance speech you ended it with “Stay Classy San Diego” ( i.e. Ron Burgundy).
Haha…. yes AND yes!
Congrats on the award J Money!
I definitely feel like I missed out on Fincon. Thankfully I’m from Dallas and have family there, so looks like I’m flying home next year!
I so appreciate that you highlighted some of the new-to-market or soon-to-market prospects. I wouldn’t otherwise have known about them. This is helpful for folks who didn’t go to FinCon. We will be checking some of these out soon.
Congrats on the award. You deserve it. All the hard work you put into your projects shows.
Really appreciate that :) Glad you’re enjoying the blog!
Thanks for sharing these new fintech apps J. Money! It’s from you that I first learned about apps like Digit and Paribus. That Pluto app looks particularly interesting to me.
Very cool! And you’re probably now a millionaire because of it, right? :)
Trying to be! :)
Yay! Congrats on the award… and thank you for putting your .02 on the folks that brushed you off! Shame on them…. Your information is always use full and is full of humor as well..
:-) :-) Happy Friday!!
Hey J Money, Kudos to you and a deserving winner of your lifetime achievement award. keep up the fantastic work and really good meeting you too.
Met a lot of fantastic people at FinCon. Great to put faces to blogs and names. To sum up FinCon, I would say it was fun, inspiring and validating of my work.
Thanks for the shout out about CashCrunchGames.com – Just to let you know that we have a physical board game on its way too, which will be available at the end of October – details on the website – (shamless plug – couldn’t help myself).
Looking forward to Dallas and i look forward to reading and supporting your new idea.
Haha, awesome man. Here’s to surpassing Monopoly!
Already registered for next year! See you in Dallas!!!!
Congrats on the award!! Well deserved, you do a lot for the community, so thank you and definitely soak it all in. Sounds like FinCon was a sick time this year, may have to block off the calendar for next year’s trip.
The TipYourself app sounds like a great idea/name/easy concept. I think the name should catch on to individuals trying to save and to automate the process. We have plenty of apps that do it, but something about the branding for that one – appears it could take off. Thanks for sharing these J, talk soon.
PS – gear up for your big 9/30 net worth, portfolio, etc.. updates. I love quarter ends haha.
Thanks man :) I hope you do come out next year!
Just wanted to toot Debitize’s horn big time. I’ve been on the path of budgeting and paying down my CC balances for about a year now, and started using Debitize at the start of the summer.
ITS LIFE CHANGING.
I struggle with budgeting a little bit, bc I am the type that looks at my checking account and thinks that’s how much money I have to spend (I know its not the best mindset, its just how I am wired)! Enter cash/debit only diet, which was great, but I am neurotic about protecting my identity and missed out on that from a credit card. Enter debitize!!!
Now I am SO much better about staying in my lanes. I check daily to make sure my debitze account is fully funded, and I NEVER worry about paying my balance, they take care of it for me!
I’m happy to report I will be CC debt free on New Year’s Eve, and I give debitize so much credit for that! :)
In addition to just managing your daily CC use, they have the “Debt Destroyer” which can also help with paying down balances. And as if that all isn’t so awesome, their customer support is the best and Liran the co-founder was SO HELPFUL when I first started using it and was micro-managing too much. Now I just let it ride and it’s brought me so much peace of mind and a feeling of control (yet its all automated….. amazing!!!!!).
Sorry for the rant, I just feel like everyone needs to know how amazing it is!!!
AWESOME!! I love real life accounts of products, especially when they turn so positive! Congrats on giving them a shot and kicking ass!
Kavout was the top pick? Really? After dozens and dozens of studies (and countless posts from PI bloggers) showing a low cost index fund can’t be consistently outperformed by picking individual stocks, they chose a company that picks stocks to be their winner? Even assuming an outsized faith in AI, they think this start up can create a better AI than investment firms, venture capital firms, and hundreds of other very well-funded companies? I have no faith in the FinCon judges…
Haha, right? They must have slayed it in the pitch round or something…
For some reason, I keep seeing and hearing about Tip Yourself and CashCrunch constantly during the conference. Maybe it’s just a coincidence or something but they had some good word of mouth going during the conference.
It was great meeting you! You called me Rebel with…jolly ranchers, haha.
Hahaha… I have my moments :)
Congrats on winning the lifetime achievement award. I guess it’s all downhill from there…
I’m definitely going to make it to the conference in Dallas next year. Hopefully with a fin tech startup of my own
That would doubly cool!
So many new fin tech toys to choose from. (JK, I like to wait until the bugs are clearly worked out)
Thanks for doing this one, Jay; it reminded me of the companies. I thought that Kavout.com is really interesting and have been ‘playing around’ with them.
Congrats on the award, but I’m not sure you’re old enough to qualify.
I can’t say I’m terribly excited about any of these startups. It will be interesting to see how the stock picking apps perform. If they prove themselves reliable, I will be very impressed.
I’m only old in blogging years :)
Nice round up. I’ll have to attend a Fincon one year and combine it with a Us holiday! Although don’t really fancy Dallas, no offence to any Texans out there! :)
I found it interesting to read about your personal impressions of the reps. Just goes to show you should be nice to everyone! Admittedly hard when you must meet about 500 people at these things but still…
Would love to see you out at one of our conferences!! And I want to come out to one of y’alls Euro meet-ups as well. So much better hanging in person than in pixels :)