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Featured Advisor

Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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Financial Planning Tools for the iPad

Few comprehensive offerings for financial planning, more educational

After a somewhat extensive search for financial planning tools for the iPad, Spectrem Group determined that the available apps are still somewhat meager. It is surprising that so few companies have taken the time to develop a true financial planning and aggregation app for the iPad. Granted, only a few viable and competitive alternatives exist for mobile phones, but the lack of choice available for the iPad is embarrassing. That being said, we may have missed an app. If we did, that app is poorly marketed because we spent several hours exploring all of the various search engines and other tools available on the internet.

Clearly the leading financial planning and aggregation tool available for the iPad is offered by mint.com. It is available through the iTunes stores but you must request it . It is not under the Featured Apps when you type in "Financial Planning Apps". Mint was acquired by Intuit and replaced its QuickBooks tools for personal finances. It is clearly the leader in this field offering multiple charts to track your net worth and net income. It produces graphs showing your monthly expenditures. The set up is the hardest part requiring you to know all of the passwords for all of your financial accounts and entering them onto the site.

According to Spectrem Group research, 75% of households with $100,000 to $1,000,000 of net worth would like to aggregate all of their financial information at one place. 71% of Millionaires feel similarly. Mint offers this capability. It receives a 5 star rating but some users do report glitches, especially it seems, with banking information.

The other tools that pop to the top in the iTunes online store search include Wealth Manager, promoted by Prosperity Services, which has no ratings. The others that appear are primarily educational tools rather than aggregation and planning tools.

Of course, many of the primary providers offer aggregation tools linked to their sites. This includes Merrill Lynch, TD Ameritrade, E*Trade and others. Of course, you must have an account to use these tools.

Another alternative is Bloomberg. This site, however, is linked to investments and doesn't include the expenditure side of the equation.

It would make sense to predict that many of these tools will be available in the future, but mint.com has a strong lead in the market. Many former competitors, such as Wesabe, were forced to retreat from the market or were acquired by financial providers and incorporated into their own system.

Regardless of the future success of various companies in this marketplace, the ability for consumers to track their income and expenditures and be forced to  budget is increasingly important as the overall population continues to age.