Monday, March 16, 2009

Yodlee Free Personal Finance Solutions

Online personal finances, or personal money management tools, gain increasing popularity among users all over the World. In my previous publications, Online Money Management with Free Secure Financial Tools and Personal Finances Management? Take it Easy and Have Fun with Moneytrackin’!, I have already addressed several possibilities to get yourself financial adviser and personal banker for free at the convenience of your home. In this post, I will present one more service offering, which can be considered to be at the same quality level of provided free services, as already presented sites.

Yodlee Personal Finance uses patented aggregation technology to deliver a complete financial picture to consumers. By capturing all assets and liabilities, Yodlee provides more than a just an accurate net worth statement. It quickly becomes an essential part of consumers’ financial lives.

Instead of logging into separate sites for checking, savings, credit card, brokerage, 401-k and mortgage accounts, consumers log onto your online banking site for up-to-date financial information. Tracking, budgeting and spending categorization are simple and intuitive. And consumers can view financial data from many different angles, including:

  • Account Overview
  • Dashboard
  • Net Worth Statement
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Rewards Manager
  • Bill Reminders
  • Home Equity Chart
  • Graphical Financial Calendar
  • Spending Analysis views
So, the basic idea behind Yodlee is aggregation. The average American has 12 financial accounts of various types, according to CEO Anil Arora, and there are thousands of different services on offer, from banks to stock accounts. Yodlee got its start in 1999 as an aggregator of all the information from those different account types.

The Personal Financial Management Suite helps users understand where and how their money is distributed. However, it’s also used a growing majority of the country’s largest banks. Most banks were very slow to add any online functionality beyond showing account balances and a list of transactions. That’s what provided an opening for personal finance sites to start up - consumers obviously want to see all the information from their various accounts in one place, arrayed in ways that are understandable.

The following institutions use Yodlee as part of their sites functional modules:
  • Bank of America MyPortfolio
  • Fidelity Full View
  • HSBC Easy View
    While the amount and depth of the available options, offered by Yodlee, is one of the best (if not the best) among the competitors, the front end is not very attractive and eye catching.
Here are some tips if you decide to give Yodlee a try:
  1. Define some sub-categories. Yodlee is actually allows to define as many categories as you want.
  2. Go to the options page and make your default homepage the "Dashboard" It is what gives you the quick look into your current status.
  3. Import as many accounts as you can think of. You can also import many of the services providers you pay bills to. It is handy to see not just when you spend money but also where it is all going.
  4. Also on the options page notice you can organize your dashboard a little - By default the right column is MUCH taller than the left so shift things around a bit so you get a good balance.
  5. After you have imported a bunch of accounts define a custom account group that contains just your primary accounts (checking, savings and that’s it). Then setup the transactions module on the dashboard to just show that group. It makes it much easier to focus on your actual cash flow at a glance while still letting you run deep and complex reports
Yodlee company headquarters are located in the Silicon Valley - Redwood City, CA - and has offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and India.


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