• Alex Mizerski

SmartAsset Review

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Have you heard of SmartAsset? I certainly hadn't when I started researching personal finance tools. Eventually, that research led me to SmartAsset, they have great advertising so it didn't take long. If you are looking for a financial advisor then this is a great site for you, click here to go straight to their site where you can quickly sign up. If you aren't looking for a financial advisor I suggest you reconsider after reading my SmartAsset review.


One other awesome benefit of SmartAsset is the calculators and financial tools. If you don't want or need an advisor then take advantage of their tools and general finance related information.


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What is SmartAsset?

SmartAsset Home Page
SmartAsset Home Page

SmartAsset is a financial software site that helps you make well-informed decisions about your personal finances. It has a variety of self-serve and pay-to-play tools that will help guide your financial path. It's basically what this website aspires to in terms of educating folks about personal finance.


The founder of SmartAsset, Michael Carvin, got the idea after he went through the home buying experience. He built his own financial model that outlined the long term impact of home buying to help him find the appropriate price range. After that experience, Carvin decided that he wanted to build a site and additional tools to help regular folks like you and me. What's more, at the time his idea was so revolutionary that he received funding from Y-Combinator, an extremely prestigious seed funding company, to help him develop SmartAsset and build out the site.


They are also a bit of a publishing house. When you go directly to their home page there are three pillars they highlight, tools, calculators, and content created by personal finance experts.


The most powerful tools that SmartAsset has built are calculators based on Automated Financial Modeling, a patent-pending technology they are bringing to average consumers like you and me. These tools and calculators truly empower all of us to make the best possible personal finance decisions in all the categories they have built out.


I have personally used SmartAsset to learn about and read reviews of software I've planned to write about or use myself.


Why use SmartAsset?

Many people in 2020 found themselves reviewing their retirement portfolios and their personal finances in general. Early in the year, it was out of fear that their retirement years were going to be pushed back as the market was crashing. Or, trying to determine if they had enough emergency savings to get them through the crisis


Later in the year, as the market began to rebound, it was to ensure they shifted their portfolio to account for the dramatic changes the world had experienced. New businesses were emerging as powerhouses and growth engines (think Amazon and tech). While others were struggling (think brick and mortar retail).


I know that my financial advisor was calling me in April and May to get together for a portfolio review. At that time I was thankful that I moved my 401(k) from being self-managed to having an active financial advisor who could walk me through the best ways to navigate these market fluctuations.


All of these are reasons you should consider SmartAsset. They have a robust set of tools, financial advisors, and calculators that can help you create a healthy path forward for your finances. One of the better benefits of SmartAsset is their calculators are free to use. Their tools and financial advisors will cost you money, but in the end, having a professional guide for your finances is a smart choice.


Why have a financial advisor from SmartAsset

SmartAsset will first evaluate your financial situation based on the information you provide their step by step setup tool.


SmartAsset Tools

Home Buying


SmartAsset Mortgage Calculator
SmartAsset Mortgage Calculator

Buying a home is a huge deal and can have a significant financial impact over a large portion of your life. So having software and an advisor in your corner when making that decision can be very very helpful. That is why this particular tool from SmartAsset really hits home and lands at the top of my list when writing about their tool suite.


SmartAsset's home buying tool can help you decide if a 15, 20, or 30 year mortgage is best. Which lender will have the lowest rate and fees associated with closing. Then they can help you tie all that information together to make a well informed financial decision when buying a home. All-in-all this is a super valuable tool that should be used unless you have another tool to help you buy a home.


Paycheck Calculator

SmartAsset Paycheck Calculator
SmartAsset Paycheck Calculator

Knowing how much money will be on your paycheck can be a very powerful thing. It can help you create a budget , create an emergency fund, build out your 50/30/20 plan, or just have peace of mind that your paycheck will cover your bills. Utilizing the SmartAsset paycheck calculator can help you accomplish any or all of the things above and more. I'll say it again, knowing that your paycheck will cover your bills can help create calm and peace of mind within a household and that is a beautiful thing!



Banking

SmartAsset Savings Calculator
SmartAsset Savings Calculator

This is a comparison tool that will help you find the best bank to store your money. Different banks offer all different types of interest, have a wide range of fees, and won't offer all of the tools you might need to be the most financially fit you can be.


To help you wade through all that information just use the SmartAsset banking tool. They can help you compare and even make recommendations on which banks might be right for your current and future financial needs.


Taxes

SmartAsset Tax Return Calculator
SmartAsset Tax Return Calculator

Everyone can use a good tax man. Taxes are tricky and ever-changing so having a team on your side to help you navigate these waters is really useful. One of the worst parts about taxes is if you get something wrong you might have to pay the government money out of your own pocket. You might even have to pay more money than you should because your tax options weren't considered thoroughly enough.


SmartAsset's tax tool can ensure you make savvy tax moves with your money throughout your life to maximize your earnings and returns.


Investing

SmartAsset Investment Calculator
SmartAsset Investment Calculator

Making certain you get the best possible return on your money is key to ending up where you belong at retirement.


SmartAsset has guides to educate and give advice based on your particular needs and interests. They can also compare brokerage accounts for you.


Retirement

SmartAsset 401k Calculator
SmartAsset 401k Calculator

Planning for retirement takes a lot of forethought, deep knowledge of financial tools, and attention to detail. It's a good thing that SmartAsset is set up to do all of those things well.


They have tools and guides to help you evaluate your current savings, social security, and the like. SmartAsset also provides reviews of most robo advising tools on the market just in case you are looking for an investing alternative.


Credit Cards

SmartAsset Credit Card Calculator
SmartAsset Credit Card Calculator

In the market for a new credit card? Here are a few things to consider if you are. SmartAsset offers even more detail about credit card offers that would be available to you. They can help you determine which points system is best, which card will have the best, rate, along with a wide variety of other decision making points you will need to consider when selecting the right card for you.


Life Insurance

SmartAsset Life Insurance Calculator
SmartAsset Life Insurance Calculator

Within their Life Insurance section, they have calculators to help you determine how much life insurance you might need. They partner with a variety of insurance companies so you can compare quotes. They also have a life insurance guide that helps you make a well-informed decision about your life insurance needs. It really is a great place for anyone wanting to understand more about life insurance and those in the market.


Refinancing

SmartAsset Refinance Calculator
SmartAsset Refinance Calculator

Refinancing can have a huge impact on your financial health. SmartAsset provides a refinancing calculator to show you what you could save if you get a lower rate. Similar to the life insurance section, SmartAsset has partners they work with to offer great rates. Then finally, they offer guides to help you learn more about the refinancing process.


Personal Loans

SmartAsset Personal Loan Calculator
SmartAsset Personal Loan Calculator

Personal loans can be a powerful tool, or they can offer a way out of a tough situation. Utilizing the guides that SmartAsset offers can help you take advantage of a personal loan to help solidify your financial health. If you need a personal loan because of a challenging financial situation, the more you know the better decision you can make to assure a healthy recovery of your personal finances after the loan is repaid.


Student Loans

SmartAsset Student Loan Calculator
SmartAsset Student Loan Calculator

Student loans can be an enormous burden. Or they can be a great mechanism for helping young, recent graduates, to build their credit. SmartAsset provides calculators, rate comparison tools, and guides to inform you on all aspects of student loans.


SmartAsset Cost Structure

One of the best things about SmartAsset is a majority of what they have to offer is free to use. They make money when you sign up for an advisor. They also have a variety of partners within each of their categories of specialization that pay them as an affiliate. Meaning, if you sign up for a service that is highlighted on their site, then they get a bit of money as a result.


I advise that you utilize SmartAsset for its amazing calculators, resources, and educational tools. If you are dead set on finding a financial advisor then SmartAsset is a great site for connecting you with a qualified and certified financial planner based on a few questions you answer.


Pros

  • Free to use most tools

  • Calculators for nearly all personal financial needs

  • A simple step by step process helps you get the right financial advisor for you

  • 65 million users per month mean they know what they are doing and will continue to expand offerings

  • Banks and Credit Cards compete to get in front of you on the SmartAsset website meaning you get great deals/rates

Cons

  • They miss the boat on estate planning, but that could be an area they expand to in the future

  • Financial advisory fees could be prohibitive to some


Summary

SmartAsset is a great resource for information related to your finances and that information is free. It is also a quick and easy way to find the right financial advisor for you. Always interview at least a few advisors, unless you already know one/have one, and ensure they are a fiduciary.


Good luck and protect your assets!



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