I can remember sitting next to a college friend of mine in a golf cart circa 2011 when we had a question on a golf ruling. Without hesitation, he pulled out his iPhone to look up the answer–which he found, of course, in a matter of seconds. At that time, even four years after the iPhone had been introduced, I was still holding onto the idea of using a “flip phone”…perhaps indefinitely. I complimented the resourcefulness of his smart device, and then he remarked in jest, “You should really think about getting one; chances are good they will be around for a while.”
Technology will continue to change and evolve and, with it, so will we. Whether or not we’re aware of all the ways it affects us, technology is most certainly at the epicenter of our financials lives. From the software used by financial institutions to the mobile banking apps we carry around on our phones, technology has enhanced the speed and efficiency at which we are able to access and distribute our financial information.
In this post, I want to highlight three technological tools for your financial life you might consider utilizing because “chances are good they will be around for a while.”
- Last Pass
How do you manage your list of usernames and passwords? Do you write them on a piece of paper? Or do you simply have the same username and password for all applications? Neither fit into the category of a prudent or secure method of storage, and more and more websites are requiring upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols…in different combinations. The challenge of staying secure while remembering all of your logins can be daunting.
Enter Last Pass, a fully encrypted password manager that helps you securely keep track of, manage, and access your unique usernames and passwords. It is available for download on almost any electronic device, and you simply enter your usernames and passwords for secure storage and personal viewing at any time. Yes, you do have to remember your Last Pass username and password, but that is a small mental price to pay!
Owned by Paypal, Venmo is a popular peer-to-peer payment app available on iOS and Android. Its most prevalent use is amongst millennials, allowing them to quickly and easily send money to friends and contacts with a couple taps—and avoid having to scrounge for cash.
There are potential times non-millennials could use Venmo:
- Babysitters are usually millennials. Last time I checked, ATMs only kick out $20 bills…and if I owe a sitter $30, I can promise they will not have $10 change. Instead of cash, I can make a specific payment amount via Venmo.
- Going out to lunch with friends and find it easier if one person “gets the bill”? No problem, just ‘Venmo’ (yes, it’s a verb) them what you owe for your lunch.
- Taking an Uber while on vacation with friends? The driver is not going to want to split that bill. No problem, have your friend cover it and ‘Venmo’ him your share.
Venmo is free and links directly to your preferred bank account. When you make a Venmo payment, it drafts that specific amount from your bank and sends it to the recipient. When you receive a Venmo payment, however, you do need to take the extra step to manually transfer it from Venmo to your bank.
- P&A Portal – The Account Aggregator and the Vault
Many of you already visit the P&A Portal for a more personalized and customizable view of the investment accounts we manage for you. There are two less-utilized features of the Portal that I want to bring to your attention: the Account Aggregator and the Vault.
Account Aggregator – If you are like the other 99% of affluent families or individuals, you have financial assets, or liabilities, at multiple institutions. The primary benefit of our account aggregator solution, powered by Yodlee, is that it will allow you to view a single dashboard that pulls in financial data from various institutions, including banks, credit cards, and other investment accounts.
We can provide access to this feature per your request. Better insight means better-informed decisions, both for you and for your advisor when offering advice.
Vault – The Vault is a secure hub for electronic storage and access of important financial documents. P&A will “post” a variety of important documents related to your investment assets (P&A Contract, Quarterly Statements, Privacy Policies, etc.), and you can also upload documents to the Vault yourself (Tax Returns, Life Insurance Policies, Wills and Estate Plans, etc.).
Taking the necessary 30 minutes to set up and be acquainted with P&A Portal Account Aggregator and Vault could save you hours, if not days, of searching for financial documents and information in the future.
P&A does not endorse the use of Last Pass or Venmo, and we are aware of many competitors in these areas. Please use at your own discretion. P&A also advises that you have security software placed on all devices that you use to access the internet.