There is a (fairly) new service called Mint that aims to collect all of your financial information and then use the concept of crowdsourcing to tell you where money saving/making opportunities exist. Here is a short description of how it works:
- You sign up for a Mint account.
- You provide Mint with your bank account / credit card / investment account information.
- Mint imports all of your financial records automatically and starts providing you with analysis immediately.
- Mint uses your financial information (anonymously, of course) to compare to the financial information of other members of the site.
- Using this information they can determine that you can get a better deal on a mortgage/credit card/investment, etc.
That last part (number 5) is how Mint makes their money. They recommend products/services that you can take advantage of that are better than your current offerings.
All of this sounds great. In theory. Here's my beef:
I need to provide Mint with all of my financial information? Really? No offense to the fine folks at Mint....I am sure that they are all upstanding individuals and have only the BEST intentions in mind. They even have a page on their site dedicated to the safety of your data.
However, placing all of my financial information in the hands of a small, privately-funded startup company seems a bit risky. Maybe am I just being too old-fashioned about this.