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Welcome to the first ever Steward Awards—where we crown the best of the best personal finance resources out there right now so you don’t have to spend hours scouring the internet. We’ve asked over 500 people what resources they use to learn about personal finance and after parsing through all of them, the results are in!
The categories are: Best Books, Best Blogs, Best Podcasts, Best Youtube Channels, Best Instagrams, Best Apps/Tools, Best Providers, and Best Websites. Let’s see who comes out on top!
*Disclaimer: We receive no compensation to suggest any of these resources! These are genuine recommendations from us and people like you who are just trying to navigate the world of personal finance.*
Are you also looking for recommendations for the best accountants/CPAs or estate planning attorneys out there? We’ve crowdsourced a comprehensive list for each here: accountant recommendations & estate planning attorney recommendations.
The Best Books
The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins: Started as a series of letters to his teenage daughter. Great for the time-strapped.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi: I know, I know…the title could have been workshopped a bit, but great content and an 80/20 approach to getting started.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki: A tale of growing up with two fathers—Robert’s own dad and his best friend’s mega-millionaire father—and the lessons he learned from the both of them.
"If You Can, How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly" by William Bernstein: Only ~15 pages! Does that even count as a book? This is for the “long article club vs. book club”/ TLDR-types among us.
The Best Blogs
Money with Katie: She’s been writing about personal finance for over 4 years and certainly has a knack for answering the personal finance questions everyone’s embarrassed to ask in an understandable, comprehensive way. People love her!
Mr. Money Mustache: What’s up with these weird names?! Kind of quirky, this culty blog will let you in on how you can achieve financial freedom “through badassity” (direct quote from their website…) and extensive blog posts.
Our Rich Journey: Personal finance from a family of four—how wholesome! The parents retired at 39 and have a lot to share, so check this out for a more family-oriented, easy-to-understand finance blog.
Jason Zweig: Wall Street Journal’s personal finance writer, well-researched/witty/fun-to-read.
White Coat Investor: Deep and broad range of articles with nitty-gritty “how-to” guides for DIY investors. While he focuses on doctors (that's the "white coat" part), a lot of his stuff applies regardless of your profession.
Financial Samurai: This guy had me at his chart on "Where the F@#$'s the money?" which he uses to explain a basic cash flow.
A Wealth of Common Sense: Simple explanations for complicated topics.
The Mortgage Professor: For all things home buying, and specifically all things mortgage-related, this blog is the one to read.
The Best Podcasts
I Will Teach You to Be Rich: The podcast version of Ramit Sethi’s book for those who prefer using their ears to using their eyes. It’s that good, it made it to the Steward Awards in not one, but two categories!
Clark Howard Podcast: Listen for advice on making financial decisions from a smart and honest guy who’s also super funny!
Afford Anything: Focused on the idea that you can “afford anything, but not everything”, this podcast is all about being intentional and making smart financial choices to improve your life.
The Best Youtube Channels
The Ramsey Show: Dave Ramsey offers straight-talk advice on money and personal wealth management on this show with over 2.4 million subscribers!
Earn Your Leisure: With over 800K+ subscribers on Youtube, this entertaining channel has a network of business people, financiers, and even celebrities chiming in. They might not be solely focused on personal finance, but when they do, it’s worth listening to. Committed to highlighting often undervalued/overlooked communities.
The Financial Diet: They put it best when they say that their Youtube channel “talks about personal finance in a way that doesn't make you want to curl up in a ball and cry.” Sign me up!
The Best Instagrams
@your.richbff: With entertaining videos and energetic posts, this account is fun and educational at the same time!
@herfirst100k: Oriented towards fighting the patriarchy and uplifting women, this account has developed a cult following.
@personalfinanceclub: To-the-point and graph-heavy, this IG account will give you daily money-saving and investing tips.
The Best Apps/Tools
We’ve broken these down further into categories that might fit your needs:
The Best Investing Accounts / Brokerages
Vanguard: The king of low-cost investing.
Fidelity: Very well-rounded investing/roboadvisor platform out there.
M1: A slightly more digitally updated version of providers like Vanguard and Fidelity; Only problem is that their software encourages active investing which we advise against for long-term performance.
*Note: We’re not big fans of Schwab because of the regulatory issues they’ve had where they were keeping too much in cash to increase their profit margin. Major thumbs down!
The Best Mutual Funds / ETFs
Vanguard: Again, the kind of low-cost funds overall. While known for their index funds, their mutual fund offerings are also some of the best out there.
Fidelity: Also a repeat winner. Well-rounded and low costs with even some zero-fee funds.
*Note: I'm sure there are some other good funds out there, but Steward hasn’t had a need for them, especially given our preference for low-cost index funds.
The Best Roboadvisor
Betterment: App for those who prefer simple and focused.
*Note: We’re less fans of Wealthfront due to their over exaggeration of tax impact and their recent acquisition by UBS leaving them in limbo.
The Best Budgeting App
You Need a Budget (YNAB): Detailed and comprehensive app with a cult following for your finance needs.
*Note: We’re less fans of Mint because it’s a bit ad-filled for our taste, but there’s no denying Mint’s popularity for its usability
The Best Banks
Ally Bank: A great bank for high-yield savings, strong rates, and good customer service.
Marcus: Offered by Goldman Sachs, this bank has some of the best CD rates and high-yield savings accounts.
The Best IRA / Roth IRA Providers
Vanguard: Third time’s the charm. Vanguard offers the best IRA and Roth IRA accounts out there.
The Best HSAs
Fidelity: Fidelity takes the crown again when it comes to HSAs, but you might not have the option to use them. See note below.
*Note: You might be stuck with whoever employer chooses for you, so it’s best to double check with them first.
The Best 529s
Your state if you get a state tax deduction or credit. If not: New York, Utah, or Nevada. Probably many others that are fine as well. Check out savingforcollege.com for their 529 rankings.
The Best Donor Advised Funds
Vanguard Charitable: Vanguard is the go-to for normal investing, and it also checks all the boxes for charitable giving through donor advised funds.
Fidelity Charitable: Similarly, Fidelity’s giving account offers well-rounded service and has everything you might need to set up a donor advised fund successfully.
The Best Credit Resource
Credit Karma: Good for keeping track of your credit score and credit card accounts.
The Best Rebalancing Spreadsheet
White Coat Investor’s Rebalancing Spreadsheet: This awesome resource from White Coat Investor not only provides you with a rebalancing spreadsheet to get you started, but also walks you through the entire process step-by-step.
The Best Tax Preparers
Steward's Accountant Recommendations: Check out our compilation of recommended CPAs and accountants broken down by state.
The Best Estate Attorneys
Steward's Estate Planning Attorney Recommendations: Also check out our compilation of recommended estate planning attorneys! There’s no Yelp for these types of things, so we decided to make our own for our clients.
The Best Student Loan Resource
Student Loan Planner: This website has loads of calculators, podcasts, and blog posts to get you sorted out on student loans.
The Best Hybrid Provider
Steward: Shameless plug, it’s us!. We are obviously a little biased here, but we truly believe that we are one of the best services out there. Steward ‘s mission is opening up the 1%’s wealth strategies to America’s up-and-coming families with a combination of 21st century tech and trusted advisors. We help families determine how, where, and when to invest and save in plain-English, with minimal time and effort. Give it a try here.
The Best Websites
NerdWallet: The go-to website for comparing different financial tools and products out there.
Clever Girl Finance: Targeted towards women, this website provides free comprehensive financial education courses to users.
The Motley Fool: This website provides investing insights and breaks down the basics when it comes to the stock market.
Bogleheads: Good investing advice that will steer you clear of scams and fads and refocus you on low-cost, long-term investing. Replace reddit / google searches with this blog! Bogle = the guy who started Vanguard, and he has such a cult-following that they started their own forum.
The Complete List:
The Simple Path to Wealth
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Rich Dad Poor Dad
If You Can, How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly
The Millionaire Next Door
Total Money Makeover
Broke Millennial Series
The Psychology of Money
The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
You Need a Budget
Think and Grow Rich
Get Good with Money
How I Invest My Money
Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too
Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond
Smart Couples Finish Rich
MONEY Master the Game
Money with Katie
Mr. Money Mustache
White Coat Investor
Our Rich Journey
The Mortgage Professor
White Coat Investor
A Wealth of Common Sense
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
The Financial Confessions
Money with Katie
Deeper Than Money
Girls Just Wanna Have Funds
The Rich Dad Radio Show
Money for the Rest of Us
Clark Howard Podcast
The Wealth Formula
Millennial Money Podcast
Recommended Youtube Channels
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
White Coat Investor’s Rebalancing Spreadsheet
Steward's Accountant Recommendations
Steward's Estate Planning Attorney Recommendations
Student Loan Planner
Clever Girl Finance
The Motley Fool
Bob Brinker's Markettimer
Cathie Wood / Ark Invest's Whitepapers
Personal Finance Club
Her First 100k
Personal Finance Reddit
The Points Guy