This is a list of services I personally recommend to build wealth, save money, and increase your performance and efficiency.
I hate clutter, and don’t like using a lot of apps or having a lot of memberships or accounts. So, I only focus on what I consider the best and highest-impact products and services that are simple but powerful.
Personal Capital is a useful tool for keeping track of multiple financial accounts to get a holistic picture of your net worth and various financial exposures.
The tool provides a complete picture of your financial situation:
Most of us have multiple accounts, like one or more bank accounts, a 401(k) or TSP, a Roth IRA, a taxable brokerage account, etc.
And it’s a hassle to keep track of our overall positions across multiple portfolios. Your 401(k) might have domestic stocks, foreign stocks, bonds, emerging markets, etc. And then your IRA has a different set of investments with a lot of overlap. Are you sure you know how much percentage of your wealth you have in each?
This tool shows you your overall portfolio weighting across all accounts, like how much money you have in each type of investment you own.
It also includes:
- A graph of your net worth over time, to see where you stand.
- A detailed breakdown of where all your expenses go each month.
- A fee-scanner, to find hidden fees you might not be aware you’re paying.
- A retirement planner, that helps you figure out if you’re on track.
And it uses bank-level encryption for maximum safety.
You can access the free tool here.
Simple Investing with M1 Finance
M1 Finance is in my opinion the best platform to invest on for most people, and I personally have an account there.
It’s completely free, with no annual fee or commission fees. You can build your own custom portfolio, and re-balance it with the press of a button, or set it so that whenever you add new money it automatically re-balances to your targets.
Unlike most robo-advisors that only let you invest in a small number of ETFs, M1 Finance lets you invest in a broad range of ETFs and individual stocks.
They offer pre-built portfolios from experts that you can invest in, or you can make one for yourself. You can keep it simple with a small number of index funds, or you can add specific companies you want to own to your portfolio.
For more advanced users, they also offer some of the lowest margin rates in the industry.
If you want to do more advantaged strategies like options trading or buying stocks directly on foreign exchanges, there are more complete brokerages that offer more opportunities in exchange for higher fees. These are the two I use and have been very happy with:
Fidelity Investments: An excellent one-stop-shop for index funds, as well as individual stocks and options. My Roth IRA is at Fidelity.
Charles Schwab: Another great brokerage, especially for individual stocks and options. I particularly love the free research you get, including Morningstar analysis. My largest account is at Schwab.
Interactive Brokers: The go-to broker for more advanced investors, especially those wishing to invest directly on foreign-exchanges. I have another taxable account at IB.
Not all brokers are the same. In addition to providing premium research (typically worth hundreds of dollars per year if purchased from the source directly), some of them have better order execution than others, and can get you better prices on your stocks or options, which usually more than makes up for their commissions. The top ones, like Schwab and Fidelity and IB,also let you convert currencies and invest directly on foreign exchanges.
My primary offering here on LynAlden.com is the premium membership research service that covers global macro updates and individual stock ideas every two weeks. It has a low cost and is ideal for long-term fundamental investors in a variety of asset classes. Whether you’re a retail investor or an institutional investor, there’s value for you in that service.
If you’re an active investor that is looking to combine fundamental investing with technical/sentiment analysis, I also contribute to the Stock Waves research service. We have multiple analysts including myself that look for stocks where the fundamentals and the technicals align for a high-probability outcome. This is at a higher price-point, and includes my premium content along with these other technical charts.
Rebel Capitalist Pro
If you want live Q&A and a premium forum, check out Rebel Capitalist Pro. It’s also at a higher price-point, but includes my premium content with George Gammon’s forum and some additional access for live questions.
Other Peoples’ Research
There are some specialist publications that focus on a market niche that I have a lot of respect for and have interacted with personally:
- Dividend Growth Investor: A low-cost streamlined newsletter with hand-picked dividend growth investments. One of the most affordable “growth at a reasonable price” newsletters on the market, with a great track record and zero hype.
- Undervalued Shares: A very low-cost service that provides research on value stocks with a European/international focus. It’s so cheap that I’m not sure why an investor wouldn’t have it, and Swen’s research is very detailed.
- Independent Speculator: A premium service catering to high net worth investors that want to invest in natural resource companies, including some of the smaller ones that require specialized research. The track record is great, and contrary to many researchers in this space, the author is very calm and measured with his expectations and analysis.
I often get questions about where to buy bitcoin and how to hold it.
First, I recommend checking out my article library on Bitcoin.
Second, there are some good books on the subject, such as The Bitcoin Standard, The Bullish Case for Bitcoin, Learn Bitcoin, or Inventing Bitcoin. If you want to get into deeper technical details, check out Mastering Bitcoin.
There are plenty of easy places to buy it, including the major exchanges.
My personal method of buying is through Swan Bitcoin, and I even became an independent board director for the company. They emphasize dollar-cost averaging over time, rather than trading, and they keep fees super low because their business model is very focused rather than spread around. You can also do one-time purchases.
Many exchanges are fine, but they make most of their revenue from folks actively trading bitcoin, as well as from trading various altcoins that investors often lose money on. Swan Bitcoin is not an exchange, doesn’t include altcoins, and instead is a bitcoin accumulation platform, optimized for savers rather than traders. And unlike a lot of exchanges, you can actually get in contact with a member of Swan Bitcoin’s support team if you have a problem.
In addition to Swan Bitcoin, I also have high regard for River Financial and Okcoin.
It’s fine to hold a small amount of bitcoin on exchanges, but if your stack starts to grow, it’s a good idea to take self-custody of it, or at least some of it.
If you have a few thousand dollars worth of bitcoin, check out software wallets, which are apps you can download on your phone. My favorite is Muun Wallet, but there are plenty of good ones. The advantage of Muun is that it integrates both Bitcoin and the secondary Lightning layer, and is self-custodial. Any software wallet does take a learning curve; you’ll want to make sure you back it up properly and understand how it works.
If you hold five figures of bitcoin or more, it is ideally held in personal cold storage on a hardware wallet, which gives you complete control and avoids counterparty risk. However, you should read up and understand how to do it properly, including backing up a seed phrase, to ensure you don’t lose your coins by mistake via device failure or other issues.
For hardware wallets, Trezor T and Cold Card are good ones, depending on your level of technical interest. Trezor T is a good all-purpose one, while Cold Card is more advanced.
For very large allocations, you may want to consider a multi-signature solution like Casa as well. I’ve spoken at length with the CEO about the product and you can use “ALDEN” as a discount code to get 5% off. I don’t get any fee for that recommendation.
Casa helps folks hold their bitcoin securely while eliminating single points of failure (such as the risk of losing a hardware wallet or getting hacked on an exchange). They have options for people holding anywhere from a small amount of bitcoin to very large allocations. Their product uses multisig, so multiple keys protect your bitcoin, eliminating risk of loss from simple mistakes. Casa is well known for helping high net worth individuals secure their bitcoin. As an alternative, you can also check out Unchained Capital.
It’s also fine to use a trusted custodian, if you prefer not to take on the technical responsibility of managing your own private keys. It’s okay to learn and move slowly as needed. The last thing you want to do is rush towards a solution and mess things up.
I have an article on my favorite investing books, which you can check out here.
My #1 recommendation is The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks, a billionaire bond investor. The book is wise, concise, and broadly applicable to all asset classes.
If you’re interested in analyzing individual stocks, I recommend StockDelver, my digital download for analyzing companies.
I don’t run random ads on this site. You can check out all my affiliate disclosures here.