Here at Angry Retail Banker, my goal is to offer a little bit more than “An Insider’s Take On Retail Banking”. I want to give you the tools necessary to keep your finances healthy and growing. Whether it’s banking, lending, or investing, I hope the following tools help you achieve your financial goals, whatever they may be.
Keep in mind that many of the resources provided here are affiliate links. That means that if you click on them and buy the product/sign up for the service/whatever, I get a commission at no cost to you. These commissions are more than just money in my pocket. They help me keep this blog alive, both financially and in terms of motivation. They also are proof that I am providing you guys something more than a quick bit of cheap entertainment. A rant about a nasty customer is one thing; a commission from an affiliate link is proof that I helped someone get a low rate on a mortgage or refinance a student loan.
Everything you see on here is either something that I use personally or something that I’ve researched heavily. The trust of my readers is a very valuable commodity that I don’t intend to squander. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. So I only will talk about products, services, or financial solutions that I feel comfortable with. If it’s not something I would pay for (or already have), then it is not going to be on this page. Simple as that.
CIT Bank is an online-only bank that was actually founded way back in 1908 (no, it wasn’t an online bank back then). This FDIC insured financial institution offers interest rates well above the national average. Having no branches, they keep their costs low and pass the savings on to you in the form of rates that meet and surpass 1.00%, extremely high for a regular savings account. With no monthly maintenance fees and low minimum balances to open, you have no reason not to keep your emergency money in their Premier High Yield Savings Account.
CompuChecks should be your go-to company for ordering checks. They offer a wide array of personal and business checks at prices much lower than your bank does. These checks are compatible with QuickBooks, Quicken, and other software, and come with all the same security features found on checks ordered from the bank. You’re not sacrificing any quality, you’re just spending less. I’ve used them for ordering checks for my business and I can attest that their quality is top notch.
LendingTree is the place where banks compete and you win. Founded in 1996 by an accountant, LendingTree is your resource to find the best rates on mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards, and auto loans. This free service allows you to compare lenders and apply online through a single convenient portal, making it easier to get the best rate on your loan.
LendKey is a great resource for the millions of Americans whose student loan payments are getting out of hand. Similar to LendingTree above, they allow you to compare–and refinance with–many different lenders via a single online portal. But LendKey goes further, matching you only with local community banks and credit unions who put people before profit, and fully servicing the loan for as long as it’s still outstanding. With LendKey, it’s not just an application; it’s a relationship.
Check Into Cash Inc, together with its subsidiary LoanByPhone, provides various financial services such as check cashing and short term no-credit check loans. Since 1993, the company has endeavored to extend financial services to unbanked and underbanked customers for whom a traditional banking relationship is impossible. Check Into Cash follows the best practices laid out by the Community Financial Services Association of America.
Ally Invest is a discount online broker that allows you to trade all sorts of investments–from stocks to bonds to options–for a low price. This means less money in fees and more towards investing. Offering low cost investing or automated investing, quality investment research tools, and even fee reimbursement promotions, Ally Invest is a necessary one stop shop for anyone who wants their money to work harder for them.
PolicyGenius was started with one goal in mind: to make the process of purchasing life insurance easier. An independent insurance broker, they work with you directly to get you the best deals on any type of insurance you can imagine. Life, health, disability, and even long term care insurance are some of the insurance types that PolicyGenius will work with you to obtain. Plus, they also have tons of great insurance advice as well as comparison tools to help you determine what type and how much insurance is best for you.
iPage is a web host that has been providing high quality web services at a low cost since 1998. For as little as $1.99 per month, you can be set up on their servers and creating a blog or website using their WordPress builder in no time. They have Google Adwords credit, domain privacy, and excellent customer service. I know because I’ve made use of it many times. Angry Retail Banker is hosted with iPage.
Shareasale is a powerful online affiliate resource that you can’t afford to ignore if you want to be successful online. Merchants are looking for ways to promote their products without hiring overpriced advertising agencies, and website owners (such as myself) are looking for ways to make passive income. Shareasale brings the two together. If you have an online product that you’ve created and want to sell or a business that you are looking to advertise, Shareasale can match you up with scores of website owners looking to promote your product in exchange for a small percentage of each sale. Their success is your success. And website owners can find a near endless list of merchants waiting to share their success. In the world of online business, Shareasale lets us all succeed together.
Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro might be one of the most valuable resources at your disposal if you are trying to get your website noticed in Google. It’s a keyword research tool that’s a must-have for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). By inputting a single keyword, not only will the research tool spit out hundreds of profitable long tail keywords, but the Platinum version will determine how difficult it is for a quality blog post to rank for that keyword. While the price can be a little off-putting at first, you can easily make it worth the money if you know how to write quality articles. I’ve used it for my blog; the articles written from the keywords generated by Long Tail Pro remain some of my most read articles to date.
DJ Whiteside is a personal finance blogger and author who wrote the series of ebooks you see above. This series talks about maximizing tax advantaged accounts in order to avoid taxes, methods of earning passive income, early retirement strategies, and practically everything in between. It’s all presented in very easy-to-understand language, differentiating it from the scores of complex investment tutorial books out there. I highly recommend Whiteside’s ebook series, as well as his blog, My Money Design, which helped inspire the creation of Angry Retail Banker. I reviewed his first book here.
The Dividend Mantra Way
The Dividend Mantra Way is more than just a book about investing. It is the personal story of Jason Fieber, who went from broke and worth less than a baby at age 27 to financially free at age 33. He talks about blowing an inheritance in two years, the decision to turn his life around, the extreme measures to minimize his spending to the bone, and how changing your perception of happiness and fulfillment can help alter your lifestyle and break free of the 9-5. I reviewed his book here.
The 4-Hour Workweek
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss is an often-controversial self-help book that talks about how to automate your entire life so that you have the maximum amount of free time to follow your passions rather than follow the herd and live a life around work meetings and strangers you don’t care about. You must approach this book with the understanding that not everything in it is for everybody, but there is something for everybody here. Whether you’re an employee looking to work from home or a busy executive looking to cut out the worthless and mundane tasks, it would be difficult to read this book from cover to cover and not find any value in it. For me, I was fascinated by the Pareto Principle, the concept of “firing” your customer, and starting an automated business.