Mint.com the leading online personal finance service, today announced the release of its breakthrough investment tracking and analysis software.
This software, a new feature added to the company's award-winning, free service, delivers a comprehensive and objective view of each Mint.com user's full net worth. The complete financial picture enables better financial decisions with the distinct ease-of-use for which Mint.com is known. With this launch, the company is announcing that the Mint.com service is now out of beta and signed up its 500,000th user this week.
"The current market turmoil makes it even more critical for people to have both a clear view of their full financial position, and the tools to make the best decisions possible," said Aaron Patzer, CEO and founder of Mint.com. "We launched a private beta of our investment software five months ago, and have been testing and improving it since, using feedback from our users."
Consistent with Mint.com's mission to help people do more with their money, the software design started with discovering the investors' most important, unmet needs. "Mint users, on average, hold three investment and retirement accounts, but had no way to view their total portfolio," added Patzer. "They wanted clear, unbiased information on their investments' performance and to see the fees they were paying. Lastly, they wanted to see spending and investment accounts in one place ... creating a true dashboard for their financial life. Today's release represents a breakthrough in the industry, by meeting all those needs, and more."
Mint.com's new Investments tracking and analysis software delivers:
Unique, Comprehensive View of All Investment Accounts
Mint.com is now the only place consumers can get a complete and graphical view of all their investment accounts, in a single place, for free. The software updates all holdings automatically, delivering end-of-day prices across the user's brokerage, mutual fund, IRA, 401k, and other accounts. It also automatically categorizes all transactions in all accounts, including buys, sells and fees. "We've designed Mint.com to provide the timely, comprehensive insights which long-term investors need," says Patzer.
Unique, Portfolio-level Asset Allocation Information
One of the most important decisions an investor makes is the allocation of investments across stocks, bonds and other asset categories. (1) With today's launch, Mint.com becomes the only free source of automatic, portfolio-level, asset allocation information on the web today.
Unbiased, Transparent Information on Investment Performance
The software also compares any investment's value to its cost basis and versus major indices, from the S&P to the Dow. Mint.com users can now readily see whether higher cost assets, such as actively managed mutual funds, are worth the added fees; and if they, or their broker, have above or below average stock-picking skills.
Web 2.0 Capabilities Deliver Critical Information to Investors, Effortlessly
Mint.com now automatically determines the investor's best and worst performing assets -- and displays them both in the Mint.com user's account and their weekly summary email. This feature gives users important and timely data with no added effort.
Complete Transparency on Fees
A Mint.com survey conducted in July 2008 found that more than 40% of online Americans either didn't know what they paid in investment account fees -- or believed they paid no fees. Mint.com gives users complete visibility into those fees and can even send automatic email or SMS alerts when a fee is charged or an interest rate changes -- just as the service already does for a user's checking, savings, and credit card accounts.
New IRA Center Helps Users Avoid High 401K Fees -- Saving Users Thousands over a Lifetime
Mint's research has shown that, of the investment accounts held by its users, 401k accounts have among the highest fees. With the average 401k charging 0.5% in maintenance fees, users holding $50,000 in a 401K account with a previous employer incur $250 annually in fees. "Paying $250 in fees over 20 years means our users were giving away thousands of dollars in retirement savings," offered Patzer. "For most, a Rollover IRA offers a smarter alternative, with much lower fees, and greater choice in investments."
These findings drove Mint.com to launch its IRA Advice Center -- offering advice and tools to help Mint.com users identify and act on better retirement savings options. The IRA Advice Center includes educational content from Mint.com and visitors are shown the best, personalized Rollover IRA choices from among leading US brokerage companies, including Fidelity, Scottrade, and others.
Along with the launch of investment management software and the IRA Advice Center, Mint.com has given users the ability to create Custom Categories for all their spending and income. This enhancement enables Mint.com users to create even more personalized analyses of their financial lives, including making it simple to separate business from personal spending, and to export that data to secure business expense reimbursement and to facilitate year-end tax preparation.
"Today's release is the latest in a series of product enhancements since launching Mint.com into public beta just over a year ago. Other releases included the addition of Mortgages and Loans, Budgeting, Cash Flow tracking and Data Categorization and Exporting," said Patzer. "With all of these improvements in place, I'm comfortable saying that the product's basic functionality is now complete and that we're out of our beta stage. Everyone at Mint is gratified by the support and enthusiasm of our first 500,000 users, and I can promise that we have more exciting new features coming soon for them."
(1) Source: sec.gov/investor/pubs/assetallocation.htm