The Internet has a way of making things easier. And while that might not always be flashy, it certainly is useful. Which is precisely SmartAsset’s pitch: use the Web to offer clarity to the financial decision-making process.
CEO and co-founder Michael Carvin has a background in investment banking, and realized the hurdles between the average consumer and a financial advisor are many. So he took his own interest in personal economics as well as the investment knowledge between him and his team to bring this invaluable data to everyday buyers. Right now, the site only offers an application to help calculate house buying, but the model will eventually be applied to other large investment decisions, like buying a car, paying for college, and retiring.
But the available application to help determine your home buying or renting ability is available today, and works by taking into account the various elements you need to consider. Your zipcode, property taxes, salary, savings — it all majorly affects the outcome. SmartAsset quickly and easily gathers this, does a mountain of excel spreadsheets on the backend that considers factors like mortgages, government programs, and loan limits, and then spits out clear, concise answers for you.
I asked Carvin why people should trust a Web app to help them make such important decisions about how they spend their money. As much as we all love the Internet, some things remain sacred and money is one of them. But times are changing, and Carvin and SmartAsset are striking at the right time. People are more distrustful of banks than ever (rightfully so), and the generation that’s beginning to consider big life purchases was raised on the Internet. We’ve been connected for most of lives, completely comfortable with broadcasting everything we do — and buy. Plus, let’s admit it: the Internet-addicted among us love big, confusing things broken down into easily digestible, Mint-like informative graphics. SmartAsset isn’t quite into infographic territory, but it’s certainly visual-heavy.
Carvin says the other applications will launch within the coming months and years, but for now you can use SmartAsset to analyze your home-buying or renting options. And with that, the Internet has made one more thing the average consumer can’t afford available for free.