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''Hard work is like a staircase and luck is like a lift. Lift may fail but staircase is sure to take you to the top'' -- unknown

To be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful -- warren Buffet

I am better investor because I am businessman,better businessman because I am no investor. -- Warren Buffet

10/27/2010

New Financial Startups

Company: Betterment
Location: New York City
Founded: August 2008
Burning to invest some money but don't know where to start?
Launched in May, Betterment's investment service lets beginners -- or sophisticated investors who don't want to deal with portfolio rebalancing -- blend stocks and bonds in one easy-to-manage account.

There's no minimum balance requirement, and just one investing choice to make: What percentage of your money do you want in stocks? Betterment parks your cash in market-tracking index funds.
As you select your investment blend, the site lets you know how much risk you are taking, gives advice, and show you how others of your age, income and gender are investing their money.

Company: BillShrink
Location: Redwood City, Calif.
Founded: July 2007
Do you ever look at your bank statement and wonder what keeps draining your balance each month?
Starting this month, BillShrink will show you just how much that AT&T cell phone plan or Time Warner cable service is hurting your bottom line, by tallying the amount you could be saving using alternative plans and allowing you to sign up immediately.
Addicted to your morning caffeine boost from Starbucks? BillShrink will even pinpoint a cheaper cup of joe in your neighborhood.
Link BillShrink to your bank account and its suggested savings will show up under related transactions that already appear on your bank statement each month.
There's an added bonus: If your bank statement shows that you bought a sweater from Target or any other retailer BillShrink works with, that company has the option to offer you coupons for future purchases.
Those offers will pop up on your bank statement -- and you can "like" or "dislike" them, so that future discounts are tailored to your tastes.



Company: Bundle
Location: New York City
Founded: September 2010
True to its name, Bundle pulls accounts from your various financial institutions and bundles them together in one place, showing you exactly how much money you are saving and spending.

The site displays the information in animated bubbles, and compares your spending habits with others from your community and demographic. You can see how much you spend on fancy dinners out compared to your neighbors -- and how much more you're paying for groceries than the average person in your same income bracket.
Bundle can then propose a more cost-effective budget for you, and show you cheaper alternatives to your current expenses.
One standout feature: Unlike other budgeting tools, Bundle lets you adjust on the fly. If you realize halfway through the month that you're not going to spend all the money you budgeted for clothes but you need a little extra money for groceries, you can reallocate that money to another category without having to do the calculations in your head.
Launched in September, Bundle is already reeling in around 300,000 visitors per month



Company: Plantly
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Founded: 2008
Plantly is a matchmaker for investors, aiming to help all levels of investors find plans that best fit their risk tolerance.

You tell Plantly how much you want to invest and how long you want to invest it for, and the site will suggest diversified investment plans just for you -- as long as you have at least $5,000 to throw in the pot.

Plantly shows you the amount of risk you assume with different plans, projects the returns you are likely to see, and customizes investment plans based on the fee structure of the broker you choose to work with

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