Today’s world is complex.
Even the simplest decisions require extensive analysis to find the best solution.
That’s why I buy nearly everything based on personal recommendations from sources I trust. It’s a great shortcut.
Here’s your chance to access my personal Rolodex and see what resources I personally use and/or recommend.
And yes, many of the links below are affiliate links. That means that if you choose to sign up for or purchase something recommended here, I may receive some compensation. However, this does not affect the price you pay. It costs the same whether you use my link or not.
So using this resource page is a great way to save you time and hassle finding the best stuff while also giving back to this site (without pulling a dime out of your pocket).
Tools to Run Your Own Website
Blue Host – Blue Host is the perfect hosting solution for your website if you’re just getting started. I started out with this company and my experience was wonderful. They have incredible customer support via both phone and chat, and are responsive on social media. Blue Host is the company you want on your side when you launch your first website.
Web Synthesis – Web Synthesis is another great hosting solution if you’re a little more experienced and advanced with your website. It’s great for heavy, high-traffic sites. In other words, when I began FinancialMentor I started with BlueHost above, and it was fine. As my site grew, it needed the increased hosting power of Web Synthesis.
Genesis Framework – Web hosting is only part of the equation to running a successful site. You also need a sturdy, versatile, and highly functional framework to ensure things run smoothly (and look good, too). Genesis Framework is the solution I use. It provides responsive HTML5 themes, search engine optimization, security, professional developers, and countless options for great customization. This is another tool that’s currently powering Financial Mentor. Be sure to stop by the company that created Genesis, StudioPress.
Drip – Your first priority for any web based business is to grow your email list. It’s your primary asset, probably more valuable than your web site itself. Drip is IMHO the best email marketing platform out there. It’s intuitive to use so you don’t need a tech guy to run it, but it has advanced features even the expensive big boys like InfusionSoft and Ontraport don’t have. Trust me, I’ve used most of the big names, and now I use Drip for more reasons than I can list here.
DropBox – A must for anyone working digitally… which is almost all of us. DropBox is a cloud storage system that allows you to access your files across multiple devices anywhere with an Internet connection. It’s perfect for managing files with multiple people and an essential tool if you run your website with the help of a team.
Long Tail Pro – It used to be that the Google Adwords keyword tool was the only thing you needed for keyword research. But then somebody decided to reworked it to be useless. This sent me in search of a suitable replacement. I studied them all and this was the best paid/or free solution in the market. No monthly recurring costs and easy to use.
GoDaddy – Financial Mentor uses GoDaddy for SSL and domain-related needs. They’re reliable, have mind-blowingly awesome customer support, and they are priced well. When it comes to domain support, don’t go with the cheapest (because it is already cheap anyway), go with the best.
Tools for Investment Management
E-Trade — Brokerage is now a commodity business. You want a brand name broker at a competitive price point that provides the online platform and acceptable customer service when you inevitably run into an issue that requires a living human being to solve. This is as good as any.
Personal Capital – Personal Capital is an extremely helpful asset and money management tool that allows you to see and manage all your investments at once, in one place. You can track performance, asset allocation, and even fees to see what investments are costing you too much. Personal Capital can also make recommendations based on the information you put into the software.
Notice that I don’t recommend much else because there is nothing more you need. KISS.
Tools for Personal Financial Management
Mint – Mint is another money management program that automates the process of tracking your finances. If you love charts and graphs that present data in a number of engaging ways, you’ll love Mint. The program also gives you the ability to see your total financial picture in one place, and helps you set and achieve important financial goals.
TurboTax – This Intuit software makes handling your own taxes possible. I use TurboTax each year and would not even consider doing my own taxes without it. I personally think it is better and cheaper than most paid preparers. It is that excellent.
Tools for Entrepreneurs
Charge What You’re Worth – As a freelancer and entrepreneur, you set your own rates, but oftentimes, freelancers sell themselves short. This free 9 lesson course teaches you how to charge what you’re worth while providing more value to your clients. Brennan Dunn is an incredible teacher who went from charging $50 an hour to 10x’ing his rates and building two seven-figure companies. You can learn more about Brennan at DoubleYourFreelancing.com.
PayPal – Sending and receiving money is ridiculously easily with PayPal, a service that is nearly as universal in the digital world as Google itself. With personal and business accounts and the ability to connect debit and credit cards alongside bank accounts, it makes transferring money to anyone simple and effective. I use PayPal extensively to run Financial Mentor.
Upwork – Elance and Odesk merged to become Upwork – likely the worst rebranding I’ve ever witnessed. Regardless, it’s still the best-known site for connecting with freelancers from around the world. They bid on projects you create, and you’ll get to choose from a pool of applicants depending on their rates, experience, and know-how.
99Designs – I find working with a single designer a pain because you get one set of ideas – one artistic view. With 99 Designs you get many designers from all over the world competing with their best work so you always get exactly what you want. I’ve used them repeatedly on logos, business cards, landing pages, icon designs, you name it. It is an awesome service that solves all my design problems – affordably and efficiently.