Report From Finovate '08: Round 2

Round 2 of the Finovate presentations includes online financial planning, the “match.com” of stocks, and Facebook banking. Let’s dive in and find out what they’re all about:

Boulevard R
This is a web version of meeting with a financial planner to develop an investing and saving strategy—they describe their offering as a “3-step process that puts the interests of consumers first and lays out a clear, actionable path to financial security.” You start off by dragging-and-dropping your life goals onto a timeline of when you hope to accomplish them, then you prioritize some other goals, then input your monthly savings and liabilities. The site then comes up with an animated chart showing what you’ll need to do in the coming years to meet those initial goals.

Once the fun interactive part is over, you have two choices: for free, you can receive a financial plan on one of your goals; for $80, you get a comprehensive plan, access to lots of professional advice, and assorted online tools. As you can imagine from the $80 fee, Boulevard is targeting people making approximately $100k a year with roughly $200k in savings. But hey, even if you’re not in that customer demographic, you can still play with the initial goal planning widget.

Inner8
A social site that matches people to people, stocks to stocks, your perception of market conditions to stocks, and and people to stocks. (That’s how they described it.) They also said it’s like a Match.com for investment advice, and sure enough, they use 45 different criteria to develop a profile of you.

In one example, you enter a stock—say, Apple—and you can see stocks that move with Apple, or stocks that run against it. Inner8 says the value is that some of the stocks you’ll see will be counterintuitive, but supported by the data and their fuzzy logic. They said “fuzzy logic” several times. Lots of fuzzy logic in this service, apparently.

Another feature lets you see how other people are doing with stock selections, so you can track their choices. Yet another feature shows stocks that are “appropriate” to your profile.

We’ll need someone with better investing experience to check out what Inner8 offers and see whether it looks worthwhile as a suite of investment research tools.

Rate Surfer by My Best Interest
Poor Rate Surfer looked old-skool and kind of ugly compared to the other screenshots being shown this morning. Its also Java-based, so, yay for cross-platform compatibility, boo for being slow-assed Java. (My Mac product ownership is revealing itself here.)

The application runs on your desktop and doesn’t connect with any company middle-man, so it theoretically offers better privacy than most everything else on display today. (We’re not saying better security, just more privacy.) The app downloads your credit card data, then goes out to bank websites and pulls rate info on comparable products, and then collects all of it into one dashboard for you to compare services.

There’s no third-party aggregating being involved–it’s just scraping bank websites directly and displaying them for you, so if you really don’t want to trust third-parties with your accounts, here’s a way to do it from your desktop.

The app also lets you control all of your bank accounts from a single interface, and lets you set up a phone account so that you can execute bank transactions—things like balance transfers—from your phone via text message.

MyMoney on Facebook, by FiServ
Their goal: connecting generation Y with financial providers, because they earn a considerable amount of money, and stand to inherit a lot of ca$h from dying Boomer parents. Hey, that’s what the guy said, basically. They’re here today to talk about a FaceBook app called “MyMoney” that they introduced earlier this year.

If you’re shopping for a place to store your money, MyMoney hooks you up with banks and credit unions, based on search criteria you enter—things like “auto loans” or your zip code. It also shares reviews and commentary from trusted friends (the Facebook version, at least) to help you evaluate offerings.

If you already have a bank or credit union account and it’s cooperating with the MyMoney app, you can authorize that account through MyMoney and will be able to see balances and other account info directly on your Facebook page.