All of us have money questions. Depending on what’s happening in your current life, you might be figuring out how to pay off debt. Or, maybe you want to start investing in stocks or are an experienced investor wanting a more robust stock research tool. This Finny review looks at a growing all-in-one finance education and coaching app.
I have been using Finny since mid-2019 to research my own financial and investing questions. I’ll share my thoughts and help you find the best place to find answers to your money questions and research potential investments.
What is Finny?
Finny is a premium “finance education and coaching app” offering these features:
- Ask finance and money-related questions: Get in-depth answers to all of those random money questions that search engines or Quora may not provide
- Money guides: Read about various money topics including “managing a recession,” insurance, financial independence, and unemployment benefits
- Stock market research tools: Analyze stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and in-depth charts
- “The Gist” weekly email: Learn about the latest money happenings and find out about new money and investing topics that can improve your money and investing skills
Whether you know nothing about money or you already have the basics down and want to “level up” your money skills, Finny can teach you something new and improve your confidence in making money decisions.
This might be the first time hearing about Finny. The platform is relatively new but growing quickly. For example, Finny is the Product Hunt “#1 Product of the Day” for June 9th, 2020. Product Hunt is a marketplace that features the newest apps, websites and digital products. For example, you might find the next Stripe, Zoom, or Slack on Product Hunt. You might be able to say…”I used Finny before it became famous.”
Finny requires a paid membership to use…after a 7-day free trial to the full Finny platform.
If you’re like me, you try not to spend money unless you absolutely have to. But I’m willing to spend money if I know the potential rewards are greater than the cost.
Your two membership options are either $99 yearly (billed upfront after the free trial) or $14.95 per month (your total cost is $180 per year with Option B). I’m a lifelong personal finance nerd and have tried (and currently subscribe to) several magazines/newspapers and stock investment newsletters.
Below are the following features you can get with a Finny Premium membership. I will share my experience with using these different tools to help you decide if Finny is worth it.
Ask Finance and Investing Questions
I find myself several times a week asking questions. Instead of waiting for the best search engine results, asking Finny your money and investing questions can help you find the best answer sooner.
You will see a search bar similar to what Google or Bing offers. It’s possible to ask long questions like “What is socially responsible investing?,” “What is the rule of 72?,” or “What is the price of Facebook stock today?”
If someone else has asked that question, you can get a quick answer. You can also ask a money coach a question the Finny database doesn’t have an answer to yet. A money expert can answer your question via email.
There are currently more than 16 money guides that cover a wide spectrum of topics. Some of the guide topics include:
- Credit scores
- Managing debt
- Planning for retirement
- Bank accounts (checking, savings, and bank CDs)
- Surviving a recession
- Stock market volatility
These money guides do a good job of presenting information in a digestible format. You will see buttons that let you read more about certain topics. For example, “building credit for starters” is a good option if you’re a recent graduate but the “credit score improvement guide” might be a better fit if you have a damaged score.
The guides may also introduce topics and information you have never thought about before.
Finny’s simple investing tools can help you avoid the sales pitches and fluffy research that some of the free investing tools offer. While I subscribe to a handful of investing newsletters like Motley Fool Stock Advisor, newsletters only cover stocks they recommend.
You won’t get information on ETFs and mutual funds that you may feel more comfortable investing in if you think individual stocks are too risky.
Here are the different Finny investing tools you can use:
- Quick Take: Enter a stock ticker symbol into the search bar. See the best reasons why you might buy shares (bull case) or avoid a stock (bear case).
- Comparison Wizard: Compare the basic performance details for two potential stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds you may want to buy.
- Stock and Fund Cards: See basic price charts, key fundamentals, and news about individual stocks and funds. These cards can provide more information than similar M1 Finance or Robinhood tools.
- Top Stocks: Instead of guessing what to invest in, use custom screens to find the best stocks and funds that match your investing goals. Some of the custom screens include:
- Bargain stocks
- Dividend stocks
- Momentum plays
- Warren Buffett
- Ben Graham
- Cash cows
- Massive upside stocks
- Top ETFs and Top Mutual Funds: See the largest ETFs and mutual funds by asset size.
Will these simple investing tools help you become a better investor? Yes, it’s possible but I still encourage you to do more research. For example, read the earnings call transcripts for stocks and prospectus for ETFs and mutual funds. Understand how the investment can make money or lose money.
These tools are “simple” as their name imply. In my experience, they are better than what most free investing apps offer and can be better than a free Zacks or Yahoo Finance article. But due diligence is still necessary.
Finny does offer an in-depth analysis tool that can help you perform advanced research with its “Analysis and Charts” button.
Analysis and Charts
It’s possible to explore stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds with more detail than free investing tools offer. However, if you’re into daytrading or technical analysis, Finny isn’t for you. I don’t do this advanced chart reading as I don’t want investing to turn into a full-time job, so the analysis tools are great for casual investors.
Here are some of the factors you can explore:
- Finny Score: Finny has a proprietary scoring model between 0 and 100 to determine if you should buy, hold, or avoid a potential investment. This tool is similar to a Zack’s score or Morningstar rating.
- Analysis: See the “Bull Case,” “Bear Case,” and “Key Stats” from the simple investing tools in one screen
- Analyst ratings: A summary of what action the stock analysts recommend for a ticker symbol and the potential price target.
- Performance: See basic price performance charts, return comparisons to the S&P 500 and industry peers, and the daily trading volume
- News: Read news mentions from various news outlets including Investopedia, Zero Hedge, Benzinga, Yahoo News, and Modern Readers. This can be an easy way to determine the bull and bear sentiment and look for investment catalysts that the share price doesn’t reflect yet.
- Valuation: See various investment ratios (this is one of the most important sections when researching stocks). Some of the ratios include the P/E ratio, Price-to-Sales, Price-to-Book, and PEG ratio.
- Financials: View the revenue growth, profit margin, cash to debt, and debt to equity details (FYI: I’m a “fundamental investor” so this tab is as important as the valuation ratios)
- Dividends: See what a stock’s dividend history is and what their future dividends might be. Also compare the trailing and future dividend of a company to its industry and the S&P 500.
- Shorts: Determine investor sentiment for a stock by seeing the number of shares currently selling short and the short interest ratio.
These analysis tools are competitive with tools that full service brokers like Vanguard or Schwab might offer for most screens. I still recommend visiting a company’s investor relations page to get time-sensitive information and to read earnings call transcripts and forms.
“The Gist” Weekly Newsletter
Another benefit of Finny Premium is “The Gist.” This weekly email newsletter covers a variety of money topics. I like it because it presents information quicker than monthly personal finance magazines like Kiplinger’s (I still ready every monthly Kip issue).
As I’m now a father of three, I don’t have the same amount of free time outside of work to read financial news like before. For example, I no longer subscribe to daily publications like the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s as the monthly cost is too high for the few minutes a day I read their new articles. Other online outlets provide similar market news for free.
Daily publications are “information overload” for me at the moment. Needless to say, I prefer the weekly publishing frequency sufficient of Finny’s The Gist.
Each weekly issue focuses on something a little different.
Here are some of the recent topics you could read about:
- How to invest your idle cash
- Should you invest in active ETFs instead of index funds?
- Common investing mistakes
- Hedge funds or index funds?
- Best savings account interest rates
- Investing for the next five years
Each issue can give you action items for how to invest or plan for a certain topic. As always, perform your own research and only choose stocks and financial products that can benefit your financial needs.
Positives and Negatives
We’re covering a lot of information in this Finny review. Here is a quick summary of why you may like or dislike Finny.
- Ask money questions: Finny has a large database of money and investing questions with lots of answers. You can also “Ask a Finny Pro” a question that Finny doesn’t have the answer to (yet).
- Personal finance guides: Read detailed information about many common money-related topics.
- Investing tools: The simple investing tools, basic charts, and fundamental analysis provide most of the information you need to buy stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. Other platforms offer more robust tools but this tool suite is good for most people who want to rebalance their portfolio or start investing in stocks, funds, or compare 401k plan options.
- The Gist newsletter: Finny’s Gist newsletter covers a variety of finance topics and can introduce you to new ideas.
- Most content helps you learn financial literacy: With other money and investing platforms, little emphasis is placed on personal finance education. Finny’s main goal is to improve your money skills and making smarter money and investing decisions.
- No advertisements: You want get promotional emails to buy special products and apps that are expensive. One of my “pet peeves” in the newsletter industry is buying a $100 entry-level product and getting endless emails to subscribe to a $1,000-a-year newsletter that you can’t afford or is too risky when you can only invest small amounts of money. Finny costs money to join but you won’t see ads in the platform or emails.
- No real-time coaching: Finny doesn’t offer live financial coaching with personal advice. If you need serious money help, you should schedule a meeting with a local financial planner. However, you can find lots of information on a variety of topics. The annual subscription fee ($99) can cost less than a single session with a money coach who might provide the same information if you need guidance but already have a basic plan.
- No free plan option: You need to join Finny Premium to use the many features mentioned in this review. The 7-day free trial can be sufficient time to see if Finny can help improve your finances. Make sure you visit the money guides, ask finance questions, and try the research tools during the free trial.
- Doesn’t recommend specific stock picks: While I have this as a “con,” I think Finny’s approach is better. Finny does a good job of providing fundamental research tools for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. Finny presents the facts and you decide what to do. The stock screeners and The Gist do a good job of providing investing ideas. But if you want to receive specific monthly action steps of what stocks to buy or sell (still perform your own due diligence and consider your personal situation), I recommend Motley Fool Stock Advisor.
Who Should Join Finny?
Finny is a good option if you’re new to managing money and want to learn more about how to budget, live on a small income, and planning your financial future.
Having the ability to ask a Finny Pro your questions can also be better than asking a group of strangers in a Facebook group or waiting for a Quora response. I shake my head at some of the “witty” responses people post as it’s terrible financial advice, sometimes. The Finny Pros may not know your personal situation, but they are knowledgable about the topic you want to learn more about and will try to help.
Investors who want stronger research tools than their broker offers should also consider Finny. The money guides can help you with your personal finance questions.
Finny can be a good tool if you want to read in-depth financial advice without sifting through a book or doing endless web searches. Since I’ve been reading finance books for almost 20 years, I personally use Finny for its investment tools. But if I was still a young adult learning about “adulting,” I would be using the money guides and asking finance questions more frequently.
Try Finny Premium seven days for free and see if it can improve your money skills.
Are you going to join Finny? What do you like most about Finny? What’s one feature you wish they can add next?