Financial Planning and Investing Analysis, Pt. 4

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Top Financial Planning and Investing Aggregators, Pt. 1

Three of the top financial planning and investing aggregators based on monthly website visitors are Credit Karma, NerdWallet, and Bankrate. Their names and websites are available in rows three through five of the attached spreadsheet on the Financial Planning and Investing tab.

Top Financial Planning & Investing Aggregators (By Monthly Website Visitors)

  • Based on the volume of monthly website visitors, three of the top financial planning and investing aggregators in the United States include Credit Karma, NerdWallet, and Bankrate.
  • Credit Karma generates approximately $1 billion in revenue and provides services to around 100 million members. Additionally, the entity endures roughly 73.61 million monthly website visitors, according to SimilarWeb. Credit Karma offers personalized advice and various tools to assist its members in handling their finances/credit and enhancing their financial situation.
  • NerdWallet earns at least $100 million in annual revenue, while servicing 140 million total visitors to its website (2018). Also, NerdWallet witnesses an estimated 21.23 million monthly website visitors. NerdWallet supplies individuals with advice surrounding personal finance to help them make decisions on how to invest their money and manage their finances.
  • Bankrate attracts approximately 11.5 million visitors to its website each month. Prior to its acquisition by Red Ventures, the company generated $434.2 million in annual revenue, according to its 2016 SEC 10-K filing. Bankrate distributes personal finance content to users/visitors and provides them access to investing resources and an investment calculator.
  • In 2017, Bankrate was acquired by Red Ventures, a digital marketing agency, for $1.24 billion.

Research Strategy:

To determine three of the top financial planning and investing aggregators, we reviewed the websites of each of the listed aggregators to obtain information on their revenues, user/member count, or market shares. As these are the official websites of the aggregators, we believed the sources would offer the most credible data regarding this subject. While on their sites, we visited their About Us/Overview, press, and blog sections to find relevant information. Although some of the aggregators mentioned the number of users they assist, other did not, only utilizing their sites to offer information on their services, history, various unrelated articles, etc.

We also searched for lists of the top financial and investing aggregators produced by reputable news and media sites, as well as financial and investing advisers, including The Motley Fool, The New York Times, Investment News, among others. Nonetheless, none of the these sources offered relevant information that we could use to determine the top financial and investing aggregators in the United States. They mostly focused on the latest financial tech, stocks, and financial advice during the coronavirus outbreak.

We then searched for each aggregators annual, company, yearly, or investor reports, which typically provide credible data surrounding a company/entity's financial results, including revenue, market share, and customer base/user count. For this, we primarily scoured the aggregators' websites, along with conducting a general search. Also, we explored the SEC website for their latest SEC filings. However, besides a 2016 10K report for Bankrate, we could not locate such documents for most of the aggregators.

Next, we turned to third-party company databases such as Owler, Crunchbase, and ZoomInfo to locate data that we could use to identify the top aggregators by revenue or user count. While we were able to find the revenues generated by mostly of the aggregators, these were merely rough estimates as opposed to verified figures. Nonetheless, we discovered that nearly all the specified aggregators are either privately held are have been acquired by a private company. Hence, as a private organization, they are not required to disclose financial information to the public. We also tried searching for any available reports from the owners of those that act as subsidiaries (e.g., Bankrate). While we found some of their owners' SEC filings/annual reports, none of them offered a breakdown detailing the results from the aggregators.

Finally, we switched gears and searched for alternative data points to help us conduct a triangulation. For this triangulation, we checked analytics websites such as SimilarWeb to find the volume of website visitors for each of the specified aggregators. We assumed that the number of visitors an organization is able to attract to its website is a solid metric to measure "top" or popularity. During our research, including the research strategies employed earlier, we gathered the following information:

Bankrate - $434 million (ZoomInfo), $434.2 million (2016 SEC 10-K Filing), 11.5 million monthly website visitors
Consumers Advocate - 15 million users, 2.39 million monthly website visitors
Credit Karma - 100 million users/members, $1 billion, 73.61 million monthly website visitors
DoughRoller - 2 million website visitors per year
Finder.com - $102 million, 9.7 million website visitors per month
MagnifyMoney - Over 1 million monthly website visitors
Money.com - 4 million unique monthly visitors
Money Crashers - $22 million (ZoomInfo), 2.2 million monthly website visitors
Millennial Money - $5 million, 525,000 monthly website visitors, 10 million readers since 2015
Money Under 30 - $7 million, 2.3 million monthly website visitors
NerdWallet - $100 million, 140 million visitors in 2018, 21.23 million monthly website visitors (Feb 2020)
SmartAsset - $31 million, 45 million users assisted per month (via its calculators on SmartAsset and its partner's sites), 9.93 million monthly website visitors
Super Money - $4 million-$6.4 million, 248,520 monthly website visitors
The Simple Dollar - $11 million, 2.26 million monthly website visitors
Wallet Hacks - 691,800 monthly website visitors

As we were able to find the monthly website visitors for each aggregator, we decided to focus on using it as our metric. After comparing the results for the listed entities, we determined Credit Karma, NerdWallet, and Bankrate to be three of the top financial planning and investing aggregators in the United States based on monthly website visitors. Please note that due to the unavailability of annual and company reports or reliable documentation, we were unable to confirm if any of the aggregators are actual leaders in the financial planning or investing category specifically.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Top Financial Planning and Investing Aggregators, Pt. 2

Credit Karma is a key player in the Financial Planning and Investing Aggregators market, with over 60 million members. The company raised a total of $868 million in 8 funding rounds between 2007 and 2018. Its last funding round in January 2018, brought in $500 million. NerdWallet, currently worth $550 million, has raised a total of $105 million in 4 funding rounds between 2014 and 2015. Its last funding round in October 2015 brought in $5 million. More information is contained in the attached spreadsheet.

Credit Karma

  • Credit Karma services are free. The company does not charge its customers any commission or fee for services rendered. Rather, they get paid by their partners, that is, the bank providing the card or the lender of the loan.
  • Credit Karma engages its customers through its app available on both Google Play and Apple Store, and its official website. More information is contained in the attached spreadsheet.

NerdWallet

  • NerdWallet does not charge its customers any fees or commission, rather, they make money from their partners through "click-throughs" that become credit card application approvals.
  • NerdWallet's website is a comprehensive archive of expert information ranging from Credit Cards, Banking, Investment to Insurance, and others. The company constantly updates its list of best/top financial services to ensure that its customers make the best choices. More information is contained in the attached spreadsheet.


Sources
Sources

From Part 01