As inflation climbs to a 40-year high and the stock market declines, investors will be tempted to protect their decreasing account balances, but don’t act too rashly, advises an article in The Wall Street Journal. It might serve investors better to get into autopilot mode, and utilize one of the many tools available that can automate spending, saving, and investing.
Switching your accounts to automatic can prevent rash decision-making as well as manage household budgets. But it’s important to still stay engaged with your money, and not let algorithms dictate your every move, says Heidi Johnson of the Financial Health Network. She points to research that shows being actively engaged with your accounts can help investors avoid unnecessary costs like overdraft fees.
While it can be difficult to set financial goals and stick to them in a challenging economic environment, Johnson recommends using apps and automated services to keep tabs on spending habits and sock money away. One such app is Digit, which analyzes expenses to calculate how much money you can be saving and then shifts that money around in such small ways you may not even notice it. Another is Albert, which automates your savings; though it uses algorithms, it also has the option to work with a live human being on things such as budgeting and credit cards, the article explains.
In addition, automated tech can show you what’s going on with your money and then offer advice based on that activity. Alight Worklife, which is powered by AI, analyzes a user’s payroll patterns and then suggests what they can afford to contribute to their retirement or healthcare accounts. And the budgeting app Mint, owned by Intuit, tracks every penny moving in and out of your accounts while also discovering ways to free up excess cash to put into savings. Many of these apps also offer early overdraft warnings and monitor subscriptions for changes in fees.
Utilizing automation counteracts snap judgements that investors are prone to make when things get stressful, as well as avoid bad timing such as selling right before things start to turn around. As founder of Illumint Kevin Mahoney told The Journal, “Anyone can make a financial plan, but automation makes it easier to stick to one.”