Financial planning is as old as time itself. In ancient times, kings would stockpile gold and jewels, even bringing them into the grave to fund their afterlife. In more recent memory, stable jobs, steady savings, and Social Security made the future remarkably predictable. Consequently, this was true even if you weren’t a king. As the 21st century has transformed the financial landscape, the number of ways to plan one’s finances has exploded, as have the number of challenges facing the average investor. As a result, this has led to the rise of a new vanguard of financial investment brands. These entities have found ways to turn a profit and generate wealth. Furthermore, they’ve managed this feat even in difficult (and at times hostile) financial environments. Here are a few of the biggest companies that are reshaping the concept of financial planning for modern consumers. 1. Benchmark Income Group Owned by the Wealth Woman, Mary Lyons, Benchmark Income Group is a lifestyle finance company that maintains a big-picture mindset throughout all of its activities. The goal is never to provide direct blueprints or formulas to manage one’s finances because that isn’t a feasible way to generate wealth anymore. As owner Mary Lyons herself points out, following the advice of neighbors and friends isn’t effective or safe. “Most of America isn’t wealthy.” Lyons says, “That means crowdsourcing our financial information isn’t a good idea.” Rather, Lyons compare financial investing to going golfing with a limited number of clubs. Modern investors need a full bag of “clubs” to ensure that they have the right options for their unique scenarios. This open-minded approach to financial advice is what has made the Wealth Woman and Benchmark Income Group such a popular brand. It sticks in the mind of modern investors looking for practical, applicable wealth-generating advice. 2. NerdWallet NerdWallet has been around for a little while now. Consequently, it’s gained enough traction to truly play an active role in redefining modern finance. The site is well-known as a treasure trove of financial advice, from mortgage calculators to credit card comparisons. On top of that, NerdWallet’s presentation is remarkably down-to-earth. This makes it easily accessible for common investors trying to keep up with the ever-evolving financial landscape. Where the online financial advisor really shines, though, is with its titular app. The team at NerdWallet has designed it to operate as a central money-management hub. “It can feel overwhelming to decide what money move to make next,” says the site, “The NerdWallet app simplifies money management by bringing all your accounts, cards, and loans into one place.” Once the app has collected and compiled all of a person’s data into a single, easy-to-access location, the software assists in finding insights and offering tips to make smart money decisions. 3. Reshape Wealth Reshape Wealth is a brand that is steering directly into the idea of reorienting financial planning. The company is a smaller startup that focuses on applying a specific and critical 21st-century concept to wealth management: personalization. According to the company’s website, the firm launched “with the sole purpose of providing our clients personalized wealth management solutions.” This includes a wide variety of options that are representative of the fractionalized investing environment that investors face. Some of Reshape’s offerings include core investment strategies, which form a firm foundational base for an individual’s portfolio. From there, the company opens the doors to a number of alternative investment options. These include real estate, startups, and other high-risk, high-reward investment assets. This enables the brand’s customers to create a well-balanced portfolio that capitalizes on institutional wisdom while also cashing in on cutting-edge investment trends. 4. Rocket Dollar Rocket Dollar is putting the power back into the hands of investors in much the same vein as Reshape Wealth. The company sets up self-directed IRAs that are ideal for the growing number of independent contractors and entrepreneurs who don’t have a workplace retirement program to lean on. The company refers to its product as an IRAaaS or “IRA as a Service.” Rather than giving clients specific choices for where they can invest their money, they provide a safe and flexible retirement service. As a result, this adjusts based on investor preferences. It can include traditional investments, alternative investments, and really, any feasible option that IRA owners can come up with. Rocket Dollar’s emphasis is on control. They provide fast, transparent services to their customers. This service is genuinely focused on enabling them to invest their money as they wish. It gives them the power to decide where to allocate their retirement savings rather than forcing them to fit a predefined mold or choose from a limited number of choices. 5. Bambu Bambu is a startup focused on building a powerful collection of digital wealth solutions that function as a personalized robo-advisor. They utilize technology and intelligence to create unique insights into an individual’s current wealth and financial status. While tools like the NerdWallet App are directly accessible for end users, Bambu is empowering businesses, including retail banks, digital banks, and asset managers. The brand’s more sophisticated tools help financial companies present personalized and specific financial advice to their clientele. Most of the other resources on this list are decentralizing personal finance and putting the power back in the hands of individuals. In contrast, Bambu is keeping the control centered on those who have more experience. Equipping professionals with the tools to conduct their jobs at a 21st-century pace has the potential to provide explosive results for those still willing to work with a traditional financial institution. Investing isn’t unreachable in the 21st century. On the contrary, modern investors too often face analysis paralysis more than anything else. They need cutting-edge solutions to help come up with innovative and effective investment strategies in an unknown (though profitable) modern economy. The good news is that companies like those listed above are stepping up to the challenge. They offer a variety of solutions that can fit any investor’s needs. To echo Wealth Woman’s original words above, the important thing is that investors don’t just follow advice blindly. They must find resources and companies that they can trust to help them come up with a personal strategy that fits their own financial needs. Image Credit: Snapwire; pixels; Thanks! Deanna Ritchie Managing Editor at ReadWrite Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.