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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 10363  
Subject: Re: Has anyone heard of ManageMe? Date: 3/9/2010 9:11 AM
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I have been hunting the holy grail of an online Quicken type application with little success. I did a search and this name came up. It looks like they may be able to handle the reporting and analysis that I want but I have never heard of them and I am a concerned about giving my financial institution IDs and PASSwords. I use Mint, Yodlee, and Geezeo but they have been recommended by publications I know.

First, you need to decide what's more important to you--online access or security? Before you go hunting for the online killer app, you should know where you stand on the pros and cons of going online at all.

Pro: Access from any computer with appropriate web browser. Data backed up professionally, reducing risk of loss to catastrophic failure.

Con: Your data is in a computer someone else controls. The app can be changed or yanked at any time, without your consent. You are dependent on the good will and competence of a third party to protect your information.

For me, the cons outweigh the pros. But I understand that not everyone will see it that way. If the online access from anywhere is vitally important to you, you need to be comfortable with the facts that a third party has your information, and that you could sign on some day to find that the app is missing or works differently than the app you used the day before. Murphy's law ensures that changes to the online app will happen at the time that is least convenient to your personal life.

I may not be understanding the concern all the way, but it seems to me that if you regard a good online app as a "holy grail," then the things I see as cons aren't a major concern for you. Certainly the secuirity concerns could be mitigated by doing data entry and not telling the third party what your real financial institutions are; in that case, you have your data exposed to a third party but not access to your actual financial accounts. However, if you want to import transactions and not do actual data entry, there is no way around giving the third party, at a minimum, read access to your real financial accounts.

You can't have it both ways. I come down firmly on the side of wanting control of my data and a local app that I have the option of *not* "upgrading". If you come down on the side of wanting an online app, you have to live with the third party access to your information. That's life.

Patzer
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