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Most Personal Finance advice you read is hyper-focused on either recommending or dissuading you from one particular product.

We try to think about our total financial setup a little more holistically at Personal Finance Guru, to live up to our motto of helping you build your Personal Financial Fortress.

To that end, we’ve provided the personal finance ‘stacks’ we each use below (‘stack’ here means like a companies’ Technology Stack, which brings many products harmoniously together to be greater than the sum of their parts).

Note that we may receive some small commission if you sign up for some of the products below. This helps us pay for things like server costs to keep this site running.

We only ever recommend products we personally use and love.

Cody Beecham

Cody Beecham

Owner @

I really enjoy the world of finance and personal finance and I’m always trying the latest products. I’m a super-optimizer, always trying to squeeze out every last penny I can, even if the time investment to do that isn’t really worth it. I definitely overdo it, but I enjoy the challenge.


Cody's Financial 'Stack'


I probably have too many accounts! I use Vanguard for retirement, Fidelity for general brokerage (e.g., S&P500 ETFs, etc.), Wealthfront for automated investing, and Yieldstreet for alternatives.

To keep track of the total view of my full financial picture I don’t think the Personal Capital can be beat and I’ve tried a bunch of the different aggregators. I personally use their net worth calculator (which requires linking accounts) and retirement calculator all the time.



I use Farmers for home, Chubb for umbrella, and Progressive for auto. For life it’s New York Life. I also have various business insurance policies. We also subscribe to AAA for roadside peace of mind.

I also have used and like SuperMoney’s interface to compare insurance offers across many providers in what is often a confusing landscape. 



I used/tried most of the major tax services at one time or another, including TaxSlayer, H&R Block, and TurboTax, but now things are so complicated I’ve been forced to hire a CPA.



will probably have to create a whole post on this because there is too much to list here. Some of my favorites though are,, Mailchimp, Canva, WordPress, LegalZoom, and Quickbooks.



I have been with Chase for basic banking needs like a checking account for quite some time and am very happy with them. I still don’t have a savings account!

credit card

Credit Cards

I have 5 to help max out my credit score and maximize/optimize rewards:

1) Fidelity’s 2% cash-back – for a general purpose, high flat-rate cash-back card. This is first in my wallet and is my general go-to card.

2) Chase Sapphire Preferred – for a general-purpose travel card to get the 5x points offered when booking travel through their travel portal.

3) Marriott Bonvoy Boundless – I focus my stays and points with Marriott and this gives a huge points multiplier.

4) Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card – we spend so much at Amazon every year, that the 5% rewards rate became worth it here.

5) United Club Infinite Club – since my home city is a United hub, I concentrate my airline spending with them. Although there’s a $525 annual fee I get a United Club membership for layovers and 4x miles on United purchases.

Bonus) Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business – since I run a business I need a business card and this gets me an additional 15 elite night credits annually. Combine that with the 15 elite night credits I get from my personal Marriott Bonvoy card and I get 30 nights toward elite status right off the bat every year. It has a $99 annual fee but quickly pays for itself with its 7% room rate discount. 

man reading finance book

Financial reading

I love to read and nerd out about Finance (lame I know!).

If you’re a total beginner, you might want to check out our article for you here.

But here are my favorites:

  • Best Overall: The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio. This gives the highest level framework for viewing the Macro situation in the world order and economy we live in today. It provides a really useful lens from which to view debt cycles, global events, and more. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Dalio is probably the most successful hedge fund investor of all time, so worth reading just about anything he puts out.
  • Best for Beginners: The Forbes/CFA Institute Investment Course. This is a lightweight, easy read for people who are new to the world of investing to begin understanding the basic terminology, structure, and dynamics of the space.
  • Best about Hedge Funds: More Money Than God gives a fascinating history and overview of the industry (and actually explains what a hedge fund is, both in the historical and present sense). Black Edge, focuses more recently on one of the most famously successful hedge funds and their legal woes.
  • Best about Private Equity: The absolute classic Barbarians at the Gate is a must-read. King of Capital is also a fascinating quick read about how Blackstone got off the ground.
  • Best textbook/reference: Investments is The Standard textbook for MBA-level investing courses at top schools.
  • Best about investing: A Random Walk Down Wall Street provides the foundation for why so many people are skeptical of most active management strategies. Stocks for the Long Run is a must-read classic which explains why equities are my favorite asset class.
  • Best about Real Estate: The Death and Life of Great American Cities made me look at everything from sidewalks to city parks completely differently. Real Estate Finance and Investments is the best textbook in this space if you want to learn the actual math and mechanics. The author also puts out a quarterly RE investor update – The Linneman Letter – which many RE investors consider the best newsletter in the sector.
  • Best technical books about finance: Investment banking and Options Volatility and Pricing both cover their respective topics in painstaking detail. You probably don’t need either unless you are or aspire to be a professional in the space though.
  • Best about fundamental analysis: Common Stocks & Uncommon Profits and The Intelligent Investor are arguably the two classics here.
  • Best about quant funds: The Man Who Solved the Market finally gave us a look into (probably) the most successful quant fund of all time.
  • Best about the dark side of finance: Check out Billion Dollar Whale to find out how a Wharton grad (allegedly) stole $8B and dated Miranda Kerr in the process. A wild ride of a read.
  • Best about Tech: The Hard Thing About Hard Things, written by an Andreessen Horowitz co-founder.
  • Best that don’t fit anywhere else: Who is Michael Ovitz? details how CAA became the #1 agency in Hollywood by re-inventing the typical agency business model. Adventure Capitalist is a fun whirlwind around the world following a former banker trying to invest in every country in the world. How to Get Rich, despite the title, is not clickbait and looks at what it actually takes, written by a real billionaire.
  • Most overrated: Think and Grow Rich, The Black Swan, and anything by Malcolm Gladwell are all great examples of books that probably should have been an essay or paragraph and only end up pointing out incredibly obvious and bland “insights.” Skip ’em.


Happy to be loan free but my wife uses SoFi.



Use the freemium version of Experian credit monitoring.



The only exchange I trust at writing is Coinbase. I keep everything off exchanges as much as I can though.