A personal finance app for those who don’t know where to start | Get connected

Since 2018, the Quebec company Hardbacon has been working hard to stand out in the highly competitive market for mobile financial applications. We even recently saw its CEO Julien Brault present a pitch in front of the CBC Dragons, before offering the general public to invest directly in their company via a capital crowdfunding campaign.

The former columnist at the newspaper Deals certainly has a talent for communication and branding, but does its platform really fulfill its promise to help “better manage all facets of your personal finances”?

We tested it for you.

A more complete application than at the beginning

While initially, the company based on the South Shore of Montreal offered tools specially dedicated to investors, it broadened its service offering in 2020 with the addition of two components: planning and budget. An excellent idea since it is difficult to manage expenses, income, investments and long-term goals in isolation. In addition to better serving investors with an all-in-one solution, it’s also a way for Hardbacon to reach customers who must first take charge of their finances before starting to invest their money.

New Schedule pane

This new section of the application allows you to establish your medium and long-term financial goals, such as accumulating a down payment or achieving a specific net worth. By analyzing all of your financial information, Hardbacon offers effective and realistic action plans.

The app’s function is not to sell you dreams. If your lifestyle is not optimal to aim for retirement at age 55, she will not hesitate to let you know. Magical thinking and personal finances don’t mix, after all.

New Budget component

Like popular budget apps like Mint, Hardbacon now allows you to connect your bank accounts and keep track of your income and expenses. You can also define limits by category and review your recurring subscriptions. (Friend’s tip: No matter what app, if you haven’t exercised in a while, this is the best way to recoup a few tens of dollars a month in unnecessary costs.)

The categorization of transactions is very user-friendly and allows category change “in bulk”. For example, you can change the category of all transactions related to the same merchant at once, while Mint requires you to do so individually. Mint does, however, offer invoice reminders, which thebudget app Québécoise does not offer for the moment.

These two new services from Hardbacon are not meant to be revolutionary, but their many features and user-friendliness compare very favorably to what is already available on the market. Since basic access is free, it costs nothing to try them out, if only to report on your finances and spot budget leaks.

Financial product comparators

Another aspect of Hardbacon worth mentioning is that its website and app offer to help you choose the best financial products for your needs. Many products are compared, but this is its credit card comparator that stands out the most, since it calculates which credit card will give you the most rewards or cash back. Likewise, its comparator of online brokers allows you to determine which brokerage platform will allow you to invest in the stock market at a lower cost.

The Investing component: the great strength of Hardbacon

By supporting you in making better investment decisions, the “Invest” section is where Hardbacon really sets itself apart as ainvestment app. You connect your investment accounts to it and the app diagnoses the strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio. In addition to having access to a simplified report on your expenses, your returns and other essential information, we offer you detailed performance reports and a portfolio score.

The search engine and thematic lists of stocks and ETFs are very useful in identifying promising investments. A tool that is all the more practical if you are one of those who wish to align your investments with your social and environmental values ​​by opting for sustainable funds (ESG). Notification or email alerts are programmable when a stock or fund of your choice reaches a predetermined price.

An application to download?

Yes! And even if the “local” is popular these days, we don’t do it just to encourage a local business. With its 360 solution for personal finance management, Hardbacon has nothing to envy its competitors. The distribution of numerous contents relating to economic news or giving practical advice in the language of Molières also offers interesting added value for French-speaking users.

The rare “flaw” of the app, if we have to put it that way, is that it is not 100% free. Indeed, if it is possible to connect an unlimited number of accounts for free, and to use the budget and planning modules at will, the free version has its limits. Indeed, some investment-related features like portfolio analysis are reserved for Hardbacon Premium subscribers, which costs $ 12.99 per month or $ 99 per year. Despite everything, it is inexpensive to pay for an application from home, which can bring in and save money quickly, and this, throughout a financial life.

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