I’m sure that the people at Mint and Thrive have people’s best interests at heart. They built services designed to help the average guy understand more about their finances and do a better job managing their lives. That’s how most of these companies start and I think it’s great that they do.
But given the state of the world today, October 14, 2008, when we’re in a financial crisis while most people are distrustful of banks, do you want to give out more data to these companies? Would you trust that they won’t “change” their terms of service to sell your data to someone in order to raise revenue?
The article has a great quote when asked if we should trust them. The answer? “I know just how complex finances are. And what's done for people who have more money is vastly more beneficial to them than what's offered to people without a lot. It shouldn't be that hard to do, there just haven't been companies that wanted to do it.”
Data has value, and it might be worth much more than any savings from better advice.