A new, free web-tool from ING, INGCompareMe.com, uses peer data to let people see where they stand on a wide range financial matters including savings, spending, investing, debt and planning. (See screenshots below.)
When you’re done answering questions, you can ask ING to generate a PDF report with your results (shown right). If you answer all the questions, your report will be about 10 pages, including graphs showing how you compare. You can see a sample report here.
ING’s CompareMe was initially populated with data from a survey conducted by ING. The survey polled over 5,000 adults who participated in workplace retirement savings plans. These individuals were asked more than 150 questions on various financial matters. The goal was to identify characteristics that might affect personal savings behavior, and find patterns about why some do better or worse than their peers.
The CompareMe tool should become more powerful over time as more visitors have their information incorporated into the database. ING will remove older data so that user comparisons remain current.
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Some people have suggested a more accurate way for consumers to do peer-to-peer comparisons is to use Mint, because Mint compares data only from real users. However, one would have to have to sign-up and enter their data into Mint in order to make the comparisons worthwhile. ING’s tool is accessible to anyone anonymously at any time.
ING also created a special Twitter account dedicated to the CompareMe tool (although the background image in the account profile includes a confusing, non-functioning echo of the Twitter interface).
Besides just merely satisfying one’s curiosity, the tool does offer users a chance to take action. If someone wants to ask a question or simply discuss their unique circumstances, they can call or e-mail ING specialists.
“Ultimately, we want to help more Americans save for their retirement,” said Richard Mason, president of corporate markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services. “If visitors are encouraged to do that through this tool, then we’re getting them one step closer to their goals.”
The CompareMe homepage.
Users who log onto INGCompareMe.com create a profile by entering some simple background
information, along with optional details, such as their hobbies and interests. No names, email
addresses or identification is requested, so the process is completely anonymous.