Investopedia Review Process


How We Review Products and Services

Updated March 29, 2024

You may have seen the following disclosure on all of our business, commercial, and financial product and services reviews and recommendations. It reads:

“We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.”

Here we’ll outline the processes that result in unbiased, trustworthy reviews you can rely on. Investopedia maintains strict independence between the editorial process by which we evaluate products and the development of financial relationships by the sales staff. The sales staff have no influence over product scores and whether or not we recommend a product. We do make money on some, but not all, of the products we recommend, if you click on a link. Partner relationships may affect where a recommendation appears on our page.

The Team

Our financial product and services team includes editors, researchers, and a compliance staff, comprising current and former industry practitioners and dedicated journalists. Together, we have decades of experience covering such financial topics as investments, financial markets, and business and personal finance for publications that include Bankrate, Business Insider, CNBC, CreditCards.com, Forbes, Fox Business, InvestmentNews, Marketwatch, and US News & World Report. We rely on our years of expertise researching and using financial products to offer important, unbiased insights, so readers can make informed decisions about their financial lives.

But we don’t do it alone. We are committed to ensuring that our content and team reflects a diversity of voices. You can read our full Diversity & Inclusion Pledge here, and you can learn more about our editorial team on our About Us page.

Types of Reviews

We publish reviews of business services, financial education resources, and financial products, and those reviews mostly follow one of these formats:

How We Choose the Best Products

Recommendations we make on Investopedia generally fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Recommendations determined by a proprietary scoring methodology we’ve developed using our deep subject matter expertise and detailed research.
  2. Recommendations that rely on our deep subject matter expertise and detailed research.
  3. Daily “best rate” recommendations based on our proprietary databases of deposit accounts such as certificates of deposit and savings accounts. 

Reviews With Product Scores

When reviewing financial products and business services, we start by researching the industry to supplement our staff expertise on the product. Based on that research—which sometimes includes a survey of consumers using these products—we determine which companies and what product features to evaluate. From there, we gather the data, develop an in-depth methodology to rate the criteria, and use the methodology to determine the overall scores for those companies and/or their products. Most, but not all, of the articles featuring these product recommendations display star ratings, indicating the overall score of that product among all the products we researched in that category.

We developed scoring methodologies for the following products:

Reviews Without Product Scores

We examine an industry to determine the companies we should consider, paired with our own deep knowledge of that industry. We gather standardized data using a combination of the information publicly available and user reviews. 

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the reviews that fall into this category:

‘Best Rate’ Financial Product Recommendations

When the primary value of a financial product comes from the interest rate an account pays, such as CDs and high-yield savings accounts, we structure our reviews a little differently. We collect the rates daily, across hundreds of institutions, to find the best rates. We rank products on the strength of the rate they currently offer and apply editorial filters on top of those to rule out products we don’t deem great for consumers. 

Our full methodology provides detail on how we evaluate certificates of deposit (CDs), savings accounts, and money market accounts, and here are some examples of the recommendations we make using this process:

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