By Alexa von Tobel, CFP® and Founder/CEO of LearnVest.com
When I was graduating from college and headed to a job on Wall Street, I realized that despite my top-notch education, I had never really learned how to handle my personal finances. I had tons of questions: What was the difference between a Roth and Traditional IRA? What goes into my credit score?
I also realized that I was not alone. Personal finance is not taught in most high schools, colleges, or graduate schools across the country. And when I turned to books for more information, I couldn’t find a source that spoke to me.
Spreading Financial Literacy
I saw the problem in the marketplace and decided that it was time to fix it. In 2008, with the collapse of the financial world, I decided to take a leave of absence from Harvard Business School and focus full-time on building a solution: LearnVest.
At LearnVest, our mission is to help individuals make progress on their money. In September 2009, LearnVest debuted as a TechCrunch50 Company. Since then, we’ve raised over $41 million in funding (led by investors such as Accel Partners) and are excited by the tremendous growth we’ve seen.
What LearnVest Has to Offer
Since starting LearnVest, I’ve spoken to thousands of people who share the same stress and concern around money. Our team has worked tirelessly to create an unbiased and affordable solution for them. We’ve built LearnVest Planning, a Registered Investment Advisor, that has Certified Financial Planners™ working across the country. And we’ve developed the LearnVest Action Program — a seven-step program that walks clients through the key pillars of a healthy financial life. We cover everything from getting organized to planning for the future to protecting yourself with the right kind of insurance.
How do we help people improve their financial lives? Our LearnVest Planning Experts issue Challenges, attainable to-dos that help clients get closer to their goals. To further encourage healthy budgeting habits, we created the Money Center, a free personal financial management tool that allows members to view all of their accounts in one place. When using this tool, members can monitor spending activity, create a personalized budget, and keep track of progress on their goals. The platform even enables co-viewing of the member’s accounts and dashboard between the client and their LearnVest Planning Expert.
We also offer the education that I found lacking in my own academic path. We create tons of original content through the LearnVest Daily email newsletter and our Bootcamps (two-to-three week email programs on key financial topics like building your career, having a baby, buying a home and many others)—all of which is designed to make our members smarter about their money.
Disrupting the Industry
At LearnVest, we believe that financial planning should not be a luxury. I’d go so far as to say that access to unbiased financial advice is a civil right. And I believe that the best way to reach financial freedom is to set up a clear plan. Because let’s face it—not having a plan is a plan. Just a really bad one.
Almost four years later, LearnVest continues to see tremendous growth. I’m excited and humbled by the endless possibilities for our company as we spread our mission to help people make progress on their money. And I hope future generations grow up knowing that there is a trusted place they can go to have their money questions answered: LearnVest.
- Ready to get started? Head over to LearnVest to learn more and get your own plan!