I ran across an article on the Inc. website today about the website LearnVest I had reported on this company is another article and was interested to see what was happening with it. The CEO of LearnVest, Alexa von Tobel, isn’t even 30 years old yet. Her goal is to become the certified financial planner for the “other 99% and she’s well on the way to getting there.
Now, a registered investment advisor
LearnVest took a giant step towards becoming your certified financial planner when it finished registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment advisor. Because it is now an RIA (registered investment advisor), LearnVest can offer investment advice and portfolio recommendations–and, of course, charge for them.
New status = new pricing
The company restructured its services which now cost from $89-$599 a year. Its top package–$599 a year–now includes investment advice, as well as a financial 5-year plan. It also includes consultations via the telephone with a financial planner once each quarter and an unlimited amount of support via e-mail.
A fraction of what CFPs cost
You might think that $599 a year is a bit steep but not if you compare it with what you would pay a typical certified financial planner. These people generally charge more than $100 an hour. Plus they often will not accept a client unless he or she has at least $1,000,000 in assets.
Help for the masses
While LearnVest may have started life as basically an editorial site it has now morphed into a complete source of financial-type products. It has the site My Money Center that is comparable to Mint.com and is also free. People can use My Money Center to track their transactions and categorize them. Also, it recently introduced paid subscriptions that include consultations with certified financial planners. While My Money Center will remain free, people who pay for subscriptions can share their profiles during consultations with their financial planners. According to Von Topol, “it’s like Google Docs for your money.”
Set financial goals for customers
LearnVest customers will have in their profiles financial objectives as set by financial planners. My Money Center will also make recommendations based on customer’s financial habits and goals. And finally, LearnVest plans to launch an iPhone app sometime next month.
Spreading financial literacy
The company’s goal is to spread financial literacy and feels that these recent changes are a good step towards accomplishing this. These changes have also increased its audience. While women in their thirties are LearnVest’s core users and have average household incomes of $80,000-$100,000, more than 20% of its paying customers are actually men. The company is developing more stuff for families such as a daily newsletter called LV Moms.
It’s growing up
LearnVest’s infrastructure is also growing. In addition to its SEC registration, it has created a subsidiary, LearnVest Planning Services.. It has increased its staff in some other areas, too, especially in technology. Finally, the company has increased its staff of certified financial planners and now has 50 throughout the US.
Getting help with debt
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