The co-founders of financial.me – Darren Bruning, Chris Brock and Shannon Skinner have brought in a maestro model of personal financial management (PFM) for financial advisors. Consumers globally can benefit from financial.me’s best-in-class PFM solution. Whether it’s saving towards the first house, paying off the mortgage quickly, planning for retirement, or watching those pennies while on a fixed income, financial.me can help settle the financial scores.
The financial advisor can help their customers track more closely to budget, and intervene earlier when things are going astray. Mortgage brokers often measure themselves as incompetent financial advisors, working with their clients to establish a savings history and sum up a deposit for the mortgage on their first home. They can monetize the free advice, by registering their clients in financial.me. Insurance brokers tend to become integrated with mortgage brokers, as per clients’ requirement. Investment advisors can use financial.me to gather initial data from new clients, and to interactively sketch out the future impact of various investment strategies with them.
The start-up was initiated from the roots of “BitRocket Ltd, a small private company, set up at Innovation Park, Ruakura, Hamilton, New Zealand in September 2013. The founders have been building software for 38 years diligently to cater the growing needs of both clients and the end users of the software .
The founders plugged into the concept when they were much dissatisfied with the glitches in primitive PFMs and wanted to bring in the interface of modern data visualization techniques and best-practice software engineering to create a fast, usable, next-generation PFM for the masses. They also realized that managing Personal Finances can be quite cumbersome on the clients’ part with little benchmarks or measurements to make up all the rules. The experience has similarities with a Gym membership. However, getting a Personal Trainer involved at the Gym and discussing goals and aspirations makes us realize that we can do 5 more reps or 10 minutes extra on the treadmill and the results are much more likely to be attained.
What if the PFM solution could help keep us on track or even better, have our financial advisor as our Wingman? Could we experience paralleled results with our finances that we have experienced in the gym?
Analysis made before the start-up
The founders embarked on a round of market validation and learned that the financial advisory market consists of a fee-for-service advisors, mortgage brokers, insurance brokers, and investment advisors. Workshops were held by the people of the each category mentioned above, and were asked whether a tool like financial.me added value to their business. The response was highly positive, so they pitched in.
However, few steps down the ladder they faced problems funding the venture and believing their instinct towards the market response. But, the intention was greater than doubts so solving the problem of people to consistently manage their money wisely and efficiently.
The remarkable interactive graph is immaculate allowing people to see patterns in their spending history and project forwards into the future. Bringing advisors together to help people manage the fiscal matters is blissful.
There is no direct competition that offers a collaborative environment between a client and their advisor altogether in the marketplace. The closest competition would be AFA’s producing their own graphs in Microsoft Excel or similar, with complex formulas to produce Monte Carlo analysis.With a sole focus on the North American market; Balance Financial ($49/mo for the institution + $5/mo/client) and e-Money offers the closest comparison with a heavy focus on the advisor, taxes and only limited appeal to the clients to engage with the products.
A number of PFM solutions are available in the direct-to-consumer market, which have either a subscription model or are affiliated with financial service providers/sponsors including Mint, Heaps, Pocketsmith and Yodlee money center. When a PFM solution is affiliated with a bank, they will often only report on their own accounts which can be frustrating for users who would like all of their assets and liabilities in a single product/view.
Uploading account statements manually can be tedious and the number of accounts managed in PFM’s can often be reflected in pricing with multiple accounts incurring further costs, along with limitations on functionality without subscribing to the highest tier of pricing.A large majority of these applications have the ability to track a user’s bank transactions (either automatically, or via a file downloaded from the bank), create and maintain budgets, and forecast future account balances to avoid overdrawn fees.
None of the current specific PFM solutions offers the client/advisor modelling that financial.me have developed .They do a good job of understanding budgets and personal finances, collaboration between clients and their trusted financial advisor has many benefits including shared motivation and alerts of change in circumstances and balances.
So far the firm has launched a Beta in August 2014, which upshot valuable feedbacks regarding aids and limitation of the PFM solution. The feedbacks are taken into account to refurbish the PFM and launch it into the NZ market by early 2015.
Martin Buglass, a proficient in Sales & Marketing (with startups, including ReadSoft and X-Solutions in Europe) is helping sign up Financial Advisors in New Zealand.
The preliminary feedback was encouragingly affirmative as both advisors and clients approved the PFM solution would benefit and very quickly provide significant ROI to both parties.
Q1 and Q2 2015 New Zealand Financial Advisors
Q3 and Q4 2015 Australian Financial Advisors
Q1 and Q2 2016 United Kingdom Financial Advisors
Q3 and Q4 2016 America Financial Advisors
There is a free version of financial.me for people who are willing to download transactions from the bank and upload them into financial.me manually. The charge to automate the transaction updating process is USD10 per month.The expense for financial advisors is USD100 per month and USD8 per month for each of their PFM customers.
To plan your budget now visit www.financial.me