The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. iQuantifi demonstrated the “Cashfinder” and “What if” features of its virtual financial advisor platform at FinovateFall in September.
iQuantifi is a virtual financial advisor platform geared toward millennials and young families. The technology relies on proprietary algorithms to provide comprehensive, personalized financial advice, and a step-by-step guide to allocating resources in order to achieve financial goals.
- Founded in June 2011
- Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee
- Raised more than $1M in funding
- Seven employees
- Tom White is CEO and Founder; Karen White is CPO and Co-Founder
- Product launched in September 2014
Tom and Karen White, founders of iQuantifi, don’t run from the “robo-advisor” label. They embrace it.
“There is a huge market of underserved (consumers), and the only way to really reach them is through technology,” Karen explained. “If you can reach more people, what’s wrong with that?”
As far as iQuantifi is concerned, the founders are proud of the fact that they have developed a fully-automated financial planning and investment platform after fifteen years in the financial advisory business. “I can only reach so many people,” Tom said. “We can reach millions now.”
A major boost in that direction came a few weeks after iQuantifi’s FinovateFall debut in late September when the company announced that its platform was available to financial institutions
. By opening the technology to banks and credit unions, the company hopes to make inroads with their target market: technology-friendly millennials just beginning their adult financial lives. “If you’re 28, making $80,000 a year, and net worth is negative,” Tom asks, “plus married and expecting a kid, where do you get financial advice?”
Getting started with iQuantifi is straightforward. The first step is providing personal information. Name, family profile, investment experience, annual income and monthly expenses are the primary categories. Then aggregate your accounts (at least one checking account needs to be linked), and you are ready to begin.
The robo-advisory starts with the Timeline. The Timeline begins with the present and extends all the way through your projected retirement date. Above the Timeline are a set of icons that represent a variety of financial goals, all geared toward millennials and their families. For example, in addition to a “Buy House” goal icon, there is also simply “Relocate” and “Rent” goals icons.
Click on a goal icon and a pop-up allows you to enter information about the goal. With that, the platform goes to work, determining just how feasible reaching your goal is given your current financial profile. If your goal is attainable in the time you’ve set, the goal icon will appear in your Timeline. If your goal is not attainable, a warning appears telling you “You have a shortage.”
Here is where one of the key features demoed at FinovateFall comes in. Rather than forcing you to change your goals, the iQuantifi platform’s “Cashfinder” takes a look at the shortage amount and then goes to your financial profile to see what adjustments can be made to cover the shortage amount. You can take the platform’s recommended changes or keep your current levels.
Even more detailed advice is available by clicking on the green action bar at the bottom below the timeline. Here users of the platform get more specific direction such as “Deposit $458 this month for retirement: Roth account” and “Apply for a Disability Insurance Policy with a $2,437 Monthly Benefit.” The investment section even provides the names of mutual funds, index funds, etc., as well as the percentage allocations required for a diversified portfolio based on the user’s goals.
IQuantifi provides a Summary feature that lets users get a bird’s eye view of any specific financial goal and the progress being made toward reaching it. For example, a Car Summary Screen might show purchase date, total purchase price, percent savings already reached and amount still left to save in pursuit of a new car – all in a colorful, easy to read graphic. The Summary screen also previews the next action to be taken after the current one.
Another compelling feature of iQuantifi is its “What If” feature. This tool allows users to make adjustments to goals and then run scenarios to see how a change in a given goal (a more expensive car, putting off retirement for a few years) affects the overall financial picture, as well as other goals. “iQuantifi lets users update their plan as changes happen in their lives,” Tom said, “and automatically shows the impact of those changes in real-time.”
In some ways, the future for iQuantifi is already here. The company has opened up its platform to financial institutions, pointing out that the platform can help banks serve the “record numbers of college graduates
(who) are starting their professional life with a tremendous amount of debt.” This is all the more so, in Tom’s opinion, to the extent that millennials have been among the demographics least interested in traditional, brick and mortar banking.
The fact that iQuantifi has signed on with MX
, the fintech innovator formerly known as MoneyDesktop
, to provide account aggregation services is another positive for the company going forward. A multiple Best of Show award winner at Finovate, MX was a “natural fit” in the words of iQuantifi CTO Jim Siegienski. Calling MX “best in breed for categorization,” Siegienski praised the Utah-based company for the cleanliness of its technology and its ease of use.
As for security, iQuantifi relies on the same 128-bit secure socket layer technology and SHA-256 encryption that banks use when transmitting sensitive financial data. Data is protected on its end with biometric checkpoints, multiple keylock entries, and “constant video surveillance, and the software is “read only” which prevents anyone for accessing your accounts through iQuantifi’s system.
iQuantifi currently offers 30 days free use of the service. After that it’s $9.95 per month or $89 annually. Multiply that number by the 79 million consumers Tom says make up the “millennial market” and it is easy to see why he and the rest of his team are so excited about the future of iQuantifi.