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How to Spy on Your Neighbor’s Financial Status

Status is something we’ve become accustomed to in the social media era. On Facebook, we update our status to let our friends know how fun our vacation was. On Instagram we brag about our financial status, on Twitter we show off our social status, and on LinkedIn we boast about our professional status.

Comparisons

There’s one fintech in particular that understands this. Aptly named Status, the New York-based company helps users compare themselves with others– though not via pictures, memes, or self-aggrandizing updates. Status takes a user’s financial snapshot by aggregating all of their accounts and anonymously compares a range of metrics with the national average and different groups, including others with similar demographics, people in the user’s geographical location, those that are in the user’s income range, and of the same age.

What exactly are they comparing? Users can analyze their spending, income, debt, assets, net worth, and credit score and compare each figure against those of different groups. Specifically, users can see how much others in their geographical area spend on groceries, how their credit score compares to the national average, how their net worth compares with others in their same age group, how much folks in their same income range spend on housing, etc.

Business model

Because users are motivated to share as much financial data as they can to see how they compare with their peers, Status has excellent insight into which products and services will be most enticing. If Status sees a consumer has a lot of liquid cash, they might show them an ad for a high-interest savings account. Or maybe the user’s vehicle is 15 years old– in that case Status may show them new vehicle financing offers.

Some of Status’ partners include Airbnb, AllState, Liberty Mutual, Betterment, VSP, and Haven Life. Status makes money when it makes a successful referral. This is a common model with B2C fintechs who want to offer their services for free to end consumers.

Personal experience

I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed the comparison capabilities more than I thought I would. My competitive side loves comparing every aspect of my financial standing with others. However, I found it more difficult than I expected to aggregate my entire financial life to gain an accurate comparison. I linked my everyday accounts but there are multiple investment accounts and crypto holdings still outstanding. Additionally, I never found a good way to account for my investment property.

As for the referrals, I was impressed. The offers listed were much more relevant than the offers my bank (which keeps trying to get me to refinance a vehicle loan that I don’t have) usually presents.

Overall, I think I’ll be back. As with all PFM platforms, it is difficult to get a clear picture since transaction categories are often muddled. However, it is still a nice way to not only view my own financial standing, but also compare it with my neighbors.