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The Road to Hey Money

Jan 28th, 2020 • Peter Dunn

Hi I’m Pete. Some people call me Pete the Planner®. It’s me. I call myself that. It was a gmail situation in 2002, can’t defend it. I’ve been a financial author, educator, and business owner for several decades and I’ve truly never been more hyped about a new business venture. Hey Money is many ways is the culmination of everything I’ve worked on for years. I’d love to tell you how we got here.

Back in the early 2000s when I was a financial advisor, I became passionate about the psychology of money. I was fascinated with how people dealt with their money, how they spent it, and what it took for me to get them to change their habits. These ideas and techniques permeated throughout my financial planning business until I became known locally as a bit of a “fixer.” In short, I could fix really broken financial lives. I enjoyed it, my practice was thriving, and then a special request came along. A CEO client of mine asked if I could help fix the financial lives of his 2,000 workers. I had never done this in bulk before (other than in the media), but his request made sense, so I said yes. This is how Your Money Line came to be. Sure, we weren’t called Your Money Line back then, but we were one of the first financial wellness companies in America. I loved it so much that I ended up selling my financial planning business to focus on financial wellness in the workplace full time.

Fast forward about 12 years. We’ve built something very special here at Your Money Line. We serve people in all 50 states, we help guide the financial decisions of millions of Americans each year, and we do it so well, that our client renewal rate is hovering around 96 percent. Our clients see the value in having their employees financially well, and thus we’ve formed many great long-term relationships.

But. Yes, you had to know a but was coming. But, we have ignored the financial needs of the general public for far too long now. As much as I love helping people with their finances in the workplace, I can’t get over the fact that the average person off the street can’t get the style and quality of guidance we’ve perfected. This changes in 2020.

Enter Hey Money.

Hey Money is our new consumer service which connects an individual with a financial expert. We’ve taken what we’ve learned from Your Money Line, made the proper adjustments for a streamlined consumer experience, and created a unique new offering. It’s based on a simple yet informed premise — Most people aren’t ready for a relationship with a fee-based financial planner.

If you think of all the questions and processes a person has in their financial life, and you place those questions and processes on a scale from 1-10 in increasing complexity, you’ll quickly realize fee-based financial planners are amazingly effective at addressing steps 8-10. These particular steps include specific investment decisions, wealth management, and estate planning. Here’s what I’ve learned in the tens of thousands of financial conversations I’ve had in the last 20 years — A vast majority of people are stuck on 1-7.

When you’re stuck on 1-7, you currently only have a few options.

  1. Do it on your own, which can be slow, uncertain, and rife with risks.
  2. Seek-out a fee-based financial planner, despite the fact they aren’t properly equipped to help you with steps 1-7, and pay top dollar in the process.
  3. Work with a commission-based financial professional for “free” who only makes money once you buy something from them.

These aren’t great options, right? I know this because I have been the financial professional described in both option 2 and option 3. And in case you’re wondering, it’s not a financial professional’s fault they aren’t equipped to properly serve steps 1-7. They shouldn’t feel at all bad. The financial services industry doesn’t have a fair system to compensate financial professionals who want to help people with steps 1-7.

More than anything, Hey Money is the culmination of a 15 year journey to solve this compensation conundrum. My goal was to take highly-credentialed and empathetic financial problem solvers, and offer them to people stuck in stages 1-7, for about $200/year.

Hey Money customers will get unlimited access to a financial professional, and they won’t be asked to buy anything additional, ever. We are not trying to replace financial planners. We are trying to create better clients for financial planners.

To learn more about Hey Money, click here.

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