Democratizing Money — Pefin at SXSW

Financial Freedom for the 99%

Money. Love it or hate it, it tops the list of things we focus on most. We need it to buy the necessities of life, and to achieve the things we want in the future. Many of us have complicated relationships with money — often born out of our childhood experiences. I still get hives when I write a check, never having completely gotten over the early days when money was tight, and I struggled to make ends meet.

We focus on how to earn more, how to make ends meet, how to save for the future, how to have enough to do the things we want and need in life. Money can be stressful. For many people financial planning is boring or confusing, and often financial situations seem to be impossible to change.

Does it have to be this way? At Pefin we believe it doesn’t have to be.

Pefin recently was nominated as a finalist in the SXSW Innovation Awards for the “New Economy”, which is a thrill and an honor. We are so excited to be recognized as a company who has the potential to change the world, and to turn the entire money paradigm upside down. Is it possible to live in a world where money doesn’t drive us, but rather we are in control of our financial future? Can it be that situations that seem hopeless- paying down student loan debt, being able to have a decent retirement, sending your kids to college — are actually possible? Pefin isn’t a crystal ball or a magic wand, but the good news is that it doesn’t need to be. Most people have more options than they realize- they just need some help putting it all together.

It all starts with financial literacy- which for most people is a huge yawn. But learning about YOUR finances is way more interesting than how finance works theoretically. If you don’t understand social security rules, how to optimize your 401k, how best to create an adequate nest-egg or pay down expensive debt, you are not alone — but Pefin knows all of that and more. The information you need is not what all of these rules are, but rather what should YOU do, to make the most of YOUR financial situation. For most people this has more to do with answering questions like “if I downsize my home when the kids grow up and move out, will that give me enough money to retire when I want to?”, or “if I have a baby in two years, how much maternity leave can I afford to take — and how will that time off impact my social security payments in retirement?”. Guiding you through understanding your alternatives is what Pefin brings its users — simply, easily, comprehensively.

Once you understand your situation, and what levers you can pull to make your plans achievable, you need to create a mechanism to stay on top of those plans. Pefin will keep you on track by making it easy to see whether you are sticking to your plans — and will give you suggestions on how best to do that. It will help you with everything from understanding how your tax burden will change with the recent federal tax changes, to sticking to a budget when you are on vacation, to providing reminders to apply for financial aid when your kids are applying to college — and so much more. Having a plan- and sticking to it- not just for today’s budget but to achieve what’s important to you in the future is the way to make it happen.

Why is Pefin different — and being recognized by the SXSW nomination? Historically to get a financial plan from a human advisor would cost about $5,000 and would require having assets under management of as much as $100,000 — or more. This is out of reach for most people, and for many people who can afford it, they want to make sure that they are getting advice that is truly fiduciary, unbiased, tailored to them and updating continuously as life changes, markets changes — the world changes. Human advisors can’t process the millions of data points that it takes to properly analyze an individual’s spending patterns and financial behavior and put it in the context of their life plans. To do that requires technology — and specifically Artificial Intelligence. This is what Pefin does- and for only $10/month. This is the true democratizing power that Pefin brings to personal finance. The New Economy is about giving more value than you are getting, putting the power in the hands of the people, and not trying to sell people stuff they don’t need. Knowledge and information is power — Pefin puts the information you need in your hands when you need it.

Pefin is the highest quality financial advisor you can have, by your side, 24/7, giving you the guidance you need to make the right decisions for your life. At Pefin, we are all about putting the control of your finances in your hands — and making that easy- so you can worry less about your money and spend more time on the things that matter to you.

We invite you to stop by our booth at SXSW at the Innovation Forum on Sunday March 11th to experience Pefin first hand. Visit us at to learn more and to get started on making this the beginning of your best financial future. It is never too early or too late to plan for the life you want!