September 18, 2011

LearnVest – Financial Freedom Through Education

LearnVest is a website that offers information and support for women looking to take control of their finances. In addition to an array of money-related articles and advice columns, the site offers specialty bootcamp programs and budgeting tools that have been designed with women in mind.

You could spend days perusing all the informative articles and Q&As on LearnVest, but you’ll need to sign up for an actual account to really get use out of the site’s latest classes and tools. Tell LearnVest a bit about yourself and link up your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and loan information just like you would with Mint or any of the other money-tracking websites. Once you’ve chosen a pricing plan that makes sense to you, you can get started taking advantage of the site’s many female-friendly tools. Get your bearings by taking a brief tour around the site, or head directly to your dashboard page to get going. Click on the Financial Inbox to see all your latest transactions automatically parsed out by category, and create a series of budgets based on how much money you have coming in and going out each month. LearnVest will take the data you’ve put in and create visually pleasing graphs that show just how much you’ve spent in various categories so far this week or month.

Upgrade accounts to get access to a number of premium features, like specialized financial courses and personal sessions with a certified financial planner. If you’ve got a burning question that only a financial expert can answer, then you can sign up for a one-time day-pass to get access to LearnVest’s specialized team of money managers for just 36 hours at a time.

Practical Uses:

  • Find out where your money is going every month
  • Learn the necessary steps it takes to improve your credit score
  • Keep track of how much money you’re spending on food and entertainment
  • Talk to a certified financial planner about any money questions that are on your mind

Insider Tips:

  • For security reasons, LearnVest doesn’t store bank passwords or data on its site
  • Budgets can be automatically curated or customized to reflect future goals
  • Most questions sent to LearnVest’s CFPs are responded to within one day
  • Day-passes last for 36 hours

What we liked:

  • LearnVest is designed in a female-friendly way that’s fun and inviting without being condescending
  • Bootcamp classes are a cheap way for anyone to learn about finances
  • Budgeting tools will automatically track how much money a user spends without any data input necessary
  • Users can take advantage of free checklists to learn about all sorts of financial topics

What we didn’t like:

  • Although LearnVest offers a number of budgeting tools, it does not have any goal-setting features for future planning


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2009
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: New York, New York
  • Founded by: Alexa von Tobel
  • Web site:


  • Free accounts
  • One-Day Pass is $4.99
  • Three-Month Access is $39.99
  • One-Year Access is $129.99


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    • The value of small such a good lesson.My wife and I have asnrtaiiops of owning income properties in the not-too-distant future. We’ve thought of other investments such as a vending machine business, a storage facility or a laundromat. And the #1 and #2 interests for us are being able to minimize our initial cash outlay and minimizing our ongoing risk. Basically, we want to keep things small. So your comments here are right up our alley.One other thing I’ll throw in too is that while we can’t afford to take on a rental property here in silicon valley, we’ve lived in small towns around the country over the last ten years. We still have friends in those towns, including some people that are very handy. We’re looking at buying an income property in one of those smaller towns where the initial cost is much, much lower (like 1/10th the cost) and where we’ll be able to provide an opportunity for our old friends and neighbors to make some extra money as well by managing the property.So this actually brings up another great question. What advice do you have on managing income properties? What should we look out for, what are some of the biggest risks and how can we mitigate them?

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