Editorial Team

What's In Your Financial Stack? A 33-Year-Old Founder from Baltimore & Tulsa

The last decade has been one of disruptive innovation in finance, but it’s also led to a moment where optimizing your personal finance can take 5-10 different accounts and apps. Often, financially conscious millennial and Gen Z consumers invest on Robinhood or M1, robo-invest with Stash, Betterment or Wealthfront, manage student loans with SoFi, and have accounts and credit cards with 2-5 incumbent banks and issuers. There’s never been a better time to get value for money, but it’s become a full-time job to build wealth for many consumers. 

That’s why Unifimoney created an all-in-one account that rebundles the best of fintech and makes saving and investing as effortless as spending. 

Courtney, a 33-year-old founder from Baltimore, Maryland and Tulsa, Oklahoma, is in the process of bootstrapping a new Fintech startup designed to help historically marginalized individuals access financial markets. “Our basic premise, which Unifimoney shares, is: stop keeping cash on the sidelines and invest it! You're losing money by leaving it in cash.”

We wanted to learn more about how she’s chosen to manage her personal finances in this moment of maximum Fintech, so we asked her: what’s in your financial stack?

How many bank accounts do you currently have?

Ah - this is a good one. I have a checking account, a savings account, and an investment account. And then I have another savings account, because I still have the old one that I opened when I was younger. Then I have one that I get paid through for contract work. And I also have a government TSP retirement account from when I used to work on the Hill. I also have my independent retirement account within my brokerage account. So, yeah, I have a few.

And what about credit and debit cards?

I have zero debit cards and I have three credit cards. I also have an ATM card. 

In terms of credit cards, I chose two credit cards from Chase because they had very complimentary bonus programs. So, back in the Before Times, when points used to be used to go traveling, it was a good combination, because I would just rotate the rewards through and, if it was the gas category or the supermarket category or whatever, I’d use the card that optimized my returns. Now that fees are increasing for the premium card, I will probably have to downgrade to the lower tier card. 

Which financial apps do you have on your phone right now?

That's an interesting question, because I'm also starting a financial app, so I have a lot on there that I look at, but don't use. They're only on my phone for competitive research purposes. But how many do I actually use regularly? Probably four.

If you had to estimate, how much are you actively investing per month? 

Currently, nothing because I'm bootstrapping a new company. I used to invest through my 401(k) to get the match, but I didn't have a standard monthly amount I was adding on and investing.

Would an account that incorporated auto-investing have been valuable when you were younger? 

Yeah, it would have been — that’s probably why I’m doing the work now to build a holistic platform — it definitely would have been helpful before.

At Unifimoney, we’ve made it a priority to have information about your investment and savings net worth front and center when you open the app. 

We talked about that — we're doing the same thing. So, I think it's a great idea!

With all of the accounts, it must be difficult to track your net worth/financial position across every institution. 

I think Mint and Personal Capital do a good job, but it's become harder because they're not quite as equipped to pull in alternative assets so they can’t serve people who are jumping into crypto or other alternatives. So, if you had asked me a year ago, I probably would have said it's easy to show where most people are — and I think Personal Capital and Mint are doing quite a good job of delivering that information for people who take the time to plug in all of their information. But now, because people are putting their money across so many different apps and banks, I think it's becoming more challenging — it’s something that we’re working on, too.

It’s clear that you’re a Fintech insider who’s bought into the space. In terms of managing your own finances, what are you hoping to find with the right app or account? 

So, we're building an app that’s gender agnostic, but built with women in mind. Not that Unifimoney can't be used by women, but we believe that the financial system was designed with men as the default and women as a niche group. We don't see why 51% of the population should be a niche group. 

From our perspective, we're building a holistic financial mentorship approach — one app where everything is visible to you with a system personalized to you that holds your hand, step-by-step, to help you build the confidence to do whatever you need to do to take control of your financial wellbeing.

So, that’s what we’re building — an app where you can have everything in one place with personalized notifications or nudges that help you change your behavior. We want to leverage technology and use AI and machine learning and well-conceived investment best practices to personalize the investment experience. In other words, if you're a 33-year-old corporate lawyer making a good amount of money, you would probably know if you want to go on a vacation and/or buy a house and/or have kids. You shouldn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to figure out that you should be investing X amount for your retirement and Y to achieve your other financial goals. 

At bottom, our basic premise, which Unifimoney shares, is: stop keeping cash on the sidelines and invest it! You're losing money by leaving it in cash. It’s time to take control of your financial future. That's our premise; that's what we're trying to build.

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*Important information and disclaimers

The above does NOT constitute an offer, solicitation of an offer, nor advice to buy or sell specific securities. The opinions listed above are not the opinions of Unifimoney Inc. or Unifimoney RIA, Inc. but represent the opinions of independent contributors. These contributors may or may not hold positions in the stocks discussed. Investors should always independently research any stocks listed and form their own opinions, while recognizing that any investments made may lose value, are not bank guaranteed and are not FDIC insured.