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LearnVest is an online personal finance utility that allows users to track spending and budgets. It also gives you access to a financial planner that can view your account and who is a real human being. Users link their financial accounts, including bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts and loans to the site. LearnVest then uses data from the accounts to give you a comprehensive picture of your financial health. Especially when you use the budgeting page diligently, you’ll be able to manage your money effectively with this tool.
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LearnVest is an online personal finance utility that allows users to track spending and budgets and gives you access to a financial planner that can view your account. Users can implement their personal finance management tactics to help see their savings grow and reduce debt.
You also have the ability to manually enter your transactions if you don't (or can't) link an account. Surprisingly, that's not available with some competitors. Here are some other highlights associated with LearnVest.com:
LearnVest offers a free, 15-minute consultation with a financial advisor upon registration. One of LearnVest's unique qualities is the client's access to a finance planner. These planners help make financial goals and keep clients on track.
As far as setting up the account and adding your banks, loans and mortgage, it's very straightforward. You search for your bank and enter your login information to have your account sync with LearnVest. The Dashboard is streamlined and simple, making navigating your accounts easy. It is able to sort transactions into categories like food, entertainment, and utilities.
A paid LearnVest membership will give you "classes" every month that can help you learn, although we're not sure if a class is anything more than a video. You can also "challenge" yourself, which means you set up tasks to complete with the aim of improving your numbers. There are a number of extra resources you can take advantage of when you shell out a fee every month.
Finovate, Forbes, Time and TechCrunch are among those that recognize LearnVest for its usefulness and innovation. LearnVest lets you set up a budget as it relates to your savings or repayment goals. You can also prioritize your spending. LearnVest knows what kinds of expense each transaction is, so you can budget for "restaurants" or "hotels". LearnVest is also capable of helping you set up personal "challenges", which are tasks to help you improve your numbers each month.
The cost of a membership is higher than many other personal finance tools. There's a $299 setup fee and an additional $19 per month fee for a personal planner.There's currently no Android app available, which eliminates a portion of potential clients.
It's heavily focused on your budget and paying back loans. Many LearnVest users have some kind of loan and are trying to figure out a financial plan to repay those loans. Because of this, LearnVest communicates with you, but mostly about educational and lifestyle-oriented content they want you to read. It's not geared towards alerting you about receiving dividends or reaching a designated balance in a bank account. In fact, there are virtually no alerts whatsoever about your accounts.
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Following my first call with my planner, tools within my account were frozen while he implemented my "plan." 17 months later, the same tools in my account were still frozen, and I was still being charged. Calls resulted in long hold times. I didn't have time to deal with it. When I finally got a hold of someone about it, I requested a refund or credit of some kind. They refused and told me, essentially, it was my fault for not letting them know. Because, you know, it's My responsibility to remind them to provide the service I'm paying for. Laughably bad customer service.
I have been receiving the daily newsletters for years and I set up an account with them twice, spending hours filling our and linking by accounts to use their free tool, only for them to lose my account. I have logged in with both of my accounts and the system has nothing on file for me. Disgusting! I have been endorsing them for years.
For this not to have an Android app is a shame. Was looking for a mint replacement but not anymore.
Pros: Learn Vest is accessible to many people who cannot afford a financial planner out right. The most valuable thing I learned was about calculating what it cost per year for your lifestyle then dividing that number by 12 and opening an account to set that amount aside into separate accounts. For example lets say my idea of fun things like shopping, travel, dining out cost me $2,000 per year. I would open a FUN account and save $166.00 per month which is $2,000/12= $166.00. Anythime I do a "fun" activity, make a transfer to pay for it. Brilliant and I never thought of it before LearnVest Cons: I paid $299 set up fee and $19.00 per month thereafter. I would say that $300 set up and $19/month is comparable to what you would pay a legit financial planner for two real sessions. If I knew what they really offered for the money you pay, I would've passed. You only get two phone calls. The phone calls last about 1 hour and are very impersonal you cant see the person advising you about your money. No bueno. I suggested Skype but was told for legal reasons they cant skype. After the two phone calls you are on your own. Those stupid PDF worksheets: Once you have painstakingly input all your financial information into the Learnvest system i.e salary, retirement and debt, you are required to complete worksheets to figure out a budget. The idea is great but the execution is terrible because the worksheets have to be printed out and done by hand. In addition, the work on the worksheets remains on paper its not incorporated into the system electronically. FAIL Conclusion: LearnVest is a classic case of being too big for its britches. While they have some great and innovative ideas, they fail on software and executing those ideas. All you are really getting from Learnvest is what Mint.com provides for free with the exception of 2 phone calls from a personal planner and daily "tasks" via automatic emails that go ignored. If you need more support and guidance especially with investing, just pay to play and hire a real CFA.