LearnVest is a financial planning website that offers assistance to anyone hoping to take control of their personal finances, free of charge.
When you begin your membership with LearnVest.com, you give them access to all your financial accounts – credit, bank, loans, etc. LearnVest will organize all this information in your “My Money Center.”
Once this information is available in the Money Center, you can utilize the LearnVest tools to help you keep track of your spending, organize your transactions, and help you maintain a budget.
If you are looking for even more financial help, LearnVest does have paid memberships that can provide it. For $69.00, you can get 3 months’ access to a financial expert, as well as a Budgeting Course and a personal Budgeting Plan.
For $229.00, you will get 6 months’ access to a financial expert, full access to all LearnVest courses, and a Core Financial Plan.
Finally, for $349.00, you will get 1 year’s access to a financial expert, full access to all LearnVest courses, and a Complete Financial Plan.
LearnVest courses include training for Budgeting, Five Year Plans, Investments, and Retirement Planning.
2 ‘LearnVest’ Reviews
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.
Great, Easy Budgeting
I have been reading the LearnVest articles as a subscriber to their daily e-mails for over a year now. Some of the information is stuff I already know, but a lot of it is useful, even if it is just to help my friends and family.
I just signed up for the free account recently and haven't used the paid services, but so far I love the free account. I used to spend a lot of time going through my monthly statements to tally how much I spent for each area of my budget (i.e. groceries, car expenses) and it does it automatically. It allows you to link your accounts so you can see how much money you have in your accounts and how much you owe at any given time. It's great!