Award-winning personal financial management app LearnVest launched its iPhone app Thursday, and already it ranks No. 6 among the 20 most downloaded apps, according to AppShopper data.
As its name implies, LearnVest aims to help financial newbies and young people learn to get a handle on their finances. The app is built on the Yodlee platform and features a smart, clean interface that incorporates both articles chosen by LearnVest’s editorial team (that’s part of the learning) and My Money Center, where financial information is entered and budgeting is done.
Where LearnVest goes above and beyond other PFM offerings is its certified financial planners, who are available for a fee (after the first consultation) in order to help with investments, tax preparation, and other financial planning tasks.
LearnVest lists these five goals for its users:
1. Know what (and where) you really spend.
2. Get addicted to organization.
3. Stick to your goals.
4. Stay on top of your cash flow.
5. Get smarter on the go.
Sounds good. Note that LearnVest is not a tool for transferring money, sending money to friends, paying bills, or paying at the checkout counter. It is a way to view account information, learn about your finances, and to set up budgets accordingly.
LearnVest’s target market is clearly young women, and this is a worthy demographic. The smartphone generation is pessimistic about money because of the job market they’ve graduated into, but they still need to learn how to manage their money.
No one should by intimated by his or her own finances, and LearnVest and other PFMs are working hard to bring sound, user-friendly financial planning to the masses, with a particular eye on the young, who are more likely to bank with their phones. As John Schulte, CIO of Mercantile Bank of Michigan said, “Their lives and their phones are the same thing.”
Accel Partners funded LearnVest in 2010, $5.5 million.