Anatomy of An Entrepreneur’s Finances
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Jon Stein, the CEO of Betterment.com.
Finances are top of mind for every entrepreneur – be it negotiating VC funding, sourcing angel investors, or bootstrapping to stretch the budget further. Entrepreneurs manage their money differently compared to the average person. At times, their wallets may be thin, but only because their money is being put to good use.
As the CEO and founder of Betterment.com, the simple, yet sophisticated way to invest, I’m well acquainted with the anatomy of an entrepreneur’s finances. I’ve experienced the gamut of scenarios myself and discuss this regularly with our customers (many of whom are entrepreneurs too).
Entrepreneurs appreciate efficiency, clean design, and streamlined processes. Most are too busy taking over the world to have spare time to manage their money. They just want it neat and easy.
Thanks to some awesome developments in financial technology, it’s now easier than ever for entrepreneurs to fine-tune their financial framework. Here are some of my favorites to nicely complement the anatomy of an entrepreneur.
DISSECTING THE ANATOMY
Lean Muscle – Entrepreneurs appreciate efficiency and hate waste. They want their financials to be the same way: simple, easy to understand, and well organized. Financial products are too complex – adorned with unhelpful bells and whistles – and many include fees customers don’t realize they pay.
We designed Betterment with this in mind. It offers an extremely simple user interface – think customized investment advice just by moving a slider – with transparent communication and one, simple fee. It is a sleek design with efficient back-end processes.
BillGuard is an example of an efficient service that puts some muscle behind your money. By monitoring unusual credit card activity on a single platform, BillGuard enables entrepreneurs to stay on top of their charges without expending additional time or cash.
A Racing Mind – Entrepreneurs are constantly thinking, multi-tasking, brainstorming new ideas. When they aren’t contemplating new business plans or complex company decisions, they are running between meetings and press events. Their days end with catching up on a slew of emails sitting in their inboxes. Bottom line: they are busy.
Entrepreneurs need financial solutions that take care of the important details for them. They need quick access to financial information, whether in-transit or in between meetings. They don’t have time to actively manage accounts or conduct swift stock trades, but they appreciate the importance of saving and investing – of growing capital for a long-term goal.
This is one of the reasons so many entrepreneurs use Betterment – because we take care of important investing behaviors automatically. Customers are automatically diversified and invested in the market portfolio. We automatically re-balance their accounts and re-invest their dividends, and customers can set up automatic deposits so their savings are instantly transferred over on dates of their choosing. Entrepreneurs can access all of their Betterment information and even initiate transactions on their mobile phones.
Manilla is another great online tool that keeps things organized. It achieves the ultimate efficiency by combining all of your bills into one hub with one password. It also lets you automate payments – which means ten less things to worry about.
Excellent Hand-Eye Coordination – Entrepreneurs are on top of their game. They are used to weighing their options and assessing tradeoffs under tight deadlines.
At Betterment, we help our customers assess risk with projected outcomes based on the framework of their long-term goals. It’s a quick and intuitive way to make investment decisions, and on-par with the way efficient entrepreneurs already make decisions.
Mint.com is another way for entrepreneurs to keep their eyes on the financial ball. Mint is a streamlined resource for assessing your financial situation at a glance. By providing you with a single dashboard for all of your financial accounts, you can make sure your monetary picture is always in check and your net worth is on the rise.
MAINTAINING YOUR PHYSIQUE
To stay in good physical shape you might have to do some cardio, stretch with some yoga, and lift a few weights. But when it comes to being financially fit, you can maintain your monetary health without lifting a finger.
Financial technology is constantly changing and improving – becoming more streamlined to meet the needs of the busy entrepreneur. And if you are one of those time-strapped innovators, companies like Betterment, BillGuard, Manilla, and Mint are just what you need to keep those financials in tip-top shape.