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Sexing-Up Financial Services

A tech reporter once said to me that a financial services startup wasn’t sexy. I mused over it for a while. It’s not a completely unfair point.

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: January 18, 2012

I guess we’re so used to stuffy hedge funds and boring banks – suits on Wall Street, not skinny jeans in SoHo. We’re used to tuning out the minute we hear “financial literacy (blah blah blah…)” – “I know Dad, I’ll get to it after I book my travels to Mexico on Jetsetter, buy Black Keys tickets on TickPick, peruse the OpenSky sale, and book my birthday dinner through Savored.”

Maybe because we’re programmed to see it as boring … but why is taking charge of your finances not seen as sexy when it’s the key to everything that is?

Let’s face it. You wouldn’t have access to any of the startups (and their wares) just mentioned without some cash in the bank – and if it’s all going on the credit card you’re in even more trouble. Getting your funds sorted out is empowering.

I’m not talking about having money for the sake of it (although the status it brings might be your thing) – I’m talking about having the freedom to have and do the things you love. The freedom to leave a job you don’t like, the resources to pursue something you do, the funds to indulge your past-time passions, the luck to be able to give some money away, the foresight to retire early – or not, if you don’t want to – the choice is yours.

Now this is getting steamy…

Startups are the sexy new kid on the block in New York and it’s a great time to be working in one. Many (so many!) of the ideas coming out of startups are fun, creative, innovative – sexy  – it’s New York in a nutshell.

Financial services may be one of the harder industries to tackle – the regulation is fierce and the industry is staid – but I think anyone would agree that it’s an area that could use some sexing-up.

How about feeling empowered, secure, free, and independent? How about using a product that’s elegantly simple, gives you absolute control over your money, is trustworthy and intuitive?

Maybe my taste has matured, but I’ll take those qualities over a shiny new thing any day.

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