Published February 19, 20183 min read
Even before starting their company, Invibed, Dani Pascarella and Korrie Martinez heard about a lot of friends and family struggling with money, especially fellow millennials. It was heartbreaking, Martinez said, to see people doing the right things but still struggling.
"It's something that can easily be solved with education and having the right tools," she said.
Millennials face particular challenges when it comes to money, Invibed CEO Pascarella said. They've spent more time getting educated because more jobs require college degrees. But even with all that education, many don't know how to handle their finances.
Invibed, which offers financial education and wealth coaching, began out of the frustration of seeing so many people having difficulty with money. Pascarella worked on Wall Street managing money for millionaires (and did a stint working on "Mad Money" with Jim Cramer), but found her friends with lower net worths had nowhere to turn for help. She left Wall Street to partner with Martinez, a friend she'd known through their days in high school and the University of Florida, to help share her financial knowledge with people who needed it.
Martinez, now chief content officer for Invibed, was working as a freelance writer for ad agencies. She used her editing and writing skills in the early days of Invibed, which started out as a content site. Invibed started offering wealth coaching in July 2017.
Wealth coaching sounds like it's a luxury meant only for rich people, but it can help anyone who has money left over after paying rent and bills, Pascarella said.
"Our typical client feels like they're working really hard, they're doing well in their careers and they don't have a lot to show for it," she said.
There's no income or wealth requirement to sign up for Invibed wealth coaching, unlike many other wealth coaching services. The company has focused on young professionals, for whom small changes can make a big impact on their long-term finances.
"If you wait until the future, it becomes much harder to achieve your goals because you have less time to achieve them," Pascarella said.
When users sign up, they are asked to sync their financial accounts, including student loans. They receive a customized financial plan based on the account information and their goals. They also video chat with a wealth coach who lays out where they are and what they need to do to reach those goals (users can also pay $200 for an additional 45-minute wealth coaching session).
One part of the product is financial education. People who sign up get daily text messages with 90-second videos breaking down complex personal finance topics. The videos are meant for people without a personal finance background, Martinez said.
The videos are part of a "Wealth Coaching eCourse, which promises to teach "everything you need to know about personal finance in five hours" and comprises of 45 videos.
"They'll cover everything from budgeting to retirement to investing," Pascarella said.
Users also get monthly progress reports. Wealth coaching costs $39 a month or $397 for the year (the Wealth Coaching eCourse can also be purchased separately for $149). Clients who use Invibed for at least six months saw an average net worth increase of $14,019 in 2017, Pascarella said. That represented a 79% average increase, she said.
Invibed has hundreds of clients, Pascarella said. To grow further, the company is starting to work with businesses to provide its services as an employee benefit. Their customers now are aware they need financial help, but reaching out to businesses will allow Invibed to reach people who might not realize they should start thinking more seriously about their money, Martinez said.
Pascarella and Martinez both left more stable jobs to start Invibed. But the high school friends both felt they had the skills to help their fellow millennials get ahead.
"It's powerful to know we can give people the tools they need to feel a lot less stressed about everything going on in their lives," Pascarella said.
Get essential money news & money moves with the Easy Money newsletter.
Free in your inbox each Friday.