When Your Money Talks, Is It Speaking Your Language?

One of the reasons we founded Blueleaf is that it’s simply too much work to really understand your money and manage it properly. We’re not talking about your day to day spending, though that’s not easy. We’re talking about the long-term, about how small things today make a big difference down the road and about how seemingly big things today may not be so important as the media hype machine may lead you to believe.

We’re setting out to change that by making money obvious, by telling you “this means that” in plain language, and providing complex information in simple visualizations so that you can really understand where you’re headed and what you need to do at a glance.

Allocation – teaching the lowly pie graph a new language

Allocation – How much money do you have in stocks, bonds and cash across all your accounts? It tells you more than most people expect or understand. That’s because all most people have ever seen is a pie graph without any context. That is all that most systems show you. Yet, that humble pie chart is the Rosetta Stone for your financial future.

Your allocation is the biggest driver of your financial returns, much more important than picking any particular stock or mutual fund. Your allocation determines what kinds of returns you can expect over the long run and what you shouldn’t expect. It determines how much risk you’re taking, answering the question “How much money could I lose this year (or over the next 5 years)?” Along with just a few other key pieces of information, your allocation will help tell you if you’re going to be able to retire, or send your kids to the college of their choice, or buy that boat before you’re 50. To us at Blueleaf, that “Can I retire?” question seems kind of important, and yet, why hasn’t someone, somewhere made it obvious what that lowly pie chart means?

The truth is that many have tried. There has been more written on asset allocation by well meaning academics and financial planners that any investor could read in a lifetime. And that is part of the problem. There are millions of words written about allocation in general but there is precious little about how to apply the academic work on asset allocation to our personal portfolios, our personal risk tolerances, and our personal goals.

And that is what matters to us at Blueleaf. Who wants to make our money a hobby or part-time job? That’s what it seems like it will take to sift through all that information, learn what is relevant for us then do the math manually to figure get the answers for ourselves.

So we thought, “Why not just let money speak for itself?” Why not give your money a voice and put it on stage so it speaks to you with power and clarity? Let Blueleaf do the work to learn your language so you can understand what your money is saying to you about your financial future. And that’s what we’re working to do. Blueleaf is working to teach your money to speak your language, not the other way around. We think you’ve got enough to do already.

Interested in what we’re building? Request an invitation to our free preview. And follow this blog for more to come.

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dilaudid/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

John Prendergast John Prendergast is the co-founder and CEO of Blueleaf. He serves on the board of WiredTiger, a developer cloud optimized databases. He is also the founder and organizer of the Lean Startup Circle Boston. In addition to his decade and a half as an entrepreneur, John spent nearly a decade as an investment banker and financial advisor.