Building Maybe will require time and quite a bit of engineering. There are many complex moving parts. Tackling these parts in a specific order allows us to get an MVP out sooner and reduce the number of assumptions we need to make in the process.
These are the units we'll be rolling out in the coming weeks and months, roughly divided in to two main components: Financial Planning and Wealth Management.
1. Income, expense and credit card tracking
Understanding cashflow in your life is the foundation for proper planning. We'll securely connect to your bank accounts and automatically categorize transactions to understand broad strokes, but this is not about budgeting.
2. Asset tracking
Part of understanding your net worth is tracking the value of physical assets like your home and car. We'll automatically track and keep these values updated.
3. Investment tracking
There are many ways to invest across many different platforms and we'll aim to bring all of these in to your centralized dashboard. Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, crypto, IRAs, art/collectibles, startup investments, real estate...we'll have it all in one place.
4. Net worth tracking
Knowing and tracking your net worth is foundational to being able to affect it. You can't grow what you don't know.
See how your income, spending and investments change your net worth is one of the most basic ways to start making positive change.
5. Financial independence planning
Traditional "retirement" is no longer the end-goal for most. It's financial independence. Consumers don't want to work relentlessly through the prime of their lives and then retire in old age...they want to experience the best of what life has to offer now.
Our financial independence tools will help forecast when a customer can be independent based on savings, goals, social security, inflation, inheritance, investment returns, spending habits and more.
6. Personal finance action steps
One of the scariest parts of managing your own finances is that you don't know what you don't know. We'll generate personalized action steps to help you reach your financial goals, whether that's suggesting tax-sheltered accounts, putting a certain amount of money in a 529 account, maxing out company 401k's or any one of dozens of other things.
We'll give you regular, actionable steps to stay in control of your finances and work towards financial independence.
Generally speaking, the need for wealth management is the natural evolution of well-done financial planning. There's certainly some overlap, though.
7. Investment performance
In addition to tracking your investments, we'll report on historical performance, show asset allocation and compare your investments to various industry-standard benchmarks.
8. Investment optimization
We'll systematically look for ways to optimize your investments based on your risk tolerance, goals and timelines.
The goal is financial literacy for you, not automated/robo-investing. You should be in complete control of what you're investing in and understand how/why it works.
Biggest Risks & Hurdles
There are a number of risks and hurdles to overcome with a product like this.
- Data syncing — Connecting to and maintaining data syncs to hundreds/thousands of financial institutions will be difficult. There are many intermediary tools like Plaid, Yodlee and Finicity to help with this, but it will be a constant battle.
- Regulations — There are various regulations to navigate. For the first few phases of the product it won't be an issue, but once we start offering advice around investing, we'll likely need to pursue RIA compliance, at least here in the US. This isn't all that complex, but it is a hurdle to get past.
- Regional variances — One of our goals is to not just be a financial tool for the US, but for the whole world. When it comes to financial, or more specifically investment advice, the investment vehicles can vary quite a bit in each country. We'll likely roll out support for each country on an individual basis as we work with financial consultants in each country to make sure we're compliant and fully supporting the investment tools in each country.
As we build out Maybe as both a company and a product, we have one goal: to empower consumers to be financially literate with actionable tools and advice so they can become independent sooner rather than later.