In today’s episode of Framework, Jamie talks with Jon Stein, the founder and former CEO of Betterment, an automated investing platform that makes it easier to do the right thing with your money.

Jon’s road to financial services started with a penchant for understanding and helping others. In college, he studied business and economics but was most intrigued by behavioral economics and psychology. After a brief foray into medicine, Jon used his obsession with efficiency and helping others to consult for the banking industry.

Though he met many well-meaning people in the financial services space, he felt that, at its core, the system was broken. It took several years to figure out how he wanted to use tech to improve people’s financial well-being. And once he started Betterment, he knew he was onto something that was filling a big gap in the market.

Jon talks with Jamie about why he created Betterment in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, how roles are shifting for financial advisors, and why creating great tech is about adding more value for customers than they can get elsewhere.

(25:03) “Advisors aren’t going anywhere. I’m very bullish on that fact. Well-to-do people are going to want advisors, right? I can sell you a great lawnmower, the fanciest electric lawn mower that lets you ride around, but a lot of people are still going to choose to have someone mow their lawn, right? Even though you could do it on your own. ~ @jonstein

Main Takeaways

  • Advisors aren’t going anywhere, there will always be a place for in-person money management over robo advisors. However, they, like consumers, want the best tech available.
  • The success of tech comes down to creating value for customers — more value than they can get through other channels or platforms.
  • Customers should be aspiring to financial goals, something that they actually want to obtain. Otherwise, they don’t need financial management.

Links and Important Mentions

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