5 LearnVest Alternatives: Finding Affordable Financial Planning for Everyone

LearnVest was founded in 2009 by Alexa von Tobel with the goal of bringing financial planning to women. They would eventually expand their target market to include everyone. Once thought to be the domain of the rich, many Americans found professional financial planning out of reach – LearnVest was designed to overcome this.

Through online education and a suite of investing and budgeting tool, LearnVest raised a little under $25 million with this goal in mind.

In 2015, LearnVest was acquired by Northwest Mutual for a reported $250 million dollars.

In 2018, we’ve learned that LearnVest will be pivoting in some capacity though it’s unclear where their future will be – this is the message on their homepage:

Here at LearnVest, we’re all about progress, not perfection.
And we’re a work in progress, too. We’re working on taking our content to the next level, but we’ll be back soon to help you keep making progress on your money.

If there’s anything we can do to help in the meantime, you can reach us at support@learnvestplanning.com.

If you are looking for an alternative to LearnVest, there are a few options that can help you track your spending and investing, though I’m not aware of any companies that will offer their core product of a $299 financial plan plus $19 monthly fee. It’ll be hard to completely replace them, but you may be able to find a few ideas in the list below.

Table of Contents
  1. Personal Capital
  2. Betterment
  3. Mint
  4. BrightPlan

Personal Capital

Personal Capital Logo

Personal Capital is the closest you can get to LearnVest’s free version. It offers all of the same investment and budgeting tools plus a retirement planning tool based on that data. There’s a rich suite of tools that will remind you a lot of LearnVest. It’s a free service, even for automated transaction aggregation, and you can get a complimentary call with a financial expert.

Personal Capital also has an advisory service that is similar to LearnVest’s Premium version. They manage over $6.5 billion in assets and you a personal advisor at a cost of 0.89% for managed assets over $100,000 (0.79% to 0.49% for assets over $1mm). This advisor and their team will help you come up with a plan much like LearnVest’s Premium version.

It’s not as comprehensive as LearnVest’s offering, but LearnVest was charging $299 plus a monthly fee. Personal Capital is free to use, the planning aspect is based on assets under management.

Learn more about Personal Capital

Betterment

Betterment is one of the biggest robo-advisors out there and through their tools you can create a personalized financial plan that includes everything from buying a house, having kids, retiring, and more.

Once you build this plan, which is completely free, you can give them your savings to manage or you can link your outside accounts to see how your plan is progressing. You can link everything from investment accounts to bank accounts, so they get the full picture (and they can even make recommendations to improve your financial situation).

We’ve done a full review of Betterment that goes into much greater detail about their offering.

Learn more about Betterment

Mint

Mint’s strength is as a budgeting tool (but they also track investments, just not as well as some others like Personal Capital). If you used LearnVest primarily as a budgeting and spending tool, you’ll want to give Mint a look because they’re one of the strongest in budget tracking. Unfortunately, they took away one of their greatest strengths, Bill Pay, recently but their other services are still quite strong.

Learn more about Mint

BrightPlan

BrightPlan is a goal based planner that lets you create a variety of goals, link up your accounts, and see if you’re on track to meet these goals. Whereas a financial planner may ask you for your goals, calculate how much you’ll need, and establish a savings and investing plan to meet it – BrightPlan uses algorithms to speed it up. They will manage your money if you want (at an account with TD Ameritrade) or just give you suggestions for your asset allocation.

Here’s a brief marketing video of their service:

Their service costs $20 a month.

Learn more about BrightPlan

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

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