Thursday, October 29, 2009
Personal Finance Website to Debut
By William N. White
Posted by Jameel Murray
After the 2008 subprime mortgage meltdown revealed widespread unfamiliarity with the intricacies of personal finance, one former Harvard Business School student is on a mission to educate young people about managing their money.
On Nov. 15, Alexa L. M. von Tobel ’06 will launch LearnVest.com, an interactive financial information Web site geared toward women.
The start-up features personalized information on credit scores, mortgages, and retirement savings, among other fiscal topics. Von Tobel, who is taking a leave of absence from HBS to work on the project, calls it “the Cliff Notes for personal finance.”
“The bottom line is most people don’t know what the difference between a debit and a credit card is,” said von Tobel, adding that most students at Harvard will graduate without ever having taken a class in personal finance.
Von Tobel—who first envisioned the Web site during her senior year at Harvard—said that LearnVest aims to be more personalized than other financial Web sites. It walks users through financial milestones from getting a first job to paying off student loans, then offers gift cards and other rewards when they complete units on the site.
The Web site is designed for women under 30, though von Tobel emphasized that LearnVest is open to anyone.
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