Ed Lamark graduated from Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business with a Master’s of Science in Financial Markets and Trading in 1997. From there, he enjoyed a dynamic career as a trader, building various software tools to help his institutional employer’s bottom line. However, it is his latest endeavor that is the focus of this article – he has traded in his corporate career for entrepreneurship and app development.
With The Wealth Pool (TWP), Lamark looks to help individuals of various financial statuses with an app that allows you to see “how you stack up financially with your peers” in “an anonymous pool of shared financial data [that] gives you greater clarity on your finances and helps improve your financial well-being.”
TWP accomplishes this by first helping users organize their finances, on both individual and social levels. Users can see their total financial picture in one place and truly get a handle on their spending through the app, but users are also asked to anonymously share their organized financial data and have it displayed in a “pool” where all users compare their financial choices to peers and non-peers.
This insightful level of transparency for members is generated with security top of mind. TWP employs multiple layers of security to protect users’ financial data but also allows a robust level of comparison. This, Lamark believes, sets TWP from other financial planning tools by introducing a level of social comparison (just without names or specific financial points attached). For example, TWP users could compare how much they spend on coffee or on car service rides relative to other users of the same demographic. “How are my debt levels and savings levels?” TWP answers these questions through over 600 pooling categories that are all possible points of comparison.
TWP “consolidates activity from all saving and spending accounts, including banks, credit cards, and investment accounts into one constant stream from which users organize their finances in one place.” Additionally, TWP can even run simulations and other “what-if scenarios” to help users make financial decisions and answer essential questions like “when will I run out of money?”
The “Fine Print” section of TWP’s overview lays out a lot of the points mentioned above, but some worth repeating here are how the app uses “bank-level security to protect your personal and confidential data,” that TWP does “not dispense financial advice or sell financial products,” that “no financial login or credit card credentials are stored on the app,” and that “no private information or financial data is sold” (only anonymized and shared in unidentifiable formats).
On a direct-to-consumer basis (B2C), TWP users can choose to be either free members (with full access to its core financial planning module and educational content) or subscribe as a paid member for five dollars per month (or $50 per year) to receive all free features plus TWP’s AI-powered expense manager as well as the signature pooling comparison tools.
However, Lamark is also focused on reaching consumers in a business-to-business-to-consumer framework (B2B2C) through their established, trusted communities – employer, school, or financial service provider – and positioning TWP as a financial wellness benefit for its business partners’ constituents. For this reason, TWP’s full feature suite will be available to Illinois Tech students for free upon its launch.
Lamark is still a few weeks from welcoming Illinois Tech students to the pre-launch of TWP, but further questions and considerations can be directed to him at [email protected]
Image courtesy of The Wealth Pool