Heres a challenge: Take the technical, complicated world of financial advice and make it accessible and understandable to regular folks. Oh, and make it fun.
Thats what two financial advisers from Modesto, Jeff Burrow and Jason Gordo, decided to try to do. The two have run Valley Wealth since 2008.
They came up with FlexScore, a computer program that allows people to enter some basic information and get an evaluation of how they are doing and what they should do next.
We wanted to make it for the average, normal person across the country, Gordo said Monday from New York, where he is presenting FlexScore at Finovate, a banking and tech conference. Once people enter some data, such as income, debt and goals, they will get a score, between 1 and 1,000.
Once you have the answers, you can figure out, How am I doing? What should I be doing in the future? Gordo said.
The score is based on information from a study of thousands of certified financial planners across the country; Burrow and Gordo got a patent for their scoring mechanism.
Participants also can see how they rank compared to people of like age, geography and income. Although accounts can be linked to FlexScore, the program does not collect any specific data that could be used in identity theft. Scores can be improved through making changes such as putting off a retirement date or moving credit-card debt to a lower interest rate.
For consumers, the service is free. Burrow and Gordo make money from partners, such as Bizrate, that the FlexScore website links to for people seeking more information on matters such as refinancing their homes.
Theyll pay us a referral fee, Gordo said. But, he emphasized, You do not have to use our path to update information and improve a score. The chance to make such changes to get a better number appeals to the competitive nature in most people gamification, Gordo called it.
He said the firm also is working on licensing agreements with agencies and governments throughout the world.
Its an amazing experience, he said. Were a couple of guys from Modesto.
For more information, go to www.flexscore.com. The system is not yet widely available, but Bee readers can get into it with the access token modbee.