In a perfect world, investing for our future, saving for the things that make life sweeter and supporting causes close to our hearts would be as easy and automatic as swiping our card at Starbucks. Now, there’s an app for that with a Silicon Valley-style tech startup right here in Sarasota.
Set to launch this month, the Vimvest app is a hub of inspiration designed to unify a person’s investing, saving, and giving goals, allowing them to automatically direct a portion of each dollar saved toward the goals they select. Vimvest is the brainchild of co-founders Margaret Hixon, Phillip Dickson, Stuart Dickson, and Justin Bailey. Margaret, Phillip and Stuart bring decades of wealth management expertise, while Justin brings an expertise in product design and technology. The app’s unique capabilities have also snagged the interest of Kevin Harrington, founder of the As Seen on TV brand and one of the original sharks on Shark Tank. Harrington is a lead marketing consultant for the launch.
It really is a revolutionary way to distribute money, think about your future and consider the future of the community.”
“Our goal was to bring financial planning into the 21st Century, similar to what Facebook did for communication by building an ecosystem that allowed communication to thrive as never before,” said Phillip Dickson, Vimvest co-CEO.“We have built an ecosystem around financial planning that allows people to easily and enjoyably invest, save, and give money. It really is a revolutionary way to distribute money, think about your future and consider the future of the community.”
With the Vimvest app, users can establish long-term goals, such as putting money away for retirement or their children’s college education through its investing services. The app’s saving services accommodate shorter-term goals, such as funding vacations, vehicle purchases, and can serve as a powered wish list. Users also can connect with thousands of nonprofits to which they may choose to give. Each dollar vimvested, as they call it, is split among those three areas according to priorities set by the user.
The app even allows a user to automatically deposit a certain amount every time they swipe their card to make a purchase.
Depending on circumstances, a user could set investing for retirement as a high priority, saving for a vehicle as a mid-level priority, and giving to a favorite charity as a lower priority depending on the amount of funds they have available. Funds are split automatically, and amounts, goals and priorities are easily changed as someone’s needs shift. The app even allows a user to automatically deposit a certain amount every time they swipe their card to make a purchase.
“We’re trying to create the most holistically balanced financial experience out there,” said Justin Bailey, Chief Technology Officer. “The combination of micro-investing, micro-saving and micro-giving is incredibly powerful. If enough people become vimvestors, then Vimvest could change the world.” Because the app is designed specifically with Millennial and Gen X users in mind, it is not intended to simply be a place to check on numbers and charts. Engagement, community, and inspiration is vital to Vimvest.
“We wanted to create a place for inspiration, so we’ve developed a goal marketplace,”Bailey said. “There are goals covering most milestones, activities, items, and causes you can think of. That way, when you come into the app, you don’t need your ideas in place. Shopping for and shaping your future should be fun, not a chore.” A discover section is designed to entice users to see the community side of all things related to their goals. Glimpses, which are full screen image stories similar to Twitter Moments, connect compelling stories to actionable goals. Vimvest also has a daily feed of helpful ideas on topics such as setting goals or how to choose worthy causes to support.
“We believe the Vimvest app has huge potential. It is the result of a lot of effort by some of the best talent from Sarasota to Chicago to San Francisco, and having Kevin Harrington on board gives us a huge advantage,” said Stuart Dickson, co-CEO. Also on the team is Edwin Burton, a Cornell-educated Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia. Burton is a finance executive and pension fund manager who now teaches courses on behavioral finance and theory of financial markets.
Vimvest’s leadership is interested in creating a strong company culture and growing local employment.
Vimvest’s leadership is interested in creating a strong company culture and growing local employment. “We currently have 18 employees, and if we grow at the same rate as last year, we should be around 50 employees by the end of 2018,” he said. “It’s important for us to create a strong business, a great work culture, and provide employment in our community.”
Hixon, with 30 years of experience in financial planning along with experience starting her own financial company, concurs with this view of Vimvest’s potential for success. “Based on our research, there is nothing else like this on the market,” she said. “Our day-to-day wealth management operations have been very successful, and what we are creating is only an expansion of that success.I am confident that we are 100 percent on the mark with the Vimvest app.”