Finally ⎯ Accessible Financial Planning For All Canadians, Regardless of Their Financial Situation

Finally ⎯ Accessible Financial Planning For All Canadians, Regardless of Their Financial Situation

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated October 2, 2020

For Canadian’s looking to take control of their finances and create a plan that works for their unique lifestyle, historically there have been two options. Visiting a professional financial advisor or taking the DIY path. But for those looking for something in between, the options are limited, until now. Finally, an online digital platform, helps Canadians create professional financial plans from the comfort of their homes within minutes. 

We spoke with Santiago Larrarte, founder of Finally, about how he’s changing the way consumers manage their finances and plan for the future. 

First, let’s start at the beginning. What is Finally? And what made you start Finally?

Finally is a Canadian fintech startup that was created with the sole purpose of bringing affordable financial planning services to all Canadians. It is the first consumer-driven financial planning platform where any Canadian can build a tailored and professional financial plan within minutes, understand how to distribute their income across multiple financial goals, and learn to pick the right type of bank account for each of their goals.

I decided to start Finally because, like many of you out there, I was seeking affordable yet professional financial advice, and I didn’t like the idea of wasting time scheduling appointments and sharing my financial situation with a stranger.

What features does Finally have that make it different from other financial planning platforms like Mint, YNAB, etc?

Mint, Wealthsimple, Mylo (now Moka), YNAB, and others, they are all focused on single-use cases. For example, if you want help saving, you could get a Moka account; if you want to invest, you could get a Wealthsimple account; if you want to track your monthly expenses, you could get a Mint account, and so on.

The reality is that most people have multiple, yet competing goals, that need to be solved simultaneously. You want to save for a vacation, invest money for retirement, and also pay down your debt, all while keeping your current lifestyle. So how do you distribute your income to achieve all these goals? How do you know if your current savings plan is enough to fund all your expected future goals? That is where Finally comes in.

With Finally, you get to build a tailored financial plan that helps you understand how to achieve all your financial goals and helps you track your plan’s progress, making sure your needs are always met. Finally will also help you understand the type of financial accounts that are best for each of your goals and the financial providers that can help you open those type of accounts. The best part of it is that you won’t need to discuss your financial situation with anyone anymore. You can build your financial plan from anywhere, at any time.

If a user falls behind or isn’t progressing the way they planned, what features does Finally have that can help them get back on track? 

Finally will notify you if you have fallen behind and will ask you to adjust your financial plan based on your new financial situation. We understand life happens and a plan is just a plan. It doesn’t mean that it cannot be adjusted when life changes. As a result, with our Standard Plan, you will get full access to the platform where you can adjust, add, delete, and reprioritize each of your goals, whenever you need to, in order to get back on track. We are also working on an exciting new feature that will give users that extra layer of motivation, so make sure to sign up to get access once this goes live.

Is there a specific type of consumer who is best suited for Finally?

If you make enough money to comfortably support your current lifestyle, and also have enough savings to fund your future goals (i.e. buy your dream house, live comfortably in retirement, pay off your debt in full), you might not find much value in Finally. On the other hand, if you are looking to figure out a monthly budget that will enable you to cover your lifestyle expenses and also fund your future financial goals, Finally will definitely provide you with the answers you seek. Our goal is to promote financial literacy and make it as easy as humanly possible to deliver the most tailored financial planning experience to all Canadians, regardless of their wealth (or lack of).  

What makes Finally better than meeting with a financial advisor? 

This is more of a personal point of view. I’ve never liked talking to a financial advisor. Not only is the whole experience very time-consuming, but also I didn’t like having to disclose my financial situation with a stranger. Moreover, it seemed to me financial advisors were more interested in selling me yet another bank account, instead of giving me the financial advice I was seeking for.

This is what you get with Finally: financial advice tailored to your own personal needs, without having to disclose your financial situation with a stranger, and at a fraction of the price that you would have to pay otherwise to an independent financial planner.

Do you have a timeline for when your premium version will be available and why do you think consumers should choose it over your free version?

The premium version is expected to be released in early 2021, and will offer users an array of features that will help you not only put your financial plan in automatic mode, but will also give you that extra motivation (for example cashback rewards) to remain accountable for your plan’s success.   

One of the benefits of the premium version is the cashback feature, can you tell more about that?

Cashbacks programs, as their name suggests, are specifically designed to reward a certain behaviour through cash incentives. While I cannot share specific details of our cashback feature, we want to reward those users that are consistently committed and accountable for keeping their financial plan on track. They will basically get paid for consistently following through with their financial plan.

Finally allows consumers to create a financial plan according to their specific needs and financial situation. Can you tell us why that is important, why should Canadians have a financial plan? 

I’ll give you 3 data points that are just mind-blowing:

  1. 3 out of 4 people in North America don’t know if they will ever achieve their financial goals (retire comfortably, pay their debts, buy a house, etc).
  2. 1 out of 2 people in North America has NEVER obtained a professional financial plan.  Most of them cannot afford the service.
  3. 80% of the people that have had a professional financial plan in place feel CONFIDENT they will be able to achieve their financial goals.

That is why having a financial plan is so important. Because without a good financial plan, you won’t know how to reach all your financial goals based on your unique financial situation.

Currently, Finally does not have an app, with more and more Canadians opting for apps than their desktop, do you plan on turning Finally into an app? 

Absolutely! We will be developing and launching the app in early 2021. So make sure to sign up and get updated on upcoming releases!

Rating of 5/5 based on 2 votes.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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