For the past year, SPP has been incubating a new financial technology, Knudge (www.knudge.com). The idea for Knudge was born out of the work we do for you, our clients, here at Single Point. In addition to the Planning, Strategy, & Advice, a huge part of our role as your Personal CFO is to act as your accountability partner. We help you make sure you are taking care of all of the important details of your financial life. For example:
- Pay your quarterly taxes
- Review your homeowners coverage prior to renewal
- Your stock grant vests this week – make sure you exercise 200 shares
- Etc. etc. etc.
And these details are critical to creating the best financial outcomes for you and your family.
The problem is, beyond email follow-ups and phone call check-ins, there is really no way for us to efficiently communicate these actions steps to you, and for you to communicate your status back to us. We also recognize that normal business hours aren’t always the most convenient time for our clients to be managing their personal financial life. We know you are busy!! We needed a solution that allowed you to control when you were reminded about the important action items on your task list and is synced with your financial life calendar so that no to-do gets lost in the day-to-day shuffle.
I have been searching for a technology that could help with these issues for years, and found nothing.
Then, in Nov 2017, I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea. Alicia and the kids remember me frantically typing an email to myself the next morning before i forgot it! Here’s an outtake of what i wrote:
Meet, nudge. Your gentle financial reminder system to make sure you are doing all the things in life that get ignored, put on the back burner, and kicked down the road.
Great! I have an idea for a technology that could improve the lives our our clients and help our team be more efficient in their work. Only one problem, I have no clue how to build a technology product!!!!
Luckily, I knew someone who did. Dave Connolly, co-founder of Knudge. Dave is a thoughtful and brilliant friend who had recently left a successful technology company he co-founded here in Boston, HourlyNerd (now called Catalant). Those of you who have been to the office in the past year may have seen the bearded guy in the windowless office at SPP Headquarters, we call it the Garage (because all great tech companies started in a garage, right?).
I thought convincing Dave to work on Knudge might be an uphill battle. After having just come out of building a tech company I knew he was not too keen on re-entering that world right away. I also found out that he had a healthy skepticism for Financial Advisors, thinking we were all just stockbrokers taking a cut for telling you how to invest your money. It wasn’t until I sat down and described the role we play in our clients lives that Dave understood what real financial planning was: “Ohh, i get it, this is like the role my dad used to play for us. Making sure we take care of all the important things in life”.
We started having some conversations with other financial planners and quickly realized this was not just a Single Point problem, it was an issue for all planners. At that point, Dave was convinced we had a great idea. We added the “K” to nudge and we were off. Knudge was officially formed as a separate entity in summer 2018.
Dave has since recruited an amazing team of talented developers and a sharp and insightful VP of Business Development to help us get this off the ground.
In July, we got our biggest validation of the idea by being selected as a finalist in the XY Planning Network’s FinTech Competition at their annual conference. We are heading to St. Louis next week where we will formally introduce Knudge to over 500 financial planners.
XYPN FinTech Finalist Announcement
So, what’s next for you, our clients. Later this fall Knudge will be ready to start using with clients of Single Point. You will be hearing from us on how you will be able to access and leverage this exciting new tool. We are confident it will be an immense value to our clients.
What changes for you? In the past we’d have meetings and deliver a list of action items via email, moving forward we’ll enter those items into the Knudge app and you’ll be reminded when they are due. If you choose to download the app or engage with Knudge via the website, you’ll be able to see the list of upcoming action items and set your preferences for when and how you’d like to be contacted. If you choose to not use the Knudge app, we’ll continue to send email reminders as before.
We look forward to sharing updates as they progress. We’ve been receiving some great press as well, take a look at the articles below if you are interested!
Must Use Tech for the Modern Firm (NAPFA Magazine)
Five Innovative Strategies to Scale a Practice (Financial Planning Magazine)