LearnVest’s education model is changing the game for the average Joe

I first read about Alexa von Tobel and LearnVest in the Times.

Their mission was perfectly simple: to make financial planning as affordable and widely available as a gym membership. As Ms. von Tobel put it, “We want to disrupt the industry.”

At Lessonly, we can relate to waking up a sleepy, complacent market, so I was intrigued enough to bite.

So far, I’ve made one observation, which prompted this blog post: LearnVest is flipping the learning experience. You won’t read about it on their site, so I’ll explain here.

Inspired by the Kahn Academy and a whole slew of forward-thinking universities, the process of flipped learning involves transferring fundamental information in a digital way so that face time with the learner can be spent more efficiently. (Note: as you can read here, we built Lessonly around the strength of this premise.)

By flipping the financial-planning model, LearnVest is putting the tools in your hands to be successful. Instead of sitting face to face with a CFP who will bill me $500 by the time I’ve finished my first cup of coffee, LearnVest teaches me the fundamentals of financial planning in digital ways. Before I ever have that brew with my own CFP, I’ve already filled out my Financial Profile, taken a bootcamp, and read 5 articles on LearnVest’s philosophy.

Because of LearnVest’s approach, I can eliminate that $500 cup of coffee and spend my time and money wisely—taking as little or as much time as I need to learn the fundamentals of the practice—all thanks to digital-learning materials. Now, when it comes time for that coffee, my CFP and I are talking about the things that matter.

Like any business, Lessonly included, LearnVest can improve a few things. In their case, these improvements are mostly on the learning side, but the one thing I can say is that a flipped-learning model will work for them. It’s how they are taking financial-planning fees from $3,000 to $399. It simply makes the process more efficient and affordable for both parties.

Most importantly, in the end, I’m a savvier planner myself because they’ve taught me what I need to know in a blended-learning fashion.

For that kind of value, I’m an average Joe who is more than willing to pay $20 every month.


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