Very few university students today know how to build wealth. During his time at the University of Western Australia, David Sanders became aware of this painful reality.
When David, 25, and his colleagues at ThinkHub.io set out to build the Avocado Fund, a personal finance app that helps people achieve Financial Freedom by putting their money in a place where it will grow, they initially wanted to target university students. At the time, the idea made sense to David, who graduated from university in 2015.
But a conversation with MindShift.money founder Dr. Tony Pennells about six months ago changed his perspective on the sheer amount of people who lack the right financial knowledge.
“We were initially thinking millenials, that was our target market, but he brought on board that there is a plethora, a multitude of people who are not just in our demographic, who need this information,” David said.
People just aren’t saving
The household savings ratio in Australia has hit a 10-year low, even as the economy grows at a steady clip. Households in the U.S. don’t fare much better when it comes to saving.
David explained that society’s emphasis on spending has led to a debt crisis, not only for individuals and households, but for governments and corporations as well. Large banks, he said, profit when people take on debt. Furthermore, financial institutions rarely (if ever) tell their customers the best place to put their money. And due to conflicts of interest, banks don’t want customers to find out about alternatives to low-growth savings accounts.
When your money goes into your bank account, temptation sets in, forgetfulness sets in, and people don’t put their money into the places where they should.
The attitude of most people about money doesn’t help much either. All too often, we want things now and not later. So we’re more willing to go into debt, and less willing to plan out how much we should save.
“When your money goes into your bank account, temptation sets in, forgetfulness sets in, and people don’t put their money into the places where they should,” David said.
A new way to Pay Yourself First
David wants the Avocado Fund to take the thinking out of money management, so people don’t succumb to bad spending habits. Once the app is fully launched, users will have help getting into the habit of paying their future selves a set amount. The mantra David used is “set it, automate it and forget about it.”
The goal? To help more Australians generate a passive income stream, giving them true Financial Freedom. Although investing for Cash Flow doesn’t come naturally to most people, it sure beats the 401K or superannuation models, said David.
My dream has always been settle down with my girlfriend, start a family be able to afford a house and not have to worry about money. That is what really drives me.
“The problem with those systems is obviously the time you need to be able to access them and the fact that most people just don’t have enough in them when they get to them,” David said. “Those systems are band-aids, nothing beats a good-old managed savings and investment strategy for your life.”
David’s belief in passive income generation as a ticket to Freedom goes beyond the Avocado Fund. In fact, he has made the concept a key part of his own personal investment strategy. He hopes to one day own a home debt-free, by investing for Cash Flow.
“My dream has always been settle down with my girlfriend, start a family be able to afford a house and not have to worry about money. That is what really drives me,” David said.
Helping others achieve Financial Freedom
Before David can realize the Australian Dream for himself, he wants to help others realize their personal dreams. He and his colleagues at ThinkHub.io are looking for business partners to help them launch the Avocado Fund.
The app still needs a sound asset allocation strategy and a retail license. David has received some help in this area from Dr. Tony, which has proven valuable thus far.
We want to give people the pathway to Financial Freedom, not just another budgeting app.
Still, the toughest thing David has to wrestle with is the lingering question: How is the Avocado Fund different from the other personal finance apps on the market? His response has developed over time, but he’s cautiously optimistic that he has a solution.
“We want to give people the pathway to Financial Freedom, not just another budgeting app, not just another app for investing on the stock exchange without a broker. And we want to produce something that’s simple for any person to use,” said David.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
image credit: Bigstock/jchizhe