How personal finance site NerdWallet got its start
Tom Huddleston Jr. of CNBC Make It writes about Tim Chen, the cofounder and CEO of personal finance website NerdWallet, which sees 10 million monthly visitors and is valued at more than $500 million.
Huddleston writes, “Chen says he drew on his own finance experience and still it took him, a professional, a week of extensive research to compile what several major banks and credit card companies had to offer. He sent his sister an Excel spreadsheet breaking down her options.
“Soon, that spreadsheet was being forwarded around widely outside of his own group of family and friends.
“It made Chen realize there was ‘real shopability problem in financial services,’ where consumers often had to sift through banks’ dense materials for information. Without a professional financial advisor, it’s hard to compare products. Meanwhile, ‘Your checking account provider might give you a mortgage, a credit card, an auto loan, eventually insurance or wealth management services, and they’ll make something like $50,000 off of you over the course of your life,’ Chen says.
“‘That’s how the whole system works.’
“Chen wanted to offer more transparency with online financial services advice. So working out of his Manhattan apartment, he used $800 of his own money to cover start-up costs like web hosting and domain fees and software and started NerdWallet.”
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