I tried an app that demystifies personal finance for millennials

Many Millennials and Gen Z believe that the topic of wealth management is not for them, but what if a fintech app could change that? Domain Money strives to achieve just that.

From being priced firmly out of the housing market to barely being able to repay their student loans, the cost of living crisis continues to keep young professionals away from any real discussion of financial freedom. Wealth management and financial planning are often viewed as stuck in a bygone era, dictated by outdated priorities, and reserved for those with large amounts of money who struggle to keep track of it all.

I have never felt like a financial planner was the resource I needed to have either great wealth or heavy debt. I am a strong saver with a high-yield savings account, 401K, and Roth IRA; I have no credit card debt; and I have successfully self-filed my taxes in three different countries.

Okay I'm sorry.

When I first heard about Domain Money, a wealth management app designed specifically to meet the needs and priorities of millennials, I was intrigued. As a single, middle-income woman in her early 30s, I've never seen an app or service that truly spoke to my stage of life, especially without trying to push a disjointed agenda about how the customer's life should be. (marriage, home ownership, exactly 2.4 precocious children) rather than their actual circumstances (travel goals, overpriced rent, rescue dogs on anxiety medication).

I decided to try Domain and to be honest, I was blown away.

Quick facts about domain currency

  • Price (separate account): $79/month or $828/year
  • Price (joint account): $130/month or $1,374/year
  • Best for: Millennials and Gen Z, new investors, and anyone looking for a modern approach to wealth management and financial planning.
  • My rating: 4.5/5
  • Pros: Easy to navigate, you get hands-on help from a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), the flexibility to customize your financial goals, and in-app tools to help understand your personal finances.
  • Cons: Expensive, no way to link Apple Card to Plaid.

What is domain currency?

Domain is a new wealth management app, available on iPhone and Android, designed to make it easier to get financial advice. By assigning you a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Domain will manage your taxes, investments, savings and more, no matter where you hold your funds.

The app itself is very simple - you link your existing bank and investment accounts using Plaid, a popular fintech network for verifying and linking assets, and it will track your income and outgoing funds, via direct Messaging features that often list your entire finances in one place.

If you don't already have a high-yield savings account, IRA, or other account you'd like to have, Domain works with the Georgia Banking Corporation (FDIC insured) to open these accounts for you. For the portfolio, Domain partners with Apex. These accounts and portfolios are managed solely through the Domain Money app - you don't need to worry about an actual Bank of Georgia or Apex login.

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getting Started

Before you pay a penny, you can set up a free onboarding call where you can meet with your assigned CFP and find out if membership is right for you. If you decide to move forward, you'll get another call a week later to get a full overview of your finances, habits, priorities, and what you hope to gain from the app. As my CFP, Adrianna Adams, says, this doesn’t necessarily mean focusing on your account balance, but focusing on where you are in life—what motivates you to spend money, and what makes you spend money. You worry about your financial situation. financial.

During our second call, Domain's goal of catering to Millennials and Gen Z was clear. For example, suggested goals include "become a digital nomad," "achieve 9-to-5 freedom," and "start a side hustle." After discussing my current situation and associated expenses, I determined that purchasing an apartment and paying off student debt were my long-term priorities, while planning for retirement and growing my emergency fund were my short-term goals.

As a single, middle-income woman in her early 30s, I've never seen an app or service that truly suited my stage of life.

A particularly important point for me is that Domain works with your funds and investments no matter where they are located. It's not trying to convince you to leave a bank or platform you already use and like, and because of that, the entire interaction felt very genuine - I never felt like my CFP had an agenda to sell me a move to Domain's bank or third party Subsidiary Body.

my game plan

Once you set your goals, your CFP will develop a customized plan moving forward. When I met with Adriana again, she crunched through all the data and came up with a series of scenarios that gave me a sense of how long each of the goals I identified would take to achieve, and what the prioritization of each different path would look like. .

First, she explained that because my student debt is in Australia and does not accrue interest (Australian student debt is owned by the federal government and is only indexed annually for inflation), I would be better off putting the money into my high-yield savings account , rather than paying off debt now. I was surprised by this - I'd always thought of all debt as a horrible stain on my net worth that needed to be eliminated immediately, and it was such an eye-opener for Adriana to show me that this wasn't the wisest way forward.

If I prioritized buying a condo, Adrianna showed that I could definitely save up for a down payment in less than three years while still making the maximum annual contribution to my Roth IRA each year and not touching my emergency fund.

When a dream like buying a condo feels insurmountable, it can be hard to even figure out where to start.

With my retirement in mind, Adriana recommended that I roll over my 401K to a traditional IRA to give me more control over my investments and walked me through the specifics of how to do this properly without incurring any taxes or withdrawal penalties step. She even showed me projections of how my retirement savings will stack up over time in my Roth IRA and traditional IRA, and what I need to do from now on to hit certain benchmarks.

In the past, I often found ambitious financial goals overwhelming. It can be hard to figure out where to start when a dream like buying a condo feels insurmountable, and I find myself viewing these goals as impossible simply because of their long-term nature. Seeing the options laid out mathematically, with manageable steps to follow, broke these huge ideas down into small chunks that I actually thought were achievable. This is more exciting than scary.

Keep the ball rolling

Once you make a plan, you actually have to follow it.

The Domain app lists your strategy and any action items you discuss, along with your net worth, cash flow, accounts and investments. The chat window at the bottom of the screen makes it easy to message CFP if you have questions or concerns, and there is no limit on the frequency of contact.

I am more motivated and more successful at following my plans than I have been with other financial apps in the past.

Adriana contacted me regularly (even remembered my birthday). After creating a plan, I worked hard to stay on track, rolling my 401K into a traditional IRA, meeting weekly savings goals, and monitoring my spending. Now, surely checking your apps two or more times a day is more frequent than you need to be? Sure, but I'm enthusiastic! sue me.

Most importantly, I found that having meetings with real people on my calendar really helped keep me accountable throughout the experience. I'm more proactive and successful at executing on my plans than I have been with other financial apps in the past, and I really enjoy reporting on my progress with every check-in call.

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After just four weeks of using Domain, I've never felt more in control of my finances. I've always been good at saving money, but working with my CFP made me realize the potential I had to achieve financial freedom as quickly as possible.

The idea that I could be in the market to buy a condo in three years was both motivating and exciting, and because Adriana had set clear goals for my Roth IRA (maximum annual contributions) and emergency fund, I knew I'd be Own your home responsibly. My financial outlook has changed beyond belief compared to a month ago.

After just four weeks of using Domain, I've never felt more in control of my finances.

I have used a range of wealth management apps in the past and can confidently say that what Domain has done by truly focusing on Millennials and Gen Z is groundbreaking. The company’s goal to reduce the emotional barriers and gatekeeping associated with accessing financial advice sets them apart. I can see this app being a game changer for many young and mid-level professionals.

So, will I continue to use the domain name?

Yes, at least for a few more months.

I say the only thing holding me back from staying at Domain long term (and I mean the only thing holding me back) is cost. At $79 per month for a personal account, this is definitely one of the most expensive wealth management apps on the market, and while I can easily justify the price with comprehensive hands-on help, learning how to invest still requires a significant investment. invest. Considering that the app is aimed at young professionals, I'm concerned that in the current economy, the price may be too high to retain users in the first few months.

Having said that, in this world you get what you pay for, and if $79 per month is within your reach, I firmly believe that Domain is the best wealth management app out there. You get more than just an application - it's a tailored financial planning program with dedicated advisors dedicated to making your money work for you, no matter your current situation or goals.

At the end of the day, it really shouldn't be difficult for young professionals to get solid financial advice that's truly tailored to their life situation, but now, Domain is making sure that's not the case. It's great to see a company leading real change in the way we talk about and prioritize spending, who knew? Maybe financial freedom is closer than you think.