This firm is using tech to democratize retirement planning - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jun. 13, 2017 12:45 pm

This firm is using tech to democratize retirement planning

In building FeeMetri(k)s, Greenspring Wealth Management took a lean approach.
Let’s talk money.

Let's talk money.

(Photo by Flickr user Pictures of Money, used under a Creative Commons license)

Greenspring Wealth Management can see the potential for technology to change the retirement industry. That’s because a product is being developed in house.

The Towson firm that advises on retirement plans recently rolled out a platform that helps companies better understand their 401(k). FeeMetri(k)s is designed to quickly analyze data on retirement plans.

“Most companies are essentially offering these retirement plans to their employees, but the fees are not well understood. What that means is the companies are at a disadvantage when negotiating with the retirement companies,” said Josh Itzoe, a managing director at Greenspring Wealth Management (which is different from VC firm Greenspring Associates) who came up with the idea for the platform.

For the people who make decisions on retirement plans, the app provides data on fees. It also allows comparison of different plans from around a region. Ultimately, the goal is to help companies save money.

“It creates a lot of transparency and context about what companies are paying and how it compares against similar types of companies,” Itzoe said. Companies can then use the data to negotiate.

As more plans are analyzed, that provides more data to compare against.

“As more companies subscribe,” he said, “it’s going to continue to drive down costs for everybody.”

Josh Itzoe (courtesy photo)

The platform is offered on a subscription model, with the price fluctuating depending on the size of the company. Itzoe, who began working on it last year, said a key point in the development to date was deciding to charge for the service.

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“We think that matters,” he said.

Given the many startups that grew quickly by offering a free service, it’s a question we’ve heard debated among entrepreneurs often in Technical.ly network.

To Itzoe, a product is never truly free, as often companies are making money off of data behind the scenes.

“We don’t want to take data and have to sell it to a third party,” he said.

It’s a sign that startups aren’t only found at incubators.

“We’re trying to take the lean approach to build, test and validate,” Itzoe said.

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