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This Philly founder is making generational wealth building more accessible

WealthMore is a financial planning platform that removes barriers and helps young adults with investment advice.

Mical Jeanlys White, CEO, and Tanya Frias, head of wealth, WealthMore. (Courtesy WealthMore)
For Mical Jeanlys-White, technology presents an opportunity to empower people to build wealth.

The Philadelphia resident in 2022 founded WealthMore, a platform that provides young adults with access to wealth advisors and financial planning.

A first generation American, Jeanlys-White remembers her family saved a lot, but didn’t have access to information about investing.

“We didn’t live in a zip code where a banker was likely to call — despite having pretty good savings habits and money sitting in bank accounts,” Jeanlys-White said. “It was a big missed opportunity.”

Center City-based WealthMore, which at the end of 2023 raised over $1 million in a pre-seed round, provides access to certified financial planners that can give advice about investing, home buying, estate planning, tax optimization, retirement planning and college planning. The platform is currently in beta, with plans to fully launch this spring.

Jeanlys-White was previously a managing director at JP Morgan Chase. In that role, she noticed that if people had access to information about their financial situation, they were more likely to take action to improve it. She said there are tools out there to gain information about credit, but the wealth building space can be hard to access.

“The reality is those who have a wealth advisor grow two times more wealth,” Jeanlys-White said. A 2016 study out of Canada found that households using financial advisors for at least 15 years accumulated 290% more assets than those that didn’t.

A lot of people actually have negative net worth … so that prevents them from getting access to a wealth advisorMical Jeanlys-White

And most Americans don’t have access to a wealth advisor. Only 30% of consumers have a financial advisor, while 42% think only wealthy people can have financial advisors, according to a survey from Magnify Money.

Meanwhile, many wealth advisors are only looking for clients that bring portfolios of at least $250,000.

“If you’re a builder, just starting to build wealth, a lot of people actually have negative net worth,” Jeanlys-White said. “So that immediately sort of prevents them from getting access to a wealth advisor.”

WealthMore lets people slip past that barrier. After you create an account on the platform, you can invest in one of its advisor-led portfolios, and can message or meet individually with that advisor whenever you want.

Jeanlys-White also wanted to incorporate a community aspect to the platform, so users can also join virtual communities made up of people with similar identities or wealth goals. They’re inspired by money clubs or savings clubs, she said, where people are more likely to hit their financial goals if they’re around like-minded people. On WealthMore, the advisor-led community groups have access to webinars and optional challenges.

Eventually, Jenlys-White would like to see WealthMore partner with employers and become a subsidized benefit for employees. For now, her advice to young wealth builders is to just start.

“Just creating that habit and using certain tools … to just seamlessly move money from your paycheck, or that account where you receive your paycheck into an investing account,” Jeanlys-White said. “Just that discipline pays a huge difference.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: WealthMore

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