Eric is the CEO and co-founder of Planswell.
Tell us about Planswell
Planswell is an online way to figure out what you need to do on a monthly basis to maintain your lifestyle through to retirement. I worked at one of the big banks for a while as an investment advisor. I was blown away by how inaccessible and expensive good financial planning and advice is. Planswell started by building a team of people that really understood the digital marketing and technology, and how to build a solution that doesn't require all those expensive humans in order to make financial planning available to everyone.
What’s the journey been like to where you are now?
The journey has been amazing. I’ve been involved in a bunch of different startups before this where they’ve been self-funded, easy to launch. This is the first time I’ve had to raise money to build something complex.
We’ve started registering insurance companies and mortgage companies, and portfolio management. There’s a lot to build, so the journey of doing that - I’ve learned so much and I've had such a fantastic experience.
How does company culture contribute to the success of Planswell?
We have a deer head on the wall in our office, lots of weird picture frames and boxing gloves and nun chucks, and people on hoverboard on lunches. We often talk about that as a culture because it’s just so different than the culture of a big corporate company. I really think those are just ornaments, those are just par for the course.
When I talk about culture and what makes Planswell different, it’s really the transparency of the company. We townhalls on a regular basis where we talk about what’s in our corporate bank account when we’re trying to raise money.
The other thing is really the mission-driven aspect of it, becomes a culture, becomes a cult-following of we’re doing what’s in the best interest of our clients. We’re solving social injustice by doing absolutely what’s in their best interest, even if it loses us money, or regardless of even thinking of how it makes us money. Having people on that mission really is what solidifies the culture.
I look at the business of what we’ve built so far and I feel pretty good about it most days. Yet when I go home and read the news and listen to what’s going on in the world, I’m not convinced we’ve made an impact yet.
We’ve done 150,000 financial plans for people in Canada. That’s not going to move the needle so I think that we will measure the success when we can make meaningful impacts on humanity. Looking forward, we’re excited to be creating millions of financial plans and making sure that people are on track around the world.