If you want to learn more about Untangle Money, why it was started and what we offer keep reading below:
Disclaimer: First I’d like to start by saying that I will be discussing finances in binary terms of women and men, because sadly that is the data I have is centered around cisgendered women and men (and it is admittedly limited in and of itself).
In general, if I extrapolate from other data sources, the more intersectionality you experience, the greater you may feel the effects I’ll be discussing today.
Why did you decide to start Untangle Money?
I’ve had this statistic rattling around in my brain for a number of years: 73% of women are unhappy with the services offered by the financial services industry.
Then I learned about the Wealth Gap. The Wealth Gap is that for every dollar a man has in net worth, a woman has 32 cents.
So you have this enormous industry that isn’t communicating effectively with half of their clients. And they aren’t talking about this huge issue affecting half of their clients. So women aren’t given the information to learn about how their financial lives are different; what the implications of those differences are; and how they can mitigate the effects.
I created Untangle Money to help women learn just that. To learn how their financial lives are different; how they can choose a future they want rather than ending up somewhere because they didn’t realize they were making a choice.
We give you tools to understand your finances. We give you a place to start. And because we’re independent and we only deliver the product you purchase, you can be confident that what we’re telling you is free from bias and conflict of interest.
You mention women’s financial lives differ significantly from men’s. Can you explain?
Absolutely. We’ve covered this before, but it bears repeating. This is by no means a complete list.
Industry gap: Industries with high representation of women tend to pay lower than industries with low representation of women. This changes with time: for instance, when computer programming was seen as an administrative function, it was dominated by women and low paying; however, as men entered the field, the value of the entire field increased. (Invisible Women)
Wage gap: Men are paid more for equal work than women are. This is pervasive throughout the world, even in the Nordic countries. In Canada it’s 83 cents to the dollar, in the US it is 78 cents to the dollar. And if you do happen to go into a higher-paying male-dominated industry, you’ll actually be paid even less compared to your male colleagues at 72 cents to the dollar. https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/gendergap-whitepaper-b2c.pdf
Time Gap: Men work an average of 38 years and women work an average of 29 years (in the paid workforce). The gap occurs because women may take time out for maternity leaves and also for elder-care responsibilities for both their own parents, and often their partner’s parents.
Pink tax: Women pay more each and every year for goods and services. And horribly, it even happens on big ticket items like mortgage rates, car costs, car financing and credit card rates. This happens even when women have the same or better credit than men.
Credit Gap: Women carry more loans on credit cards because it is harder for them to get loans.
"Wozniak chimed in with a similar experience, saying he got 10 times more credit on the card, compared with his wife.
“We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets,” Wozniak said on Twitter, in reply to Hansson’s original tweet."
Capital Gap: Also, similar in that we don’t get access to capital that we can then invest in something, and somewhat famously in our sphere of the world, female-founders get less capital. In 2020, female founders received 2.3% of all venture capital dollars.
Salaries Peak Earlier: Women’s salaries peak in-and-around 40 whereas men’s peak in-and-around 50. This means that men have between $10,000 - $20,000 more per year from 40 on until retirement to put into investments such as retirement. What this says to me, is that a man can wait until he is 40 to catch up on retirement savings, but a woman can not. And women are never informed of this.
This is a pictorial representation of the Glass Ceiling, of the effect that you don’t see women making it up the ranks of middle and upper management.
What barriers do women face when it comes to accessing financial support and advice?
The biggest one and the most pervasive one is the norm that women are not supposed to talk about money. And I’ve experienced that first-hand. It can even be hard for me to discuss money with my friends and I LOVE talking about money.
Also, the Wealth Management industry is increasing the amount of assets you need before you can access their financial advisors. And because of the wealth gap, the further up the wealth curve you go, the less women will be represented in your clientele because they hold less of the wealth. Perhaps the banks are playing to their strength of talking to men.
Because even if a woman does overcome the norm and has access to someone to help her with her finances at a reasonable price, she could then be met with a financial service professionals who talks across her, who is condescending, and who makes her feel like she is on the receiving end of a sales pitch. We’ve spoken with so many women who have left the offices of financial professionals not knowing what parts they were told because it was in their best interest and what parts they were told because they were being sold a product.
So we’re building a process that will be hands-free. You won’t need to discuss your finances with anyone if you don’t want to - our process includes moments of delight to balance out the anxiety that comes up when thinking about your money, and it costs $35 so you can repeat it over and over again either to check that you’re on track, or because you have a life event and your finances have changed.
How is Untangle Money different from advisors and other planners?
At Untangle Money we create tools to help you understand your money and to give you a clear picture of your finances.
We differ from other planners in 3 main ways:
We’re independent and we don’t sell you anything. We focus on delivering the product you’ve purchased. This way you can be sure that we are unbiased, and we are free from conflict-of-interest.
We do not judge how you choose to spend, save or invest your money. While we are focused on retirement because we feel women need to focus on it earlier; if you want to YOLO your life and spend every penny, then we will support you in that decision and teach you about options for you in the future. We will discuss something we’ve coined the Golden Girls retirement - which is living with other women in retirement to help pool your resources.
We discuss risk differently. Most of the industry focuses on the risks you take today. The risks around the investments you’re purchasing. But we balance that conversation by including the risk of under-funding your retirement, and entering poverty in old age. We have conversations about the trade-offs of taking on more risk now, with the risk of outliving your nest egg.
In 2013, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that “the biggest increase in old-age poverty occurred among elderly women, especially those who are divorced or separated.” Senior women who do not have job security, pension funds, or retirement savings risk finding themselves living in situations of poverty. https://www.homelesshub.ca/blog/infographic-canadian-women-poverty
As we said, we want to ensure that you understand the future that you’re choosing with your current lifestyle.
What different plans are offered?
At Untangle Money we are focused on two products:
The Mini if for individuals
The webinar is for employees at companies
For individuals, we are currently focused on the Mini. The Mini is a financial health check up that looks at where you are and where you’re going and how you're going to get there. We look at how changing things impacts your finances. For instance we look at the difference a change in $100 in your cost of living makes to your retirement needs. Or how changing the return on your investment changes your budget. Our clients walk away with two metrics that they can easily use to determine if they’re on track, and so we avoid death by details. But what we’re most proud of and excited by is that our customers report a 30% decrease in their financial anxiety after using our Mini product.
Our webinars focus on the foundations of how money works. Learn about the effects of inflation on your money, and on the ability for the average person to reach their retirement goals. We look at the importance of small percentages when it comes to your finances and most importantly, we discuss how women’s and men’s financial lives differ, what it means, and why it matters. Almost every employee has a mom, sister, aunt, daughter, girlfriend or partner so it’s important for everyone to be informed.
You can follow us over on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn to see more content about personal finances and planning for your financial future. You can also check out our other blog posts here!
Financial independence is a huge part of being a strong, independent person, and it is our mission to help women, and anyone who doesn't feel safe or welcome in financial spaces typically dominated by cis men, set themselves up for financial success.
At Untangle Money we help women understand their (real!) financial picture, and obtain financial guidance from people that actually, really, get it. We would love to help you, too! Join the community of hundreds of other women looking to strengthen their financial well-being. You can check out our products and plans here or get in touch for a free consultation!