Triumph over Crisis

A fascinating story of friendship’s triumph over financial crisis

Triumph over Crisis: The average cost of a one-time standard financial plan is typically around $2,000 to $5,000 for a human advisor. These plans are static and so, are obsolete almost as soon as you receive them. That doesn’t work in our ever-changing lives. To receive quarterly updates from a human advisor costs even more in fees, and even that is not frequent enough to be relevant. Your life changes minute to minute. Enters Pefin – the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) financial advisor, providing intelligent, unbiased and personalized financial planning and advice. Pefin’s mission is to look after the financial best interests of users in a way that embraces the unique individuality of their lives.

The crisis showed way to become the world’s first and best.

During the financial crisis, Ramya Joseph, observed how Wall Street continued to remain profitable, yet didn’t give back or help the average person. She increasingly felt like her life on Wall Street didn’t give her a sense of purpose. Ramya’s family also went through their own financial rough patch, when her father was laid off from his job in 2011. Wanting to allay her father’s concerns about an early retirement, Ramya used the tools of her trade to assure her father that he would retire comfortably. However, she was left with two burning questions – What does the average person do in this situation and who really helps them? She knew she was capable of crafting the solution, leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), which she studied at Columbia University, alongside her financial expertise. Thus, Pefin was born, which stood for Personal Financial Intelligence. The platform, today, offers Long-term Financial Planning services, including a complete Financial Plan, Financial Advice, including savings and debt management strategies, Investment Advice and Portfolio Management Services and Real-time monitoring, updates, and curated financial literacy content for each user.

Advising with a thorough financial plan for each user!

Pefin takes into account each user’s current financial situation and future plans, incorporating their financial behavior to offer comprehensive advice. Individuals and families connect financial information such as their checking accounts, credit card accounts, debt, investments, and retirement plans to the platform. An interactive chat experience helps users plan for life events that matter to them – from kids, to college, to a new home, to changing jobs, all the way through retirement. Pefin’s AI uses this information to craft a thorough financial plan for each user, showing the user if their plans are affordable. It provides advice on how they can save to achieve their plans, when they should repay debt, whether investing is appropriate and if it is, how they should invest. Over time, Pefin learns from the user’s unique spending behavior and personal preferences and automatically adapts, updating the user’s financial plans and advice based on their actual behavior.

Pefin’s AI is capable of making 80-year financial projections and keeping up with 2-5 million data points per user, 24/7, including changing rules, markets, and lives to provide accurate, real-time advice. Unlike other services, Pefin does not insist users to invest through its platform, but if chosen, it tailors each portfolio to help users achieve their plans. In today’s data-driven environment, security is a natural concern, and Pefin utilizes military-grade encryption and multi-factor authentication, all geared towards securing users’ personal and financial data.

It’s not the destination, but the journey that matters!

The fascinating journey of Pefin is the story of a friendship’s triumph between Catherine Flax and Ramya Joseph, two successful women, each in their own right, coming together to take over two male dominated industries – first Wall Street and then technology startups. Together, they have created something that will help millions of families across the country to sustain their financials, lead millennials to be financially wise and enable retirees to retire in peace – all without the ‘business as usual’  policies of Wall Street.

Ramya and Catherine met almost 20 years ago when Catherine was a single mom, juggling a busy career on Wall Street and Ramya was an undergraduate student, who loved visiting NYC where her boyfriend (and now husband) lived. Through the years, their friendship blossomed and their careers skyrocketed, with Catherine as one of the most senior influential women on Wall Street and Ramya mentored by Catherine, helping clients trade multi-billion dollar portfolios for Goldman Sachs.

Ramya left her job at Goldman Sachs and over the next 5 years, set out to build the world’s first AI Financial Advisory platform. She recycled her savings from her Wall Street days into the venture, with support from her husband, friends and family. Complex calculations, covering every aspect of their financial life, their kids, their plans to buy a home, their plans for their kids’ college, their retirement, how they earn, how they spend, how they save, with taxes, inflation and all the complexity of government rules and regulations – all had to be thought of and built from scratch. Every decision, every idea started with a blank sheet of paper and was brought to life, one day at a time. Supporting her through it all was Catherine, who also left her incredibly successful Wall Street career and advised Pefin for more than two years, helping the company grow and spread its wings. So it was no surprise when she was also Ramya’s dream CEO. Catherine took over as CEO of Pefin in September 2017.

Providing advice that is in your best interest.

Being a fiduciary means always providing advice that is in your best interest. Pefin’s advice is based on the information a user shares with the company about their life, and plans and is curated by its AI technology to offer more detail than even a human advisor could provide. When it comes to implementing this advice, Pefin put users’ best interests above theirs. Pefin is different because it will:

  • Tell you the truth about whether it makes more sense for you to save or pay down debt rather than invest.
  • Give you the option to invest through it, if investing is appropriate, but also be okay with you taking the advice and investing elsewhere.
  • Manage your investments under $5000 for free, so you don’t end up paying more in fees than you’ll make through investing.

Pefin provides a greater level of detail than a human advisor could possibly achieve. Using AI technology, Pefin creates a comprehensive analysis of your life. This is a much more in-depth analysis than the old school software used by human advisors.

Today, people of all ages and demographics are becoming more at ease with digital interfaces. Convenience, accuracy and tailored solutions are what people are primarily looking for today. Pefin has clients ranging from people in their early 20’s all the way into retirement – because Pefin is about helping people across a complete life journey to achieve what matters most to them.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

As with most things in life, the proof is in the pudding. Pefin’s users believe in the advice because they can experience that there are actionable steps and insights provided that make sense and provide solutions. While it is interesting that AI is the technology underlying Pefin, it is not the ultimate benefit. Affordable, fiduciary, unbiased, world class financial planning and advice is the point.

Going beyond, Pefin looks forward to continue to expand the areas of advice, to completely surround an individual and enable them to manage all aspects of their financial life on the platform. Pefin will also continue to expand geographically to bring world class, affordable, fiduciary financial planning and advice to the world.


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