“Exchanges at Goldman Sachs” Podcast – From the financial problems facing Americans to how psychology explains people’s saving and spending habits, this episode is all about money. Entrepreneur Adam Dell, founder of Clarity Money, a personal finance app that was acquired by Marcus by Goldman Sachs® in April 2018, joins us to talk about all this and more, including how he created a mobile app to simplify individuals’ money management. “Startups that have risen to prominence are focused on transparency, advocacy and simplicity – what I consider to be the tectonic shifts in consumer finance,” he says.
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Goldman Sachs: Getting Clarity On Personal Finance’s Mobile Shift
This is exchanges at Goldman Sachs where we discuss developments currently shaping markets industries and the global economy. I’m Jake Siewert global head of corporate communications here at the firm. On this episode we’re talking money from House psychology explains people saving and spending habits to the money problems facing Americans to how artificial intelligence and big data are changing. The personal finance landscape and more joining us in the studio is Adam Dell. He and his team recently moved from their startup office to the Goldman Sachs headquarters here in New York. Adam founded clarity money a personal finance app that was acquired by Marcus by Goldman Sachs in April 2013. Marcus is the digital consumer offering of Goldman Sachs. Adam welcome to the program. Thank you for having me. So you’re probably the newest Goldman Sachs employee we’ve ever had on the program but before joining this firm you worked as a venture capitalist. Professor you were a lawyer. Talk us a little bit through the journey of how you ended up here and joining the Marcus team. GOLDMAN I’ve been doing startups and venture capital for about 20 years and I have a very specific approach to my work which is I look for problems and I look for problems that I think are going to be solved by technology. If I can find a startup that is attacking a problem with technology I’ll invest in it and if I can’t find one of those I’ll start it the first time I did that was with a company called Message 1 which provided backup e-mail systems to large corporations.
Early in the 90s it struck me that email was going to become an incredibly important part of the enterprise stack and I had the fundamental question of what happens if it goes down. And what do you do. How does a company continue to operate if their e-mail system is no longer functioning. We would be paralyzed here. Correct. And so I started a company called Message 1 that solved that problem. I was also very curious about education. I believed that over time education would be transformed by data. And one of the fundamental problems that our country is graduation rates an incredibly high percentage of people who go to college don’t graduate and about half of those can’t finish because of economic reasons and yet they’re struggling with debt and no degree and therefore less capacity to earn additional income. Massive problem a problem that can be solved by better decision making. What’s the right school for you to go to. What’s the right degree path for you to take. Could we use data science to help individuals make better choices along their career path and so that led to the creation of a company called civic learning which is solving that very problem for universities and actually while working on civic toss it struck me that the same problem exists for consumer finance. Getting a college degree requires discipline delayed gratification an understanding of your options and those are essentially the same dynamics that exist around consumer finance. It’s learned behavior though correct.
And so while working on civic toss it struck me that the same opportunity to apply data science and machine learning existed in consumer finance and that led me to start clarity which is we use your transaction history and your data to analyze your options are present you with better choices. And that is how I ended up at Goldman Sachs. We could pick your brain entrepreneurship investing for hours. Let’s turn to your expertise on personal finance what’s your take on how people’s finance habits have changed and where we’re at right now. It’s obviously a complex landscape and it’s hard to.
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