FinTech Female Fridays: LaToya Joy Westbrook, Founder, Wealthly
How did you pivot from business specialist at JP Morgan to UX Researcher at Betterment?
My transition traditional banking industry into Financial Technology was not easy. I was ready for a change in my finance career and decided pivoting into the technology industry was the best fit. The tech industry moves a lot faster than banking, they have their own jargon and it’s a completely different culture. I went from wearing suits and heels every day to jeans and sneakers.
After researching the top NYC FinTech firms in NYC I found Betterment. I realized that their mission was aligned with my values, decided to apply and after multiple rounds of interviews accepted the offer.
What is one piece of advice for someone looking to pivot into FinTech or Tech?
It’s really important to create a strategy plan. If the end goal is to break into the FinTech industry or tech ecosystem in general, you must be consistent, comfortable with rejection and determined. You may need to take a course, attend a bootcamp, apply for an apprenticeship or find a mentor. At the end of the day just make sure that you have a strategic plan in place with realistic milestones and then make sure that you execute!
What inspired you to start your own company Wealthy in 2018?
After 10+ years of working in the banking and investment industry, I began to notice there was a huge knowledge gap in financial literacy. How can people invest in new investment apps when they do not understand investments?
I grew tired of how pushy financial professionals started to become in the personal finance space, turning off new and younger investors. I was inspired to start Wealthly, because I’m passionate about helping millennials and couples reach their financial goals through strategy, support and technology.
How does Wealthy differentiate from other personal financial literacy and investment companies?
Wealthly differentiates from other personal financial literacy and investment companies because we strive to offer a very human experience by not using financial jargon. We also hold our clients accountable through virtual coaching calls. We’ve incorporated technology to include automation which allowed us to scale our operations without forgetting that we are in the business of helping people first.
How are you navigating your business in light of a volatile market?
During times of a volatile market I am reminded that I’ve prepared for this time, I remain calm because panicking won’t help the situation. I am able to navigate my business in light of a volatile market by having a contingency plan in place, creating multiple streams of revenue for my business which includes digital products and maintaining a cash reserve during unforeseen events (like the current coronavirus outbreak) or low seasons.
What are your goals for Wealthy in 2020?
One of my goals for 2020 was to hire a few employees, which I am happy to say that was accomplished in February of this year. We will be iterating on our prototype before launching our mobile app on iOS. Lastly, we plan on launching an e-course titled “Money Mindset”. We want our clients to understand that the mindset you have when approaching your financials can drive the way you make decisions. Some of us may be operating from a stance of scarcity, confusion or even fear of making the wrong moves.
Reach out to LaToya on LinkedIn.