This Locally Developed App Helps Users Take Control of Their Finances

Brandon Burton

Entrepreneur Brandon Burton launches a digital dashboard for personal finances. Users may be startled to find they have more liabilities than assets, but they’re in league with most Americans.

Brandon Burton’s first job was selling newspaper subscriptions at age 11 in his Orange County, California, hometown. Son of a single mom on food stamps, “my mom didn’t really have the financial means to take care of me,” he says. “I just realized that was a way of life for me. I think it was ingrained in me as an entrepreneur. But it didn’t become clear until way down the line.”

Burton, 34, who served four years in the Marine Corps after high school, moved serendipitously toward a career in wealth management. While in the Marines, fellow servicemen noticed the online trading he was doing in mutual funds and stocks for his personal account. “I’d be doing my own investing, and I was asked to help fellow Marines,” Burton says. “I knew I wanted to be in the financial industry.” Burton, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Phoenix while in the service, went to work as a financial adviser after his discharge in 2006. Still, “I was not totally fulfilled,” he says. In 2015, he left to launch a digital personal finance platform.

“I became a financial adviser when technology was really nothing in the industry,” he says. “I knew the technology could assist. People can make money and survive, but their ability to grow their wealth is a different factor. Very few people are truly good at managing their own money.”

Burton, who moved to North Texas and has settled in Fort Worth, licensed a dashboard platform owned by Fidelity Investments. As a financial adviser, “I’d been using this technology for years,” and it was a relatively inexpensive way into the technology, compared to the monstrous cost of building his own.

It’s the platform for Burton’s Securing Life Today web platform, which he went live with in May. Users can aggregate their accounts online on the encrypted site. “They can see what they have, what they owe, they can budget, set goals, monitor them daily, check their credit,” Burton says. “It lets you do practically everything, except investing and spending.”

Burton charges $4 per month, or $36 per year, for individual users. He’s also marketing the platform to employers, to bundle into their benefits packages. Burton’s also signed several marketing partners, including Fidelity, Discover, TD Ameritrade, Quicken Loans, Rocket Lawyer, eHealth online insurance brokerage, and Paychex HR and payroll solutions partner. He’s also working on a mobile app.

At midsummer, the Securing Life Today site had $30 million in assets represented, and 600 users. One thing Burton has quickly learned on the aggregate: Clients have more liabilities than assets, not a surprise. “The national savings rate is at an all-time low,” he says. “The average person doesn’t have a budget and doesn’t stick to a budget.”