contentfeatured-contentmentIssue 14

FlexScore: Financial Health Made Easy

flex score BookWhen the financial market melted down in 2008, Jason Gordo and Jeff Burrow were on the front lines. At the time, the two longtime friends and Certified Financial Planners had recently founded Valley Wealth, Inc., a financial planning company in Modesto which handled retirement savings, investments and a myriad of other financial services for a wide range of local investors.

Quickly, one thing became clear, remembers Gordo. “In the midst of all this market turmoil, people were asking the same questions. Whether they were 22 years old, making nine bucks an hour or a successful CEO making a lot of money, every client was asking us: how am I doing with my money? And what do I need to do to improve my situation? That’s what it all boiled down to, and it was the same questions we all have.”

As the financial crisis eased, Gordo and Burrow were left with this realization about how clients throughout the wealth stratosphere approached financial planning. But they also saw that there just wasn’t anything out in the finance industry which could provide simple, accessible answers to these essential questions. “Jeff and I looked at each other one day and thought: there must be a better solution,” says Gordo.

So together, the two superstar financial planners set off to create one of their own.

The result: a book, website and financial system all grouped under one umbrella. FlexScore.

At its heart, FlexScore is a tool designed to help provide users financial clarity. “It’s about helping the average everyday American understand where they stand financially, understand what they need to do to improve that financial standing and provide guidance to help them accomplish it,” says Gordo. “It’s really simple, it’s very useful and it’s free.”

Since it launched in 2013, the FlexScore system has brought over 50,000 users into the fold and received copious praise from all corners, including being named one of the top 20 financial applications by some of the top financial press around the world, all for one simple reason: it’s accessible in an industry that is often intentionally—and needlessly—opaque. “The industry has sat up and taken notice and they want to move in the direction that FlexScore is going,” says Gordo. And, he adds, this was no accident.

“Our goal from the beginning was for FlexScore to disrupt the financial services industry,” he says. “Wall Street does a great job of taking care of the wealthiest 5% of people in the world. That leaves 95% without any help at all. This tool is aimed at helping the average person—you and me.”

From square one, FlexScore was designed with ease in mind, according to Gordo. The system takes into account all aspects of a person’s financial life from the composition of debt to what, how and where they are saving. “The system breaks it down to try to determine who you are as a person, what your goals are and how you’re saving toward those goals. All of those things are taken into account and scored, and that’s how you’re given your final FlexScore,” says Gordo, adding that once users have a base score, the system makes it easy to improve a score—and consequently, to improve financial footing. “In the past, it hasn’t been easy to get on better financial footing. We make it easy. We provide action steps based on widely adopted and accepted industry standards. As users go through the website, it offers them easy ways to get a better credit card, get an auto loan with a better interest rate, rollover their 401ks to lower cost investments, to save for their child’s education…. All with a couple clicks.”

Even as FlexScore takes the financial world by storm, Gordo and Burrow still operate from where it all began. “We started in Modesto, we live in Modesto and we work from here full-time,” says Gordo. “The costs of doing business here are far better than if we were in San Francisco. Our dollar can go a lot further here.”

And that stretched dollar means an even greater impact for the company. “If you talk to any doctor about the long term impact of stress, there’s weight gain, fatigue, tiredness, heart issues, diabetes issues, there’s all kinds of issues that can be directly attributed to stress. And most stresses are ultimately financial stresses. At FlexScore, we don’t care if you’re rich, you’re poor, you’re in debt, you have no money. It doesn’t matter to us. No matter who you are, we’re trying to help you solve your financial situation and improve your financial health.”


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