WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HelloWallet, an independent wealth-boosting service that increases savings and reduces debt for its members, announced the appointment of eight leading academics and researchers to their Academic Advisory Board (AAB) today. The AAB guides the consumer research used by HelloWallet to drive up members’ savings rates and increase their wealth.
The newly appointed members consist of leaders in personal finance, behavioral psychology, behavioral economics and simulation modeling, including: Rich Colbaugh, Ph.D (SANDIA National Labs), Michael Collins, Ph.D (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Jason J. Fichtner, Ph.D (George Mason University), William G. Gale, Ph.D (Brookings Institution), Aileen Heinberg, Ph.D (RAND), Annamaria Lusardi, Ph.D (George Washington University), Joanne Yoong, Ph.D (RAND), and Jonathan Zinman, Ph.D (Dartmouth College).
"We are thrilled to include some of the top academic minds in the country on our team," said Matt Fellowes, HelloWallet's Founder and CEO. "Since we launched our beta 9 months ago, we have driven take-up rates at our Fortune 500 partners that are up to 5X the industry norms, found the average employee over $800 in savings, and saw large increases in savings and reductions in debt. This team of experts will help HelloWallet boost savings and wealth even further in the years to come."
HelloWallet plans to leverage the insights of the AAB to launch new research projects in the financial guidance field and identify additional strategies that drive up savings contributions among its members.
Wherever possible, HelloWallet seeks to integrate cutting-edge research on financial behavior in economics and psychology to ensure that its recommendations and analyses are not only mathematically accurate, but also demonstrably effective at helping its members change their behavior and meet their financial goals. The AAB will help ensure that HelloWallet’s service continues to be on the frontline of innovation while advancing research in the field of behavioral economics and consumer finance for the academic community.
HelloWallet is a provider of independent, technology-based wealth-boosting services to employees of Fortune 500 companies and other large institutions. The company helps its members confront a wide variety of financial challenges, including how to boost savings contributions and debt payments, set appropriate goals, and select appropriate savings vehicles suited to their needs. HelloWallet members are also provided with customized financial plans, 24/7 personal money management and monitoring, and an individualized bank shopper service, which looks at 130,000 different deposit accounts to find better prices for its members. In all cases, HelloWallet provides trusted, unbiased recommendations, never pushing preferred products or accepting referral fees. HelloWallet is a double-bottom line company, providing free financial advice to one less fortunate family for every five paying members. The company's commitment to democratize access to trustworthy, sophisticated financial guidance has been widely honored, including at the Clinton Global Initiative's 2009 Annual Meeting.
About the Academic Advisory Board Members
Rich Colbaugh, Ph.D (SANDIA National Labs) presently holds a joint appointment with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he is Chief Scientist of ICASA and a Professor in both the Mechanical Engineering and Management Departments, and Sandia National Laboratories, where he is a member of the Analytics and Cryptography Department.
Michael Collins, Ph.D (University of Wisconsin, Madison) is faculty director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a faculty affiliate of the Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, the Institute for Research on Poverty, and the La Follette School of Public Affairs.
Jason J. Fichtner, Ph.D (George Mason University) is Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, a university-based research center at George Mason University. Previously, he served in several positions at the Social Security Administration (SSA) including Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (Acting), Chief Economist and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy.
William G. Gale, Ph.D (Brookings Institution), the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, is an expert on tax policy, fiscal issues, pensions, and saving behavior. He is also co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, and director of the Retirement Security Project.
Aileen Heinberg, Ph.D (RAND) is an Associate Behavioral Scientist at RAND, whose research covers the influence of emotion on decisions and financial decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.
Annamaria Lusardi, Ph.D (George Washington University) is the Director of the Financial Literacy Center, a joint Center of Rand, Dartmouth College, and the Wharton School created with the support of the Social Security Administration. She has taught at Dartmouth College, Princeton University, the University of Chicago Public Policy School, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Columbia Business School.
Joanne Yoong, Ph.D (RAND) is an economist at RAND. She received her Ph.D. in economics at Stanford University as an FSI Starr Foundation Fellow, and her AB in economics and applied and computational mathematics from Princeton.
Jonathan Zinman, Ph.D (Dartmouth College) is a tenured Associate Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College. His research focuses on inter-temporal choice and household finance; he was recently appointed as a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board.