How to make bigger life decisions better – Whatifi.io to the rescue
Note: This is not an affiliate post and I did not get paid for writing this post. I am writing about Whatifi.io because I believe in the product. I have no association with Whatifi.io.
I am a self-proclaimed Excel nerd. I love mucking around with Excel spreadsheets, crunching numbers, and running different models and scenarios. At work, we have a team of business analysts that build these massive, +100 MB, spreadsheets that show the yearly business projections and the various company profitability matrices. I am always in awe whenever I use one of these spreadsheets. While Excel spreadsheets are great and all, not everyone is an avid user of them. Some of us can barely enter simple formulas (I was like that years ago). Even for those of us that might be good with spreadsheets, it is often extremely challenging analyzing numbers and end results when you have multiple possible models and scenarios.
Last summer, a fellow Vancouverite name Jon reached out to me about this cool platform called Whatifi.io that he was working on. A few years ago, he and his wife had twin boys and started calculating and re-calculating what their financial options were. For example, what it would be like to buy a bigger house, what would the numbers look if they use daycare vs. having his wife stay at home, what if they moved to the suburbs, what if they downsized, what if they got better paying jobs but worked longer hours, and so on and so on.
Because of the nature of spreadsheets, there are technical challenges and limitations when it comes to modelling the different possible scenarios. Instead of building these massive spreadsheets, getting lost in the numbers, and not having a good visual representation of the best choices, Jon decided to build an app himself. This app eventually evolved into a platform which helps individuals visually map out complex personal scenarios.
I was very excited to learn more about Whatifi.io, so I met up with Jon after work one day last summer. During our casual meetup, he showed me the early alpha version of Whatifi.io and his visions for the platform. Upon seeing the platform for the first time, I was extremely impressed on how simple the interface was and how easy it was to drag, drop, and connect the different financial scenarios. What I especially liked was the platform’s ability to evaluate the different financial scenarios based on monetary values and your personal ratings. The platform would then help you make a decision based on the decision criteria you selected. You can even lock in some of the decisions to change the decision process.
I quickly realized the tremendous value Whatifi.io can bring when it comes to making major life decisions, especially when these decisions are related to each other. For example, what if we are buying a house, and we are looking at three different houses? At the same time, what if we are evaluating mortgage terms from four different institutions and trying to determine whether we want to start using HELOC/Smith Manoeuvre? As we add more and more scenarios, the decision making process becomes more and more complicated. Similarly, what if we want to retire early and live off our investments? Whatifi.io becomes a very useful visual decision making tool that can help us quickly run through different scenarios, rather than relying on spreadsheets. By using Whatifi.io, users now have complete control and understanding of how their interconnected decisions can affect their long-term goals. What’s even more important is Whatifi.io’s ability to give its users financial clarity for today and the future.
Do you ever get confused when you look at someone else’s spreadsheet? I sure have. A few readers have been emailing me their spreadsheets to determine whether they should proceed with a financial decision or not. I would have to go back and forth with them a few times before I can understand all the different numbers in the spreadsheet. This, however, isn’t the case with Whatifi.io. Because of the graphical interface, it is simple and straightforward to understand the different scenarios and numbers. I think that this single factor is why I am so excited about Whatifi.io.
Here’s a really cool introduction video that Jon and his team created:
And here’s another video where Jon did a quick demo on the current capability of the Whatifi.io platform.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I rarely pitch a product to readers. As stated at the beginning of the post, I am not associated with Whatifi.io and I am not getting paid for this post. I am writing this because I truly believe in this product and the values it can provide.
Although the platform is still in its early stages, Jon and his team have gotten some excellent feedback from the personal finance and FIRE community. I have certainly provided my share of feedback and suggestions as a way to help to improve Whatifi.io. I am also very pleased to hear that Whatifi.io has won a number of FinTech competitions.
If you are curious about Whatifi.io and want to give it a try, please head over to Whatifi.io to sign up for early access and provide your feedback to Jon and his team.