Founding Fjell Capital
Tom Stadum launched Fjell Capital as his independent wealth management firm that is committed to helping families manage and protect their wealth through financial plans that account for asset management, retirement planning, wealth transfer, strategic philanthropy, exit planning and tax and estate concerns. Since launching, Stadum has ranked in Forbes’ 2020 Top 10 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, as well as ranked #1 for Forbes Next Gen Best-In-State Wealth Advisors in 2019.
Finances can be a large stressor on people’s shoulders. However, a small group of people are aiming to ease that burden through Lykkly, an all-new financial wellness platform. Rather than aiming to be “just another finance dashboard,” they’re creating a platform that hopes to motivate change in financial habits. I sat down with Tom Stadum, co-founder of Lykkly and CEO/Founder of Fjell Capital, to discuss the platform, its benefits, along with the team’s goals for Lykkly’s future.
Lykkly is a FinTech company that offers financial solutions through their software as an employee benefits platform. Despite close ties to wealth management firm Fjell Capital, Stadum affirms that they are two completely separate companies with varying goals and objectives. Instead, he defines them as “sister companies” that have common traits but no interaction with one another.
Two years ago, Stadum and his partners had the initial idea for Lykkly while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. “When I learned about the idea of a FinTech solution to add to employee benefits, I knew that this would be it. In a wealth management business, an advisor simply can’t serve that many clients. So, we brought forth a software solution. We incorporated one year ago and we’re in the process of raising a grant right now,” Stadum said. “From a company perspective, we’ve been incorporated for a year. In terms of timelines, we’re going to have the app online by January 1, 2023, but we’re hoping it’s going to be a little bit sooner. We have companies throughout the United States and all the way down to Florida that have signed up for the beta program already. So far, we have really good initial traction on the platform.”
Did You Know?
The name “Lykkly” stems from the Norwegian term “lykke,” meaning happiness or good fortune!
Lykkly isn’t just another Robin Hood where you can buy and sell stocks. This isn’t another just dashboard where you can see how much money you have in your 401K and bank accounts. We’re really trying to build a useful, intuitive tool where we can help people every single week through engaging content to make strides in their finances.” – Tom Stadum
Lykkly aims to be a onestop shop for wealth management that improves users’ habits and decreases their financial stressors. While the platform has an overarching goal of supporting those in need of financial assistance, there were many reasons behind creating and launching Lykkly.
“A lot of Americans don’t have access to advisors because they’re too expensive and they’ve been priced out of the market. When you look at the statistics about Americans’ finances, it’s a bit depressing. A lot of people don’t feel as if they have control over their money, but we’re looking to change that mindset through Lykkly,” Stadum said. “Today, there’s the general consensus that mental health is definitely a big issue across the country. We believe that a large portion of the mental health crisis can be rooted down to financial stress. Ultimately, Lykkly is an affordable employee benefits platform for companies, both big and small. As a FinTech solution inside the wellness market, companies can look to reinvent their benefits stacks, do better for their employees and ensure that they’re doing everything in their power for an employee’s mental health.”
Stadum believes that there’s a hole within the wellness space that Lykkly can fill, in turn, positively impacting the lives of users. Less stressed people spend less time thinking about their money and can focus their attention on their work, in turn increasing productivity. When they get home after work, they can focus on their family and not be bothered by external stressors.
“This is a software problem because we want to reach everyone across a very huge market and there just aren’t enough people to help our country. There are around 127 million full-time workers in our country. There are 19 million college students in our country. That’s a lot of people that need financial help,” Stadum said.
What do you believe that more people should be doing for less financial stress?
“What’s most important to ease that burden is to simply spend time working on their relationship with money. People get stuck in procrastination more often than they should. At the end of the day, all that does is fuel stress. I think being cognizant of the fact that you have to keep moving financially is one of the most beneficial things someone can do for themselves. Secondarily, I think it’s important to understand that the world is much different than it was a few years ago. From the work that we’ve already done in the market for Lykkly, it’s clear that people and companies are operating completely differently than they were in 2019. Money is on the minds of a lot of people, but we’re proud that we’re one of the few companies that have been created in the ashes of some pretty serious change. We want to drive and equip people to take charge of their money and put themselves in the driver’s seat of their finances during these times.” – Tom Stadum
While pricing has yet to be finalized, the platform will be directed towards businesses to care for their employees. As companies add Lykkly to the list of benefits for their employees, they’re proving to their team that they care about their employees’ mental health and financial wellness. Though the platform has yet to be finalized, they are currently in the final stages of designing an efficient layout and in-app experience.
“We built the platform, really, for anyone to be able to use it. A lot of financial tools on the market are inherently complicated. One of the reasons why people don’t work on their money and financial wellness is that it’s simply too complicated. We just went into one of our competitor’s portals last week, and it was filled with confusing checklists everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I would never think about my financial life as a checklist,” Stadum said.
Services including Mint Mobile, Robinhood and Fidelity are some of the largest financial platforms that come to the general market’s mind. However, Lykkly is hoping to set themselves apart from the competition by doing things with an extra level of care and compassion for the customer.
“Our focus on mindsets and behavior is completely different. A lot of our competitors in this space tells their clients, ‘Hey, here are all of our resources. Good luck to you!’. On the other hand, we actually want to help and understand their goals. A lot of companies are trying to sell wellness solutions to employers, but really all those wellness solutions are just repurposed dashboards that have been around for 10 years. Another dashboard likely isn’t going to change someone’s life and spending habits. However, creating an engaging experience with unique content at the right frequency delivered will ultimately bring substantial progress to a user’s financial life,” Stadum said.
While the program was born and based out of North Dakota, Stadum and his partners’ ambition expands far further than our local community. The Lykkly team has been vocal about their hopes of it taking off and becoming successful with clients not just in North Dakota, but across the United States.
“This is far from just a Midwest company. We want this thing to create jobs in North Dakota, but we also want this to make a difference across the country. I’ll tell you as somebody within the wealth management industry, everyone’s trying to figure out how they can target these young people that could benefit from bettering their financial situation, and then determining what the best way to help them could be. How can we offer them solutions to actually get them into a place where they can become better and more profitable citizens of financial services?” Stadum said.what the best way to help them could be. How can we offer them solutions to actually get them into a place where they can become better and more profitable citizens of financial services,” Stadum said.
Did You Know?
Tom Stadum has been surrounded by the world of finances throughout his life, as he’s a third-generation financial advisor.
One of the routes that the team behind Lykkly is exploring is through an engaging platform experience. Stadum noticed that the algorithms behind social media including Facebook, TikTok and more are rather addicting. Leaning into those natural tendencies to pursue social media, Stadum aims to push a platform that’s equally engaging, yet significantly more beneficial to the targeted audience.
“My dad is 74 years old and he’ll watch Instagram Reels every night. We want to create an engaging experience through an app and user-generated content that’s very natural. Most people think about their money daily, as they think about how much they’re spending at the grocery store, restaurants, on bills and whatnot,” Stadum said. “Through the platform, we want to create a natural rhythm and cadence for people to work on their money and financial habits in a way that’s natural for them. Having a retirement calculator isn’t necessarily going to change behaviors. Rather than tell people their outcomes, we want people to find their own outcomes with our resources and learn from the experience. We provide a platform in which people can empower themselves, educate themselves and be happy with their money.”
Many people may be uncertain about the economy’s future, as well as their personal finances in the near future. However, Stadum appears to be confident in the future, as long as Lykkly makes the impact they intend it to.
“People worry about their money and different financial outcomes all the time. As Lykkly forms, we’re focused on putting a real effort into building a company that isn’t about distributing a product, but rather about equipping people with the right knowledge, as that’s what’s going to yield real change. When you examine companies’ benefits, 60,000-plus employees of these big companies have already had benefits similar to this, but what we want to do is drive them down to smaller companies, as that’s where the market is going,” Stadum said.
An All-New Podcast!
The “Happy with Money” Podcast, developed for the Lykkly platform, is hosted by members of the Lykkly team and aims to tell personal stories of people with their money. Listeners can currently check out new episodes every Wednesday on all major podcast-streaming platforms..
While the program may not be fully launched at the time of writing, companies looking to get involved on the ground level can enroll in the beta or pilot program today. Companies can receive early access to the platform by going to Lykkly.com and entering their email address to receive further details and support for enrollment.
Lykkly aims to not only bring companies a new, useful benefit to include in their packages, but to reinvent financial wellness services that make a legitimate impact on users. The service brought forth by industry veterans was designed to bring positive change in a person’s financial mindset and spending habits. With an ambition to launch across the country, Lykkly is bound to grow immensely over the coming years.
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