Notable Team of the Week: Planswell

The team at Planswell is all about collaboration, teamwork, innovation and good food.


Describe what you and your team focus on in less than 140 characters. Go.

Planswell uses patent-pending technology to build the world’s best financial plans for people from all walks of life—absolutely free.

What kick ass projects/programs have you been working on recently?

We’ve been building amazing financial planning technology, finding ways to connect with people across Canada, and we also published an e-book. The Feel Better About Your Money Book is our way of telling the Planswell story, sharing our core beliefs and giving readers tips and tricks on how they can start feeling better about their money today. Join our wait list here to receive a free copy of the e-book.

What are some of the benefits of working on a team?

Different perspectives! In our “Tribe Code,” we encourage new team members to bring their whole selves to Planswell. We believe that if you leave your personality, beliefs and rough edges at the door, you’re also leaving your talent, passion and experience. We accept that there is more than one right answer to most problems. The biggest benefit of working on this team is building something that will positively impact millions of lives while constantly experimenting and learning.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced? 

Not breaking the fire code! At the end of 2016, we hosted our Beta Launch Pizza Party (yes, pizza) and had the most overwhelming RSVP list. While we were excited to have so many people interested in Planswell, we were a little concerned about violating the fire code by a couple hundred people! Overall, it worked out and was a successful event, but let’s just say that the room got steamy.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals working within a team?

Whenever you join a new team, own your role and be self-starter, but never be afraid to ask for help. That’s a dream team member.

Does your team have a designated leader?

Similar to the culture at Netflix, we focus on hiring superstars who don’t need to be micromanaged. Having said that, each area of the company does have a leader. Also, our daily stand-up meetings keep us accountable to each other and ourselves. So far this is working for us!

Within your organization, are teams switched up every once in awhile or do they stay the same? What are some of the benefits and cons of that?

We have had a few team members switch teams and roles, but overall the teams have remained the same. Since we’re in our first year of operations, things will be taking shape as we go along. Our company has such a diverse team of strong people and we think that think that each of us could lead their own team some day.

What does the word collaboration mean to you?

It means you’re never alone, and you don’t have to do it all alone.

What has been you and your teams favourite project/campaign/initiative to work on and why?

We’ve spoken to thousands of Canadians and learned that almost nobody knows what to do with their investments, insurance and borrowing. And even if they have advice, it’s usually not in their best interests. Many of us pay thousands in needless interest charges, fees and commissions to banks and financial advisors. At Planswell, we love helping people feel better about their money. We’re bringing clients aboard one by one and showing them how to reach big goals, like sending a child to university or retiring with a comfortable lifestyle. It’s a great feeling!



Where is your team’s favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?

We’re kind of like an old couple that prefers to stay in and have a glass of wine. On Mondays and Fridays, we do team lunches thanks to Epicater and Foodora. The biggest winner this season has been catered lunches from The Spicy Ethiopian and Street Shak. Games nights are a regular team hang for us, and it’s often part of our interview process too!

Do you and your team go out together? Where and why?

We genuinely like each other at Planswell… it’s kind of scary. Our friends, partners and spouses are concerned about all the time we spend together. We’ve done a cottage retreat and countless dinners. Being in the St. Lawrence Market area means we explore lots of places on a daily basis, but somehow the entire team loves grabbing lunch from Big Pita on Front Street. Great shawarma never fails.

What’s the best thing that has happened to you and your team recently?

The completion of our patent-pending planning engine! This engine has taken a growing team of developers almost a year to complete. It does over 5 million calculations to optimize each person’s individual plan.

Are there any other teams within your company or any company that you know of that are killing it?

Team Harry! Harry is our corporate development guy. We often call him our mad professor because he’s constantly coming up with crazy (and amazing!) growth ideas. He blew everyone away before the holidays this year by leaving each team member a personalized gift and card. It shows that he’s really taken the time to get to know everyone, and he only just joined the team in September.

And finally, what does success look like to you and your team? Work, play or otherwise…

For 150 years, companies like banks, mutual funds and insurers have taken advantage of consumers. They’ve used jargon, predatory products and excessive fees that make it harder for people to reach their goals. To us, success is changing that 180 degrees: to offer everyone a free financial plan that is easy to understand, easy to implement at a low cost, and that provides the best possible chance of reaching your goals.