|Headquarters||San Francisco, California|
True Link Financial, Inc. is a San Francisco, California based financial services firm that offers investment accounts and debit cards customized for seniors. Notable investors include Y Combinator, Cambia, Mitch Kapor, Alexis Ohanian, Eric Ries, and Matt Cutts.
Investment methodology for retirees
The company uses bond ladders which reduce interest rate risk, and a time-based investment strategy described by experts as a "strategy for a lifetime of income." The investment allocations are based on Modern portfolio theory and include stocks and bonds as well as an annuity component in some cases.
Protection from fraud and elder abuse
True Link offers a Visa card with special controls that prevent common types of fraud and financial abuse targeting the elderly. In addition to fraud-detection algorithms developed by the company, the card can be customized to restrict telemarketer purchases across the board, block certain charitable organizations and allow others, set limits on ATM usage and receive text messages, or selectively block only a few problematic merchants. It takes about five minutes to sign up, and its customers save an average of $2,340 per year by using the True Link card. True Link is the only card with these protective features.
The company was inspired by CEO Kai Stinchcombe's experience with his grandmother Ruth, who gave tens of thousands of dollars to pushy telemarketers and charitable solicitors. According to survey research, fourteen percent of seniors are victimized by fraud every year, and an additional fifty-four percent are targeted. The company was formed in November 2012 by cofounders Kai Stinchcombe and Claire McDonnell and launched its product in August 2013. Financial institutions have expressed interest in partnering with the company to help protect their customers from fraud.
According to True Link's research, fraud targeting seniors is a $36.5 billion per year problem. True Link uses fraud detection algorithms and maintains a large database filled with scams and suspicious merchants, and members of True Link's data science team are frequently cited as experts on scams and fraud targeting the elderly.
The company also provides services to people with disabilities, to people recovering from addiction, to special needs trusts, pooled trusts and representative payees. In August 2016 True Link acquired Next Step Network, LLC., a company that offers payment cards to people recovering from addiction. Around 2.5 million receive care at an addiction treatment facility every year.
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