Yvette Butler, founder and CEO of Hive Wealth, recently raised $2.4 million for her community-driven mobile app aimed at helping people build generational wealth while removing the stigma of openly talking about money.
Before Hive Wealth, Butler served as president of Silicon Valley Bank Private Banking & Wealth Management and president of Capital One Investing. She has more than 35 years of experience working with the tech industry’s top innovators and investors seeking to build financial wealth through alternative investments.
BLACK ENTERPRISE sat down with Butler to learn more about her new venture.
Why did you start Hive Wealth?
Our society has fostered this myth that talking about money is shameful and taboo and that we should never discuss it. But you’d be surprised how openly people talk about money in wealthy family circles and private institutions. I’m sharing their money secrets so that we can break the silence and empower people to talk about their challenges, triumphs, insights, and experiences.
We believe that transparent, shame-free conversations about money are the first step to gaining financial freedom. Guided by our mission to close the racial, gender, and generational wealth gap, we’re here to give you the tools you need to grow — and to create a vibrant financial future.
You’ve raised $2.4 million when the market is entering a recession and funding rates are declining, particularly for people of color. Why do you think you’ve been so successful with fundraising?
African American founders are seeing a decrease in funding this year despite the fact that diverse firms bring in almost 20% higher innovation revenues, and are more likely than their counterparts to retain staff, spot risks, and become more profitable. Fears of recession, unfortunately, lead to even more discrimination; there is a lot of work to be done to make things more equitable.
I think I’ve been successful because our story about overcoming barriers to wealth is so compelling and authentic — it resonates with so many people. Our product is genuinely innovative and amazing. Our solution is critical to help[ing] minorities and women build generational wealth and close the wealth gap.
What are the biggest mistakes you see people making on their financial wealth-building journey?
Building wealth isn’t a footrace; it’s a marathon. I see a lot of people sprinting when they should be jogging — or even walking. You’ll set yourself up for failure if you take on more than you can handle.
For example, while I recommend investing what you can, you should prioritize building an emergency fund and paying your bills first. Don’t risk the roof over your head just to make investments, and don’t expect to build your wealth overnight. Take your time learning about different investment strategies, and then work within your means.
A great place to get started is Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), which are baskets of investment securities traded on an exchange like stocks. They’re low-cost, tax efficient, and flexible because they can be bought and sold at any time.
What is the user experience like?
Hive Wealth is a platform for having meaningful and shame-free conversations about money. You are greeted with the latest polls and financial tips when you log in. From there, you might look at progress toward your financial goals or exchange messages with peers.
The app also offers a unique blend of financial insights and personalized data. For example, you can join a conversation about various topics like investments, debt, savings, and retirement — and also track your financial benchmarks against peers in similar professions and demographics.
How is Hive Wealth different from other personal finance communities like SoFi, Earn Your Leisure, Ellevest, Motley Fool, and Modern Blk Girl?
While there are plenty of useful tools out there, Hive Wealth demystifies and breaks the money taboo by democratizing financial advice and providing a shame-free space to talk about it.
Hive Wealth also offers a net worth calculator, which no other financial management app does. Simply add in your accounts, assets, and liabilities to calculate your net worth and benchmark yourself among your peers. This is a great tool for measuring your strengths and discovering opportunities for growth as you build your wealth.
Why is building generational wealth important to you?
My grandfather’s family owned 500 acres of land in Texas with an estimated worth of $5 million in today’s dollars. It was seized by eminent domain to build a dam. This has happened time and again throughout our country’s history. It’s not a one-time occurrence — it cycles through generations and continues affecting us today. This is the wealth-destruction story that I’m turning into a wealth-building story.
Seventy percent of wealthy families lose their wealth by the next generation, with 90% losing it in the generation after that. There is no guarantee wealth will last. How do we counter this trend as individuals and as a community?
Several things make it easier for the next generation to maintain family wealth — like paying off your debts, investing in real estate, setting up a family trust, and so on. Talking about money and building financial literacy is absolutely essential if you want to set up the next generation for success.
Keep lines of communication open with your family. Start talking with children about money at an early age. If we teach the next generation how to manage money, they’re less likely to lose it. This also creates a sense of empowerment and understanding about why it’s important to keep that line going for generations to come.
Who should sign up for Hive Wealth? How can people sign up?
If you’re eager to grow your wealth and build confidence around your money management skills, and want to engage in meaningful conversations with a supportive peer group, you can download the Hive Wealth app in the App Store.