When we started UNest, our goal was simple: provide financial planning and services to families looking for ways to start saving for their children’s education. With this goal in mind, we redefined college savings plans to make it easy for you to save for your child’s education. Across our work, we listened and learned from you. Our biggest lesson has been that college savings plans are not providing the range of financial services families need. Overwhelmingly families told us they wanted flexibility, personalization, and convenience! These learning helped us build our next product that would help parents invest in their kids’ future. Here are the five benefits of our new UNest Investment Account for Kids.


While most parents dream for their child to go to college, this is not always the case. With our new Investment Account for Kids, you can invest and use the funds for anything your child needs – their first car, wedding, first home, education – you dream it, we help you reach that goal! 


We offer a wide range of low-cost investment options so that you can tailor your portfolio to your needs. With our age-based portfolios, you don’t have to worry about re-allocation. The portfolios adjust to become more conservative as the child ages. 


Use our automatic contribution feature to set it & forget it! Make consistent contributions and take advantage of the dollar-cost averaging strategy to build savings and reach your goals faster. With our gifting feature, we make it easy and convenient for friends and family to contribute to your child’s future. You may start with as little as a $25 monthly investment.

Tax Advantages:

While tax savings are not the primary feature of UTMA accounts, it is a bonus. Your account can earn up to $1,100 per year tax-free. The next $1,100 in earnings is taxable at the child’s tax rate. And just like with college savings plans, you can contribute up to $15,000/year (or $30,000 per couple splitting gifts) without incurring federal gift tax.

Teaching Children About Investing: 

The fifth benefit of the UNest Investment Account for Kids is that you can use it to help teach your kids about saving and investing so that when they become adults and are ready to take over the account, they spend the funds wisely or even keep investing. You can discuss their goals, investment choices, review statements, and talk about gains and losses. Financial literacy is an invaluable tool. 


You can think of the new UNest Investment Account for Kids as an alternative (or an addition) to our college savings account product. Our intention in offering the UNest Investment Account for Kids is to give you the option of control and to tailor your portfolio all through the same ease and simplicity of our app. Sign up to be part of our beta launch here and receive a $25 Amazon gift card after you fund your account and complete a quick survey. Sign up today because spots are limited!


Blogs and articles contain the current, good faith opinions of the authors but not necessarily those of UNest. The documents are meant for educational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any type.  The documents may contain forward-looking statements.


Ksenia Yudina, CFA, MBA

Founder and CEO

Ksenia is the Founder and CEO of U-Nest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. As an entrepreneur and finance professional, Ksenia has focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Previously, Ksenia was a Vice President atCapital Group/American Funds, the largest 529 provider in the U.S. In this role, she played a leadership role in helping parents plan and manage their finances, with a focus on the future well-being of their children. Prior to Capital Group/American Funds, she was founder of a residential real estate company. Ksenia earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from CaliforniaState University Northridge, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Mike Van Kempen

Chief Operating Officer

Mike joined U-Nest in September 2019 as COO. He was previously at Acorns, a financial wellness platform, where he spearheaded the analytics and growth initiatives. Mike successfully expandedAcorns’ paid acquisition strategy, adding over 4.5 million investment accounts. Mike began his career in strategy & analytics at Belly, a Chicago-based loyalty startup in 2012. At Belly, Mike led projects that fueled growth across all aspects of the business, growing the customer base from1,000 to over 11,000 merchants, and accumulating a membership of over 2 million customers.Mike holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.

Steve Buchanan

Chief Technology Officer

Steve has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovations in the financial sector. Steve previously orchestrated product architecture and innovation as a Solutions Architect/ Fintech consultant at Union Bank. Prior to Union Bank, he was Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at Calypso, a Silicon Valley startup, where he architected and built multiple financial solutions. He was also Head of Global Integrations at Globe One in Vietnam where he integrated its Peer-to-Peer lending products into core banking solutions. Steve also built the first ever electronic Equities &Equity Options trading systems for Scottish stock brokers Wood Mackenzie (acquired by CountyNatWest). He is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

Peter Mansfield

Chief Marketing Officer

Peter has built an impressive track record in multiple financial industry segments including payments, credit/prepaid cards and lending. He has played an instrumental role at a succession of financial industry leaders, co-founding companies such as Brand3 (acquired by American Express) and PropertyBridge (acquired by Moneygram), and, as the early stage marketing lead at Marqeta (where he was team member number two), BillFloat and WallabyFinancial (acquired by Bankrate).He has helped fast-growth companies reach an aggregate market value of close to $8 billion. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Angila, UK.

Sonya Kidman

Client Relationship Manager

Sonya Kidman is a Customer Success professional with a decade of experience in advocating for consumer through user research and genuine empathy. Sonya specializes in user behavior and regularly attends national and global training sessions in wellness and people analytics tools. Sonya is a true global citizen was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, lived and worked in Canada and NewZealand. That global expertise along with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tel AvivUniversity have helped to shape a bullet-prof Sonya's framework to develop a winning customer strategy.

Frank Mastrangelo

Board Member

One part banker and one part technologist, Frank spent his early days with the Annenberg Foundation and PNC Bank. His career path led him to Jefferson Bank, where he led the build-out of its electronic banking platforms, and where he would forge a powerful alliance with The Bancorp co-founder Betsy Z. Cohen. As President and COO of The Bancorp from its inception in 1999 Frank played a critical role in helping the organization become an industry bellwether for branchless financial services and a global leader in payments. For this, he has become a widely respected fintech expert, and thought-leader. Frank was recognized in 2013 by Banking Innovation, a leading industry journal, as an “Innovator to Watch.” and as one of the innovators shaping the future of banking. Frank is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.


College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the collegeboard.org. Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.