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Nasdaq #TradeTalks Podcast: Trading App for Investment Clubs with Thomas Beattie from Voleo and Jill Malandrino


June 26, 2019


Sources: Nasdaq #Trade Talks

Link to Interview

Transcript:
Jill Malandrino (JM): Welcome to Nasdaq Trade talks I am your host Jill Malandrino, Global Markets Reporter at Nasdaq. Joining me at the market site in Times Square in New York City we have Thomas Beatie he's the CEO of Voleo and we're gonna take a look at a trading app made for investment clubs and teams Thomas it's great to have you here with me. This is a super fun cool app. Tell us more about Voleo.

Thomas Beattie (TB): Thanks Jill Voleo was created out of the financial crisis like most things at that point it was about restoring trust with retail investors.  Our founders thought that it would be fun to create an application that would break down the barriers and allow the next generation to invest with those that they did know and trust: family friends colleagues and that's what we've done. Voleo is now a broker-dealer live across the United States with thousands of users participating in teams or having their own accounts and taking part in the community.

JM: And now you're also participating with 2019 Fidelity National Information Services FinTech Accelerator program that sounds exciting. What is that about?

TB: The opportunity for us and financial institutions is really that we've got a pretty unique product and we're able to white label it for financial institutions giving them access to our trading engine and their customers a unique new tool and method to start investing. A lot of the FinTech players are starting to erode on the core banking services that financial institutions offer you've seen the likes of Acorns and Robin Hood attempt to launch savings accounts and debit cards and the likes of JP Morgan come out with You Invest. Well when smaller financial institution customers start using those services they could see their clients move away. So Fidelity's clients are quite interested in finding new ways to create member engagement with their existing client base and they like our tool for that.

JM And more exciting news, just listed on TSX congratulations! That’s big!

TB: Yes it is! We’re glad. We've got a product that faces consumer audience and it's appropriate for us when we speak to investors to be able to have them use our product and vice versa.

JM: All right now tell us about the Nasdaq partnership that you have with us.

TB: So we collaborate with you guys to run a college trading competition every year. We try to get thousands of students from across the country to participate. This year we had a great event and I brought the winners to see the market open this morning it was it was a good turnout.

JM: Now tell us about some of the results that you've seen from beta testing and how investment clubs are using it, are some groups doing better than others, what kind of stocks do they like to trade?

TB: What we are most proud of is that people are building diversified portfolios we didn't really have to put many of the guardrails on that we did for the student competition. We encourage younger students to participate by creating diversified portfolios across sectors so they can't load up only on technology stocks, they can't load up only on cannabis stocks. They build diversified portfolios across industries and there's not a lot of leverage that's possible we limit on that sort of instrument.

JM: I think it's really encouraging because financial literacy is a big part of our coverage at Trade Talks and sometimes you don't always get that in school so to actually have a private group encouraging that is very exciting for me.

TB When you start investing you learn a lot about the markets and you learn a lot about yourself and I think what makes Voleo completely unique in the sphere of self-directed investing is that at last count 46% of our users were female.  We like the fact that it does break down the barriers and that they're able to start to share those ideas in an environment that's exclusive to themselves. So we have this really fun community element where we track the decisions that people make so if you propose something and we as a team were to not vote with you and it was to go up, you could lock it for the purposes of your score three months down the line now. You've learned from your decision you've proven to all of us how things would have gone if we don't listen to you and that feeds a community. It's a very collaborative way for you to learn with a slightly competitive twist.

JM: All right now to wrap up here what are you most excited about. What's up next for Voleo.

TB: I think the B2B strategy that we're rolling out in collaboration with financial institutions is really exciting. We've prepared our first ever ad campaign which we've launched in collaboration with Google and their marketing program just a couple of weeks ago. So we're scaling up our business across the board having gone public and I think that's the most exciting thing for us this year.

JM: All right well we appreciate the partnership. Congratulations! It's so much fun that app.

TB: Thank you so much. 

JM: Thank you for joining us on trade talks I'm Jill Malandrino, Global Markets Reporter at Nasdaq.