Investor Alexa von Tobel on the biggest driver of social-media-fueled stock trading – TechCrunch

Alexa von Tobel has always felt strongly that many people are out of the stock market. He realized it as a 23-year-old who did not have $ 5,000 to open a brokerage account. During the creation of Learnwest, a financial planning startup launched in 2009, she realized that she had sold to Northwestern Mutual in 2015 for what she says was eventually $ 375 million. In fact, von Tobel – who launched him two years ago Own venture firm With fellow entrepreneurs and former US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker – he cares so much about the yawning gap between investors and non-investors that he has written books about taking control of one’s money. (Perhaps unsure, he is also a certified financial planner.)

Little wonder that in late January, for the podcast which Von Töbel regularly hosts for Ink, Interviewed Robinhood Vlad Tenev talked about the company’s discovery to make investment accessible to all and how it broke the brokerage landscape in the process. Neither will what will happen in future days, when a Reddit community of amateur investors who try not to occupy Wall Street turns it upside down using Robinhood, in part, the share price of companies like Gametop and AMC theaters To increase. – After that, open those positions. As a 21-year-old college student who lost $ 150,000 over several days, the outlet’s vice-president told, “That’s the whole point Made me numb for money. “

What happened? Education, in von Tobel’s view, states that it never formed a unified part of the big picture. While the GameStop saga “has brought a lot of new learning and new things that people have to process and consider,” among these is the paramount financial training that Americans receive.

“I want the device to be democratized, where everyone has equal access to the financial system,” von Tobel said in a lively conversation with us last weekend that you can Listen here. “But I also want equal education, and that’s where we are Mournfully Fall behind as a society. It is not taught in high school, college or graded schools. Very few schools also teach the basics. “

She says that this issue becomes more important every year. People are living longer, and they are more responsible than ever for their financial well-being. Meanwhile, due to innovations in fintech including Robinhood – which became wildly popular as it was overcome by many barriers to participating in the stock market – there is little to prevent anyone from making substandard decisions with external consequences.

So what to do? For starters, she points out that society begins to place more emphasis on financial health as physical health. “If you’re nearing a major health crisis, doctors do a very good job of saying, ‘Here are all the things you need to do to protect yourself; what needs to happen here. Exists in the financial world Need to live. “

She will take on many stakeholders, she believes. One of these “platforms – all those – that provide you [financial] Tools and resources so you understand what kind of risks you are taking [to the extent] They can provide it. “

Another, she said, is the regulator, which also includes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Created in 2010 to protect consumers in banking, mortgages, credit cards, and other financial transactions, the constitutionality of the CFPB was called into question by the Trump administration, yet its guidance is still needed, von Tobel suggests. (“Regulation is always one step behind, and it’s a little bit of what we’re feeling” right now as a society.)

Of course, the third and largest stakeholder of all is the American educational system, von Tobel says, “You need three, working together” to make a real impact.

Meanwhile for any structural change as von Tobel thinks it should be – according to CNBC, for example, Robinhood is Preparing to defend against A trade tax that has been floated as a way to reduce some of the frenzied activity seen in recent weeks – she calls “pontitude” too much.

Still, she said she thinks “getting a citadel and everyday Americans on the same rung as where we want to end up,” and she is not without hope that we will get there.

For example, she thinks crypto is “here to stay” and that the infrastructure being built around it will be positive for innovators as well as end users. She is also expecting “Self driving wallet“Those who pay the bills and invest to become the new normal, and she thinks they can alleviate some of the financial crises we might otherwise continue to see.

She says that given the late disorder, it seems much easier almost later, but “the wallet is a math equation every day.” “If you have so much [money] Available free, where should it go? What is the most optimal place? It’s a math equation that updates every hour, and I think its elements will be self-driving depending on your goals and what you want to accomplish. “

As she says, “I can’t wait for a day that actually exists in a way where it’s on its own.” I believe this is the future. “