Behind the Idea Insights

Behind the Idea: Finimize

Complexity and exclusivity have long characterised the world of investing, often leaving many individuals feeling alienated from financial markets. However, as Gen Xers and Millennials prepare to dominate global wealth by 2030, there’s a growing demand for accessible financial insights tailored to modern investors.

Platforms like Finimize are stepping up to meet this need, offering digestible financial information that empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of the financial world.

In this week’s Behind the Idea, Max Rofagha, CEO and founder of Finimize, shares insights into the platform’s journey, from its humble beginnings as a newsletter to its current status as a global community of over one million subscribers.

Tell us more about your company and its offering
Max Rofagha, CEO and founder of Finimize
Max Rofagha, CEO and founder of Finimize

Finimize is an information platform that empowers retail investors with bitesize insights by world-class analysts. With over one million subscribers to the newsletter and mobile app, we are one of the largest retail investor communities in the world, and have over 70,000 modern investors attending our member organised events annually.

More recently we launched Finimize for Business, a B2B platform that helps fintechs and financial services better reach and engage individual investors.

Gen Xers and Millennials are expected to control half of the world’s wealth by 2030, which means financial services’ core customers are changing. There’s a huge opportunity for forward thinking players in the industry to attract this new wave, whilst getting better at retaining their existing customers. And, a huge risk to those that don’t adapt.

From our own product and community, we understand modern investors and their changing behaviours better than anyone, and know the power content can have in building relationships with them digitally at scale.

By partnering with us, financial institutions can promote their services to customers who are ‘in-market’ and white-label content that they know resonates.

This new arm to the business is working incredibly well, and we now partner with 300+ fintechs, banks and financial service firms and our content now reaches over 40 million individuals worldwide.

What problem was your company set up to solve?

The financial services industry has a tendency to over-complicate investing – to use jargon and present concepts as complex and difficult to understand, which often excludes those that don’t have experience in the industry. I set up Finimize to remove this asymmetry of information between institutional investors and retail investors using the power of the internet.

We believe investing doesn’t have to be hard or confusing. That financial content can be delivered in a way that educates and inspires everyday investors to build their wealth. That’s why we pioneered the financial content space, and were one of the first to offer digestible, insightful and engaging financial information from some of the world’s leading analysts.

Since launch, how has your company evolved?

We started out as a daily newsletter and have now scaled to over one million subscribers to our newsletter and mobile app, which was named a top ten finance App by Apple. We were also acquired by global investment firm abrdn in 2021 which enabled us to scale more rapidly. On our journey, we’ve built a library of trusted, educational content that modern investors – on a mission to build wealth – actually want to engage with. We also launched a quarterly Modern Investor Pulse Q1/2024 which allows us to speak to our 1m strong community regularly to understand how they are feeling and their predictions for the quarter ahead.

Now we have evolved the business and are using our expertise of modern investors to help financial institutions understand and better engage with them. We launched Finimize for Business last year and have been trusted by over 300 financial organisations, including BlackRock, CFA and IG to connect them with retail investors. Our goal is to inspire people to think for themselves and take action in investing, and in life. Working closely with finance businesses to educate and empower modern investors helps us to achieve this at a greater scale.

What has been the biggest challenge or most ‘tricky moment’ to overcome?

I know we’re not alone in experiencing major difficulties when the pandemic hit, but for us it was tricky on two fronts. Firstly, the general economic uncertainty meant many of our business partners were cutting budgets, which was a challenge to navigate. Secondly, it became more difficult to plan ahead and we had to find new ways to ensure our team were aligned.

We got laser focused on getting the business through such an unstable and unprecedented period. We had to take a very lean mindset and moved out of the office on day one. We even had people offering to go on furlough themselves, which is a testament to the culture we’ve built. We got through it together, and I truly believe we came out of that period stronger than when we went in.

What are your biggest achievements or ‘proudest moment’ so far?

We run our annual flagship event, The Modern Investor Summit, the world leading event for global retail investors and 2023 was our biggest and most exciting year yet. The fact that we connected with over 20,000 retail investors online and in person was incredible but what really made it a pinch me moment for me personally was securing the legend and a personal hero of mine, Ray Dalio, as one of our keynote speakers.

When we were first building the app many years ago, we used to talk about him and his philosophy a lot, so to have him impart his wisdom to our community, support our business and talk about how important our work is to society was a real career highlight.

How would you describe the culture of your company?

Our culture is a huge part of what sets us apart as a business. We have been deliberately intentional with who we hire for every position within the business. Everyone at Finimize is truly bought into our mission and wants to spend their working lives empowering people to become smarter investors, and ultimately increase the net worth of an entire generation.

As a team, we’re incredibly entrepreneurial (many have side hustles which I actively encourage because I believe it brings great value to the business). We have a collaborative and community-first culture, and are always focused on taking action, never accepting mediocrity and ensuring what we deliver is simple, entertaining and of a high standard. Being true to these values has enabled us to attract talent from top-tier investment and analyst firms and our mission-driven culture is what keeps them.

What’s in store for the future?

Our goal for this year and beyond is to build out the B2B side of the business further, enabling financial institutions to reinvent the way they engage with investors.

We’re also doing some exciting things with AI as we believe the tech will revolutionise the media landscape. So far, we’ve built an AI tool to automatically translate our white-label content into 25+ languages, which means financial institutions can easily serve tailored investing content to their global customer base for the fraction of the cost of an analyst and editorial team. There is a lot more innovation to come with AI though, which is why we’re experimenting and have some exciting plans ahead to scale our current content offering, so watch this space.

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