28 Nov 2022
Magnifi's Chief Product Officer Tom Van Horn discusses the artificial intelligence powering Magnifi's investment marketplace.
Listen to the full audio on bloomberg.com
Tom Van Horn, he can help us here. He's a Chief Product Officer for Magnifi. Hey Tom, thanks so much for joining us here. I'd love for you just to give us the 30 second overview. What do you guys do at Magnifi?
Tom Van Horn:
No, great. Thanks for having me this morning. Magnifi. Our overall mission is to simplify investing success. About three years ago we launched our platform and it was a search engine to be able to navigate all the investment products out there in the marketplace. New ETFs launching, mutual fund products, very intimidating to understand exactly how to navigate that to get investments that might be appropriate for you (1). And that's really where we started.
Now, what we've molded into here over the last couple quarters is I'm very excited to announce that we just launched Magnifi Personal and this is our artificial intelligence powered investing assistant. This is something you can turn to 24 by seven. Very appropriate way to start this, the now. And that's exactly where we're at. Magnifi is something that you can just pull out of your pocket today and ask an investing question and get a personalized answer back from that investing assistant.
Do you then link to bank accounts, brokerage accounts? How do you put this to work once you've got the answer?
Tom Van Horn:
Yes, we do those linkings, but also you can stay completely within the Magnifi experience if you choose to do so. We offer commission free trading, fractional share trading as well. So if you want to stay on platform for the entire experience, you are more than happy to do so.
What's the business model for Magnifi? Do you charge a fee? Do you charge trading commissions? Is it a subscription? How does that work? No commissions.
Tom Van Horn:
Magnifi Personal is a subscription model. So for under $150 a year, you can get access to what is really your own investment professional in your pocket. Think of it as Siri or Alexa went to investment school and got a CFA and is now your investment advisor. So when you have the time on your own schedule or in the moment something pops in, like this morning we see what's going on the news. Why is Apple sinking? Am I exposed to China? How can I position my portfolio differently to take less risk based on what's going on in China? Those are the types of things that you can ask on the spot to your personal investing assistant.
So what kind of traction have you gotten? What are you looking at in terms of AUM, customers, growth? How's that look?
Tom Van Horn:
Yeah, so we launched fully in October. We did a beta period just prior to that where we did a good go-to-market strategy, building up interest, and just this month we crossed over 10,000 active users on the platform. As a product person, I love this because I can think I have all the great ideas and where things should go, but having actual users coming onto the platform in different personas.
There's the very simple investor who might have that intimidating barrier of, I don't understand this industry, there's too much jargon, I don't know where to begin. They're asking questions like, "How do I get started? Or I want to put a down payment on a car in a few months. This is how much money I have. How can I construct a portfolio to help me get there?" All the way to the sophisticated investors who are asking for things like, "Are there any FinTech IPOs coming up this quarter? What's the drawdown of IBM?" So it's across the board, across those personas, but now that we have over 10,000 active users on the platform, they are driving the direction of what we're building.
What's a typical account at Magnifi in terms of size, or maybe it's how it's invested?
Tom Van Horn:
Today and we've had our account capabilities for a little over a year now, I would say it's the novice persona that's coming in. It's somebody that's coming in with some starter money, they're not gamblers, they don't want to be traders. They're asking questions, they're asking goals, how do I get to X, Y, and Z over this particular time period? Can you help construct me a portfolio? So we're talking as little as a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars as a starting point and trying to become better, intelligent investors rather than just traders.
So what do you want to do with the company then? I mean, I'm sure you want to grow it and it's your baby and you want to stick with it, but do you have an IPO in your sights? Is it possible to access funds in other ways for expansion?
Tom Van Horn:
Yeah. Right now we have a very long runway, very liquid in a very, very good spot. And our mission is really to simplify investing success. We really believe that investing is the only true path to financial freedom. Long term, I wouldn't take anything off the table with where we go, but we're very focused right now on creating as much impact as we possibly can and we're trying to reach as many consumer retail investors across the board to help them become better investors.
All right. Good stuff Tom, really appreciate you taking the time. Tom Van Horn, he's a Chief Product Officer at Magnifi.
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