Peer Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are fighting to solve the world's problems everyday.  As a recent MBA graduate of NYU Stern, I am humbled and prepared to join the fight and I want to start by helping my peers secure their financial futures.  That is why I co founded Emcee - a platform for new investors to synchronize their investments and knowledge with their peers and lead one another to financial security and literacy. The world is filled with leaders whom, like entrepreneurs, aspire others to willingly follow them and through this process they elevate the next generation of leaders before them. We hypothesize the same to be true for the next generation of investors and savers and it is a hypothesis that is unfortunately lost on the financial services industry.

But why do we care?  Because millennials are saving less than earlier generations making them the least invested generation in history.

Today’s young adults are falling behind their parents and grandparents when it comes to building wealth and saving for retirement. The graph below compares the ratio of income to wealth for late baby boomers, Gen - Xers, and millennials at the same ages.

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he “robo” revolution that disrupted the financial services industry was meant to address this meta problem, yet to much disappointment. For nearly a decade, the industry leveraged technology to provide sweeping accessibility to global markets for income earners of all levels by reducing investment minimums to virtually nothing. Some digital investment advisors focus on gender based investing (ElleVest)  and others on socially responsible investing (Swell Investing) while many relied on simplifying investing through gamification and game theory (Stash). Even so, the problem is getting worse and while many socioeconomic factors are at work, the fact still remains - 60-80% of millennials don't invest in anything and even less in stocks, the best retirement vehicle available to them.

Our solution addresses the psychological reasons stunting millennials that we’ve identified through our customer discovery process, notably the fear of investing, a lack of confidence, a general distrust of financial institutions, and financial illiteracy. These psychological impediments fuel one another that turns into a cycle of procrastination and deferment:

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Our research shows that millennials are 75% more likely to invest in assets that are relatable to them by varying degrees of connections.  One way to drive this type of engagement is to matchmake millennials with assets that they can relate to, but even more profound is to make the experience of investing relatable. This is the value proposition of Emcee. Not only do we create a social experience for investing, we also provide the incentives and matchmaking for peer leadership and activism to be the driving force behind what is driving engagement on our platform. And the experience doesn't stop with investing, but rather continues with the life cycle of the user into retirement and savings accounts.  There is an opportunity to redefine personal finance.

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I am passionate about solving this problem, but there is more to it than that. Leaders are the ones who answer a calling or feel a sense of duty or responsibility. As a former US military service member I've experienced it first hand.  Entrepreneurship is no different and I feel a sense of responsibility to help my peers secure their financial futures in the best way I can.

Arash Asady of Emcee