Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Startup Motif Investing Will Pay Financial Advisers, Brands and Eventually You for “Big Ideas” in Investing

When Motif Investing launched last year, the online investment broker wanted to give people a straightforward way to invest in big ideas. So it began offering portfolios — called “motifs” — that contain up to 30 stocks and ETFs built around themes such as “Healthy and Tasty” and “Obamacare” for a flat fee of $9.95. Now it wants those same people to get paid for creating their own investment ideas.


In February, Motif started letting individuals, professional financial advisers and big brands create their own motifs. Today, the startup is organizing those portfolios into a public catalog, and is announcing that it will start paying at least $1 to the advisers and brands every time a Motif user invests in their motifs.

Perhaps more interestingly, the startup should get regulatory approval within six months to start paying nonprofessional individual investors when someone purchases a motif they create, Motif CEO Hardeep Walia said in an interview.

“If you have good ideas, you’ll have the chance to get paid for them,” Walia said.

While startups such as Betterment and Wealthfront aim in many ways to help replace financial advisers, Motif is hoping to create a catalog of thematic investment ideas that even professional investors find useful.

The company has raised $51 million from Goldman Sachs, Norwest Venture Partners, Ignition Partners and Foundation Capital.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work