Wall Street vs. Main Street

That well known motto was popularized in 2008 (and later) during the last financial crisis (yes, yes, the one that's totally over by now...). There was the sound, sensible, man-made, man-helping, good old economy on one side, being crushed by the evil, profit-oriented, dehumanized, lives-destroying finance on the other side.  

Chill. This is not a political post.

It's about companies that found new ways of investing (or to market investments) after that. Like Aspiration, for example.

Their very unusual pitch: Wall Street might not be that bad after all. Providing "normal people" (ie. not millionaires) can get access to its investment techniques. Those techniques are actually the use of an alternative fund. Nothing really new here, at least in the private banking world (damn, this "millionaires" world again). 

What really stands out is the way it's all introduced: become rich by investing like rich people, do it with a conscience (10% of the firm's benefits are given to US charities that help Americans start their own business. Kudos on that) and pay what you want. Yes. The fees are what the investor believes the servie is worth. It can be zero. That's a pretty bold move. And that's putting money where their mouth is. 

There's a debate among old-school banks about how to tackle the post-crisis world. How to cope with customers ever decreasing trust in their bank. Some believe we need to find a new breed of financial products to find a solution. Aspiration seems to have found another answer: avoid sterile debates, take what's good in Wall Street and package it in a sensible, more human way. And trust your customers will reward you. 

Will it pay? I don't know, but I'm 46'348th position in their invite list...