You want to invest but you are sick of Wall Street greed? Then read this post from Daily Kos by Andrei Cherny of Aspiration.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Personal Finance
I am reposting here Andrei Cherny's letter from the link above because I find it thoughtful.
Wall Street works great. If you’re one of the wealthiest people in the country.
But for most Americans – and for the country as a whole – the way the financial industry currently works…just isn’t working.
Dig deeper than the surface level rhetoric on the gap between the 1% and the 99% and the truth is that more and more of the investment world is concentrating on providing products and services to the super-rich – and treating America’s middle class as an afterthought.
Why? It’s no conspiracy. The simple reason is the same one Willie Sutton gave when asked why he robbed banks: “That’s where the money is.”
Rising inequality of wealth means there is more money to manage in the hands of the very rich: not the top 1%, but the top 0.1% -- the multi-millionaires whose income has truly skyrocketed in recent years.
And at the same time as Wall Street is looking past the middle class, most Americans feel a deep distrust for the largest financial firms – for some very good reasons. Too often, big institutions on Wall Street have shown they play by very different rules and work by very different values than everyday Americans.
The result is a vicious cycle where the wealth gap grows even larger with more everyday Americans sitting on the sidelines of the opportunities they need for asset-building and wealth-creation for themselves and their families.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Two years ago, we asked a question: what if there was an investment and financial firm that didn’t cater to the wealthiest few, trusted its customers, and helped its customers make money and make a difference at the same time?
The result is Aspiration – an online investment firm with a conscience that is built for the middle class. As the The Huffington Post wrote last month, Aspiration is “channeling Elizabeth Warren to change the face of banking.”
What makes Aspiration so different? Three things:
- Focus on the middle class, not millionaires. Wall Street's investment banks and hedge and private equity funds have a customer base that is almost exclusively multi-millionaires and large institutions. On the other hand, all the SEC-registered investment products Aspiration creates and offers have a low $500 investment – and a $100,000 maximum investment so we never lose our focus on middle class investors.
- Trust customers to choose our fee. While Wall Street hits people with fees come rain or shine, we actually let the customer choose how much to pay us -- even if that is zero. At Aspiration, we don’t make a cent from our customers other than what they think we deserve. That means they can always know we will be working hard for them and living up to our values.
- Turn "Greed is good" on its head. We are a financial firm on a mission to combine profit and purpose. Instead of spending customers’ fees lobbying against their interests, we donate ten cents of every dollar of our revenue to charities providing microloans and mentoring to help struggling Americans start their own businesses. And we make it easy for our customers to give to the cause of their choice.
Today, Aspiration is one of the fastest growing online investment platforms in America. And we’re doing it by showing that profits are important, but people are too – and you don’t have to sacrifice one for another.
The Aspiration Summit Account is an FDIC-insured checking account with a minimum $10 opening deposit that offers up to 100 times more interest than what you get from Big Banks, no monthly fees, and free access to every ATM in the world.
Sign up for an Aspiration Summit Account through this link, and start the process of leaving Wall Street behind. Instead of supporting the big banks and investment firms that charge unconscionable fees and use their profits to lobby against us, invest with a company that works to provide you value – and embody your values.
Thanks for all you do, Andrei Cherny Co-founder and CEO, Aspiration
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Daily Kos partners with other companies that offer essential services but do so in a way that is progressive and beneficial to humanity.
Everyone needs a phone, so we partner with CREDO to give you a way to stay connected while making progressive change happen. Everyone needs to power their home, so we partner with Ethical Electric so that you can keeps the lights on with 100% renewable energy.
Now Daily Kos is partnering with Aspiration, a way to bank and invest without supporting the financial institutions turning our country into an oligarchy.
Please read this entire blog post to learn more about Aspiration, and click here to start your account. When you sign up with Aspiration through Daily Kos, a portion of the proceeds go to help keep us running. You can ditch the oligarchs while helping Daily Kos at the same time.-- Chris Bowers, Executive Campaign Director, Daily Kos
I like that Aspiration in part supports its partners. And I like the rhetoric Andrei uses in this letter.