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Fri. 15 Oct 2021, 7:51am ETBenzinga
In: Fintech, Interview

The pandemic recovery has not been uniform.

The economy is recovering at varying rates; the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer, says Ken Mooso, CEO at social investing app PersonaFi.

“Younger generations are being left behind,” he said in a discussion on catering to the increased awareness around financial sustainability and bolstering trends that suggest society is more so interested in saving and investing, rather than spending and borrowing.

His experiences serving clients at the likes of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) and Bank of America Corporation-owned (NYSE:BAC) Merrill, as well as at home, as a child growing up, gave him unique insight into the wrongs in the world of finance.

“I came from a family that didn’t understand much about finance and that caused a lot of friction. Witnessing that, I told myself that, no matter what, I was going to learn how to make money and make it work for me.”

Inception: Whilst working in wealth management, Mooso became frustrated with what he said is the fiduciary standard.

“The advisors have to work in the best interest of their clients – that sounds like a beautiful thing – but what ended up happening was the complete opposite.”

The organizations he associated with basically defaulted to selling exposure to mutual funds and charging unnecessary management fees.

“We’re crushing the clients and they don’t even know it,” he exclaimed.

Thereafter, he took matters into his own hands, playing on trends that point to investors more so trusting themselves and their embedded social networks.

Evolution: He said the "idea was similar to something like Venmo where you can see who’s buying what.”

To test the idea, Mooso began posting his trade ideas on social media. Friends, then, frantically began reaching out, inquiring increased detail around his methodology and execution.

“I ended up creating a Facebook group that blew up massively where we even got national attention.”

Functionality: There are three core tools to the PersonaFi platform.

The first allows users to see what their friends are holding in their aggregated portfolio.

“We built a web app, initially, and tested it out with about 100 people. Now we have an iOS version where you can see what people are holding in their portfolios, whether it is with Robinhood or TD Ameritrade.”

The second allows users to conduct due diligence on their friends and the third is trade alerts.

“We are sending out trade alerts to the people that are willing to pay for that,” Mooso said on the tool, which is still in development.

Trade ideas merge fundamental theses and technical setups with pre-set entries and exits.

Outlook: PersonaFi is in the early stages of disrupting personal finance, broadly.

“I see ourselves heading where PersonaFi is not going to be focused just on the stock market. People don’t trust or care for the banks and our generation doesn’t really turn on cable news. The source of their information is through social media.”

Thus far, Mooso has been approached by a few institutions on partnership initiatives. One firm was looking to partner over the platform’s advisory capabilities.

“We believe that we’re going to be a big driver of financial news in all aspects, not just the stock market.”

To learn more about PersonaFi and its campaign to raise money and disrupt personal finance, click here.