Investing is no easy task; Dvdendo is here to make it simple. Matthew Meehan, founder and president (photo, right), along with Santiago Maggi (left) and Thomas Zdon, are changing the way more people can invest their money. The goal is to build and monitor custom investment portfolios based on each customer’s goals and needs, all in the palm of their hand.
We sat down with Matthew to further discuss Dvdendo and how they are disrupting the industry by making professional financial advice available to everyone.
Tell us about Dvdendo and your role.
I am a co-founder at Dvdendo and like many other founders I wear many hats. My areas of focus are investment strategy, product, design and marketing — and of course raising capital as well!
What did you see was lacking in your industry that you found the need to create Dvdendo?
Minimum account balances for most investment advisory firms have historically been very high and out of reach for an average individual. This has meant that most people either choose not to invest (leaving their savings in a low yielding bank account) or are forced down the expensive and time-consuming path of attempting to manage their own portfolio. Dvdendo’s technology allows us to offer a customized investment service to anyone, regardless of the amount they have to invest, and to provide it at a much lower cost than traditional, non-digital investment advisors.
Who is Dvdendo geared toward and how does it benefit this type of consumer?
Our product is really for anyone that doesn’t have the time or expertise to invest his or her own money nor the amount of assets required by wealth management firms to have someone else do it for you. But more specifically, we’ve designed Dvdendo to cater to the Hispanic community, which has been traditionally underserved by the asset management industry. It is estimated that only 16% of Hispanics own financial products in this country versus the more than 50% of non-Hispanics that do so.
How did you come up with the name Dvdendo?
Dvdendo is the phonetic way of saying “dividendo”, a Spanish word meaning dividend. Merriam-Webster describes “dividend” as a resultant reward or return, which is what you can work towards if you join Dvdendo!
What is your competition and what makes you different from them?
Our competition really are the banks and savings institutions where the average person leaves his spare change or sometimes up to thousands of dollars sitting in an account that pays virtually no interest and acts as just a very low cost loan to a very grateful banking institution. We think it’s important for everyone to put their money to work in higher yielding investments and to own a piece of some of the greatest, fasting growing companies in the world — up until now, high account minimums and do it yourself trading services made this seem like more of a pain than a solution. With Dvdendo, not only do we help you set aside a small amount of money each time you spend (by linking your credit or debit card to your account) but we invest those savings for you in a fully automated and broadly diversified investment portfolio. Better than lending it for free to your bank, right?
What are your long-term goals for Dvdendo?
Our goal is for every Hispanic person in the United States to have their own investment account! One of the biggest contributors to the massive wealth gap in this country is that most wealthy people invest their money in stocks, bonds and real estate, while middle and lower income earners have historically left a big chunk of their savings idling away in a bank account. If we can make opening an investment account super easy, super inexpensive and a possibility with even just $5, then we think it will be an important step toward reducing that gap.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing as you approach the launch date?
Prioritizing the many tasks that we have in front of us, because at this early stage every single detail of the business is critical. So we take it day by day and try to resolve each issue one at a time and trust that we have a great team of people helping us make the vision a reality.
What is your favorite part about working in Building?
The people by far. I feel like I am surrounded by people that are purusing their passions.
Where do you see Dvdendo 3 to 5 years from now?
I hope that Dvdendo will have reached a wide audience, expanded outside of the U.S. where many of our target customers have close family members, and helped people feel more comfortable about investing their money, knowing that a team of professionals is handling the process for them.
Matthew and Santiago are just two of our many members that are #BuildingMiami! To learn about membership at Building, the premier collaborative workspace for tech companies in Miami, <a href="http://building project management website.co/”>click here.