Google Maps for Money and Investing

Before I get started, have a quick watch of this hilarious Etoro ad campaign launched yesterday to promote Crypto copy trading. You can open an account now in the USA to buy and sell crypto and do copytrading. I am excited to be Tel Aviv next week for work and play and look forward to spending time with Yoni and Ronen the founders.


For years I have been sharing a thesis that as Robinhood and free trading caught on with the next generation the next wave of active investing would need a ‘Google Maps of Investing‘. If you can trade for free 24/7/365 and the whole world is connected, the products and companies that build trust, differentiated product and platform offerings and the right ‘right turn, left turn‘ (mapping) advice would be important.

For years nobody really cared because few thought Robinhood would catch on.

Now that Schwab and the rest of the online brokerages have gone to free commission and transacting is a commodity, a next generation of investors will be looking to ‘beat the indexes’ or just create their own indexes to invest, trade, follow and share.

It sets the stage for a slew of growth in products and companies that I have been focused on for years and will continue to hunt down. Of course, please do reach out to me if you think you have such a product and vision.

A few weeks ago Angela Strange who is a partner at A16z wrote about ‘The Google Maps for Money‘ which sounds a lot like what I talk about above but is actually all about autonomoud finance. I like how she thinks:

When you enter your desired destination into Google Maps, the app plots out the fastest, most efficient route, even adjusting for traffic and coffee stops along the way. You don’t even need to enter your current location—Google Maps already knows where you are. What if that same predictive software existed for our finances? Imagine a future where you could outline your goals as a student—say, graduate, move to your dream city, save for a house, plan for kids—and an app would execute your optimal financial plan, rerouting and adjusting for “traffic” along the way.

For many consumers, the financial services industry is intimidatingly complex. Sure, we’d all be better off if we understood its intricacies, but most of us are already preoccupied by the practicalities: Can we refinance our credit card debt, student loans, or mortgages, and which should we prioritize? Could we save more? How should we think about investing?

Many well-intentioned startups and incumbents have ramped up their educational efforts to help answer those questions in recent years. But while having a strong basic understanding is important, I believe that the best way to cut through financial confusion and needless complexity is with software. Software is very, very good at distilling the key points we need to make decisions—and, in some cases, even making those decisions for us. Welcome to the era of autonomous finance.

While the media and pundits are focused on the headlines and ‘where the puck is’ (free trading, free banking, free budgeting), I am trying to invest in ‘where the puck is headed’.

Disclosure – I am an investor in Etoro and Robinhood