Categorized | Social Entrepreneur

Changing the investing landscape for all

Changing the investing landscape for allName of Social Enterprise and URL?

GoalMine: www.GoalMine.com

Who is the person?

Rimmy Malhotra and Yaron Ben-Zvi co-founded GoalMine.

 

What is their background?

Rimmy’s background is in the traditional financial services world. Yaron’s background is in startups and media (you can read more about them here). A few years after they’d met at business school, they joined forces to tackle the barriers they saw with traditional investing. GoalMine was the result of their efforts.

What is your product or service?

Simple mutual fund investing that anyone can use, starting with just $25. GoalMine also offers investing gift cards and social tools (including Facebook) to let others add to your investing goals.

Date officially launched?

GoalMine was officially launched on November, 15, 2010

What came about that made them help in social change? Why was this social venture created?

The financial crisis that started in 2008 highlighted the importance of accumulating financial assets to help weather unexpected economic crises, improve standards of living, and to plan for the future. It also revealed just how many people don’t have these assets. GoalMine was created with the mission to expand the opportunity to asset building to everyone, including those who are starting with small amounts and those who don’t have any investing experience yet.

How many years and how many people has this person helped?

GoalMine was launched in November 2010. The customer base has been growing steadily, although we don’t disclose numbers at this time.

How many people need help?

More people are left out of investing than included. In fact, 89% of U.S. families don’t own mutual funds in non-retirement accounts! Furthermore, Approximately 60 million Americans are unbanked and underbanked, and collectively pay upward of $29 billion in fees and interest each year. We think about those numbers a lot every time we hear grim statistics about American’s lack of assets.

What is the cost per person that is being helped?

Anyone can start saving or investing with GoalMine starting with just $25. The savings account has no fees. The mutual funds have expense rations between 1% and 1.4%.

Are you working on decreasing that cost by being more efficient?

We are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently.

Could others help you and how?

Anyone can help by getting the word out. When you open an account, create a sharing page and post it on Facebook to let others know. If you’re already a savvy investor but would like to get friends or family involved, you can also buy them investing gift cards or create custodial accounts for the children in your life.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

We use a lot of Google products, including Analytics and the Adwords Keyword Tool. We also really like Optimizely for A/B testing and Usability Hub for usability testing (these two aren’t free, but they’re very reasonably priced).

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

We currently have 7 employees.

Do you tweet, facebook fan page, myspace friend or use any other social media to get the word out?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoalMineCom

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/GoalMine_com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/GoalMineCom

YouTube – Do you have a YouTube video URL that you can share with us, and allow us to publish with your story:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlUxCBl_8r0&feature=channel_video_title

What is the best advice you never got?

Perry Blacher, former CEO of Covester, has said it best: “Value your own and your team’s time: There is a big difference between frugal and cheap… Small teams are all about leverage. You are paying for ‘expensive’ people to be doing their jobs, and that includes you – if you are asking someone on $500 a day to save you $350 for a day’s chasing, you are not being frugal, you are being an idiot.”

What is the one thing that you did right?

Hire the right people. It’s important to build a team that can keep things running even when you’re not around.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

For us, the biggest transition was moving from product development to commercialization and marketing. It marked a big shift in how we spent our time and the people we hired.

Are you doing any type of Search Engine Optimization?

Definitely. SEO optimization was a big consideration when we built GoalMine.com, and it continues to be with everything else we do.

What can you tell other potential social entrepreneurs who are deciding to make a difference?

Treat a social venture just like you’d treat a for-profit venture. Scalability and sustainability are important no matter what your business is.

What book(s) have you read that others should read?

The Orange Code: How ING Direct Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a Cause. One of the best lessons in the book is to keep a tight focus on your customers and target customers instead of trying to be everything to everyone.

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