3 Startups to Watch: Invest Tech Takes the Stage

time to break out the hedge-ledger

This week’s Startups to Watch are pushing progress in different sectors. Respectively, these companies provide retirement options for staff at small businesses; a trading tool; and a digital wealth management adviser. However, at their core all three are about investments, and how to leverage a small advantage into a major lead over one’s competitors.

Whether the reader is a small business competing for expertise at minimal cost or a nimble-minded stock investor, there are worlds within the universe of startups, and while, as they say, what you don’t know won’t kill you, it will give your competitors the chance to take the lead.

Honest Dollar: Goldman Sachs-worthy

The first startup worthy of note is Honest Dollar, which is currently popping in the finance news mainstream as a smart little retirement dealer that a fast growing number of small businesses are flocking to for cheap but effective retirement programs for its employees.

Goldman Sachs, which just acquired the Austin, Texas-based startup for an undisclosed sum, stated that roughly 45 million Americans lack access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. Honest Dollar says that its sign-up process takes only 90 seconds, and the company charges a minimum of $8 per employee, per month. Post-application and pre-admittance to the program, employees are asked a series of qualifying questions that place them in one of six proffered portfolios. The co-heads of investment management at Goldman Sachs, Eric S. Lane and Timothy J. O’Neill, opined on the acquirement:

Honest Dollar has created a simple solution to a complex retirement savings problem […] Together, we have the potential to help millions of people achieve their investing goals.

Mometic: Keeping the Stock Exchange Edge

MOMO, short for Mometic, states that it is the only stock app capable of streaming stock price movement in real time — a necessity for discovering and timing breakouts for more than 6,500 U.S. stocks. These sixty-five hundred stocks include those listed on Nasdaq, NYSE, and elsewhere.

Logistically and aesthetically, the app is impressive, as a user’s stock interests, patterns, and trading style are matched by the app’s layouts, alerts, and filters. With a cursory scroll down its homepage, sample photos of the app in action give a cold, sleek, minimally-meta feel. In the imperious voice of a classic stock broker, MOMO suggests a subtext, urging us to get a piece of this analytical assist while it’s still hot, because like they say:

Being first to the story is always preferred.

Oranj: Millennials and the Future of Wealth Management

Finally, we arrive at the Chicago-based Oranj, a digital adviser and wealth management application founded in 2013 by CEO David Lyon. In its video (embedded below), Oranj notes that the salad days of the 80’s are over; and cold calls, financial docs, and annual reviews are not only obsolete, but have also become decidedly passe in the minds of customers — millennial customers, to be specific, who’ve taken the wealth management industry into their own hands.

To be succinct, Oranj combines software, services and support into one platform designed to help advisors streamline practices to identify clients and prospects in need of real-time service. This way, clients have mangers maintaining up-to-date financial and goal information at their fingertips, the company claims.

The reporter in me is pleased to see Oranj’s Insight blog; the thing about insight streams is that for many firms — startups or not — content often regresses to a sort of PR flak-fest, with many essential subjects spoken of with high regard, though seldom engaged.

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