Warrington students invested in Big Idea Competition

Warrington students Bo Starr (BSBA-FIN ’17) and Aaron Froug (BSBA-ES ’17) have a big goal. Their company, Interest Investments, is creating a plan to get millennials more involved in the investing world.

Interest Investments is one of 16 teams competing in the 2017 Big Idea Gator Business Competition, presented by the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, starting Thursday. Thirteen of the businesses have at least one Warrington student on the team.

This Q&A dives into the thought process of the company and highlights just a snapshot of the innovation taking place at Warrington.

Q: Can you give a summary about Interest Investments?

A: “Interest is the first Financial Technology firm to create an investment platform dedicated to millennials. Our goal is to allow our investors to create portfolios based on the companies they use and care about the most. We track daily purchases and invest spare change into top firms through large batch fractional share orders. Basically, every time you get that delicious cup of coffee at Starbucks, our proprietary software recognizes that purchase, rounds up your dollar, and then invests it into a percentage of that company’s stock. This is then mixed with a wide allocation of assets to continuously diversify your portfolio and helps our customers save money for the future. We want our users to feel a strong sense of ownership and believe in the companies they buy from.”

Q: Why have millennials been trending away from investing?

A: “The finance industry is falling behind on the current times and is no longer a representation of the market that millennials need. We are part of the most interconnected and social media driven era that the world has ever seen. So why aren’t there platforms out there for a generation that consists of 92 million people? Millennials actually DO want to save and invest, but they don’t feel they have enough knowledge on the subject or money. With Interest, that’s simply not true. It only takes five minutes to sign up and after that, you’re good to go. We automatically build a portfolio that’s completely unique to you and your interests. Simple set up and easy money.”

Q: Why is it important to bring millennials back into investing?

A: “I wouldn’t necessarily say it is important to bring millennials back into investing. I’d actually focus on how necessary it is to get them investing in the first place. As of now, it’s believed that Social Security will have to tap into its reserve funding by 2020. This means that our generation won’t be able to retire at 65. Basically, we won’t have enough money to support ourselves and neither will the government. Through compound interest, investing $5,000 a year at the age of 20 can grow to over $3 million by the age of retirement, while investing the same amount at 30 will only grow to a little over $1 million. Facts like this motivate us and drive our team to engage our customers and make them excited about saving.”

Q: How does Interest Investments plan to communicate with millennials?

A: “We are in the age of social media and truly believe it is our biggest asset. People are more connected than ever and that is a good thing. We plan to be extremely active on Facebook (@InterestInvestments), Instagram (@InterestInvestments), Twitter (@InterestInvest), and Pinterest. Our goal is not only to make investing easier, but to engage our customers and make the stock market a fun experience. We believe in education and are hoping to promote greater financial literacy through the outlets that our generation uses every day. Let’s give people something to talk about that not only helps them save for retirement, but grows their portfolio at a younger age.”