Mission-minded money management: the case for the long-term investing mindset

M1 Team
M1 Team February 25, 2021
Man carrying a folder with a phone + M1 Invest app.

For hundreds of years, only an exclusive group of people could invest in the stock market. Over the past several decades, access increased but investing in the stock market continued to be too complex, intimidating, costly, frustrating, and gated for many investors.

Some financial institutions haven’t done enough to make investing easier, accessible, low-cost, and strategic for retail investors. And they haven’t woven it tightly together with other cash management needs that people have – like spending and borrowing.

That’s due in part to their business models based on maximizing fees, a focus on active trading, or highlighting short-term market outcomes. These continue to be drivers of sub-par experiences and outcomes today, even among newer investing apps.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We’re on a mission to change this, and our goal is to enable millions of people to improve their financial well-being simply, efficiently, and more predictably.

That’s why we built M1 Finance – a platform that encourages long-term behavior.

As we grow, we’re investing in our platform and our community. A few months ago, we started working with the creative minds at Bader Rutter to bring some of these investments to life.

We wanted to share memorable, personal perspectives that reflected our clients’ needs, who we are, and what we stand for. So, “Monologues” was born, and we leaned on our signature M to tell the story.

We know what we mean when we say, “The Finance Super App.” We wanted others to know, too.

Our brand videos double down on our values to reach more people.

We want to help as many investors as possible improve their financial well-being. We believe that with the right tools and mindset, people can confidently build the future they imagine for themselves.

Long-term investing is important, but it doesn’t have to be boring. And the fun doesn’t have to come from trading fads or gamified user experiences. It can come from simplicity, ease, and knowing you’re managing your money and growing your wealth in a durable, sustainable way. When we say it’s “Yours to Build,” we want you to love the experience of creating the future that’s right for you.

We understand how today’s investors think and what they want from a modern personal finance platform. But we also know how to be human.

Human behavior fuels investing decisions: habits matter, tools matter, biases matter, and information matters.

We help people improve their financial well-being in a more human and helpful way.

Here’s how we’re doing it:

We’re all about investing, not trading

While others talk about trading, we talk about investing.

It’s not just a percentage of our clients that identify as long-term investors; it’s what M1 was designed for.

Despite the trading noise dominating the news the last few months, our community of investors grew exponentially. We had a 3x increase in new sign-ups in January 2021, versus December 2020. And on February 8, we hit #10 in the App Store’s finance category and #84 overall.

More people realize that it’s very difficult to time the market and grow wealth for the long term. In fact, 99% of day traders lose money.

We believe long-term, systematic investing is the sustainable way to build wealth. We’re laser focused on this philosophy in all that we do.

We help people wherever they’re starting from

People want to build their wealth, and they want to do it “the right way.”

But “the right way” is different for everyone. And everyone starts from a different place.

That’s why we focus on tools that are easy to use, values you can stand by, and information that sounds like a friendly, knowledgeable person wrote it.  

We’re not done yet

We’ve been disrupting the personal finance industry since launching M1 Invest in 2016: we’ve added two new core product offerings with Borrow and Spend, Smart Transfers, and Custodial Accounts. And we’re on a relentless pursuit to make The Finance Super App even more super.

We believe you want to make good financial decisions. We believe you want you to make your own choices. And we believe you want to save time when managing your money.

People want a long-term investing platform that’s easier, accessible, low-cost, and strategic.

We’re building it.