Early investors tend to buy stocks that are less than $10, SoFi CEO Anthony Noto said Thursday.
“It’s a representation that they don’t want to put a lot of money at risk,” Noto said in an interview with “Mad Money’s” Jim Cramer. “They want to put a small amount of money sort of buying things that don’t cost a lot of dollars.”
The millennial generation, made up of people born roughly between the early 1980s and late 1990s, includes many of the early investors. They’re also likely to pick up on some of the hottest IPOs that they’re using, such as Uber and Lyft, he added.
“They’re focused on investing in things that they’re contributing to and things that they know, like these gig economy companies, but they’re also investing in things that they basically don’t use but are at a price point that allows them to get into the market and learn,” Noto said. “So we launched two ETFs that give them broad-based diversification.”
SoFi in recent months rolled out a suite of their own exchange-traded funds, which is a basket of underlying assets that trade throughout a session. Those include the SoFi Gig Economy ETF, tracking stocks of gig-oriented companies, on the Nasdaq Composite and the SoFi 50 ETF, tracking 50 of the top 1,000 high-growth U.S. companies, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Prior to those launches, SoFi also released an investing platform free of fees and commissions. SoFi Invest also carries all four of the financial technology firm’s ETFs. The mobile application uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, and also offers users financial education.
“You can get that diversification at a low allocation of money. It was an interesting learning,” Noto said. “It’s an imperative you invest in your twenties. If you miss those 10 years, that decade, you really have to catch up later on.”
To have a diversified portfolio, Cramer advises not to have more than 20% of your holdings in any one sector.
SoFi, the online lender that ranks No. 26 on this year’s CNBC Disruptor 50 list, launched in 2011 to refinance student loans.
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Since then the company has added more services that a traditional bank would have, including checking accounts, mortgages and renter’s insurance. As the ride-sharing apps did to ride-hailing services, it’s a technology that’s changing how customers engage in banking.
In the last 15 months, SoFi has made “great progress” and recorded its first “trifecta” in its last quarter, Noto said. The company grew revenue, loan volume and profitability, he said.
“That enabled us to launch these new products, like SoFi Money and give a great interest rate at 2.25% and help people get their money right,” he said. “We’ve meaningfully changed the core business of the company.”
As for when the company may enter public markets itself, “we’re focused on building great products first and someday that may come,” Noto said.
SoFi is a financial institution based in San Francisco with $1.9 billion in funding and a $4.4 billion valuation, according to PitchBook.