High-end financial tools accessible to everyone
#2 Product of the Day
December 20, 2015
5 years ago
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Founder, Semantic Press
Thanks for making Tiingo. I previously worked at a large hedge fund who invested heavily into their own software tools for research, analysis and trading. It's a significant part of their competitive advantage. Our small team rewrote their existing desktop apps (WPF) into iOS (iPhone/iPad) and implemented cross-device file sync for mobile research. I hunted this yesterday, particularly because I see the value and your long-term vision. I think what you have developed with Tiingo is a big step forward for democratizing access to professional tools. Happy to help push this out there and see where you take it.
No-coder 👉 Makerpad.co
tell us the story here :)
After leaving the quant fund I was an early employee at, I realized I had access to tools that were incredibly expensive yet they didn't have to be. I took my background - computational chemist; then web developer focusing on structuring data; then quant trader and realized I could combine the different things I've learned to significantly bring down costs. My goal was also to educate, something I did while doing chemistry experiments at NIH; where I built a web-based platform used to conduct research and also teach classes at Georgetown, Penn State, and many others today. The reason for my pricing model is simple: I have an idea that when people contribute very little, we can create something profound. It sounds idealistic, but this is exactly what Kickstart demonstrated, I just see Tiingo as the next iteration. My hope is that these little contributions show the world what happens when we go into one of the most disliked sectors and make a "company upon a hill." That's why ethics are so important to me. 4 of my supervisors got fired when I worked at a bank: 3 for market manipulation and 1 for hiding $30mm worth of losses. And the entire product is built with love - so i always take things one iteration further to help people. One example is not just news feeds, but news feeds that programmatically classify and fade clickbait! Ultimately, even if people don't care for the philosophy, the value proposition I am bringing is so insane they will have to try it :) For example, I'm about to launch an API program where I open up a lot of the data that's traditionally been expensive. Because I had to bring down my costs, I ended up sourcing much of my own data. People think Bloomberg has fantastic data, but any quant trader will tell you how bad it is. I had an entire database fixing their mistakes! So not only do I source the data - but I even show my work. Hover over the binoculars here:
Nobody else gives you this level of transparency. I'm a huge data nut and people deserve so much better This mission has resonated well and I just found out ModernTrader magazine in their December awards issue put me at Top 7 Fintech disruptors. And now Product Hunt and Hacker News? So grateful! This has been almost 2 years in the making! A couple Universities in my area (NYC) have asked me to teach classes and I'm helping one set up curriculum for a computational liberal arts program. It's been a real struggle at times, but I've had friends, family, and community all encouraging me and for that I am so grateful. Really nice of ProductHunt to join me in support :)
No-coder 👉 Makerpad.co
so great to see that through all the corruption in this sector there are people like you who seem to really care and are making moves to make sure that becomes visible!
Yes, but really I'm nothing more than a reflection of the technology we grew up with. I used to walk by the occupy wallstreeters everyday to work and secretly cheer them on. But they were wrong in thinking that bankers were sociopaths. They are not. I don't think anybody really does things because they like "evil" things but because we've found ways to rationalize them - to adopt a gray area. For example, isn't it okay to charge another 1% if it means your kids can continue their quality of life? What being born into this internet generation opened me up to was that empathy goes much deeper. Family is important, but our actions have further reaching consequences. This is what the internet has done - connected people and showed them different perspectives they might not see. For example, that 1% extra charge may mean a pension fund is underwater for the year and many people could not get paid what they needed to. It's an extreme example, but one that can be very real. We talk so much about the negative sides of social media, we sometimes forget the positive. And yes, it just so happened my background fit perfectly with this mission! Check out the podcasts if you haven't- they're meant to teach total newcomers to advanced traders what investing is. Both my friends who are total newcomers and hedge fund managers have told me they've found them helpful:
If nothing more, I can sleep easy knowing thousands have learned from that podcast. Thanks Ben!
Love your story
and your thoughts on empathy. Really love that you are making this industry more accessible, as well.
Lemme know when there's more support for Canadian markets / equities, and I'll be more interested. ;) Looks nice, though.