FinTech profile: M1 - rethinking personal finance

By Matt High
M1 is an online financial services company that combines investing, borrowing and cash management into one innovative platform. Here, we take a closer l...

M1 is an online financial services company that combines investing, borrowing and cash management into one innovative platform. Here, we take a closer look

M1 offers smart money management solutions that let customers take control of, and personalise their finances. Through its innovative platform, the company allows users to create their own portfolio of ETFs and stocks with no trading fees or commissions. 

M1, it claims, is created for the "intelligent investor" - a claim that is backed up by the technology included in the platform. For example, a host of customisation and automation capabilities enable the seamless and intelligent management of money in whichever the user requires. 

Invest, spend, borrow

Three steps that combine to achieve a "modern-day financial solution". An investment portfolio can be built through the M1 platform for free, and deposits can be scheduled weekly, biweekly or monthly. 

Specifically regarding investing, M1 offers a custom portfolio in which the customer picks the stocks and ETFs they want and sets target allocations for each security. M1 uses fractional shares and intelligent automation to invest your money according to specific target allocations.

For borrowing, customers can unlock a flexible portfolio line of credit at one of the lowest rates on the market with just $10,000 invested in their M1 portfolio.

"Time for change"

M1 was launched in 2015 by current CEO and founder, Brian Barnes. Barnes is a lifelong innovator and entrepreneur, starting his investment journey at the age of 10 until, soon after graduating college, he realised he hated doing it with the tools available on the market. 

"The financial services industry has lacked any meaningful innovation for far too long, and I decided it was time for change," he explains on M1's website. 

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