4. Motif Investing

Turning your ideas into investments

Hardeep Walia, co-founder and CEO of Motif Investing
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Hardeep Walia, co-founder and CEO of Motif Investing

Founder: Hardeep Walia (CEO)
Date launched:
$86 million
Industries disrupted: Banks, Investing
Disrupting: BlackRock, Fidelity, JPMorgan Chase
Competitors: Betterment, Personal Capital, Wealthfront

Instead of buying mutual funds that revolve around specific asset classes or investing styles, what if retail investors could focus on themes, or "motifs," such as cybersecurity, cloud computing or even 3-D printing? Motif Investing lets you do just that.

Started by former Microsoft executive Hardeep Walia, the online brokerage allows investors to build stock and bond portfolios based on everyday ideas and broad economic trends—and share those ideas with friends. A motif like home improvement, for example, will contain up to 30 stocks, each researched and weighted to their exposure to the theme. Investors have the power to change the weight of any of the stocks—or even delete some of them—until they get the portfolio they want.


The commission for up to 30 stocks in one motif: $9.95. The company is attracting some heavy hitters with its customer-centric approach. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Norwest Venture Partners have already invested in the company. The board of directors boasts Arthur Levitt Jr., former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Sally Krawcheck, former president of Bank of America's Global Wealth and Investment Management group.

Who do you dream of putting out of business?

"We want to challenge those players in the investing industry that fail to create value for their customers and put their business needs ahead of their customers." -Hardeep Walia, founder and CEO


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