Hi Mitchell, welcome to our Fintech interview Series. Please tell us about your 40+ years of fintech journey.
My financial career started with EF Hutton. I was a traditional stockbroker, and I began working with a few other firms. Then after about three years in the business, I was hired by a company called Damson Oil and Gas, to distribute oil and gas programs throughout the financial services industries.
I’ve worked with bigger firms, like Paine Webber, Prudential Securities, and Shearson Lehman, where I basically taught the financial advisors all about oil and gas, how it worked, how to invest, and so on and so forth.
From there I did more wholesale distribution with real estate programs. I work for Travelers Insurance and American Scandia, and there I focused on insurance-oriented programs, variable annuities, and across the board with various investments.
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Then I joined Financial West Group, where I became the President. In this role, I learned a lot about brokerage business from a back office standpoint: compliance, due diligence, recruiting financial advisors, etc. Eventually, I ended up at Fourstar Wealth Advisors, where I still maintained a role in due diligence, alternative investments, and recruiting.
Now, I am currently the Executive Director and Founder of the Financial Literacy Project which was started in 2012. I saw a tremendous need for financial education at a younger age for pre college students and their parents.
My latest business endeavor started when I happened to overhear a conversation between my mom and her financial advisor, which sparked an idea that would eventually lead to the creation of Eyeballs Financial LLC and The Eyeballs App.
Eyeballs is the only voice-activated financial app that delivers financial statement with the tap of a finger or the sound of a voice. What made you click this idea?
As mentioned above, I happened to eavesdrop on a conversation between my mom and her advisor, and that moment sparked the idea that would eventually lead to the birth of The Eyeballs App. Her advisor had spent 40 minutes on the phone with her trying to explain an area of confusion and the complexity of the financial jargon. Even after the advisor went through her questions on her brokerage statement, it left her feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
I thought to myself: what if there was a way for both of them to get their day back? I realized that there was a genuine need for a user-friendly app that could simplify financial information and empower individuals to manage their money with ease. We patented the Remote Inquiry Questions (RIQ) feature to make this as simple as possible, so that people could have their financial questions answered with the tap of their fingers or the sound of their voice.
How has AI paired with advisor Intelligence created a roadmap for financial independence?
We are the first fintech app to uniquely integrate the reassurance of expert financial advisors with the ease of artificial intelligence. As users navigate through the app’s features, they will quickly discover the ease with which they can track their stock investments, ascertain the present value of their assets, and access quarterly financial reports along with current statements.
Eyeballs also includes a financial terms glossary, catering to investors of all expertise levels. Even if certain terms are common within the financial domain, our commitment is to make content easily understandable. Users can simply ask the app for definitions and descriptions whenever they encounter unfamiliar words.
The AI-driven platform examines data from various origins and swiftly furnishes answers using a method referred to as Remote Inquiry Questions (RIQs).
To cater to individual preferences, users can personalize the app’s list of financial questions. They can do this by handpicking the most pertinent ones according to their daily requirements. This selection process involves scrolling through numerous financial inquiries and liking the ones they anticipate using frequently by simply tapping a heart symbol.
As a Fintech leader, what industries you think would be fastest to adopting AI/ML with smooth efficiency?
What are the new emerging markets for Financial Technology markets?
Medical, politics, accounting, even charities to name a few.
Specifically related to politics, we are launching The Get Votes App with PCI (Political Candidate Intelligence), which is more significant for political candidates than AI (Artificial Intelligence). AI focuses on output, completing tasks one by one. On the other hand, PCI provides valuable input to political campaigns by gathering information on voters’ priorities. Voters can use their smartphones to ask questions about the candidate, and the phone will provide pre-programmed answers. Simultaneously, the political campaign receives these questions through a dashboard.
The Get Votes App records voters’ responses to campaign issues.
Other features of the app include notifications, the candidate’s appearance schedule, volunteer signup, donations, polling, and survey information.
How have you used artificial intelligence to create advisor intelligence?
AI can provide numerous benefits for financial advisors, enhancing their capabilities and providing valuable insights to better serve their clients. We like to call these insights “night vision.” Night vision for advisors is knowing what your client is thinking without having a live conversation. Many investment clients are sometimes hesitant to ask all their questions due to the feeling they may be ‘bugging’ the advisor or using up their time.
With the Eyeballs app, advisors no longer need to worry about taking the time to generate reports or chase down clients to deliver them. This information can then be used proactively to monitor clients’ assets and provide them with better customer service by staying on top of their concerns.
Another benefit for advisors is compliance and regulatory assistance, especially related to Regulation BI (best interest). Regulation BI is a Securities and Exchange Commission ruling that states the customer must always be treated in the best interests and that an advisor must place the interests of the client over the interests of the advisor. It also requires that in order to maintain the task of best interest, the advisor must maintain regular contact with the respective client. The Eyeballs App ensures that the advisor maintains regular contact with their clients and also mitigates phone tag, since client appointments can be made using the smartphone app.
The cost and access to data are major challenges for FinTech firms. What would you advise other fintech founders to do, to overcome these common challenges?
Most of the fintech apps have been designed to keep advisors informed and on-track to monitor the existing clients positions and holdings. Eyeballs Financial stops the clients from waiting for answers from the advisor. I would suggest the Fintech firms also focus on the clients needs and finding the best way to solve them. For us, it was to help achieve ‘getting the client’s day back.’
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If you always do what you said you were going to do, then you will always get from others what you always thought you would get!
What figure of CAGR do you see for the Fintech industry in 2030?
Compound Growth of 15% per year…
Thank you, Mitchell! That was fun and we hope to see you back on Global Fintech Interview Series.
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Mitchell Morrison is the founder and creator of Eyeballs Financial LLC, a fintech application. The Eyeballs app is the first to provide up-to-date information pairing trusted advisor intelligence and artificial intelligence, delivering convenient, automatic, and secure insight into all your financial investments.
The Eyeballs app is the only U.S. patent with RIQ’s Remote Inquiry Questions, providing up-to-date information on your financial portfolio with instant communication with your advisor for any questions or concerns. The app is a win for the general public and financial advisors alike, saving time and providing greater insight without the need for a live conversation.