Customer Success Spotlight: One Share at a Time

Chelsea Caltuna
May 4, 2021

Our mission at Intrinio is to power a generation of applications that will fundamentally change the way our broken financial system works. Intrinio data feeds form the basis of everything from large enterprise business reporting applications to startup fintech apps. It’s rewarding to see our product come to life at the hands of today’s most innovative developers building powerful things.

We’re lucky to be in a business where we grow together with our customers, and we’re proud to show off their hard work. Each blog in this series will highlight a customer that has leveraged our financial data feeds to build something incredible.

Meet One Share at a Time, an investment advisory platform that combines education, advanced market data, and personalized tools to empower individual investors. We spoke to Austin LeMalefant, creator of One Share at a Time, about why he started the company and his partnership with Intrinio.

Give us the elevator pitch for your company.

There are tens of millions of retail traders that use self-directed brokerage apps and sites to trade stocks. It is no secret that a lot of them aren't very good at it.

This comes down to a long list of reasons. They tend to overload on a small handful of stocks, which leads to less diversification and more volatility. They may trade options, or use leverage, to try to gamble on short-term market movements. They don't consider taxes when making trades. And above all else, they largely lack the fundamental understanding of investing that is required to control emotions and generate positive returns. Looking in as outsiders, many more people stay away from the stock market because they equate it to gambling. Whether you are using it to purely speculate, or avoiding it altogether, you are missing out on what is truly the most passive wealth generator the world has ever known.

One Share at a Time proposes a new system of doing things that reimagines what people can build for themselves. We believe that great investing can be simple, and anyone can do it and feel empowered. We provide straightforward education, thoughtful tools, and vast market data. Our system is completely new because every aspect of it encourages users to not just gamble, but actually build wealth, in as little as one share at a time. Very quickly, you can go from a complete novice to the creator of an extremely diversified, strategy-driven portfolio that is perfect for you. You can then build upon that groundwork you laid. You can go at your own pace and you have complete control. Compared to going at it alone, or hiring an expensive professional, this site can easily help you add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your returns over time. That means you can achieve your goal of financial freedom years sooner than you would have otherwise!

What is your professional background?

I started pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors at a young age. My first was a resale business in the third grade. I would go to the dollar store and buy a pack of those sugary Pixy Stick candies. You could get around 20-30 sticks for a dollar. I would then take them on the bus and sell them individually for a quarter per stick.

Great margins.

I had so much success with it that I began to franchise the opportunity and wholesale packs to kids on other buses. Life was good. Until one day the bus driver got the whole operation shutdown. The problem? Kids were throwing the wrappers on the ground. Talk about a reality check. As I looked at my (now unsellable) inventory of roughly $7 worth of Pixy Stix, I wondered how I would ever financially recover. That was a lot of money back then. I learned a valuable lesson that day:

There is zero room for government intervention in free enterprise.

That is the extent of my professional background.

Just kidding.

My first (legit) pursuit was a liquor-infused chocolate and fudge business in high school. I ran my own retail store while studying finance and economics in college. After that I benefited from distribution deals with Wegmans and Walmart. When COVID hit, I figured it was a good opportunity to pursue this passion.

What inspired you to start your company?

This site was inspired by my friends. As they began to think about investing, I saw them stuck picking between two very flawed options.

Option 1: Trust the Pros

I'm sure there are a lot of great financial advisors out there. My friends did not find them. One of my friends got stuck paying a 5% load, and a 2% annual fee, for what appeared to basically be a passively-managed portfolio. Others were directed away from traditional investing and sold complex insurance products. All in all, the fees in these sorts of cases can be brutal. We're talking about shaving hundreds of thousands of dollars off their returns in the long run.

Option 2: Do-It-Yourself

There are many great DIY brokerages that allow people to invest for themselves. Unfortunately, trading isn't as easy as most hope. It's no secret that the average trader typically doesn't do very well on these apps. I've seen a few of my friends go to the slaughter. Even if they make the right pick, they still find a way to lose. I have friends that lost money on Tesla. I have friends that lost money on Bitcoin. At the end of the day, you really need a deep fundamental understanding of investing to prevent emotion from getting the better of you.

So that was the inspiration. I believe that the education, tools, and market data on my site create a third option. Now, my friends that picked the first option can take some of that power back and cut down on fees. My friends that picked the second can stop blindly speculating, and actually build something for themselves. This new system helps people to do it themselves, but the result can look indistinguishable from what you would pay a professional thousands of dollars to create for you.

What have been your biggest challenges, and what did you learn from them?

Like everyone else, I have had my own fair share of hardships.

I've learned that life is just like investing. You have highs and lows. When the lows come, it takes a lot to keep your head. When the highs come, it can be easy to get a little cocky. But most importantly, in the long run, if you stick with it, odds are you'll end up on top. In investing, a small amount of money put away each month can easily become millions. In similar fashion, all the little positive habits in our lives can have the same effect. We invest so much time and energy trying to improve our health, relationships, and overall happiness. It's easy to know what the right thing to do is, but it can be hard to invest a little bit into those things every day without seeing immediate results.

I do believe the little good choices will compound into something great. That gives me peace of mind to stick with them, no matter what life's chart is looking like.

What have been your biggest successes?

I am 23 years old and hope that my biggest successes are ahead of me. However, I acknowledge the fact that I have already had one or two "successes" in entrepreneurship and investing that most people will never see in their entire lives. I guess that my biggest success of all is that, because of those, I have put myself in a position where I can pursue this dream. I hold personal finance up there with cleanliness and godliness. I truly believe that learning this stuff is one of the most important things that a person can do when it comes to living a happier, healthier life. When someone takes the time to check out something I put out, and they get it, and they light up a little bit...

That is probably when I feel most successful.

How do you set yourself apart from your competitors?

One Share at a Time is more than just a website, it is an entirely new system. It reimagines what retail investing can be. Anyone can come on this site, read a few free articles, learn how the tools work, and build a professional-looking portfolio that is totally customized for their situation. They can then stick around and use the same tools to continuously manage and rebalance their portfolio. It's transparent and simple. All of this can be done at your own pace, and as the name of the site suggests, we encourage taking your time. There really are no gimmicks with us. We are laying out a new idea that is based on age-old investing wisdom, and if you want to give it a shot, you can.

Many other financial companies encourage speculation, complex securities, and leverage. These sorts of things put more money in their pocket, and less in yours. Many companies don't want you to truly understand what is going on so that they can charge more. Furthermore, a disproportionately large portion of the industry is focused on helping the very top earners, and far fewer quality resources find their way to everyone else.

The reality is that great investing can be incredibly simple and anyone can change their lives by becoming market participants. All we want to do is show people that. We are among the few that have no incentive to do anything else.

Why did you choose to work with Intrinio?

What first drew me to Intrinio was the incredible value they offered from a market data standpoint. Not long ago, trying to get market data was an EXTREMELY expensive process with lots of hoops to jump through. It was only when these cloud-based APIs came about that the cost dramatically decreased, paving the way for many of the fintech products you see on the market today. Out of this small subset of disruptive cloud-based market data companies out there, Intrinio definitely offers the best value that I have seen.

That is what got me in the door.

What kept me around was their incredible development team. They know the ins and outs of their product, and there is no better team that could build something around it for you. They took a lot of time to figure out exactly what I wanted on my site, and they built every piece of it!

How would you describe your experience working with Intrinio?

The experience is top-notch.

From the design of the logo, all the way to the backend, they took my idea and made it a reality. My background is in finance, and I have very little knowledge when it comes to software and web development. I definitely did not give them super technical specifications to build out this site. I simply gave them a feature-by-feature list of what I wanted, and they figured out how to build each one and wrap everything together. As they worked through it, they allowed me to check their progress and tweak anything that wasn't in line with my original vision. Any problem I had was quickly solved.

With these guys, you just have to tell them what you want. They'll figure out how to make it happen. They think of problems that you would never consider before they even happen. It is hard to say enough good things.

Interested in working with Intrinio? Request a free, one-on-one consultation with our data experts.

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