Fighting Ebola: Motif Investing For A Cause
“Peter showed me a story on Doctors Without Borders," Walia said. "Twenty-one doctors infected (treating Ebola patients). Twelve have died.”
According to Walia, that was all it took.
‘Let’s Go Do This’
Although the leadership team had discussed creating a motif built around the fight against Ebola, according to Walia, the conversation with Peter pushed him “over the edge” and convinced Walia to say, “Let’s go do this.”
The result was “Fighting Ebola,” Motif Investing’s latest in a growing assortment of unique investment vehicles.
The 'Fighting Ebola' Motif
“Fighting Ebola” was built around 20 stocks representing companies that derived a majority of revenue from drugs and protective gear used in the treatment of Ebola.
After segmenting companies by their primary activity, an inverse exchange-traded fund was added to help offset any potential negative market impact from an Ebola epidemic.
“We are very sensitive to the notion of making money off people’s misery,” Walia told Benzinga.
Because of this, the company elected to donate 100 percent of all trade commissions to Doctors Without Borders to help the organization in its efforts to treat Ebola patients around the world.
— Motif Investing (@MotifInvesting) October 21, 2014
Motif Investing Explained
Motif Investing is first an online broker.
“We’re a concept driven trading platform,” said Walia. “People have ideas like ‘Fighting Ebola,’ or ‘Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) going to deliver packages via drone.’”
According to Walia, Motif takes these “concepts and ideas” and makes them actionable by turning them into a motif, consisting of up to 30 intelligently weighted stocks.
Customers can buy a motif for $9.95 and invest as much or as little as they wish ($250 minimum).
Customer Created Motifs
In addition to the 150 company-built motifs, customer members of the community have built 75,000 motifs of their own.
Moreover, when a customer creates a motif he or she becomes eligible for royalty payments when other customers buy the motif, according to Walia.
‘We Are A Social Network’
Although Motif Investing has a Facebook Inc page and Twitter Inc account, the interaction goes much further than that.
Motif’s customers make up an investing community in which they not only interact with Motif but also with each other.
Walia put it this way: “Understand, we are a social network ourselves.”
Walia noted that as customers interact with each other on the Motif Investing website, they control how much information they share with each other.
The interaction, he said, happens as customers build motifs, seek information and advice from each other and even crowdsource their motif ideas.
Motifs As An Index
The unique nature of Motif Investing, Walia said, allows investors to view motifs as an index into what’s happening in the world around them.
Said Walia, “We use these (motifs) as lenses to better understand (things like) Ebola.”
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.
© 2016 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.