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M1 Finance Prepares Launch Of M1 Spend: 'It's Really A Next Generation Personal Finance Account'

M1 Finance Prepares Launch Of M1 Spend: 'It's Really A Next Generation Personal Finance Account'

M1 Finance, a robo-adviser platform that allows for free and automatic investment in custom stock and ETF portfolios, in February announced it reached $1 billion in assets. CEO and founder Brian Barnes spoke with Benzinga about driving user growth and enhanced platform functionality.

Natural Growth

M1 reached the $1 billion threshold with only $26.5 million in venture funding.

“We launched to the public a little bit more than three years ago. In that time, we went from $0 on the platform -- you know, a non-existent brand -- to $1 billion and [we’re] continuing to rapidly grow,” said Barnes in a discussion regarding his expectations for the company. “We view that as a true sign that people are seeking out M1, finding it and trusting it with the majority of their investable assets.”

The firm’s core products include M1 Invest, a free automated investing and custom portfolio tool; M1 Borrow, a low cost borrowing tool that allows you to collateralize your portfolio; and M1 Spend, an integrated digital checking account.

According to Barnes, M1’s portfolio suite is more robust than that offered by Fidelity, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) or Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW).

“We feel like we have the premier digital brokerage on the platform, premier digital lending on the platform and premier digital bank on the platform," he said.

Next Steps

Barnes said the company will continue to add features and functionality.

Benzinga was told M1 will be prioritizing intuitiveness and automation across all new and existing products, adding to features like it’s popular fractional share trading capabilities.

“It’s really just continuing to grow in every dimension from a user and asset perspective,” said Barnes. “We view M1 as a next generation financial platform that is Charles Schwab on steroids. It offers all the features and functionality you’d want in a better interface, lower cost, more automated and the like.”

To learn more about M1 and its portfolio of products, visit


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