Investor.com is a consumer advocacy project launched in 2018 with the belief that transparency can help Americans make better decisions about who manages their wealth. To get a deeper insight into the story behind Investor.com, Blain Reinkensmeyer, Managing Director at RMG, talks with us about the origin of the brand name, their choice of the domain name, and the process of acquisition.
How did the idea for Investor.com come about?
Over the years, we’ve had a variety of site visitors email in with stories of bad experiences working with a financial advisor. My grandparents, both retired teachers, had a saddening experience with a broker that cost them thousands of dollars in retirement savings.
It took over three years to figure out the right model and approach to tackling the wealth management space, which in the US is currently tens of trillions of dollars. We knew we wanted to operate as a consumer advocacy project with no bias whatsoever and bring transparency to the industry. The goal was simple: help Americans make better decisions about who manages their wealth.
Ultimately, we decided we would use government data to build an algorithm, called Trust Score, that would rate the trustworthiness of financial advisors.
Why did you originally decide to brand your company under the name “Investor”, were there any other names you were considering?
Yes, but when the opportunity came about to acquire Investor.com, they quickly fell aside. We knew we had a perfect brand.
What domain did you use before Investor.com? Why?
We owned a handful of domains in our portfolio, including retirement.net, but we never started development as we were holding out for something better. Fortunately, the investor.com opportunity came around before we had to start development.
What was the best and worst part about the process of acquiring the domain Investor.com?
We negotiate all deals in house, which is something I thoroughly enjoy doing despite the challenges and stress. Seeing the deal slowly come together on paper was the best part. The worst part was the stress around securing financing for the purchase. Domains are considered “exotic” assets, which means banks are extremely skittish towards financing their purchase, and rightfully so. Fortunately, we have an excellent relationship with our bank, and everything came together smoothly.
When and how did you get the domain Investor.com? What has been the effect of having it for your brand?
The investor.com deal closed on June 30th, 2017. The entire process, start to finish, took about two months. The domain seller was represented by a seasoned agent, which made the whole process clean and orderly.
We were already respected in the domain industry before investor.com due to past acquisitions such as StockBrokers.com (2011, $185,000) and ForexBrokers.com (2016, $150,000). That said, yes, investor.com certainly had a positive effect on our reputation in the industry, especially given it is was our most significant acquisition to date, by far.
If you could have any domain name in the world would you still pick Investor.com?
What would you say is the most important thing for your brand right now?
Currently, we have over 8,000 SEC Regulated RIAs rated on the site, totaling over 300,000 data points. Rolling out v1.0 of Trust Score for hundreds of thousands of individual financial advisors is our most important task now. With millions of data points, it’s been a massive effort.
What is the one element of your brand you would not compromise on?
Being completely unbiased. All our brands center around trust. Without trust, there is no brand adoption by the industry and consumers won’t recommend our websites; it’s as simple as that.
Do you remember the day you got your first client? What was the feeling?
We don’t have clients, so I will reflect on our first “big” domain purchase, which was a domain called TradeWiser.com way back in 2009 for $20,000. Making our first major acquisition was exciting and nerve-racking. It was ground zero, and we’ve been blessed to have had a rewarding journey since then.
What kind of tips can you give other startups and founders considering acquiring a premium domainname?
Domains are difficult to value. Ultimately, it comes down to the value you perceive. Maintain an open mind but try to stick to your own assessment because patience is often rewarded.
If you compare your startup with a car, which car would it be? What model and why?
Having celebrated our 10th-anniversary last year, our focus on day one was about sustainability. In car terms, I would say that we do not care about being the fastest or the coolest looking; all we care about is reliability and driving at a nice, steady, safe speed. Whichever car fits that mold, then that’s us!
Who is your go-to person for business advice, for domain names and in general?
My wife who heads our household of three beautiful children and my business partner, who is also my brother. They trust my final judgment but also keep me in check by challenging my logic and pushing back in a manner that ultimately surfaces the best decision.
How important is the presence of your brand online? What plays the most important role in people finding you on the net?
On the internet, your domain name is your foundation. You do not build a house on sand; you build it on concrete. For longevity, having the right foundation for your brand is everything.
We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. How much does it cost you not having a strong brand? Get in touch, we are always happy to chat.