eToro, currently the world’s leading social trading network, with millions of users around the globe, has truly revolutionized the field of online trading and it is undoubtedly a unique success story. eToro is the brainchild and result of the toils of two very bright young men from Israel, Yoni and Ronen Assia.
The 34-year-old Yoni revealed that he and his brother created the social trading platform in 2007 because they had a strong belief that people should be more connected to their money and they should invest in what they believe in. Through the sharing of detailed financial information about trades, eToro enables people with little understanding of the markets to learn from more experienced investors by seeing what they are doing in real time, thus also allowing everyone to be able to manage their wealth on their own and not having to hand over this management to someone else.
Driven by his passion to make the incidence of financial trading transparent, simple and accessible to everyone, Yoni Assia admits that he himself actually started trading at the early age of 13 after received shares as his bar mitzvah present, also pointing out that “ What I found exciting was that the stocks were constantly changing. It was something intriguing and complex to a 13 year old. Not only am I suddenly part of that company but I’m also moving the volume. It was exciting to understand that and see it for my own eyes. I remember when I bought options and, just 20 minutes later, I saw that number pop up on the table of options in Yahoo Finance. Trading is very global, alive and numbers-orientated and that is very attractive to me.”
eToro’s CEO also believes that the key to understanding trading lies in understanding the basic rule of buying something cheap and selling it for more. As he points out “That actually is very easy to understand but there are some people who are just good at it. They have good instincts to look for opportunities and the willingness to take risks.”
Invited to explain exactly what problem in the finance industry he wanted to solve though eToro, Assia replies that “the existing financial system is just conditioning people to be afraid of making their own decisions because that’s what sustains the status quo. I want to help change the inaccessibility, lack of knowledge and lack of control around people’s money. I want to give people the ability to make decisions that generate a profit. To make decisions that potentially are brave and can succeed or even can fail.”
Yoni Assia is in fact quite critical of how traditional financial firms operate and thinks that the trading landscape needs to be changed. He points out that “the more the mass drives the markets, then elite banks will need to tier down. Generally, to even open an account with a wealth management company such as Goldman Sachs, you’d have to have $10 million. The whole industry is mind-blowing because the access which that very wealthy person gets to his money and the user control is significantly less than if he opened an account with eToro with a thousand dollars.” Moreover, he highlights that “the majority of the existing financial ecosystem is based on a sort of apathy of clients”, leading him to conclude that the more consumer oriented the whole business becomes means that users will make decisions based on their personal interest and the user experience that they get.
Yoni is adamant about the vision behind the creation of eToro, which was to open the global markets for everyone and is sure that this vision is what shaped the product and its launch.
Within this framework eToro’s CEO said that he ignored those advising him that the social function of trading would not work, and stressed that he and his brother will continue their efforts because they are being fuelled by people who want something new rather than being fed by people who live within the status quo. He also remarks that “listening to these people will enable us to constantly progress, shift, pivot and adapt.”
Referring to his previous work experience as a programmer in the military Yoni admits that it has influenced him as an entrepreneur, because his seniors depended on him for huge projects, and this has taught him that: you can make and drive things to completion.
Asked to reflect about the initial reactions they were faced with when they first launched eToro, Yoni Assia confesses that “when we started playing with the social features on eToro, every single person we talked to from the financial industry told us that people won’t share their financial trading activity over the internet. When we launched, it surprised us that our users were constantly talking about what they’re trading. It was interesting to see the relationships that were being built by people over the platform and the willingness of people to share their trading portfolio.”
The huge popularity and success that eToro has met with in the relatively short period since its first launching, demonstrates that Yoni and his brother were right to pursue this endeavour, while the fact that millions of traders are now networking, interacting, copying and benefiting from the collective wisdom of others, thanks to the toils of Yoni and Ronen Assia, is proof enough that online trading has already been revolutionized through eToro. If you are intrigued and want to find out more, you can read all about social and copy trading and the successful case study of eToro in this field by accessing our special section. If you are already convinced that eToro will help you start trading, sharing, learning and making money and enable you to gain full control of the management of your wealth, then open your account today!