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Leveraging Your Assets? How M1 Maximizes client wealth with margin lending and other advanced solutions.
Episode 1325th June 2024 • Fintech Confidential • DD3, Media
00:00:00 00:44:06

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In this episode of Accrued, Tedd Huff and Colton Pond sit down with Brian Barnes, the CEO and founder of M1. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your money work smarter for you, this episode is packed with insights. Brian shares how they combine investment tools with personal banking features to help clients manage their money better. The trio covers everything from building trust in the financial world to the decision to acquire a bank.

M1 is not your typical financial company. It’s designed for modern investors who want to control their long-term wealth. Brian explains that M1 is about giving their clients the tools to invest, borrow, and spend wisely, all in one place. With over $8 billion in assets managed, it’s clear that many people trust M1 to help them grow their money.

One of the cool things they discuss is how M1 enables clients use their investments as collateral for loans. This means you can borrow money at lower costs without selling your investments. This approach is usually reserved for the wealthy, but M1 makes it available to everyone, which is pretty amazing.

Brian talks about the importance of building trust with customers. In the financial industry, trust is everything. M1 Finance focuses on delivering high-quality customer experiences and keeping their promises. This dedication to trust is part of why they decided to acquire a bank. Owning a bank allows them to offer even more value to their customers and integrate services seamlessly.

They also dive into the challenges faced by FinTech companies. Starting and growing a company like M1 isn't easy. Brian shares some of the pain points they’ve encountered and how they’ve overcome them. It’s all about disciplined execution and creating value for customers over time. 

Brian explains how M1 plans and prioritizes its product development and how they are always looking for ways to improve and add new features that benefit their users. This includes everything from high-yield savings accounts to credit card rewards that can be automatically re-invested. 

The conversation also touches on the importance of modern infrastructure in financial services. Having up-to-date systems is crucial for providing real-time, efficient operations. Brian emphasizes that integrating new digital systems with old ones can be challenging, but it's necessary to maintain trust and reliability.

Brian shares his vision for AI in personal finance. He believes that AI can help people make better financial decisions by providing personalized guidance and advice. Imagine having a digital assistant that helps you manage your money and plan for the future – that’s what M1 Finance aims to achieve.

Throughout the episode, the guys highlight the fundamental elements of FinTech and financial services that remain constant. No matter how much technology changes, basic financial principles are key to long-term financial success.

Brian's story with M1 is a testament to the power of a well-thought-out strategy and a customer-focused approach. By blending investment tools with personal banking features, M1 is making it easier for people to manage their money and grow their wealth. 

This episode of Accrued offers a great look at how M1 is changing the financial landscape. Whether you're interested in FinTech, personal finance, or just looking for ways to make your money work harder for you, there’s something here for everyone. Don’t miss this engaging and informative conversation with Brian Barnes. 

Remember to subscribe to Accrued for more episodes that dive into the world of finance and beyond. Keep exploring new ways to improve your financial health and stay ahead of the curve with Accrued.

Key Highlights

Why Trust is Key in FinTech: Insights from M1

Building trust is crucial in the financial industry. Brian Barnes shares how M1 focuses on delivering consistent, high-quality experiences to earn and maintain customer trust over time.

The Big Decision: Why Brian Acquired a Bank

Discover the strategic reasons behind Brian’s decision to acquire a bank. He discusses how this move adds value for customers and integrates services more efficiently.

Using Investments as Collateral: M1's Unique Approach

M1 allows you to use your investments as collateral for loans, providing flexibility and lower costs. Brian explains how this feature can benefit everyday users.

Overcoming Challenges in FinTech: Lessons from M1

Starting and growing a FinTech company isn’t easy. Brian shares the challenges M1 faced and the strategies they used to overcome them, focusing on disciplined execution and value creation.

Planning the Future: M1’s Product Roadmap

Brian outlines how M1 plans and prioritizes its product development. From high-yield savings accounts to automated investing tools, learn what’s next for the platform.

The Role of Modern Tech in Financial Services

Efficient operations require up-to-date systems. Brian talks about the importance of integrating new technology with existing systems to maintain reliability and customer trust.

AI in Personal Finance: Brian Barnes’ Vision

Imagine having a personal financial assistant that helps you manage your money. Brian discusses how M1 plans to use AI to provide personalized financial guidance in the future.

Basic Financial Principles: What Stays the Same in FinTech

Despite all the changes in technology, some financial principles remain constant. Brian emphasizes the importance of saving, wise investing, and responsible debt management for long-term success.

Building a Financial Platform for Everyone: M1’s Approach

M1 aims to provide the same financial tools available to the wealthy to everyone. Brian explains how M1 combines investment, borrowing, and spending features into one easy-to-use platform.


1️⃣ The Secret to Lower Loan Costs!

Learn how using your investments as collateral can reduce your loan costs. This strategy can save you money and help you manage your finances more effectively without selling your assets.

2️⃣ How to Build Customer Trust

Discover the key to building trust with customers in the financial world. Consistently delivering high-quality experiences and keeping promises can help maintain long-term customer loyalty.

3️⃣ Why Acquiring a Bank Can Be a Game-Changer

Find out why acquiring a bank can add significant value and streamline services. This move can integrate operations and provide better services for customers.

4️⃣ Overcoming FinTech Challenges Like a Pro

Starting a FinTech company is tough, but overcoming challenges is possible. Focus on disciplined execution and creating value for customers to succeed in the competitive market.

5️⃣ Planning for Success with a Product Roadmap

A well-planned product roadmap is crucial for continuous improvement. Learn how prioritizing product development can keep your platform ahead and meet user needs effectively.

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Fintech Confidential







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Time Stamps:

02:30 Introduction to Accrued Series

03:28 Exploring M1 Finance's Unique Offerings

07:37 M1 Finance's Mission and Vision

09:29 Adapting to Market Changes

12:08 Building Trust in FinTech

14:02 Product Roadmap and Prioritization

16:13 Vertical Integration and Partnerships

22:03 Leveraging Investments for Loans

23:37 Comparing Mortgages and Stock Portfolios

23:58 M1's Approach to Collateralization

24:28 Managing Variable Assets and Risks

25:04 Benefits and Challenges of Stock Collateralization

27:54 The Concept Behind M1

29:06 Modernizing Financial Infrastructure

33:47 Building a Forever Home

40:24 Timeless Financial Principles

43:37 Disclaimer


Brian Barnes: Brian Barnes is the CEO and founder of M1 Finance, an American financial services company established in 2015. M1 Finance offers a unique investment platform with brokerage accounts, digital checking accounts, and lines of credit. Brian's passion for finance and investment began early, leading him to create M1 Finance. By 2021, M1 had attracted significant investments totaling $315 million, raising its valuation to approximately $1.5 billion. Under Brian's leadership, M1 Finance has become a trusted platform for hundreds of thousands of investors, managing over $8 billion in assets.


M1: M1 Finance is a fast-growing fintech company and personal finance platform designed for the modern era. With a mission to empower financial well-being, M1 offers a comprehensive suite of tools that allow users to invest, borrow, spend, and save in one seamless experience. Trusted by hundreds of thousands of investors, M1 Finance manages over $8 billion in assets. As the Finance Super App™, M1 provides high-yield savings, automated investing tools, paperwork-free margin loans, low-cost personal loans, and high cash-back credit card rewards that can be automatically re-invested. By combining the best of investment management and personal banking, M1 Finance is dedicated to helping individuals take control of their long-term wealth.


Tedd Huff: Tedd Huff is the Founder of Voalyre and DD3 Media, professional services and advisory firms focused on global payments and marketing. He is also a host and producer of Fintech Confidential.

Over the past 24 years, he has contributed to FinTech startups as an Advisory Board Member, Co-Founder, and Chief Experience Officer, providing strategic and tactical direction for Global Payments OpenEdge, Heartland Payments, Nuvei, and TSYS, among others, focusing on growth while delivering innovation, process improvements and user experience-driven value to simplify the complexity of payments.

Colton Pond: Colton Pond is a seasoned marketing executive with a strong fintech and financial services background. In his latest role, Colton is the CMO for LoanPro's API-first lending platform, aiming to meet the increasing market demands. His track record includes a significant tenure at Truv, where he led the marketing team to achieve a 300% growth in year-over-year revenue. Colton has also held key marketing and sales positions at MX, Lucid, and HealthEquity, demonstrating his ability to drive success and innovation within the fintech sector.

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