Follow on:

In this episode, Michael Weisz, Founder and CEO of Yieldstreet, joins Andrew Brill on Wealthion to reveal how private markets can protect your wealth and deliver superior returns. Weisz explains why traditional stocks and bonds are not enough and how alternative investments like private equity and credit offer a vital edge. Michael also explains how private markets have outperformed the S&P in every crisis since 2008. Discover how Yieldstreet makes elite investments accessible for everyone, helping you diversify your portfolio beyond public markets. Whether you’re an accredited investor or just looking to understand private markets, this episode is packed with insights to help you build wealth smarter and faster.

Michael Weisz  0:00  
Data will show that private markets have outperformed the s&p in every crisis since 2008. During the dot com crash of 01. US buyout funds declined by less than 13%. While European funds lost slightly above seven, which was much lower compared to a 40% drop in the s&p. And so we can go on and 07 and 09 Private Equity experienced much less of a significant drawdown and a much quicker recovery than public equities. The resilience of the private markets is unbelievable. I think for those reasons, we've seen $13 trillion of capital flood into the private markets.

Andrew Brill  0:45  
Hello, and welcome to wealthion and I'm your host, Andrew brill, with the uncertainty of today's economy and everyone waiting for our correction to take place in the stock market. Alternative Investments could be another avenue to take. And we'll explore that coming up next.

I'd like to welcome Michael Weisz to wealthion. Michael is the founder and CEO of Yieldstreet. Founded in 2015, Yieldstreet provides retail investors with curated private market alternative investments. Michael, welcome to wealthion.

Michael Weisz  1:20  
Andrew, it's nice to be here. Thank you for having me. And I look forward to our conversation.

Andrew Brill  1:25  
Absolutely. Now, tell me a little bit about you. And yieldstreet, I know that you had a long career before yieldstreet. But obviously you you saw a niche and decided that private investments are the way to go. 

Michael Weisz  1:39  
Sure. So you know, my background has generally been in and around the specialty investment or the private market investing ecosystem. And about 10 or 11 years ago, just before we started yieldstreet, I started to really recognize that the ecosystem that I was sort of entrenched in was small, it was clubby and it was really reserved for, I would say the wealthiest people in the world and those of us who had the opportunity to work in it. And when you look around at your friends and your family, you realize, hey, some of the gret, the sort of the best investments out there are just completely unaccessible to all the people we care about. And I got really passionate about finding ways to democratize access to alternative investments. And when I started to dig deeper, you know, Andrew, I realized a couple of things. One, the way in which we were educated to invest, which was largely around stocks and bonds wasn't enough anymore, because so many of the companies that were public back then there were 7300 public companies in the 90s. And there's less than just 40% less than that now. And so folks just really weren't being given the right chance to build healthy portfolios to get financially stable to build wealth. And I got excited to do it. And that's what really, you know, fostered the idea of yieldstreet. And that's what keeps me excited and motivated to keep building what has become the largest online alternative investment platform. 

Andrew Brill  3:02  
Something that you just said is, you know, most people, me included, look at investments as stocks and bonds. Can you elaborate on what is an alternative investment? What does that look like?

Michael Weisz  3:16  
So great question. You know, I think, in the next 10 years, we're probably going to have to define alternative investments a little bit better. Today, alternative investments are really anything that are not stocks and bonds. And so the biggest areas to think about are real estate investing, right? largest asset class walk by everyone, there's houses or a building or store or movie theater or a mall. So real estate is going to be your biggest asset class. After that, think about things like private equity, the opportunity to own a portion of different businesses or different companies, then you have private credit, which is effectively making loans in the private markets to businesses. You have emerging asset classes like litigation, finance, or art finance. And so there's this whole ecosystem of finance, supporting all the businesses that you see around you, that are necessarily hitting the public markets, either public debt or public equity. And that that market has grown from 250 billion, which was quite small, about 15 or 20 years ago, to almost 15 trillion today. So it's an enormous market where most of the great businesses are getting their financing from and that's what we're making available. And that's what we become passionate about to help people build more diversified and healthier portfolios.

Andrew Brill  4:32  
And you're geared geared toward the retail investor. Is there a you know, you talk about high net worth people, people with tons of money, you know, our viewers don't have tons of money, they're pretty well off, but is is are you looking for any size investment, or I'm not talking about 10 or 20 bucks, but you know, somebody who's looking to really put their money to work for them. Does yieldstreet look for a decent sized amount of money, but not huge.

Speaker 1  5:03  
The answer is yes, what we're looking for predominantly are what you would call the mass affluent investor. So I think from from a mission, and from an altruistic perspective, we'd like to see the day that we can offer these types of investments to anyone at any amount. And technology should enable you to do that. The reality though, is at this current point in time, with regulatory and other constraints, there's a limitation to really focus on for the most part, accredited investors and a buck. And so when you think about our audience, it's going to be, you know, folks that are accredited. Often they might be younger professionals, they might be in their 40s and 50s. There's about 42% of our audience is women. A lot of doctors, lawyers, dentists, small business owners, just really like the everyday mass affluent, who maybe isn't, you know, $10, $20, $50 million. But how's it good business, he's conscious about investing, wants to be diversified, wants to earn in the same way that the wealthiest people do? I think what you know, what I always like to say about yieldstreet, is, we're not like you get rich, quick platform, we're not looking for that person, like, oh, what's my next big guru gonna tell me, it's not us. We are looking for thoughtful, slow and steady, the same ways that the wealthiest families have been making money for a long time investing in private equity and private credit and real assets. That's what we're going to provide our customers and that's who we look for.

Andrew Brill  6:30  
It's hard to think that way. Although I agree with you, I think that's the right way to think over the long haul because of the volatility. And let's talk about private and alternative investing through this volatility. Look, we just came through a COVID period where no, nobody thought they were gonna work again, and we're all working from home. And it, there was definitely market uncertainty. And now we're going through that, again, with higher interest rates, we have no idea when they're coming down new employment numbers coming, you know, coming out, and everybody's like, Oh, yeah, when when are the interest rates going to come down? And that there's just a ton of uncertainty? How can investors go about alternative investing to sort of shed some of that volatility? I would imagine, you can't shed all of it. But you can certainly protect yourself through alternative investments. 

Speaker 1  7:24  
That's the whole value proposition, Andrew, right. It's all about saying, Listen, the way to have the best performance in your portfolio is to have the right mix of investment strategies, you're gonna have some stocks and bonds, and portion of it is going to be in the private markets and alternatives. We think that portion should be 30% plus. And what you're going to do within that is you're going to diversify your portfolio within private equity, private credit, real estate, real assets, etc. And so you're always going to have, in my opinion, some correlation to events that are occurring in the market. But what you want to have within your portfolio, you want to do two things, you want to shield yourself from volatility as much as possible, right. And so for example, interest rates have a major impact on real estate performance, right? So real estate is largely a business in which you are buying a building, you're hopefully getting an attractive mortgage, you're looking for the right read growth over time, and the dynamics of the economic market are going to drive what are those interest rates for your mortgage and how much money your tenants are going to make, which will inform how much they can, they can pay for the rent, versus having private credit, where now we're getting, you know, four or five or 6%, more interest than we would have gotten before because the interest rates have grown. And so we get a lot of benefit in the private markets. From the economy, we get shielded a lot from the daily or monthly or quarterly volatility. And the diversification allows us to whether through whatever storm is playing out at the time, I think a big part of what you're seeing Andrew right now is geopolitical risk. Right. Like a lot of people are saying, oh, election was collection risk. I'm not so sure how much I agree with that, in the sense that we already had a Trump and we already had a Biden. So we know, pretty much how both of them behave, and how they impact the economy. I don't think that's the biggest surprise. I think we're fighting too many wars around the world. And there's too much uncertainty right now on the geopolitical front and creating a tremendous amount of volatility. And that's not something that you can really price it or get ahead of for 99.9% of us. And so being exposed and rebalancing your portfolio to include more private investments where you're shielded from that volatility, in our opinion is very healthy. 

Andrew Brill  9:44  
You had said that there's like $13 trillion that have flooded in, and I was just speaking to someone there's $6 trillion sitting in money market funds only because the interest rate right now is so good. I go I come into your office building, I find you in the elevator, what's your elevator pitch to me to take my money out of that money market and put it into private equity. 

Speaker 1  10:09  
It's very simple. 6% is not even going to be your inflation costs. I mean, everyone says it is but go to the grocery store and tell me if the price of milk is only 6% off. It's not, right? And so we got to do in my opinion, we got to do what we can to continue to build diversified portfolios that are going to get us ahead in life, they're going to build wealth, they're going to earn income, they're going to earn a total return. And what you have a chance to do today that you didn't have 10 years ago is invest in private equity, invest in private credit. And I think what the key message I would tell you is, none of what we're talking about today is going to be novel or new, or the next big idea that you never heard. This is all investing in the same way that the biggest institutions and the wealthiest family have done for a long time differences has finally become accessible to a wider audience. And technology has helped us do that. That's the that's the only difference here. And so, you know, to the extent that someone has the ability to think about rebalancing their portfolio, recognize that if you don't have a material part of your portfolio in private markets, it means you're missing out on a huge portion of the economy through yieldstreet.

Andrew Brill  11:17  
Are you able to minimize some of the risk? Look, there's, there's obviously you know, things private things that you invest in, there's private credit, there's art, as you said, Is there is there a lower risk than the volatility of the stock market? And along with that, do you help mitigate that risk?

Speaker 1  11:36  
So at yieldstreet, what we're really focused on is bringing forward a set of investment opportunities that fit the risk return criteria that our customers are looking for. And the first step is recognizing that there's no one size fits all. We have different motivations. We have different burns, meaning one person has no kids, one person has five kids, one person has kids in preschool, one person is three in college, we have different motivations someone wants to earn for, you know, their kids college, somebody wants to buy themselves a midlife crisis toys, somebody wants to buy a vacation home, somebody wants to think about retirement. And so what we have to what, what our responsibility is to recognize that we serve this massive audience of millions and millions of people in the US. And we have to recognize that there are called different strokes for different folks. So the first thing we're going to do is leverage the expertise of our investment team. Ted Yarborough, our chief investment officer was at Citigroup for 30 years where he ultimately retired with $100 billion mandate to go out and find great investment opportunities across the criteria. So you have real estate assets within real estate, you have equity or you have debt, right? You have safer, lower yield, or higher return, you're gonna have private credit, private equity, all the other stuff we spoke about. The next step is okay, who are we serving? Alright, so understand those different types of customers that we just spoke about. And then the next is how are we serving you? So do you want to be more self directed? Do you want to come onto yeildstreets app or website and go pick your own investment? Build your portfolio? Great, you can do that. Do you want a recommendation? No problem. Tell us a little bit about you. We'll tell you, hey, based on what you share with us, we think these things make sense for you? Do you want us to do it for you, just like one click, put you in a diversified portfolio, get you broad exposure, keep it safer and diversified across many, many, many positions. No problem. Again, we're going to ask you a couple of questions, understand your risk appetite, understand your sort of world a little bit, and then we're going to make the right recommendation for you. And so I think to summarize the answer, there is no perfect one size fits all for everybody. We try to find opportunities across the risk return continuum. For those who want to be on the much safer side, we'll come over here. For those who want more total return and more risk, go on this side, maybe that's earlier stage venture, maybe that's a private equity strategy or emerging market strategy. And so we'll bring forward a wide plethora of opportunities. And then we'll make different ways for you experience them to be as passive or as active as you'd like to be. So really try to meet our customers where they are. 

Andrew Brill  14:18  
So yieldstreet doesn't just provide the vehicle which with with which you can invest in an alternative investment, you actually give them advice on how to go about that they it could be self directed where they pick their investments, or I would assume you have a team of people that can can help somebody pick those investments.

Michael Weisz  14:38  
Yes, so there's a Private Client Group, there's an IR group. It depends on which experience you ultimately choose how involved we will be. So there are parts of the experience are self directed, where we're not giving advice. We're showing you great opportunity from a great partner. You make your own decision. That works for a lot of people. There's a host of people that say, Hey, we don't know the difference between this private equity funds for that one. They both seem great ones a $500 billion fund and one's a $200 billion fund. They both seem big. They both been around for 20 years, they both still make a great performance. What do you think is right for us? So depending on how our clients interact with us, we will reciprocate for them.

Andrew Brill  15:15  
Michael, I started out, I guess, a little gloom and doom and I said that there's some uncertainty in the markets and private investing has, or alternative investing has done much better than the markets or bonds over the long term. During these crisis. Can you explain how that happens, and how important that is for people to get into it?

Speaker 1  15:41  
Sure. So data will show that private markets have outperformed the s&p in every crisis since 2008. During the dot com crash of 01, US buyout funds declined by less than 13%. While European funds lost slightly above seven, which was much lower compared to a 40% drop in the s&p. And so we can go on 07 and 09, private equity experienced much less of a significant drawdown and much quicker recovery than public equities. The resilience of the private markets is unbelievable. I think for those reasons, we've seen $13 trillion of capital flood into the private markets, we have all this volatility right now, we have this uncertainty, we have geopolitical concerns. And we have demonstratable results that private markets will perform better, and have performed better than the public markets. And so there's a real opportunity for folks to mirror the institutional strategy to get more and more of their portfolio into private markets. And that's special because for so long, they're just you haven't been able to access them, the minimums were so high. And there was no way for these types of investors to participate in the private markets. I think it's a really, really unique moment in time. 

Andrew Brill  17:09  
So not only will we go through crisis, but the rebuilding, and all that will be much better if you're into the private markets, and alternative investing, I want to talk about yield street a little bit. And the, you know, some of the challenges that yieldstreet faces where, obviously people are, it's their money, when they part with their money, they kind of want to know what their returns are. How do you make it easy for people say, okay, you know what, I come to you and I say, Michael, I need to get better returns, I want to be a little less volatile in my investing, and I want to make sure that I get returns, what is yieldstreet going to do for me, that's going to make my life a little bit easier.

Michael Weisz  17:53  
So the thing we obsess over most is the customer experience. It's 2024. People have an expectation and a right to seamlessly enjoy these types of experiences, like Long gone are the days where I should have 200 pieces of paper, you don't have to sit on the phone or meet a financial advisor endlessly, or have some opaque user experience. We know that our customers are digitally native. We know that our customers value transparency, they value content, they value education, they value the opportunity to just click on their app and see very seamlessly and very clearly and easily invest in these products. And so what we focus on Andrew more than anything is what is that user journey? How do we perfect it? How do we make it easy? How do we make it seamless? How do we help keep you informed? How do we help, you know, continue communication on an ongoing basis to deliver transparency. So we're really focused on making sure that whoever you are, wherever you come from, you have the right experience for you. So what does that mean? So let's say a person finds yieldstreet, through an ad for a real estate investment. So he or she might click on that investment, we're going to then understand that person might have some interest to real estate, let's navigate them through the user journey at yieldstreet. By educating them about real estate by showing them that opportunity by walking them through how simple it is. Somebody else may see something or read an article or maybe watch this webinar and say, Hey, this sounds really interesting to me, I want to get a better understanding of what it is. And so they'll go directly to the website, we'll have a certain flow. So what we try to do is really use technology in a way to be incredibly mindful as to where our customers are coming from, and what are they telling us and then how do we make that journey super simple for them to be include a person on the other side of that to call them on the IR side? They just want a digital experience. So I think that the summary Andrew is we're hyper focused on giving Each individual and experience that we think is going to be most suitable for them. And we leverage our technology capabilities to drive that type of personalization.

Andrew Brill  20:08  
And we talked earlier about, you know, way back when the it was mostly people with tons and tons of money that were able to do this to get into alternative investing. Are there barriers still, that people have to overcome? Or does yieldstreet help them get through those barriers? 

Michael Weisz  20:27  
There are still barriers that exist in the ecosystem as a function of let's say, regulatory constraints, or we had touched on a little bit earlier. And most of these investments are really available for accredited investors or higher. And so there is still going to be largely that requirement, especially to access some of the highest quality opportunities from the longest or oldest or biggest asset managers. But beyond that, we've really made the process so much simpler, like, you could be invested in a product in 10 minutes or less, which is just unbelievable. And once you're, once you're a customer, like myself, or yieldstreet, I have probably 40 somewhat active investments, I can make an investment in two minutes. Like if I knew I wanted something, I could just click click, click, and I'm done. As far as minimum and access is concerned, we tried to bring out the minimums to the sort of few thousands of dollars as opposed to the hundreds of thousands or the millions. And so we've really tried to one, perfect the experience in a way that would make it comfortable and seamless, and then reduce the friction in terms of the investment minimums. So that really anybody who qualifies can can invest pretty, pretty easily. And then the last thing is, I think, you know, a lot of people out there are excited about alternatives. They'll watch this, or they'll read an article, or they'll see that Charles Schwab is trying to figure out how to make their customers access these products. And they say, Okay, I'm ready. And then they go, and they said, Now what, like, how do I build a portfolio, this is too overwhelming. And so the idea of understanding who we serve, what we serve them, and how we serve them, is really is really valuable to the customer. So now that we can give you can't do it yourself, let us help you, or we'll do it for you. That's a real breath of fresh air. And it's creating a tremendous amount of access, think about the difference when folks had to pick stocks, to where mutual funds or ETFs care about. So in the 60s, when you had to pick stocks, only 6% of Americans own stock. Today, over 60% of Americans own stock. So you had that technological revolution, and you're the product packaging and ease of experience. Those two things created massive adoption, I think we're going to we're going to be seeing that same growth rate here in the private markets.

Andrew Brill  22:42  
Is there a, you know, with 60% of the people owning stock? Do you? Do you have any idea how many people or what percentage of people own alternative investments?

Michael Weisz  22:54  
I don't know offhand what percentage of people own alternative investments. I know that in the accredited investor universe, the rate of growth of adopting alternative investments is enormous. You see it everywhere you go, every RIA every wealth manager, everyone's talking to sort of their friend or neighbor, how do we get into alternative assets we see from our own customers, that our customers, when they start out at yieldstreet, maybe their first, the beginning part of the journey is one or two investments on the platform. And then over time, they keep growing. So our longest cohort of customers is probably about 30% ish, a little less than 30% of our customer base. And on average, they have more than 10 investments on the platform. And so people are growing their portfolios. Anecdotally, at a recent investor event, we polled people who were there and they said that for the for on average, they have a little bit north of 15% of their portfolio in the private markets, and they want to get to 30%. So we're like that's, that's the messaging that we've shared with people, other sort of, you know, sort of big, big players on Wall Street, if you will, and larger banks are thinking that it should be closer to 50%. I think it's going to take time for that.

Andrew Brill  24:05  
You continually say an accredited investor can and I've heard the term before. Can you explain to us what an accredited investor is?

Speaker 1  24:13  
An accredited investor is a definition by the SEC, of an individual. And you have to make $200,000 a year for the last two years if you're single $300,000 If you're filing jointly, or have a million dollars in net worth, not including your primary residence, they have continued to expand that definition, which is very positive thing. A lot of people have been frustrated that hey, just because I don't make a certain amount of money, doesn't mean that, you know, I don't have the wherewithal to understand these investments. And I think those folks are right. And so the definition has been expanding. So there's includes like, if you're an employee of some of these companies, I think there's discussion around having some sort of a financial literacy test over time. So that's something we do care about. And we are involved in trying to figure out how to help more people qualify, because we think that, you know, wealth shouldn't be the defining factor and whether you should be able to access these types of investments. That being said, we're constrained by what the laws are, but we do our part to make it accessible to as many people as we can.

Andrew Brill  25:20  
Right now, if you fall into one of those categories, you can certainly sign up to be a customer of yieldstreet. I would assume, you know, you know, if you can prove that you're an accredited investor yieldstreet, is your place to go for private markets?

Michael Weisz  25:34  
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Andrew Brill  25:37  
So let's get into, you know, opportunities in the private markets, and what what are things right now that you're looking at that are open to accredited investors.

Michael Weisz  25:49  
So the first thing I would say is just high level, my focus is not to like pitch a deal or sell a deal as a business. That's not what yieldstreet does. It's much more holistic, our view is 30% or more of your portfolio should be in alternatives. And we're going to help you build a good healthy, diversified portfolio. I think a lot of other businesses out there are sort of always in the selling mode, like, Hey, I had this thing that I think you should be so interested in. I don't like that. I don't like that general approach, because I don't think it solves what the customer is really looking for, which is as opposed to a moment in time a deal, I think most of us are really just looking for a healthier portfolio that we can on an ongoing basis continue to earn. That being said in this market, there are a number of things that are really exciting to us private credit as a strategy is very exciting. The reason is, because the interest rates have moved up and private credit is often floating rate environment, which means that your base rate is going to be where the risk free rate is, plus you have a spread. And so you're earning returns now that are well north of what we earned for the same or better risk than we took a year or two ago. So private credit is a really interesting place to be. That's number one. Number two, private equity. So private equity is the opportunity to own equity in companies or other great businesses, with an economy where it is valuations have come in. So things are much cheaper. So if a business was worth $10 billion, maybe it's worth $7 billion today as a result of where the market is. So to be able to buy in, in this vintage, in private equity, or in real estate, or in other areas, where there's value compression is a really unique moment in time. Because as we continue to get through the cycle, which we will, it's part of, sort of the investing journey, some cycles are gonna be great. So we're going to be more challenging, we're gonna get through it. And it seems like we're through the worst of it. And so as we're gonna get through those cycles, over time rates will come down, you'll see those valuations widen again. So being able to buy into these opportunities today should be very attractive. So I'm very much excited about the market that we're in, especially if you're coming in now, because I think that it gives us an opportunity to really get in at a lower basis. So on the private credit side, again, high returns, passive income, good consistency, less volatility, debt, like security, on the private equity side, believe that there's more upside optionality more convexity to be had, because we're buying the same things for much cheaper. So pretty excited about these different asset classes.

Andrew Brill  28:28  
I feel like I need a glossary of terms between private equity, private markets, private credit, and what it all means. But it's obviously all going to make you money and put your money to work. When you say passive investing, people kind of just sit back and collect checks, I would assume. But my question is, will AI? Are there companies that you look at that are established? Where are you they come to you and they say, You know what, Michael, we need investment. We don't want to go to a bank. And we're going to give you a percentage of our equity in the company. Do you look at investments like that? 

Michael Weisz  29:09  
We don't typically look at single investments like that. What we're typically looking at is one level up. So for example, a fund, let's say take stepstone. They're roughly a $40 billion manager. They have an incredible track record. They've been doing this for decades. And they're very well entrenched in that community. So if you're a great business looking to raise capital for a portion of your equity, you want to go to someone like stepstone. And so I think that the benefit of working with yieldstreet is that we're going to use our size and our scale, right. So who are we we didn't you know, we actually didn't talk much about that. But we've been around for nine years, we've invested almost $6 billion on behalf of our customers. So when I get to pick up the phone and call someone at stepstone it's not like Hi, this is Michael Weisz. I want to see you If I can invest in it, it's no. Hi this is Michael Weisz. I'm the founder and CEO of the largest online alternative investment platform, we have half a million members, we've invested $6 billion for our customers, I think our customers will be interested in your product, can we meet you? Who do you think is taking that meeting? Right, and so it becomes a very, it becomes very serious money very quickly. And what we get is access to some of the best investment managers and the best platforms out there. And so I, I personally, and I'll say this from my own investment portfolio, I don't think that I want to be in the business of picking each individual company, I'd like to be in the business of being partners, with the funds, and the managers that have the most capital with the best access that are the first call for those companies. Because I don't want to get the third rate company, I want to get the best companies. So I want to be in the Aries is in the KKR is in, you know the step stones of the world in the bond occurs, all these great managers that we work with. And the same goes for on the real estate side, on the private credit side, we try to find the opportunities are the creme de la creme flocked to and partner with them. That's the kind of product that's the kind of access we deliver to our customers. So I'd rather make an investment in a stepstone fund, and maybe as 100 of those companies versus that one company and take that risk. So that's what we do at yieldstreet.

Andrew Brill  31:20  
So it's almost like an ETF for, you know, a bunch of companies that people are investing in it, tell me a little bit like you started nearly 10 years ago. Walk me through where it's come, where has yieldstreet come from, and how has it grown so tremendously out, you're talking, you're talking large dollar, billions and billions of dollars, that you're, you're, you know, managing for people. And you wouldn't be that successful if you weren't giving a return to those people. So explain to me where yieldstreet came from, and how you got to this point. And it's probably not a short story,

Speaker 1  32:01  
We'll shorten that. Our origin came from a place that has always been very mission driven. The idea for yieldstreet was less about managing billions of dollars for people and more about helping people get access to great investments. And so it started with a small team of people that cared deeply about leveling the playing field, and bringing product that historically hadn't been available for most people and making it available to them. So that it was humble beginnings. When we started this business, people thought we were crazy for a whole bunch of reasons. One of the things that we were told all the time was, hey, why don't you just pick one strategy, pick real estate, pick something and just do that. And you'll see a lot of that online, where there's different platforms that will try to sell you one asset class. And I remember us being so passionate about well, that's not, that's not what the customer needs, like, I don't see a world in which in 5, 10, 15 years, 20 years, I'm gonna have like 20 different usernames, with all these different platforms, I'm gonna invest across the board. And we felt that we're really in the trust building business more than anything. Right, you're you're on the other side of your computer or your phone, you're not sure who's there, you just see a pretty website. And here you are about to move tens, hundreds of thousands, in many cases, millions of dollars. And so what we really focused on was just obsessing over the customer experience and telling the value proposition over and over and continuing to perfect that. So we started early times for alternative investments, when most people didn't know what it was, we spent a lot of that time. One building a great product, a great user experience, and just a great product to is trying to align ourselves with some great asset managers. So we knew where we would have confidence that the performance would be there that people would come to yield straight, they would invest their hard earned capital, and they would make real money. And three, we continue to tell the story of alternatives to people to build the brand, to help them understand why it's important to be a part of this journey and be a part of this process. And we innovated around it. We kept making it easier and easier for people to invest. We understood like we spoke about before that it isn't one size fits all. And so we built different experiences for people to engage with your story in a way that they are most comfortable and work for them. And when you look back, it's there isn't a single moment in time or a single thing that cater to our success. It's just a tremendous amount of consistency, high integrity, putting the customer for hours doing it over and over for years, getting through challenges, right? Customers want to see how you know how do you react as an organization when you have different setbacks? Are you transparent? Are you gonna keep going? Are you gonna keep putting the customer first and I think When you look back, you know, you add all that up, we're different, we're different, because we care about our customer, we're different, because we don't try to sell you a deal. We try to build a healthy portfolio for you. We're different because we deliver results. And we're different, because we're always transparent. We're always there for you, we put you first. And so I think that's probably how we got to where we are and our hopefully going to be 100 times our size in 10 years from now.

Andrew Brill  35:24  
That's my next question. 10 years from now, where do you see private markets investing in private markets going? Obviously, yieldstreet will be part of that. But where do you see it going? And do you think that there's private markets that you're not in yet, that you can envision getting into

Speaker 1  35:41  
In 10 years from now, in my opinion, every single portfolio is going to have private markets, period end of story. You won't have a portfolio that doesn't have private markets, whether you do it at Yeildstreet, whether you do to Charles Schwab that you do it at Fidelity, Vanguard they're all talking about, I've met with all of them, every single portfolio in this country, and in many places around the world are going to have private markets over the next 10 years. That's what I see, the market itself has to develop, we need to create more access and create more simplicity, we need to create some liquidity. So there's a lot of things that have to happen within the private markets for to continue to grow. And to ultimately get to where I'm, I'm saying, well, but all of that is happening and will continue to happen. And 10 years from now, my opinion, every portfolio in the world or in America and in many other places is going to have private markets.

Andrew Brill  36:36  
I guess it's a lot about education. Right? And that's something that you guys provide through your not only your website, but people within your organization people can talk to, I'm not sure. And I've heard a lot about private markets. I've heard private equity, private credit, you've heard all these term terms thrown around. But it's about education, Michael, isn't it? I don't think that people understand exactly what it is. It's like, okay, you know, what an AI chip people, you know, 5, 6, 7 years ago didn't really understand what that is. But now, if you're going to invest in a private market, or in a, you know, give your money to someone who is investing in private markets, I think it's an education, isn't it, people need to understand what they're getting into. 

Speaker 1  37:19  
Okay, two things. One, education is so important. And I think it's more important for our generation than it was for the past. I think in the past, you know, people will look at their financial advisor and the similar way they looked at a doctor, most people go to the doctor's office doctor tells you, I think you have A, B and C, you say Okay, give me whatever medication, hopefully I got better move on. Very few people are really gonna look up that 17 syllable medical term contract, figure it out for themselves, right? I think financial services was the same, you went to your advisor, you know, maybe he or she took you for a couple rounds of golf told you about some portfolio, if that was right for you. You said, Okay, you went, I think today's generation is different, just to the way we are used to accessing content makes us much more curious. And we want to know more, and we want to feel more informed. And so providing that education to people and giving people a sense of comfort. And honestly giving people the opportunity to have a say in how they feel about where the portfolio is, is important to a lot of people, even if they want to be passive, I think they still want understand. So education is incredibly important. The second half that I would say is like, don't beat yourself up. It's not that complicated. Meaning think about your life. I don't know, if you're listening to this, and you're walking down Park Avenue in New York City, or you're somewhere in North Carolina, you're passing by buildings, you're passing by a parking lot. You're passing by great companies, you're buying something on Amazon, from who How did it get to you? Is it a logistics business? What kind of businesses do you like the product. And so all of the things that we do every day, are created by different businesses. And those businesses are invested in and they're provided loans, and they're financed in ways that help them grow. Your investing in that ecosystem. It's that simple. There used to be over 7000 public companies, there's now 4300 public companies. So 95, 96% of the global economy is not public. So you don't have any exposure to all these great businesses. That's, to me, that's the most important thing. I always say like, just start with the basics. I think, in our business for a long time, people always wanted to like complicate investing, so that you felt you needed that advisor you needed that person, you couldn't make the decision on your own. I don't know you were smart enough to make the money you made. You're probably smart enough to figure out and understand a little bit about it. Sure. You want tools you want to be passive, don't want to feel a sense of responsibility necessarily to make every financial decision. So you have an advisor or you do most of it with an advisor like that don't make sense to me. That I wouldn't be get yourself up over over the education piece, there's plenty of content, we're gonna keep providing it, others will too. It's not as scary as people make it out to be.

Andrew Brill  40:09  
But just to sum up a couple points. Private Markets is a good way to protect yourself against volatility. Private Markets is a place where you can get probably a better return than you're going to get, depending on risk, obviously, in stocks or bonds. And it should be a fairly decent sized part of your portfolio. Like you said, some people think, close to 50%. But you're thinking it should be at least 30%? Are those key takeaways?

Speaker 1  40:42  
Yep. Every portfolio should have private markets, I think you should have at least 30%. Stay diversified. Start to make money like the wealthiest people I've made for a long time. Invest in good opportunities, balance it between cash flow and total return. We're happy to help you do it. However you do it. rebalance your portfolio, make sure a big part of its alternatives, protect your sense of volatility, grow your wealth. That's how I see it. 

Andrew Brill  41:11  
Now, it's Is that correct?

Speaker 1  41:13  
It is. It's Or you can go on the App Store.

Andrew Brill  41:18  
A very nice. So if you're looking for private markets, or some sort of alternative investing, you can head on over to Michael, are you on social media at all? Is there someplace we can follow you on social media?

Speaker 1  41:30  
Yes, I tend to be pretty active on LinkedIn. I like to, I like to share a couple of different types of content. So I'll share like some some deep thought leadership, maybe if we make an acquisition, or we see something big happening in the market. And then probably every other week, I'll share just generally what's happening in a world what we're seeing where I'm spending my time. So definitely, please follow me on LinkedIn, connect with me more than happy to, to meet great people and talk to great people out online.

Andrew Brill  42:01  
Michael, I think you've convinced me, I'm gonna head over to yieldstreet and check it out and see if I can at least direct some of my portfolio in that direction. But I think that you've helped educate a lot of people here today. And I think that going forward, people are going to start to think about alternative investments, not only because they're a little bit safer, less volatile, but because they want to put their money to work for themselves.

Michael Weisz  42:26  
Absolutely. I mean, to me, That's music to my ears, I continue to wake up every day being incredibly passionate about getting people to have healthier portfolios, the team at yieldstreet will tell you, I'm the biggest cheerleader and the biggest critic. Like I said, I have more than 40 active investments. I'm the guy who calls him at two in the morning and says, Hey, that's so cool. I love this opportunity, or I love this feature. Or sometimes people get a different type of call, like, hey, we could have done so much better. So I'm right there with you on the experience. I'm excited, Andrew to hear how how your journey goes and I welcome you know everybody else out there to come join us build healthy portfolios, get access to great investments, lower their volatility, and, and or just come and learn like us the content, see what's out there. Like there's no there's no sort of sense of urgency or requirement to make decisions quick. But we'd love for you to engage with us and learn and get to know private markets. It's going to be a huge part of your life over the next 10 years. And sort of the sooner you get into it, the more you know, I think the better off you'll be.

Andrew Brill  43:27  
Michael, thank you so much for joining us and really giving us a lot of insights on private markets. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Michael Weisz  43:34  
Thank you, have a great day.

Andrew Brill  43:36  
That's a wrap on another discussion here on wealthion thank you for joining us. If you need help being financially resilient, please head over to wealthy and sign up for a free no obligation portfolio review with one of our registered investment advisors. And remember to follow us on social media for the latest news and information to help you invest wisely. And if you could like and subscribe to the channel, please we'd greatly appreciate it. Don't forget to hit the notification bell so you can find out when we post new videos to the channel. Thanks again for watching. And until next time, stay informed, be empowered, and may your investments flourish. And if you liked this content, please watch this video next.

The information, opinions, and insights expressed by our guests do not necessarily reflect the views of Wealthion. They are intended to provide a diverse perspective on the economy, investing, and other relevant topics to enrich your understanding of these complex fields.

While we value and appreciate the insights shared by our esteemed guests, they are to be viewed as personal opinions and not as official investment advice or recommendations from Wealthion. These opinions should not replace your own due diligence or the advice of a professional financial advisor.

We strongly encourage all of our audience members to seek out the guidance of a financial advisor who can provide advice based on your individual circumstances and financial goals. Wealthion has a distinguished network of advisors who are available to guide you on your financial journey. However, should you choose to seek guidance elsewhere, we respect and support your decision to do so.

The world of finance and investment is intricate and diverse. It’s our mission at Wealthion to provide you with a variety of insights and perspectives to help you navigate it more effectively. We thank you for your understanding and your trust.

Put these insights into action.

This is why we created Wealthion. To bring you the insights of some of the world’s experienced wealth advisors and then connect you with like-minded, independent financial professionals who will create and manage an investment plan custom-tailored to you. We only recommend products or services that we believe will add value to our audience.  Some links on our website are affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and use the affiliate’s services, we may receive a payment from the vendor at no additional cost to you. 

Schedule a free portfolio evaluation now.