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Motif Investing App for iOS

October 18, 2014

Motif Investing was launched in 2012 as an online brokerage firm that lets individuals invest in ideas. Motif’s co-founder, Hardeep Walia, is the former general manager of Microsoft’s enterprise services business. According to the company’s website, its investors include Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. In addition, former SEC chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. is on the company’s board of directors.

The company hosts over 140 “motifs,” which are similar to mutual funds or ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Motifs are portfolios of up to 30 stocks or ETFs. Investors can buy these predefined motifs with a minimum investment of $250 and a $9.95 total commission. You can create individual or joint accounts, as well as traditional, Roth or rollover IRA accounts. Unlike with a mutual fund, however, you have a greater level of control over the motif. Before you buy a motif you can customize it, if you wish, by adding or deleting the securities in the motif as well as adjusting the default weightings set by the creator of the motif. You can even backtest the performance of your customized motif before you buy it. After you buy a motif, you also have the option of selling individual securities for $4.95 a trade. Motifs are rebalanced quarterly and, if you want them, these updates cost $9.95 per motif.

Another interesting aspect of Motif Investing is that you can create your own motif with up to 30 stocks or ETFs (Motif Investing claims they support any stock or ETF traded on U.S. exchanges). Beyond the 140-plus motifs “sponsored” by Motif Investing, there are also over 3,500 community-created motifs from which to choose. If you create your own motif, you have the option of sharing it with other community members. Each time someone buys or rebalances a motif you created, you receive a $1 royalty.

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