Arta Team Spotlight
Q&A with Hussein Yahfoufi—Product at Arta
Arta Team Spotlight
November 30, 2022
Hussein began his career as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley before transitioning to product development and becoming CTO at various financial services companies. His passion for fintech startups inspired him to launch two of his own: Appsplit and Money Minx, the latter of which brought him to his current role at Arta Finance through acquisition.
You founded and built Money Minx, a net worth and investments tracker for retail investors. What was the inspiration for the idea?
I built it because I needed it. With the rise of fintechs, crowdfunding regulation changes, and crypto going mainstream, the personal investing landscape has changed dramatically. If you are like me and tried to take advantage of this by investing in various opportunities, you ended up with multiple unconnected accounts. That leads to the need for a custom spreadsheet to track it all. It gets complex.
Manually tracking investments in a sheet and calculating cash flow and performance returns is tedious and time-consuming. Who wants to spend two hours every Saturday updating a spreadsheet? Money Minx eliminates that need and automates the whole process for you.
Secondly, jointly managing all your accounts on a spreadsheet with your spouse is not fun - especially when your spouse is more creative and visual (or simply uninterested in slogging through a spreadsheet for two hours every Saturday). So having a tool with a friendly user experience that's visually appealing is a big help in staying on the same financial page.
I heard a statistic about how one of the most significant issues couples fight over is money - well, if that’s true, I guess you can say Money Minx can help out as a “couples counselor.” I’m joking of course, but Money Minx was actually a big help for my wife and me to manage our money together. It even sparked my wife’s interest in starting to invest on her own.
Initially, I thought I had many accounts because I’m an early adopter regarding new investing opportunities. If a new fintech or wealthtech app comes to market, I am excited to try it. However, I learned through Money Minx that even people who are just “covering their bases” had many accounts - stock options, 401ks, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, college funds, crowdfunding sites, etc. All those accounts were usually disconnected, and their owners aimed to see a simple, comprehensive view of their finances. So, the struggle to manage many accounts was more common than I expected.
Arta acquired Money Minx earlier this year. What made you decide to sell Money Minx to Arta Finance?
Three years ago, I set out to make the same tools that private bankers use for the top 1%, accessible to all. I wanted an easy and beautiful way to track all my investments in one place, have an up-to-date personal balance sheet available at all times, and build a community around managing personal finances.
Looking back, I’m proud to say we’ve made strides toward our vision by introducing Money Minx to retail investors worldwide. As a result, Money Minx has become one of the top net worth and investment trackers available.
Looking ahead, we’re barely scratching the surface! There’s a tremendous opportunity (and need) to make better tools, but we shouldn’t stop there. We can deliver better trading strategies, sophisticated machine learning investing models, and access to the best private equity funds that, currently, most people don’t have access to. That is what joining Arta will do for the Money Minx community.
Many on the Arta team helped build and launch Google Pay, Next Billion Users, Chrome OS, Chromebooks, Amex Black Card, and more - they built successful, intuitive, tech-forward products and experiences that have changed the world. By joining Arta, we will reach the vision we set for ourselves substantially faster and deliver on an even greater promise.
It’s been a smooth and inspiring transition. In the initial discussions between Money Minx and Arta, it was clear that we complement each other and could quickly accomplish a lot of complicated work.
I was extremely impressed with their backgrounds, their ability to scale products to millions of users and the quality of the products they’ve built. So, I was immediately confident that if I could help get things going, they could help scale to millions of users.
Because of how much synergy we had, weaving the companies together has been seamless. It’s exciting to work with a dedicated and profoundly talented group of technology pros. Arta is amassing the best in every discipline, from AI to design to operations, and each person is passionate about the mission. It makes for an inspiring place to work.
You certainly have a lot of fintech experience. What got you interested in this space? How did you first learn about finance and investing?
When I was a kid, my dad and uncles would invest through their brokers in stocks and follow the market on CNBC. They had me sit in front of the TV, watching for their latest stock pick to pass to capture the current price. Of course, I monitored for any information shared about the company too. So, while other kids were chatting about baseball or video games, I was more interested in how the Nasdaq was doing.
In college, I started to invest for myself. I spent my mornings watching CNBC and Bloomberg, just like I did as a kid. I could tell you anything and everything about the companies that were discussed. I requested annual statements and 10Ks in the mail and read them front to back. That was the beginning of my personal investing journey. And yes, I still watch plenty of CNBC.
Over my career, I’ve launched several products in the financial services industry that serve others. I helped build products for financial advisors, solar companies, trucking companies, Amazon sellers, and more. What I am most excited about joining Arta is the opportunity to work on a product that serves people like me and helps families around the world manage their finances and investments.
All of my professional experience and personal interests have been building up to this. I can’t think of a more fitting challenge for my skills and interests. My ultimate career goal is to make a meaningful difference in the world of personal fintech and wealth-building for families - and we are on our way!