I first met Michel Jacquemai at the end of my interview to join the meetinvest team. A strong handshake and a smile greeted me and my first impression of the man was very positive and has since proved to be quite accurate. Of course he’s more than just a nice guy, he possesses a boatload of investment knowledge that he is not only willing to share, but does so in a way that non-finance people can easily understand. He certainly fulfills the maxim that if you understand something well enough then you can explain it in a simple way.
I had the chance to sit down with Michel recently and asked him a few questions about how he found his way to investing and ultimately to meetinvest.
When I asked him the obvious question of how he discovered investing, he recounted the story with a smile:
“A friend, I think I was 14 or so, told me about currency and silver trading. I thought this would be so cool. Given I had very limited money I bought my first shares in a silver stock and lost almost all of it. I had no idea back then that I just bought the absolute peak in silver in 1980.”
“One of the leading lights behind Partners Group’s ascent” -Financial Times
He has, of course, progressed far past getting tips from 14-year-old wannabe investors, and his journey has taken him from the Asset Management offices of Credit Suisse, to starting his own company saisGroup, which impressed the firm Partners Group so much that they offered to buy it and integrate it into their own operations, to his own venture projects, and ultimately to meetinvest. Michel has also received high praise from others including the Financial Times who declared him “one of the leading lights behind Partners Group’s ascent” for his leadership of the Alternative Beta Strategies team.
The same innovative spirit that drove Michel to push for this type of investing also brought him to co-found meetinvest with Maria Labrador:
“My co-founder Maria Labrador initially came up with the whole meetinvest idea after reading Susanne Levermann’s ‘how-to’ investment book. I offered her my help to build the strategies part of this social media financial platform as I had the knowhow and the professional Bloomberg terminals in our office. So the roles were obvious right from the start. As my passion and my experience is in investing, I am responsible for the investment content and Maria is running the company as the CEO.”
“Unfortunately this Sharing Economy has not yet arrived in the financial industry, but it will and it’ll turn a lot of things upside down.”
Michel is an easy guy to talk to. Even when talking about the want or need for a platform like meetinvest he is very modest, but also visibly passionate about the mission:
“The internet is likely the fastest ‘democratizer’ that ever existed. The internet further allowed the emergence of a thing called ‘Sharing Economy’. That means that people give away knowledge for free to others out there without a monetary incentive. The most prominent are Google, Wikipedia, etc. Unfortunately this Sharing Economy has not yet arrived in the financial industry, but it will and it’ll turn a lot of things upside down.
meetinvest is our way to share the tools and valuable knowledge with people worldwide. We empower people to invest like pros using the same tools for free and share interests with people alike.”
Getting into the details of the site, I was curious to know which of the strategies available (currently from 12 investment experts) was his favorite:
“Making the loop back how it all started, my favorite strategy I use for my investments is Susan Levermann Stock Screener. She is the only one out of all the experts out there (to my knowledge) who combines all the investment philosophies fundamental, technical and behavioral. I run a so-called Long/Short strategy. It takes a long (buy) positions in stocks that are expected to appreciate and sells short positions that are expected to decline. Short selling is borrowing a stock (let’s say IBM) and sell it at the market with the expectation to buy it back later at a lower price. This way I can profit twice from our analysis. So, I try to buy the hidden gems and sell short the crap that has run its course and is doomed to fall.”
Michel personifies meetinvest perfectly. He’s laid back, friendly, and he possesses a desire to share his vast investment knowledge with as many people as possible. Instead of profiting from a book deal, his goal, along with Co-Founder Maria Labrador, is to provide people with free information about investing. They both strongly believe that the more people understand investing the better off we all will be.
“We think this information and the tools should be available for free for everyone not just to some financial experts. Everyone should have the power to invest like a pro.”
You can follow Michel on meetinvest and check out what strategies he’s running, as well as benefit from his informative posts and links. He will also be posting on a weekly basis here on the meetinvest Blog. So, be sure to check it out and gain some fantastic investment insights from a true professional!