Rita interviews David Siegel, CEO of Investopedia
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: What attracted you to Investopedia?
David Siegel: Our mission. We are the world’s largest finance and investing education site and there is a major challenge in the US of massive financial illiteracy. If we can solve this and help people save for retirement, reduce student debt and invest wisely, we can change the world.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: How did your experience prepared you for this position?
David Siegel: I’ve spent my career growing digital companies – from DoubleClick and Everyday Health to 1-800-flowers.com and then as President of Seeking Alpha. I was fortunate to start my career as an early DoubleClick in the late 90’s where I had a few mentors who shaped my life and professional outlook. I had always been passionate about Finance and investing and was able to combine my digital media experience and personal passion at Seeking Alpha and now as CEO of Investopedia.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: How has Investopedia evolved since you joined?
David Siegel: Since I’ve joined Investopedia we’ve gone from a financial dictionary for students to creating a truly differentiated platform. We now have over 27 million unique monthly users, over 200 million monthly video streams, 200,000 articles, and millions of newsletter subscribers and Facebook followers. One of the key projects I prioritized was launching our Advisor Insights channel, which connects our users with leading financial advisors.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: How do you define and measure success at Investopedia?
David Siegel: Through the people I work with. When I started at the company, I was the 27th employee. We’re now at close to 120 employees just 2-3 years later. That growth is an obvious sign of the success we’ve had, but I’m also thrilled with the quality and industry experience of people we’re bringing in. I work with some of the most passionate people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and their commitment to the work, combined with the growth of the company, tells me we’re doing a great job.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: What makes Investopedia different from other media companies?
David Siegel: Our entire focus is on education and making our users smarter. Whether it is through providing real-life examples, tying financial education to news events or creating tools to help our users invest in the market, buy options or invest in retirement – we are all about making our user smarter after interacting with our site.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: What advice do you have for young people entering the industry?
David Siegel: I would tell them to put a bigger focus on learning. You’re in a school for a reason and that’s to challenge yourself – don’t prioritize grades over classes that are the easiest. Another piece of advice I would give is to not focus on salary. Don’t turn down opportunities that could influence your professional career because it pays less than you believe you deserve.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: What accomplishment are you most proud of throughout your career?
David Siegel: Building others’ careers and mentoring employees to help them to achieve their professional goals. I have probably had about 1,000 individuals work for me over the last 20 years and seeing someone who was right out of college 10 years ago become a VP, start his or her own firm or become a domain expert years later is incredibly rewarding and my most important accomplishment.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: What’s next for Investopedia?
David Siegel: I am really excited about our recent launch of Investopedia Academy, which will be the world’s largest MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform that solely focuses on finance and investing. We are offering courses in excel, financial analysis and technical analysis, but there are opportunities to have thousands of courses and truly educate our users in a far more comprehensive manner than purely reading content or interacting with our tools.
Blue Ocean Global Wealth: When you are not at Investopedia, what passions, hobbies, and interests do you pursue?
David Siegel: I’m a fairly competitive person generally so anything related to competition is often a source of enjoyment. Whether it is hours of board games with my wife and 3 kids, biking 100 miles with friends, winning my fantasy baseball league or trying to add to my 46 countries list – life is short and our ability to take as much advantage of all life offers should always be pursued.
To check out Advisor Insights, visit www.advisorinsights.com
Financial Advisors: To learn more about joining Advisor Insights, email firstname.lastname@example.org