Wizest wants to make the market accessible through experts and a focus on learning
For an average person, breaking into the confusing and expensive world of stock market trading can be challenging and intimidating. Traditional financial advisors necessitate a major investment, while modern trading apps leave users with freedom but little support. To bridge the gap between hardcore traders and those who want to learn, Axel Thibon founded Wizest, a new platform for investing, trading and learning.
“Wizest provides access to financial experts and their knowledge for our users, allowing new or novice investors to start their investing journey with less risk and also learn in the process, which we value a lot,” said Thibon. “We were featured in February in a Forbes article because we offer something different. Most of these trading apps are more about trading and are almost like gambling. We are the opposite. It’s more about thinking about investing for the long-term and building wealth, a totally different approach.”
Thibon has been working on Wizest for years, and is now preparing to launch on the Apple App Store and elsewhere. But the app caught a major break this year when coverage of Reddit-led swells of purchases of Gamestop, AMC and other stocks broke into the mainstream. Trading platforms faced backlash over their handling of the situation, and Thibon found a way to differentiate what he and Wizest are building.
“It helped a lot to position ourselves,” he said. “Before, people were saying, ‘It’s a very crowded market. What is your difference? Others are free. You’re not free.’ But when all this happened, and with all the volatility in the market over the last few months, we’re able to say, ‘Hey, we are not a trading platform. If you want to trade by yourself, great, there are apps for that.’ We’re here for people that have a 401k or a savings account and don’t want volatility. With Wizest, you will be able to start with someone guiding you while you learn a little bit in the process.”
The guiding part of that process is perhaps the most important aspect of Wizest, which combines elements of apps like Robinhood with education, social media influences and a more holistic approach. Wizest wasn’t created for people who are using $50,000 or $100,000 to invest and play the market for a 30 percent return, it was created for people who want to manage modest investments in an informed way while they learn about the market and have context for their decisions.
“In the application you can browse profiles of financial experts and see reviews, like a review of your Uber driver, and you see the risk level and return of the portfolio that expert is sharing,” Thibon said. “If you want, you can drill down to see the bio and the exact portfolio. There’s full transparency. And then you say, ‘OK, I like this investor’ and he’ll act like an influencer. You follow him, but you don’t want to have all your eggs in the same basket. Wizest allows you to build a team of advisor experts and, behind the scenes, Wizest is going to use the portfolios of these experts to create a real portfolio for you.”
Thibon is a citizen of the world, having studied in Spain, France and Boston before starting his career in Miami. He moved to Cleveland with his wife when she was offered a job at world-renowned University Hospitals. And while he began to form Wizest, he quickly realized that Cleveland would give him a great chance to succeed.
“When I was building Wizest, I looked at the networks and the entrepreneurship scene here in Ohio and found that it was really easy to meet everyone and to get a lot of support,” he said. “We’ve worked with JumpStart and BrainTree, went through the gBeta Accelerator in Cleveland and know the folks at Case Western. It’s great because you have an almost constant conversation and support, so I think that’s an advantage in Ohio versus other cities where there are thousands of doors and you don’t know which one to knock on. It’s much easier here.”