When Steve Cohen begins triumphantly cashing checks once again on Jan. 1, 2018, he’s well aware that most people will be left out of the party. After all, SAC Capital Advisors had a minimum investment requirement in the range of $25 million, and even if the Big Guy wanted to boost his capacity, the absolute dearth of aspiring hedge fund managers with anything approaching the right stuff (at leastin the U.S.) would make that all but impossible.
Lucrative as making the 0.00000000001% even richer is, by definition it leaves a whole very giant market underserved. In particular, the market made up by the very same millennials who are either not good enough to even apply for jobs at Stamford Harbor Capital or, if they are, annoyingly choose to work in Silicon Valley or what-have-you, and who might one day join the top hundred-billionth and be in need of Steve Cohen’s edge. And now that Cohen’s got the fintech bug, he’s been looking for ways to both recruit future SHC investors and at least make some money off of those who never will be. In Acorns Grow, he thinks he may have found it.
Point72 Ventures, an early-stage venture fund backed by Mr. Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management LP, has invested $2 million in Acorns Grow Inc., a millennial-focused app maker that encourages users to make regular small-dollar contributions into a basket of exchange-traded index funds as a way to start saving….
Mr. Cohen recently met with Acorns Chief Executive Noah Kerner in California, and loved the app’s potential appeal to millennials, the companies said.
Pete Casella, a partner at Point72 Ventures, said the stake is “not an existential call on the future of passive investment” but a recognition that for a young investor, “if you put $20 into one stock and lose it, you may be turned off investing for the rest of your life.”
Acorns’ approach of encouraging tiny, regular deposits into managed accounts that invest in broad funds are “principles you can build from” before starting more sophisticated investing, Mr. Casella said….
Mr. Casella and Mr. Kerner said they planned to work together to target partner retailers and consumer behaviors using data Point72 collected as part of its investment research.