"We believe the incumbent players – TD Ameritrade (AMTD), Etrade (ETFC), Scottrade, Fidelity, Schwab (SCHW) – do a very poor job of providing easy access to learning how to invest," says Kapitall President Stephan Roche. "We thought this was a perfect market for us to target."
What Kapitall offers is a site that will make it easier for today's young to learn about investing. The company has created a platform that it says is much better suited to their needs – to really appeal to the Facebook generation in the way that they've been raised, with the Internet, the Wii and the iPhone."
The company has partnered with TD Ameritrade to offer online trading accounts to those who want them and other can just use the website's interface to create mock portfolios or create "mirror portfolios" from their actual investment accounts to keep track of.
The website does deliver on providing easy-to-use tools that explain important variables about individual stocks in a more pleasant and easy-to-understand format. For example, the "numbers cruncher" tool includes how profitable a company has been, something you might not get on other websites. The website also has a "drag & drop" interface that can be easier to use, and offers stock recommendations from Smartmoney.com. Such innovations should appeal to anyone, not just the Facebook generation.
Only time will tell if Kapitall's investment in Facebook users will add up to a sound business strategy. Roche admits that he has also seen promising growth in registrations among users age 55 and above, mainly due to the easy to use tools. That could mean that Kapitall will score well with investors who are serious about investing no matter their age or interest in being "friended" on Facebook.