Financial industry: Time to catch up.

If there is one question we get about Aspiration from customers, reporters, and even an occasional family member, it is this: “What’s the catch?”

How can the Aspiration Summit Account offer interest rates up to 100 times more than Big Banks without monthly fees or any ATM fees? How come we are able to offer our mutual funds at only a $100 minimum investment? And how can we really let our customers pay what they think is fair and then give 10% of our revenue to charity?

The answer is that there’s no catch. There’s no secret behind what we do. Aspiration’s mission is to always put our customers first – and to be second to none when it comes to that commitment. Many banks and investment firms say this, but it is another thing to live it.

We offer this level of service because that’s what we prioritize. There is no Aspiration corporate jet. Our executive lunchroom is the vending machine downstairs or Chipotle across the street. And well over 90% of our investment customers are happy to choose to pay us because they are happy with the job we’re doing for them.

Aspiration was born with very different DNA than Big Banks and other financial institutions. But the sad part is that major banks and investment firms could have been doing the same.

When banks are making over $150 billion in profits every year, there’s no reason they need to clobber their customers with fees and pay basically zero in interest. Investment firms can afford to work for the middle class and not just millionaires. And one day, Wall Street will understand that you can trust people if you act in ways worthy of their trust.

Maybe then, people will stop asking us, “What’s the catch?” And they’ll ask the rest of the financial industry, “When will you catch up?”

Aspiration Fund Adviser, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

Aspiration defines “elite,” “wealthy,” “rich,” and “millionaires” as accredited and qualified investors and those who have been able to meet the historic minimums of private funds, including hedge funds and private equity funds. An investor's experience, objectives, and risk tolerance may differ from that of an “elite,” “rich,” “wealthy,” or "millionaire" investor, all of which should be considered when investing in alternatives.

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