First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Jacob Wolinsky: I am doing well and have learned to be grateful for what I have from my grandparents which I discuss at length below. When you grow up hearing stories like theirs, there are few people on the planet today who cannot feel more fortunate.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded ValueWalk
Jacob Wolinsky: I grew up in Suffern New York, about 30 miles from City. My family was an Eastern European immigrant. Throughout the generations, parents encouraged their children to study, and so did my father. I’m a business development graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
I worked as a freelance writer that focused on hedge fund business development. A famous author appreciated my post, and this motivated me to keep on generating more articles. My posts at Valuewalk.com well-received attracted more than 100,000 views and made a lot of revenue.
This development inspired me to switch from freelance to full time, and that is how ValueWalk was born.
How does ValueWalk Innovate?
Jacob Wolinsky: I think one thing that makes us stand out is having a balanced approach that most outlets ignore. Less established websites maintain a less rigorous editorial process and mostly publish opinion pieces.
Well established sites, on the other hand, generate quality content but are limited by other considerations such as the topic and length. For example, some of the big financial media outlets focus on major hedge funds. But 8000 smaller funds are not widely covered.
At ValueWalk we cover all these funds. We provide background information while maintaining professionalism.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business and how are you coping?
Jacob Wolinsky: Coronavirus has affected us but not as much as it has hit other industries. Lessons learnt from my grandfather helped us to manage the situation positively. I always take a conservative approach, and this has helped me to wait patiently for favorable times to resume back.
Any Lessons Learned from Difficult Situations?
Jacob Wolinsky: While it’s nice to have an informal approach to starting a business, you need to make sure that you understand all the guidelines and regulations. I’ve come across several companies that are managed by successful entrepreneurs but are ignorant of specific laws like trademarks.
Therefore, they are slapped with hefty fines and costly lawsuits because of overlooking seemingly minute but important laws. These errors have caused many businesses to close overnight
Thus, it’s important to understand all the Federal and State guidelines applicable to your business. I wish someone told me that earlier, but the good thing is that now I know.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety? How do you Project yourself and ValueWalk in the future?
Jacob Wolinsky: I learnt a lot from my grandfather who lived with us. He told me stories about his life in the Siberian gulag, fighting on the Eastern Front in WWII. He also narrated about growing up in a poor background in Poland.
The important lesson was to be thankful for what you have and to never waste resources like food which was scarce both in the army and in prison. Actually, my great grandmother died of starvation during WWII because she sacrificed her meal to save her aunt (who survived).
Further, my grandfather’s entire village was wiped out, and a population of 250 people were murdered. In my grandmother’s hometown, her family of less than 30 people survived the six years of war between 1939 and 1945. Nearly 600 people lived in their town on the Belarus Lithuania border before the war.
The lessons I learnt is that I’m fortunate to grow up in America and to live 40 years after the horrors of WWII finally ended. The lessons are still applicable during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Jacob Wolinsky: When we started 10 years ago, and rates were sky-high for those sites with a wealthy audience working in finance. That brought many competitors into the industry. Nowadays, rates are much lower, but there is still a lot of competition. The good news about competition is that it keeps us on our feet.
Our advantage is that we have a reliable source of information, and it’s very hard to mimic that. This is what is supporting our growth.
Some of our competitors are Zerohedge, InsiderMonkey, and Marketfolly, among others. They do a great job and serves the same audience.
Your Final Thoughts
Jacob Wolinsky: I would like us to continue focusing more on personal finance. All the pundits on the TV and major newspapers love discussing hot stocks. But as I mentioned earlier, you need the basics before you can begin discussing stocks.
The foundation is saving and is presently a nationwide crisis as many Americans have so little savings and a lot of credit card, mortgage and student loan debt. The country would be better off if the media focused more on guiding people to reduce credit card debt rather than what Apple stock will do this year.
We hope ValueWalk will continue to fill this void.
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