Ruzbeh Bacha is the founder and CEO of CityFALCON, has 15 years of investing and trading experience and has worked at Nokia, Skype, and Microsoft. He’s a qualified accountant (KPMG), has an MBA from University of Oxford and can also build scalable applications himself. [no_toc]
CityFALCON offers personalized financial news, using machine learning and crowd curation. First of all, what need did you perceive that needed to be filled, that prompted you to start CityFALCON?
As an investor and trader myself, I understand the need many investors and traders have for reliable and timely information. There are big players who can provide such information, but they are focused on big institutions and those who can afford high subscription services. What are retail investors and traders and small companies left with? They are forced either to spend an enormous budget or just be satisfied with free services which cannot guarantee low latency, personalization, or wide scope. Thus they are left behind and cannot compete. This is where CityFALCON comes in play. We want to combine every investor’s or trader’s need and provide everyone with a personalized news feed which will suit not only their portfolio but also their pocket.
You graduated from the Said Business School at the University Of Oxford. How does your Business background influence what you do at CityFALCON?
The main idea behind CityFALCON comes from my business background. As I understand the industry, I can not only coordinate the development side of our project but also make sure that our users receive the best service.
While you may have a business degree, you launched CityFALCON from your bedroom. What made you passionate enough about the idea to pursue it independently?
At some point in my life, I understood that I was missing something in my current job, that I needed changes and something that would pull me out of the 1-or-2-years-of-a-job-that-seemed-to-be-a-dream whirl. Then I thought about the coding experience I had and decided to freshen up this knowledge. Nowadays coding is really something that can bring your ideas to life and make you a creator, not just a spectator.
So I had an idea from my experience as a trader and investor, a tool to realize this idea from coding practice and a background in business strategy to develop idea into a real business. Thus I was pretty much set up all by myself from the start.
How do you feel that your official business training combines with your experience as an independent business owner and founder?
Business training has helped me build my project management, people skills and allowed me to understand a bit of other aspects of business including strategy, marketing, and product development. When you run your own business, you have to add patience, resilience, and never-give-up spirit to build, survive, scale and hopefully become successful one day.
One of the main benefits of CityFALCON’s services is offering expert financial information for ordinary people? What are some ways you go about translating complicated financial information for everyday readers?
One of the main features of CityFALCON is personalization. When a user comes to our site, they choose a category they affiliate themselves with: Day Trader, Short Term Trader, Long Term Investor, Research Analyst, Business Development, Corporate Treasury, or Finance Student. Our algorithm is analyzing the preferences and activities of these different groups and suggests the content which will be best for the user. We don’t produce news, but we can offer our users the news they will understand well.
You’ve stated that “retail investors deserve the same level of real-time news access as big-time organizations.” First, why do you feel that this is so? Secondly, what are some things smaller investors can do, with that news and information?
It’s one stock market, and how is it fair that traders and investors at big institutions can make more money because they have tons of money for tools and solutions? When small investors have the same level of information and data, they can make better-informed decisions and much faster than before.
You’ve worked in major corporations and smaller startups, as an independent investor, and a financial advisor. How do you feel these different positions have informed and influenced one another? How have you implemented some of the lessons you’ve learned with the majors in your independent pursuits?
Running a business when you don’t get a paycheck yourself and also have to worry about paying your employees and suppliers, you understand what it really takes to start and build a business. This is something I never realized when I was working in a cushy corporate job.
For people who’ve never really followed financial news, what are some reasons that they should start?
Financial news gives the general idea of the market condition. By following financial news, not only investors and traders can make investment decisions, but also people who are not involved in the stock market activity directly can analyze what sector can offer a better job, what country can offer better economic benefits, where it is safer to save money and what products are more reliable.
What have been some success stories from following financial news and implementing the advice you’d gathered?
One Wall Street trader won a jackpot of $2.4M as he paid attention to one single tweet about a potential acquisition by Intel. And this is not the only time one tweet changes a lot. Elon Musk tweeted about a new product line, and Tesla’s shares jumped 4%, adding $1.3 billion to Tesla’s market cap. Of course, it is not enough to just read, it’s always important to analyze the information you get, but what a powerful tool such sources of information can be in the right hands.
What are a couple of exceptionally useful feeds for financial news that you could recommend?
The best news feed is for the company or sector that a user understands. If you understand a sector or company, you are not worried by the short terms fluctuations and focus on the opportunity in the long run.