FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column 3 Questions. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Dax Cooke of Farmfolio, a company focused on identifying unique agricultural investment opportunities, bringing robust due-diligence and subject matter capabilities to an industry that has been flying under the radar of mainstream investing.
NAME: Dax Cooke
How did you personally become involved in fintech?
I have been in finance for the last 12 years and I began by developing financial programs that provided simplified financial planning solutions. My transition into the AG-FINTECH, came 4 years ago after a visit to Panama. I was introduced to the business by a friend and immediately became infatuated with the concept of AG as an alternative asset class. I saw Fin-tech as a solution to create access for people looking for a way into the market and potentially a way to exit as well.
What does your firm do/offer within the fintech sector?
We provide access for investors and capital to small and mid-size agriculture endevours. Our concept is to provide an entry point and exit point for investors as well as a simplified platform for farmers/operators to gain access to the global economy. The “FIN” is the private equity captial raising model and the “Tech”is the virtual platform for managing the investment and creating transparancy for investors.
The biggest problem for us are the restrictions on investments under SEC capital raising rules for Private Equity. The new legislation on crowd funding doesn’t work. It is too restrictive and in many cases only allows the rich to venture into non-public offerings. There are tons of niche opportunities that could never justify the reporting and administration costs of being public or registered offerings.
How do you feel consumers are adapting to the facet of fintech that your company operates within & which areas of fintech do you think will advance the most in the future?
It is going to take time. The average customer/investor with us is over the age of 55 for us and they tell us all the time that their kids love our tech, but they don’t get it. We are constantly working to simply the platform and create education that can help people not accustomed to online investing adapt. We are basically creating an enitrely new alternative asset class, so isn’t something that happens overnight, but we’re in for the long haul.
(As far as fintech in general), I believe payment systems and AI money management will explode in the next 5 years. The banking industry today is a dinosaur and new tech like Stripe, Venmo, and others will begin to take over. Wealth management is also something I believe will change. Fees for money management continue to decline, as people see less and less value the fund management space and little increase in performance vs indexes. Currency alternatives are another segment I believe to have huge updside. As companies like Amazon begin to accept payments from alternative sources, you will begin to see virtual currencies make their way into mainstream.
Prior to the Founding of Farmfolio, Mr. Cooke spent the last 12 years as an executive in the Financial Services and Fin-Tech industries. Most recently, Mr. Cooke co-founded KEY STONE CAPITAL PARTNERS, which designed digital financial planning systems. Mr. Cooke received his advanced education and Certified Financial Planning certification™ from the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business and undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama.