Mimic experts' trades & make your moolah

Investor is the KaChing

The 90 million Americans with money in funds know little about fees, what securities their money is invested in and who is in charge. Daniel Carroll, who started investing when he was 15, thinks he has a way to let average investors learn about investing while experts manage the money. In 2008, he started KaChing, a Web site where 400,000 amateur and professional investors manage virtual portfolios.

Others have logged on to see what the investors on the site are doing and make the same trades in their own real portfolios. On Monday, KaChing added a new twist. Customers can set up brokerage accounts that automatically mirror the trades of a money manager, some of them professionals.

“The idea of an asset manager showing all his research, his holdings — it’s unheard-of,” said Carroll, now 27 and Vice President for business development at KaChing. Individuals are desperate for advice and transparency from people who help them manage their money, and mutual funds do not provide enough, said Andy Rachleff, KaChing Chief Executive.

“The mutual fund industry is a $10 trillion industry that has seen no innovation for 25 years. The Internet has had no impact,” Rachleff said.  KaChing has attracted a roster of prominent early investors from Silicon Valley who have financed the company with $3 million.

They include Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape; Kevin Compton of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; and Jeffrey Jordan, chief executive of OpenTable, the online reservation service. The angel investors have also been investing their own money through KaChing during the pilot period.

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