Tyrone Ross, CEO of Onramp Invest, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss how investors can take the first steps to get involved in crypto, and addresses regulation and concerns over volatility in the space.
MYLES UDLAND: All right. Welcome back to “Yahoo Finance Live” on this Thursday morning. As Brian Sozzi mentioned, it is a meme morning. But we see more and more investment advisors trying to help their clients invest in cryptocurrency. One firm that is helping to do that is Onramp Invest. And joining us now is Onramp CEO Tyrone Ross.
Tyrone, thanks for jumping on. So let’s talk a little bit about what you guys are doing with respect to making crypto investment easier for your clients and how you’re helping educate folks kind of through this new part, this new phase of financial markets.
TYRONE ROSS: Yeah. So we realized that there is a dearth of education. So we’re trying to get financial advisors educated because a lot of folks get education on investments through financial advisors. And what we’re looking to do is educate advisors, what we’re calling EAT, educate, access, and tools.
So educate them, give advisors the tools inside of their current workflows, and then the access to be able to allocate on behalf of clients if they need or see held away crypto assets so clients that are buying Dogecoin or whatever at Robinhood and now Venmo, the advisor can see that and be true fiduciaries, continue to give advice like they’ve always given, whether that’s Bitcoin or Apple. It should be as easy for an advisor to do that. And that’s what Onramp is trying to do.
BRIAN SOZZI: So Tyrone, let’s say I was a financial advisor. I log onto your platform, what tools are there to help me?
TYRONE ROSS: So what the first thing is, what we’re doing is allowing a financial advisor– you log in. You can send your client an email. So they can show you, for instance, their Coinbase account. And now you’ll be able to see that Coinbase account. You’ll be able to pull that into your software to be able to model for the client or plan or build, whatever it is that the advisor wants to do.
So what we’re trying to do is two things. One, slow the crypto space down for advisors. And two, put it in a package that they are used to seeing, so similar workflows, right there, existing tech stack, and then giving them a dashboard and a client dashboard so that their clients can see and the advisor can see exactly what is going on. So we do understand that it’s important for advisors to get the Amazon experience with us, where they don’t have to necessarily walk out to the mailbox. But we’re going to deliver it to them at the doorstep. And they know what’s in that box.
MYLES UDLAND: And Ty, from folks that you’re talking to, what kind of questions are they getting from their clients? Because obviously, you’re trying to make life easier for brokers and advisors who are counseling their clients through this crypto cycle. What kind of concerns, following the chain here, are you hearing from folks that are just trying to make sense of the space for their clients or maybe make sure they don’t lose all their money doing whatever they can’t see in their Coinbase account or something else?
TYRONE ROSS: Great question. So the first is, this is a situation where clients are coming to advisors, knowing more than the advisor. That is a situation where, in our space, that doesn’t really happen much. Usually, the person on the other side of the table that went to Wharton and has the CFPB and the CFA knows everything. This isn’t the case here.
I think the other thing is, advisors want clarity, regulatory clarity. I interviewed Hester Pierce last week. For all the financial advisors out there, you have all the regulatory clarity that you can need and want. If you’re not doing it at this point, it’s simply just because you don’t want to.
And I think the last thing is, it’s simply, where do I start? How do I prepare my practice, right? And I tell all financial advisors or anyone, this isn’t an investment for everybody. You need to take that off the table. But advisors need to go right back to square one with the client, risk tolerance, do that over. Investor policy statement, pull that out. Financial plan, get that plan straight. And oh, by the way, estate planning, a digital fiduciary.
Who, besides you, understands what the heck a private key is? You probably want to find who that person is and get them to understand this in the event something happens to you and that crypto isn’t gone forever.
MYLES UDLAND: I love that frame of a few times. The one time the clients come to advisors knowing more than the advisor. It feels like that is starting to happen a little bit more and more across even stocks as well.
All right, Tyrone Ross, founder and CEO of Onramp. Tyrone, really appreciate you taking the time this morning. I know we’ll talk soon.
TYRONE ROSS: Absolutely. Be well. Feed a hungry child if you can.