Meet Long Game.
We’re helping people save for their future with a new app that makes saving fun. Genuinely fun. We do this by giving people chances to win real money, just for saving money. Think lottery, except you never lose your cash. Why does the world need this now? Well, the answer to that question warrants some deeper philosophizing…
Dreaming: Both of us – Lindsay and Ashby – are Americans and, coincidentally, humans. And, as such, we believe that all people, independent of the circumstances of their birth, should be given the opportunity to achieve a better, richer and fuller life through honest and hard work. Put another way, we believe in the American Dream.
We count ourselves among those sentimental people who sincerely believe in freedom, independence and opportunity for all. But times are tough out there, and everyday Americans no longer seem to have access to the American Dream; it’s become just that, a dream. Not real.
Over the last 30 years, lower and middle income Americans have been left behind. Consider this: 63% of Americans don’t have enough money saved to cover an unexpected $500 expense. How can anybody take a risk if they are living paycheck to paycheck? They can’t. Without savings, there’s no financial freedom… no independence… no risk taking… no American Dream. This is the problem we are solving. This is our “why”.
State of the Union: How did we as a country get here? Well, we’ve pushed everybody into an increasingly financialized world and then allowed the financial services sector to take advantage of us. Look no further than the mortgage crisis of 2007-08 in which money was basically embezzled from normal Americans by bankers. Look at the Payday Loan business. Look at most credit cards’ terms and conditions. Look at some of the largest banks that have stolen thousands of dollars from millions of customers. It’s no longer about helping the customers achieve their goals; it’s about helping finance professionals buy bigger yachts.
Consider this factoid: In 1950, the financial services industry captured roughly 10% of all after-tax corporate profits in America. That seems like a huge amount of money to pay to an industry that doesn’t actually make anything. That is, it would seem a big number until we tell you that today the financial services industry captures 40% of all American profits after tax. Is it any wonder that more billionaires have been created by the financial services industry than any other industry in the US?
Selling Hope: And so we are building a company that will work to deliver, no kidding, the American Dream back to all households. You can think of us as just another delivery startup, but instead of nachos, we’re bringing people richer and fuller lives by giving them independence via financial freedom.
Lofty and audacious? Sure. But we have a two-part plan for success: First, we’re going to harness the incredible power of capitalism and use it to make finance better. Second, we’re going to earn the trust of our community and work tirelessly to keep it.
Catalyzing Solutions: In the right hands, capitalism is a powerful force that can mobilize scarce resources and motivate creative and hard working people to scale global solutions. Twitter brought down dictators. Tesla brought electric cars to the mainstream. Nest made energy efficient thermostats cool. At Long Game, we plan to solve the non-saving epidemic in the US by building a product that people love using that also helps them save money and obtain financial security.
How? We are standing on the shoulders of the right giants. Existing mobile devices will allow us to reach a massive audience. New financial technologies allow us to manage our flows and accounts in a way like never before. Our socially minded banking partners bring competitive savings accounts to our users. Even the State Lotteries have helped us!
An Easy Target: Yes, you read that right, the Lotteries may suck the money out of poor people’s pockets in one of the most egregious, regressive taxation systems in our solar system that is the shame of all politicians. But they’ve at least demonstrated the mass appeal of the lottery mechanism. In the US, Americans spend about $70 billion on the lottery every year. All of these people are throwing their money away in the irrational hope that their lives will forever be changed by luck. We get it. So, with Long Game, we’re offering that same kind of hope and luck. The only difference with us is that you’ll never, ever lose your money.
Our Commitment To You: We want to end this introductory letter with a brief comment on our company and its business model. We understand that the financial success of our savers has to be tied to our own success. So here is our promise: We won’t make any money unless our users save money and, over time, make money. To do this, we vow to put the interests of our users first, to be transparent about our business, and to honor the trust that has been so generously bestowed upon us.
Financial services has not been an equal opportunity offering. But, with Long Game, we think it can be.
Lindsay and Ashby