POWER MILLENNIALS: TWO BANKERS TAKE ON FINANCE NEWS
As freshman year roommates at Middlebury College in Vermont, Jack Kramer and Nick Martell bonded over the fact that they both drank the same protein shake. Little did they know that in just a few short years, the two would create and operate a daily email newsletter called MarketSnacks breaking down financial news for millennials.
MarketSnacks is an email newsletter, sent out Monday to Friday, explaining the most important business news of the day in a concise, easy to read and humorous format. Currently, MarketSnacks’ readers are primarily ages 25 to 34, and the newsletter sees approximately 7% growth month over month, and 100% year over year. Together, Martell and Kramer have crafted one voice and feature plenty of jokes, like teasing Facebook’s (FB) Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodies, and food Instagramming (specifically the ever trendy avocado toast).
“We were just experimenting at the beginning and didn’t have a clear direction, but wanted to cover news in an entertaining voice” says Kramer.
The duo say that they launched MarketSnacks because they felt that there was a lack of “digestible, financial news” that was entertaining and accessible for millennials. Kramer noted that in college, finance professors pushed the Wall Street Journal (NWSA) onto students, but that millennials don’t consume information in the same way anymore. And the two felt that easy to read financial news could help college students prepare for finance and banking related interviews. And both Martell and Kramer were looking for a creative outlet besides their day jobs as bankers (when MarketSnacks was launched, Martell worked at UBS (UBS) and Kramer at Commerzbank AG).
When MarketSnacks was born, the two were creating the newsletter anonymously, pulling late nights or waking up extra early to write. Now that the newsletter is revenue generating (they recently announced a partnership with Scout Finance), their employers are aware of MarketSnacks. “This started as a hobby and we were both stoked that it grew into a business that was revenue generating” says Kramer.
So in four short years, MarketSnacks has grown into a go to resource for financial news, Martell and Kramer have made appearances on ‘Cheddar,’ the millennial minded business news online channel and major financial institutions have reached out to them, hoping to learn the secret of how to talk to the coveted millennial demographic. But getting to this point has been a learning experience and finding what workflow system fits has taken time. “For everything we’re putting into this, it’s like a mini M.B.A” says Martell.
Because Martell and Kramer travel so much, oftentimes the letter is written from various locations around the world. The two plan out logistics and topics on Sunday nights, squaring away everything for the week so as to avoid miscommunication. “Efficiency and finding ways to make sure we’re on the same page and trusting the other person is critical for any side hustle” says Martell. The two are passionate about the concept of a ‘side hustle’ and that other millennipreneurs can follow their example if they’re serious about starting a business.
And for skills, the two found what worked for them. Martell notes that he’s always had an entrepreneurial streak (currently he works at Endeavor, a nonprofit that seeks to foster global entrepreneurship), but countered with Kramer’s “pulling the reins in,” the two balance each other out.
But what’s been especially important for the MarketSnacks team is knowing that their work is having a real life impact on people. Both Martell and Kramer wanted their work to mean something, and hearing stories from current students about how MarketSnacks has helped them is a “great feeling.” “It’s fulfilling to know that people are interested in what we do” says Kramer.