Trying to keep up.
As a friend of mine says, fintech is exhausting. The sheer amount of news — product launches, funding, partnerships, acquisitions — is overwhelming.
Plus, you know, crypto.
I started writing Fintech Takes as a coping mechanism — a structured way to consume all that news, pick out the parts that most interest me, and learn more about them.
How it comes together.
Like anything worthwhile, it starts by standing on the shoulders of giants.
There are a TON of great fintech resources, shared by smart, passionate, experienced fintech experts. I’m a fanatical consumer of the research, observations, and analysis of the following folks:
This Week in Fintech — Nik Milanovic curates the comprehensive list of fintech news (financings, M&A, product launches, etc.) on a weekly basis (hence the name). There are specific versions of this newsletter covering the UK and Europe (edited by Michael Jenkins), LatAm (edited by Christine Chang), India and Asia (edited by Osborne Salanha), and public policy (edited by Ben White).
Fintech Brain Food — Simon Taylor helps you get smarter on all things fintech with a weekly digest of fintech news, tweets, recommended reading, big thoughts, rants, and four fintech companies you should know about.
Fintech Business Weekly — Jason Mikula substitutes a microscope in for rose-colored glasses; doing objective, well-researched deep dives into fintech regulatory news and business models. Paying subscribers get a bit of extra analysis every week!
Net Interest — Marc Rubinstein goes super deep on an interesting fintech topic or trend every week. You can also subscribe to this one for more analysis on breaking issues and invitations to conference calls with Marc.
The Fintech Blueprint — Lex Sokolin offers valuable analysis on a wide range of fintech topics, everything from super apps to decentralized finance. There are multiple tiers available to paying subscribers.
a16z Fintech — The fintech folks at Andreessen Horowitz aggregate their individual ideas and observations in a combined monthly newsletter that is well worth your time. They also write about larger themes and the individual companies they invest in.
Fintech Law TL;DR — Described as “Fintech laws ‘n’ regs…for non-lawyers”, it’s an entertaining and informative overview of regulatory news and trends in fintech.
Cards FTW — A newsletter about payment cards that “doesn’t depend on commissions and won’t just tell you about how great Chase is all of the time.” Enough said.
Blogs & Articles:
Dave Birch shares his insightful and often hilarious takes on money, identity, and a whole bunch of related topics.
Alex Wilhelm writes about fintech and the acronyms that surround it (VC, IPO, SPAC, etc.) better than most over at TechCrunch. His colleague Mary Ann Azevedo is a frequent breaker of fintech funding news and is absolutely worth following as well.
Mary Wisniewski writes about fintech and personal finance over at Bankrate. She is wonderful.
Fintech Nerd Collective is a group of curious writers and thinkers that get together once a month to tackle an interesting fintech question.
Samir Rao (@heysamir_) has become one of my go-to resources for gritty insights into how to understand and build fintech companies. His tweet-to-value ratio is super high.
Matthew Janiga (@regulatorynerd) is the go-to source for entertaining, in-depth threads on obscure financial regulations and fintech regulatory trends. Flash the regulation nerd signal and he will appear.
David Roos (@roosontheloos) summarizes the big happenings in fintech each week in a mega thread. Useful for those weeks where fintech goes crazy (so, every week).
Frank Rotman (@fintechjunkie) delivers hard-earned wisdom from the trenches of fintech venture capital investing in threads that you’ll want to bookmark or print off and hang on your wall. And now he has red pilled into crypto, so there are a lot of great threads sharing his observations on crypto, DeFi, and web3.
Maximilian Friedrich (@mfriedrichARK) of ARK Invest has data on fintech that you simply can’t get anywhere else and he is very generous in sharing it on Twitter. Definitely worth a follow.
ARK Invest @ARKInvestThe wait is over! #BigIdeas2021 - Download our annual report now! https://t.co/xaWOtP8m96
@JohnStCapital is an anonymous Twitter account that posts some of the best deep-dive analysis into financial services companies, with a particular emphasis on public fintech companies and banks. Nobody tears apart an investor presentation like them.
Wharton Fintech — Interviews with the most interesting people in fintech.
Fintech Insider — The smart folks at 11:FS geek out on fintech news and trends.
Tearsheet — In addition to great written content, they interview interesting people and companies in banking and fintech.
American Banker — the reporters at American Banker have a regular rotation of podcasts, covering everything from challenger banks to diversity and equality in banking.
Banking Transformed — Jim Marous gets unbelievable guests, from a variety of industries, to come on and talk about digital transformation.
Fintech Blueprint — as a part of his newsletter, Lex also periodically podcasts on a wide range of topics and featuring interesting guests. This one is for paying subscribers.
WTFintech? — In addition to Nicole’s newsletter, she also records a weekly podcast featuring guests that reflect her priorities (economic equality, representation, and financial literacy).
Not Exactly Fintech (unless everything truly is fintech), But You’ll Get Smarter by Also Reading:
Not Boring — Packy McCormick is on a mission to make writing about business and business strategy interesting. He succeeds. Read his stuff.
The Generalist — I took the plunge and became a paying subscriber to Mario Gabriele’s publication and I’m glad I did. Great content and a wonderful community.
Stratechery — Reading Ben Thompson puts you right at the center of the Venn diagram of business strategy, technology, and media. If you somehow have missed Stratechery up until now, you’re welcome.
Money Stuff — Matt Levine is the 🐐
What you’ll get.
After consuming as much of the content listed above as I can, I look for common themes and write about the most interesting ones in a biweekly newsletter.
Each Fintech Takes newsletter includes a long take (a deep-dive into a specific topic) and three short takes (summaries of interesting stories that caught my eye).
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I also summarize the five most interesting fintech trends every month in a write up called Fintech Fire Alarms. Spoiler alert: it’s 🔥
Finally (I promise!) I team up with Jason Mikula (of Fintech Business Weekly) on a monthly podcast: Fintech Recap. It’s a ton of fun to create and (hopefully) listen to.
Subscribe! You’ll be in great company.
I’m honored to be part of a new wave of commentary and analysis, bringing clarity to a growing and fast-changing industry.
There are newsletters out there doing a good job of reporting what’s going on in fintech. This list includes eight doing a great job of explaining what it means.
The growth of fintech, the money moving into the space, the new companies being formed and older ones IPOing are bringing new interest, and consequently, new voices and perspectives. In this way, newsletters are a natural fit for delving into topics in the field.
The fintech industry in particular never has a dull moment in the news cycle, so we spoke with three of our favorite fintech-specific newsletters to get a deeper understanding of what they want to cover, how they work and what they think they’re watching.
Subscribe today 👇
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If you’re interested, please let me know:
My name is Alex Johnson and I coined the term “fintech”.
I’ve been in and around the fintech industry for my entire career; including stops at Zoot Enterprises, Mercator Advisory Group, and FICO. I am currently a Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors, where I try to help banks, credit unions, and fintech companies figure what the heck is going on in our industry.