Ex-WSJ and Reuters journalist launches personal finance site
A former Reuters and Wall Street Journal reporter has launched a personal finance site aimed at millennials.
CentSai.com, which launched earlier this year, looks at personal finance around life events, such as the birth of a child, paying for college, and marriage, said Arindam Nag, who co-founded the site with his partner Doria Lavagnino after leaving his position as managing editor of Mergermarket in 2015.
The site is currently funded by the founders, but will likely raise capital in the future. Nag said current revenue comes from advertising, but the site will expand its advertising efforts later this year. It’s attracted about 20,000 unique visitors during its beta stage. It plans to launch a personal finance section for teenagers this summer.
“It’s more of a social media platform,” said Nag. “We are bringing discussions about money and finance into a social environment. We’ve seen how people behave on Facebook and Twitter. We’re taking it a step forward and making it very focused on money and finance.”
Nag said the idea for the site began percolating in his brain while he was a “Heard on the Street” columnist at the Journal during the 2008 economic crisis.
“I took a deep breath and asked myself what really caused the crisis,” said Nag. “It was the banks and Wall Street. But it was also the 95 percent of the population that didn’t learn finance the way it should be learned.”
Centsai is a play on the Japanese word sensei, which means teacher. The site attracted writers by marketing itself during the FinCon 2015 conference.
“The majority of American middle class take the [financial] bloggers very seriously,” said Nag. “They do not read the WSJ; they do not read MarketWatch.” He said he’s looking for bloggers who are honest, effective and willing to talk to people.
Financial services experts are also writers on the site, but Nag said that they are only allowed to share their expertise and knowledge, not market products.
“What we have created is a digital coffee shop so that people can come up and discuss the issues,” said Nag. “Millennials want to learn about finance, but they often don’t find the way to get their questions answered. That is what we are trying to work on.”