I am Jake Housley, the founder of YP Investors. YP Investors is a website providing stock analysis and financial tools to help you grow your wealth. Our goal is to simplify investing by providing easy to use tools that make investing or trading in stocks easy and profitable. Over half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck as of June 2022, so it is extremely important to YP Investors to flip this by providing investing tools for retirement that can help everyone achieve financial freedom.
I am happy that we shifted gears in the last year and now have free versions of our premier technical and fundamental analysis tools. The more people we can help grow their wealth through our tools the better! Years ago I was like many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, having no financial literacy or knowledge about the stock market. I didn’t think about investing or saving, but it would have been great to have a place to learn about the financial world that was easy to understand. This is why YP Investors was initially based off of point and figure charting, it was an easy and effective way to analyze stocks. This is also why we now offer our Free Point and Figure Chart Tool.
Point and figure charting is strictly the technical analysis of stocks, but I wanted to provide more to investors, so I educated myself about financials and fundamental analysis. After hearing about the incredible success of Warren Buffett, I wanted to create a powerful fundamental tool that will use Buffett’s investing strategy and created the Buffet Fundamentals tool. Now anyone can invest like Buffett himself. Of course, there is a Free Warren Buffett Stocks version of this amazing tool. When it comes down to it, the main purpose of YP Investors is to help people grow their wealth successfully by making money work for them. So, how was YP Investors created? And why would anyone with no financial education, and no business education whatsoever start a financial business of their own? The spark that started this fire inside to build a successful business was from the simple use of an app.
The initial idea of a financial website came to mind after I had started investing myself through the new Robinhood app. I first downloaded that app sometime in 2016 and started buying into stocks, not really knowing much about the financials of a company or any technical analysis but it was fun when a stock you bought went up. With that style of stock buying and selling it was hard to be profitable although there were some lucky winners here and there. Then I thought, why am I putting money into something I don’t know much about. I realized I was basically gambling. This realization was easy to see as soon as the company of one of the stocks I owned went bankrupt and I lost over 90% of my investment. At that time I started watching those stock market shows on television, but also soon realized they are usually telling you to buy so they can sell out after the price rises or vice versa. Finally I sought out experience and talked with my friend’s dad who had been a broker/advisor all his life. He recommended a great book on Point and Figure Charting which is technical stock chart analysis. This was a great recommendation and I quickly understood how to use this analysis to help me improve my portfolio returns. I now had a way to see if I should buy into a particular stock or not, and even a way to tell when to sell a stock I owned before it likely went down. This type of technical analysis is what we offer at YP Investors now, but I still hadn’t gotten to the point of starting a business or creating the website just yet. I needed something else to ignite that initial spark into a fire!
After learning about point and figure charting I finally had a way to buy and sell stocks that actually worked! It felt so much better knowing the underlying supply and demand landscape of a stock. I look back and can see I was so blind without knowing the point and figure charting analysis. Point and figure charts provide a clear picture of the short term supply and demand of the stock price as well as a long term trend line that shows you if the stock is headed up or down in the long run. If you are looking to hold a stock for a while then make sure it is in a positive trend, if not then don’t bother and move onto the next. There are plenty of stocks to buy out there. I loved how easy the charts were to understand, and I wanted to find a way to give this stock analysis with everyone. I didn’t want people just buying and selling without any knowledge like I initially was doing, it’s usually a losing strategy. I was a full time electrical engineer at the time I had learned about point and figure charting and wanted to share the knowledge but just didn’t have the thought of starting a business yet, until one book on one vacation changed my whole mindset and ignited the fire inside.
My girlfriend at the time, now fiancé (soon to be wife) had read ”Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and suggested I read it on our vacation in Mexico. As soon as I picked up the book I was hooked, it was so enlightening I could hardly put it down. That book was so eye opening to me, it made me realize so many things I had been blind too, similar to how I felt after learning point and figure charting. The two biggest things I realized from Rich Dad Poor Dad was to be financially free I need to make money work for me and working on someone else’s business as an employee is the hardest path to financial freedom. There are countless benefits to having your own business, a big one is taxes. The IRS has tax laws that are piles and piles all for ways to save money on taxes as a business, hardly any of them are for W2 employees. Now I couldn’t wait to start a business and I knew exactly what it was going to be.
As soon as I finished Rich Dad Poor Dad, still on vacation in 2017 I started writing VBA code in excel, making my own point and figure chart. I graduated University of Minnesota-Duluth with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and then received a Masters of Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, so I had learned a lot of programming languages along the way including VBA. At the time there were a few charts available on the web but some were too expensive for the average young investor or passive 401k holder and others didn’t simplify it enough visually. I wanted a chart that was easy to use and anyone could identify the buys and sell signals as well as the long term trend of the stock. Similar to how Robinhood made investing in stocks easy and cheaper. After finishing my prototype I was so excited to get this system on the web so it could be used! But there was a big problem which was one of my first business struggles.
Another challenge in business is when you don’t have money to pay experts to do the jobs you don’t know how to do (in my case web development) you have to get your hands dirty and do them yourself. As a business owner most of the time you will have to be a Jack of all trades, so right away if you don’t know something you must learn it. In the beginning I had to be the customer service rep, social media creator, design engineer, accountant, etc all at the same time, but you learn as you go. A great example of this is my fiancé, she graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree but has always run her own business. Her art school curriculum did not include any business, financing, or tax courses in it, but she learned as she went. There are no prerequisites for running your own business, it’s an important thing for anyone out there to know. No degree, no problem just get to work, start making mistakes and start learning.
You also have to make sacrifices when starting a company yourself. Without a website I didn’t have any income, so I had to remain a full time engineer. As soon as I got home from work I would be learning, experimenting, and building my website. I sacrificed the majority of my nights and weekends building my business and this is one of the toughest things about starting a business. You have to continue to think long term and know the work you put in now will pay dividends in the future. In the beginning you will probably be working the hardest and getting paid little to nothing. In fact, I was paying to spend most of my extra time working hard on a business. This hard work finally paid off and after about a year of learning and experimentation I had developed a pretty nice website, it was time to launch!
In Fall of 2018 YP Investors was officially a website. The initial website had just a handful of tools (including point and figure charting) and was paid memberships only but at a reasonable price that young investors or anyone with retirement accounts could afford. The dream had finally become a reality. My work was finally complete..or was it. Something else I continue to push at YP Investors is to always be improving. I want to continue to make the current tools better and add new ones that would be beneficial in this ever changing financial world. It is something that any good business should do. If we become complacent we will be sure to be passed up by others, or fade away while technological advances pass us by.
Four years after the initial launch of YP Investors the site looks looks a lot different, we offer a number of free tools and calculators (of course, point and figure charts) along with the only fundamental tool that allows you to invest like Warren Buffett. We recently decided to change our membership and tool access to allow more people to utilize our financial tools. We now have tiered based membership options so you have the flexibility to choose a membership that has the tools you want. We also offer a free version of our featured tools so everyone can utilize them to help grow their wealth. Helping others grow their wealth continues to be YP Investors main focus and we will keep adding to and improving our tools to accomplish this. I hope my story was inspiring to you in your own business and life journey, remember there are no prerequisites, all you need is the will to learn and grow, especially after failures.