The innovative financial leader turning the world of investing on its head—while bringing a human touch to wealth creation.
Long before founding The Spaventa Group, Andrew Spaventa worked for nearly a decade in the investment management industry as an investment manager, equities trader, and investment advisor, a research analyst and a fund manager. He’s managed investment firms, created and scaled a venture capital company, and regularly appears on investing podcasts for some of the most notable players in the industry, including Anderson Advisors, a top Forbes accounting firm. With this kind of success, Drew could have written his own career ticket, launched a firm to serve only the uber wealthy, or taken the corner office, reaping massive commissions for a multinational financial behemoth. But that would have been the typical route for a typical investment aficionado—and Drew is anything but. He’s an unorthodox leader with a reputation as a kind-hearted soul whose journey is as unique as his namesake firm that is turning the world of investing on its head while helping to lift “Middle Americans” to heights previously forbidden to them.
Raised by a single mom who relied on food stamps to support her children, Drew grew up with a profound sense of the stark difference between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” and an intimate understanding of the barriers to wealth for millions of overlooked people. But he also understood that, if given a chance, people have the power to reshape their lives, regardless of the hand they were dealt or the size of their portfolio. And he did exactly that—rising from poverty to the leader of a premier alternative investment firm with the mission to build wealth for all by investing in the innovative trends and industries of the future. Just three years since opening its doors, The Spaventa Group has invested millions for its hundreds of clients across the country—and this is just the tip of the iceberg. As the steward of a thriving firm, Drew is determined to close the wealth gap by offering average individuals’ access to investment products that only accredited investors have access to, including multibillion-dollar private companies before they go public, with early investments in SpaceX, SoFi, and Airbnb, to name a few.
Founded in 2017 in Holbrook, New York, The Spaventa Group’s leadership team has over 100 years of combined investing experience, providing asset management and compelling, high-growth investment opportunities for its clients, including venture capital, digital assets, NFTs, and alternative business partnerships. Drew and his team focus on a range of emerging industries, including space, FinTech, FoodTech, PropTech, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, robotics, and life sciences, while constantly innovating new wealth-creation products. Underlying it all is the value that reflects the very core of who Drew is: “Wealth creation with a human touch.”
We had the privilege of speaking with Drew to learn more about his remarkable journey and how it informed the unique structure of a company that is going above and beyond the norm to create long-term wealth not only for their clients, but for their own people.
Did your experience growing up shape your determination to help create wealth not only for average investors, but for your own staff?
It absolutely did, and in many ways. Growing up, I was always fascinated with money—not from vanity, but from a personal understanding of the importance of money and what it can do for people and knowing that most don’t have access to opportunities to create wealth. My mother was one of them, as was I, until I realized that if I were going to change my life, I’d have to do it myself. I started a DJ/MC company in my twenties while building my own book of business in finance. Then I got involved with a firm with a robust training program, and my career took off from there. I learned the ins and outs of the stock market and investment products, and a decade later, this is exactly what I’m doing every day to help average investors succeed just as I have. In fact, I named the firm after myself because it’s representative of my own values—wealth creation with a human touch, for both our clients and my staff.
Tell us about The Spaventa Group and how you’re disrupting the industry by offering average investors innovative products they might otherwise not have access to.
I really wanted to create a firm that turned the world of investing on its head. Finance is one of the last industries to disrupt the status quo, from both the stance of the client and the individuals who work for investment firms. I feel that people need new investment products as opposed to the traditional means—stock, bonds, IRAs, etc.—and I feel that the broader financial industry is stuck in yesterday and is very reluctant to innovate. I believe that one of the major contributors to the wealth gap is the average individual not having access to some of the investment products that accredited investors do. We’re changing that by providing them products unique to what they can find elsewhere. For example, we’re one of the few firms that provide individual investors the ability to invest in multibillion-dollar private companies before they go public, and we’re currently working with engineers and software developers to launch more innovative products. While most firms are focusing on automation and other fintech features, we’re focusing on one main goal: wealth creation. That’s what my firm is all about, foremost for our clients, but for my staff as well.
You offer retail investors access to pre-IPOs and the opportunity to invest in early-stage startups, but with a unique “cherry-picking” strategy. How is this different from other firms?
This is a space that’s historically been reserved for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. While we were not the first firm with the idea to open it to retail investors, I’ve refined the process and democratized the ability for people to access quality investments in the space. What separates TSG from the pack is while others focus on quantity, we’re highly selective and cherry-pick the most promising companies for our clients after we conduct rigorous valuation analyses and undergo extensive due diligence processes. Here at TSG, we thoroughly vet any companies that we offer to our clientele and even create our own proprietary company reports on every single investment offering that we present to our retail clients. Further, while many firms are focusing on this pre-IPO craze, we’re focused on earlier-stage VCs predominantly because of the irrational exuberance that’s happening specifically with later-stage private companies. A lot of investors are clamoring for these late-stage investments and many competitors are just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. This undisciplined approach is creating valuations that I’m not comfortable with for our clients. That’s why we are laser-focused on quality and do the necessary legwork to provide only the best investment opportunities to our clientele. While we invest in lucrative companies that are poised to go public and we’re looking at emerging startups, we will start incorporating earlier startups in our portfolio, again selecting the best opportunities.
Tell us about your firm’s unique culture and how you’re helping to build wealth for your staff.
You can create a successful company with plenty of clients and a staff that knows what they’re doing, but you’re never going to build a firm that’s truly special unless you have a solid foundation, and that foundation comes from culture. While our name is becoming synonymous with white-glove service and wealth creation, I also wanted to disrupt the cultural status quo within the industry. Whether consultants or investment advisors, the firms that they work for take the lion’s share of what they make. I’m not okay with that. It’s the hard work, dedication, and skill of these individuals that are responsible for a company’s success, and I am ever mindful of this. I created an inspirational work culture that provides a unique way for our staff to build not only fulfilling careers, but long-term wealth for themselves.
What does the future look like for The Spaventa Group?
We’re no longer following the trend like everybody else; we’re leading it. As we continue to grow at a rapid pace, we’re in the process of constructing new, innovative investment products not only for our clients, but for the broader market, and developing our own proprietary financial and wealth-creation products. Stay tuned! It’s going to be quite an exciting ride.
Drew holds multiple financial licenses, including Series 7, 63, and 65, and is a registered investment advisor.
Founder and CEO — The Spaventa Group, LLC