Motif, a Portfolio Management Fintech Firm, Suddenly Closes

The company sent an email to retail investors and financial advisors Friday evening.

Hardeep Walia, founder and CEO of Motif Investing. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Hardeep Walia, founder and CEO of Motif Investing.

(Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Read what troubled Motif and led it to close in RIA Intel’s follow-up story.

Motif appears to be suddenly closing.

The portfolio management software company founded in 2012, which enabled retail investors and financial advisors to invest in thematic portfolios — stock and ETFs grouped based on specific themes and investing styles — told users it was ceasing operations Friday evening.

“At this time, we’ve made the decision to cease operations and transfer your account to Folio Investing. We’ve selected Folio to give you access to leading investment tools in a similar experience to what you’ve enjoyed at Motif,” the letter, reviewed by RIA Intel, said.

Folio Financial, a self-clearing broker-dealer and technology company founded in 2000, helps wealth managers, other broker-dealers, and robo advisors to customize their own investing platform and create and manage portfolios. The company supports “just about every U.S. exchange traded security and ETF, plus over 1,100 no-load mutual funds, along with over 100 pre-made portfolios (Folio calls them Ready-to-Go Folios, we called them Motifs),” according to the letter.

Investors will be transferred to a Folio Investing Unlimited plan and charged $19.95 per month, a discounted fee from the usual $29 negotiated by Motif.

Accounts will transfer from Motif to Folio after the market closes May 20. The new Folio Investing accounts will be open and able to trade the next day. Users won’t have to do anything, unless they opt out of the transfer. Information about account beneficiaries will not transfer.

There was no annual fee to invest in Motif’s own New Wave Portfolio or its Motif 500 Portfolio. The Motif Impact Portfolios had an annual fee of 25 basis points and the Motif Thematic Portfolios charged an annual fee of 50 basis points. It also charged commissions to execute trades in custom portfolios in real-time, according to its website.

“Since 2012, we’ve worked to give everyday investors access to cutting edge investment products,” Motif founder and CEO Hardeep Walia began the letter with.

“Thank you for all your support in taking Motif to where it is today. We’ve come a long way since we started this journey together and there is a lot for us to be proud of.”

The letter did not provide a reason for Motif’s abrupt closure, which appeared to catch users by surprise. Some speculated on Twitter that, like many other companies, it fell on hard times like markets and the economy as a result of the novel coronavirus.

“I’m sad to see them go. I really liked their service,” an advisor told RIA Intel about Motif closing.

Neither Motif or Folio could be reached to comment.

If you’re a Motif employee willing to speak to a journalist in confidence about the company suddenly ceasing operations, contact Michael Thrasher at ; Signal: 330-962-6441