Caitlin Cook wants nothing to do with “stale” and “traditional” finance. She landed her current position, head of community at Onramp Invest and vice president of operations at its educational division, Onramp Academy, after exchanging a series of Twitter messages with the firm’s co-founder and CEO, Ten to Watch in 2019 nominee Tyrone Ross Jr.
She also hosts her own finance podcast, called “Chicks of Fintwit,” where she covers topics like nonfungible tokens and inflation.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2021 that she seriously began learning about crypto. She’s now responsible for educating advisors about cryptocurrencies and digital assets’ potential for integrating with bread-and-butter aspects of financial advice, like goals-based planning and estate planning.
Cook began her career in finance in sales at a “traditional” asset management firm, DWS Group.
“I worked with advisors selling traditional products, like ETFs and mutual funds,” she said. “I noticed that the traditional side of things was getting a little bit stale, a little bit slow and antiquated.”
That’s when crypto began to capture her attention, and she turned to social media to learn more.
Advisors, however, won’t need to search for answers like she did. She’s now creating the educational content central to Onramp’s mission to “educate” advisors before they “allocate,” in the words of Ross.
“Communities are built on trust. Our biggest mission is to educate advisors and get them comfortable with the space. And they need to trust us—as a trusted resource—to accomplish that,” she explained. “The more information that we put out there, the more that advisors feel comfortable reaching out to us.”
“The space is growing incredibly fast, because of that trustless, decentralized component [of crypto]. Anyone, anywhere on the globe can be building products in that space. Advisors need to have someone to go to, to get information and know that it’s sound. They need to know that it’s coming from people who have worked in the space and have been advisors.”
One of the tools Cook leverages is social media. Using platforms like Instagram and Twitter, she shines a spotlight on the opportunities digital assets offer. There are lessons for advisors, as well.
Advisors tend to be too buttoned up when it comes to their public personas, she said. While highlighting the services they offer is important, so is showing their human characteristics, especially in an age of software and algorithms. Cook lives that balance in her playful Twitter handle, @deadcaitbounce.
“If you’re a client looking up a bunch of advisors, you want to know who you’re working with,” she said.
“You want to work with someone who you like. You want to know kind of what they stand for and what their thoughts are on things,” she concluded. “You can’t really tell that unless you put that out there.”