VantagePoint AI is the company that provides the power of artificial intelligence applied to the financial markets to independent investors. The company’s goal is to empower traders to make smarter trading decisions using its predictive technology that forecasts market trends up to three days before they move and with up to 86% accuracy. VantagePoint wants independent traders to have the same playing field as brokerage houses with teams of analysts.
The President of the VantagePoint Lane Mendelsohn’s background is different than most. He literally grew up in the company since his dad started it in 1979. Lane was a little kid, but he has always been around the business and involved in it – in fact, Lane started working full-time for the company when he was 15. He developed his company’s first website before the internet was really a thing. It’s in his blood! VantagePoint continues to be family-owned and operated — his daughters are learning about the business now. They are both very excited to be part of it.
Lane has been leading the company for over a decade now, and he gets so much satisfaction from knowing that he took the foundation that his father built. He has expanded that foundation and has blazed new trails to carving out his own contributions to the company’s growth. He has been able to take the company in different directions than his father ever envisioned when he first got started.
Legacy Leading the Industry
As a business and as a family, VantagePoint has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) since late 1980. Lane’s dad, Louis Mendelsohn, is recognized by NASDAQ as a Legend of Wall Street because of his unique work. AI became part of his family because his father was trying to solve how to mine massive quantities of data and decipher patterns in it. Sometimes hidden patterns in that data are where the nuggets of gold (literally) are; he was looking to see what conclusions one could draw from all that data. The challenge Lane had to solve is that there are so many markets, so many stocks both domestically and globally; his father knew that they all interacted with each other and they influenced each other. But as a human being just by looking at charts, he couldn’t figure out how all these markets interrelated and how they impact each other. Consequently, he developed and patented a sophisticated method of analysis that could dive into that data and find those patterns.
Artificial intelligence was the answer to the problem. Today VantagePoint’s software stacks the odds in favor of independent, retail traders and helps them make the smart decisions at the right times with an 86% accuracy rate. Ultimately, the company helps traders to be more confident, more competent, and more profitable.
Togetherness, Culture and Values Shaping Leadership
Even though Lane is running a fintech company and involved in artificial intelligence, the thing that has made him a successful leader and that has allowed the company to thrive and grow for 40 years is that the team really put an emphasis on people — the team members at VantagePoint, and its customers who are seen as part of the family too. “Yes, we develop cutting, patented technology that’s unbelievable, but if all you do is develop the technology, and you don’t serve your customers and help them to have long-term success, you will kill the long-term success of the company,” said Lane.
The company is highly committed to its culture and core values. They’re literally painted on its walls. VantagePoint fosters an environment of innovation and positivity and teamwork and communication and integrity which are some of its core values, and the company has a lively, fun culture. The people at the company take trips together, have light-hearted internal contests and celebrate all kinds of off-beat holidays. VantagePoint also partnered with Shriners Hospitals for Children so that as the company grows, it can give back to those in need in the local community. This is a critical piece in the fabric of its culture. When Lane thinks about being a successful leader, he sees that it was his own acknowledgment and adoption of the concept that culture is critical and putting people first that been fundamental to its growth and will continue to be.
Overcoming Primal Challenges
VantagePoint works with artificial intelligence — there’s a science and there’s an art to it. The company is developing a technology, but there has to be a human involvement too. When it started working with artificial intelligence in the late 1980s, it was hard to find PhDs, computer scientists and people who had the skills that VantagePoint needed to develop the technology. The company needed a unique skill set: a background in computer science; but also, a background in mathematics, artificial intelligence, and the financial markets. That pool of talent was very limited.
Today it’s easier to find those types of people, and the VantagePoint’s research and development team is very stable and has been with it for a long time. As a company when one puts employees top of mind, it spills over to providing top-level service to its customers for their success. Even the R&D Team experiences the joy of helping change people’s lives – the company has a high retention rate because they love being there.
VantagePoint also had to overcome computing power. The company was developing very highly effective technology, but not everybody had the computing power to run the technology. When Lane’s dad started, he literally had to help people buy a personal computer and provide tech support! Times have definitely changed! The company also saw the advent of the cloud. It has developed a very intricate artificial intelligence neural network trading process in the cloud which in turn takes a lot of pressure off of the client’s computer running company’s software.
Attributes of Innovative Guide
Foremost is integrity. You have got to be honest with your employees, honest with your coworkers, honest with your clients. Integrity is one of the eight core values and Lane believes it’s the most important. Communication is also key. “There’s got to be good communication at all levels. You can’t just have research and development developing technology without being in tune and in touch with customer service or sales or marketing or any other aspects of the company,” Lane added.
Growing with the Disruption
VantagePoint is part of the disruption – and Lane likes that because the company is changing the landscape for independent traders to level the trading playing field. With the capabilities of the R&D team and its continued dedication to innovation, VantagePoint is able to use the disruption to expedite things like its accuracy – to use the machines to help the company grow smarter and more accurate! Today VantagePoint is predicting the markets with up to 86% accuracy but is pushing to get to 87% and 88%…because that “little” increase results in huge profits that change people’s lives.
Lane believes that his job is to keep the focus. The fast pace of technological change presents tons of opportunities that are all over the map. Rather than having to keep a team on track toward one goal; his job now is to keep an eye on the bigger picture and identify where the advancements can help the company provide even greater benefits to traders rather than just a cool feature but it doesn’t serve the customer…it’s just cool to look at. It means staying in the know and it means listening attentively to VantagePoint customers and his team.
Changing Future Landscape of the AI industry
The landscape is changing so fast! From VantagePoint’s perspective, the team is going to continue to utilize artificial intelligence to the maximum that it possibly can for the purposes of forecasting the financial markets, but what the company is also doing is – it is finding new and innovative ways of analyzing data that can then be used by its customers to make more intelligent decisions. As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, the company continues to look for enhancements, improvements, and innovations that it can apply to the financial markets.
A Word of Wisdom
On advising to emerging leaders Lane said, “Make sure that whatever it is that your product, your service, that it helps people. A product or service that’s cute or interesting or cool, but it’s not making a difference, solving a problem, or helping somebody be smarter or better, save them time, or have a positive impact, then that company probably won’t have sustained success.” He sees a lot of companies develop a product because they can or because it’s cool, but if it’s not solving a problem, if it’s not changing people’s lives for the better, then success will be short and hollow.