On November 27th, 2016, my Pops passed away.
He had gone in for a routine hip replacement surgery, but the following day, got a blood clot that went straight to his heart, and he died a couple of hours later. The loss of my father was one of the most difficult moments in my life—yet despite the grief, I also felt a deep sense of gratitude for everything he did for me and how much he taught me.
Pops always believed in “applied learning,” putting me in situations and giving me the tools I needed to learn independently through real-life experiences. One of the earliest examples of this was when I was 11 years old. My father and I were constantly talking about investing, so recognizing my interest, he sat me down, and together, we opened up a new TD Ameritrade account. To help me get started, he deposited $1,000 into our shared account and gave me one rule: “You cannot withdraw the funds!”
A Vote of Confidence
$1k at 11 years old — I was rich! Over many following months and years, Pops and I would sit together and discuss our strategy while actually executing buy orders. I was completely inspired and enthralled. Little did I know at that time, he was changing the trajectory of my life and helping me discover a sense of confidence that would guide my future ambitions—even to this day, as we build EarlyBird to share the same opportunity with every child.
One of the most compelling aspects of this story is that I still have that TD Ameritrade account even though I have consolidated all of my other investments. After all of those years of investing together, our account—with the name jordanharry—holds a tremendous amount of nostalgia for me. When I sign in, I’m instantly reminded of the many decisions we made, the wonderful conversations we had, and the incredible experiences that those funds have made possible.
A Tangible Impact
The time that I was able to spend learning how to invest with my Pops was the catalyst that ultimately kickstarted my entrepreneurial journey. When I was 23, I started—and later sold—my first company, SucceedOverseas in Qingdao, China. Funds from that sale, in turn, became the seed that helped us start EarlyBird. I would have never been able to imagine this opportunity without the financial foundation that my father helped build and the actual capital to pursue my dreams.
That said, the TD investment account—which I have held onto for 20+ years now—has provided me with more than just capital. It has also become a keepsake that helps me stay connected to my Pops and a memento of the love and support that surrounded me throughout my childhood. This is a very powerful combination of forces.
Investing Made Meaningful
As many know, EarlyBird started when my baby niece, Izzy, was born. As a first-time uncle living hundreds of miles away, I wanted to have an impact on her life beyond the wasteful gifts that I had been spending money on. I wanted to express how much I love her—and as her babyhood flew by, I wanted to celebrate her growth.
Having a simple way to invest in her future was just the start. I recognized that beyond birthdays and holidays, there are so many special moments and milestones that we should be able to celebrate and invest in all year long. The big question was: Can EarlyBird build an experience that truly sits at the intersection of love, community, and capital?
Fast forward 5 years to today, and I am so humbled and excited to see this idea become a reality. With our newest feature, Moments, parents can now add, share, and preserve their kids’ most meaningful highlights and achievements throughout childhood—from their first steps to their first day of school, and every other special time in between. With each adorable snapshot or video, family and friends can celebrate and collectively invest.
The long-term impact of moments is truly novel. Imagine a child, just like myself (or Izzy), fully grown-up and having the ability to open the EarlyBird app and see $50k+ invested in an assortment of assets with a timeline of priceless moments featuring everyone they love, everything they accomplished, and every message or contribution that says “I believe in you.” That is extraordinary. That is invaluable. That is what makes this journey with EarlyBird so rewarding.
Download the EarlyBird app, launch your child’s first investment account, and grow the love with moments today!
This page contains general information and does not contain financial advice. All investments involve risk. Any hypothetical performance shown is for illustrative purposes only. Actual investment performance may be different for many reasons, including, but not limited to, market fluctuations, time horizon, taxes, and fees. Please consult a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional for investment guidance.