Episode 3: Salo Sredni – An entrepreneur’s view on impact


In our third episode of the Stay Invested podcast, former Chairman & CEO of TradeStation chats with Halo co-founder Jason Barsema.



To discuss impactful advice for a fulfilling career journey, Halo co-founder Jason Barsema welcomes experienced leader and entrepreneur, Salo Sredni to the Stay Invested Podcast.

We learn about Salo’s diverse experience in business, entrepreneurship, and his more recent foray into venture capital. Salo also shares a key concept he learned from his accounting background when it comes to understanding how businesses function, grow and scale.

We also hear how investment diversification may not work all the time, but it’s the only thing that ever works. As former Chairman and CEO of TradeStation, which was acquired during his tenure by Japanese company Monex, he describes being one of the only non-Japanese speakers on the board.

Salo also tells us about the unique international work cultures, and being fortunate to collaborate with talented people across the globe. Capping a 20-year association with TradeStation and Monex he tells of how the company built and provided an investing platform that leveled the playing field for main street investors in the early 2000s when there were few tools available in the market.

Lastly, Salo and Jason touch on advice for young entrepreneurs. From running a company and creating a positive culture, being passionate to do the hard work others aren’t willing to do makes a difference. He also reminds us that when pitching to VC investors, being yourself and curious are key traits that could determine success.

Be sure to listen to the full episode for more insights and examples of how the most impactful companies solve a significant problem for customers!


Must-Hear Moments:

6:08 – The benefit of making powerful tools, more simple

You know what, that’s the power of technology. It’s the power of the user experience. Now more than ever, the companies that win are the companies that are able to provide the easy part. Everybody wants to easily understand something.

9:55 – Clarity in brand purpose and messaging

It’s very important in business to understand who you are and how you’re differentiated—consumers really don’t get 30 or 40 different messages. They want one message, and the idea is to know who you are”

13:16 – Pitfalls in entrepreneurship and scaling up a business

I think focus is super important… knowing who you are. So it’s very easy to go chase shiny objects and jerk an organization. The most important thing you can do is really focus and know who you are and stay true to who you are.”

22:29 – Lessons learned in selling TradeStation and partnering with an international publicly traded company

I got lucky sometimes, you know, it’s good to be lucky. We had a couple of strategics that came to the table, a couple of venture, private equity firms that came to the table and at the end of the day Monex provided the highest offer. I stayed on and over time became CEO of the company, joined the board. I was the only English speaker, or non-Japanese speaker, I should say, on the board.”

31:10 – Some of the reasons Salo decided to start a VC fund

The idea was to invest in great entrepreneurs. The reality is that for most startups, uh, where they start is not necessarily where they are. And so what you’re betting most of us on the jockey, right? You want a great horse but at the end of the day, you’re getting married to the jockey. You want to make sure that the jockey is gonna win at all costs no matter what horse you put them on.”

40:41 – Finding happiness in your work

It’s all about the journey, not the destination. You don’t have to wait to be happy if you’re not waking up every day and feeling fulfilled and feeling happy then they quit your job and go do something else. And I love companies that will give you money, if you’re not happy, they’ll pay you to leave.”


About the Stay Invested Podcast:

Stay Invested is Halo Investing’s original podcast where you’ll hear from world changing leaders that focus on driving impact with the help of technology.