Ilan Israelstam

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On this episode:

Ilan Israelstam is Head of Strategy and Marketing at Betashares, a fast-growing Australian funds management company that focuses on ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds. He is also a principal at venture capital firm Apex Capital Partners.

Ilan takes us through his story and why it was in his D.N.A to take risk, the world of Venture Capital, what he looks for in small financial companies, how ETFs are changing the investing world and much more.

First, Ilan tells us why he has 30 pairs of shoes…


  • 1:30 – Ilan’s fascination with shoes, or sneakers
  • 3:50 – Where did Ilan’s passion for finance come from? Charging neighbours to access his at-home mini golf course, inspiration from his parents, life as an immigrant
  • 7:45 – Getting a job at BCG (Boston Consulting Group) and flying around the world
  • 10:30 – Ilan leaves a great job then takes off to CHINA (!?) to start an advertising company with 50 Mandarin-speaking staff
  • 15:30 – Ilan and his colleagues set-up VC firm Apex Capital Partners and BetaShares
  • 16:30 – Does Apex invest only in fintech?
  • 24:30 – How do you value a start-up?
  • 28:30 – The birth of BetaShares, “traction was hard”
  • 35:30 – WTF is an ETF?
  • 38:00 – Is an ETF an index fund? And how the BEAR fund works.
  • 43:00 – What are the key risks to ETFs? Are there any red flags that you should look for?
  • 46:00 – How big is the ETF industry? About 1/3 of all trades in the US.
  • 49:00 – How many ETFs is too many?
  • 51:00 – What is a “smart beta” ETF
  • 55:30 – Why Ilan owns ETFs for himself and his kids
  • 57:00 – How to combine ETFs with other investments (core + satellite)
  • 1:00:30 – How did BetaShares become a behemoth by focusing small and young investors?
  • 1:03:30 – “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and “invest regularly”

Further Reading:

Learn more about Ilan:

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