April 9, 2019

Lead(H)er: Lindsey Fielding, Vice President of Marketing and Growth at YieldStreet

Lindsey Fielding has a degree in experimental psychology, which relates to her current role as Vice President of Marketing and Growth at YieldStreet more than you might think. In both fields, she tackles broad problems related to decision-making behavior and thought processes. Why don’t people have emergency savings? Why do they spend more time talking about vacations than they do investing? Why is buying coffee more important to so many people than finances? And how do you get these people to change their habits? YieldStreet might have the answers.

“We’re unlocking a new way of investing, and it was interesting to me to take all of these issues and attitudes around investing and think about how we can approach this in a new way that makes people excited about it,” Fielding said. “We really focused on transparency, education, and community building around our investing platform.”

So far, that mix has paid off. YieldStreet gives people the opportunity to invest in assets that were previously only open to hedge fund managers and other high-level investors, like apartment buildings, legal cases, and even marine vessels. A recent $16 million investment sold out just 30 seconds after it was made available, and after clients asked about ways to keep their money in the company’s ecosystem between investments, the company debuted their YieldStreet Wallet product. Investors can store money for future investments there and collect above-market-rate 2.2% annual interest in the process.

As an early employee—she joined within the company’s first year—Fielding welcomed the opportunity to help create something as groundbreaking as YieldStreet from its earliest stages.

“I really love building, and enjoy early-stage companies where there's not really much there,” Fielding said. “It's sort of a blank slate to really think through what we’re trying to accomplish and how we’re going to do it.”

Prior to YieldStreet, Fielding worked in global strategy for IBM, where she implemented large-scale projects and adapted them to offices around the world. Eventually, she realized that her desire to build and the long lead times on her projects weren’t matching up, and she moved on to HealthiNation, where she was quickly promoted from Manager of Delivery Operations to Vice President of Properties and Programmatic.  

“I really wanted to get my hands dirty in a faster feedback cycle,” Fielding said. “When you’re at a larger company, you have multi-year timelines, but in a startup the timeline could be just 24 hours.”

At YieldStreet, Fielding now shepherds new investors through the entire onboarding process, from the moment they first hear about the company to the time they become a long-term investor. The company is “investor first” and makes a point of prioritizing its clients, providing plenty of explanations and opportunities for education along the way, and Fielding and her team monitor each of those touchpoints.

Over the next few years, Fielding is looking forward to helping YieldStreet become a nationally-recognized brand in the new category of investing it has created.

“I would love for us to create some change in the conversation around investing in general and to start seeing a movement where people are demanding access to more types of investments than just the stock market,” she said. “It’s incredibly exciting, and I think we’re just scratching the surface.”

Lindsey Fielding

Rapid Fire Questions

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m extremely passionate about art, and New York City is an amazing place for that. I love to go to museums, galleries, shows, and other art events. It’s a great source of creative inspiration for me.

How do you handle stress?

I think meditation is very powerful. I try to do that in the morning or in five-minute breaks here and there when I need it. It helps me separate myself from the situation that may be causing strong emotions or stress and take a moment to work through it.

How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?

I’m actively trying to wean myself from the amount of coffee that I drink right now. It’s probably around three cups a day, but I’m trying to manage my caffeine intake.

What’s one of your favorite places in the NYC area?

The West Village and walking around that neighborhood. It’s very picturesque and classic New York. I also enjoy Bushwick, which is an art neighborhood in Brooklyn. There are all sorts of cool murals and street art, and there’s a very raw creative energy there.

What do you consider one of your greatest accomplishments so far?

Since I was an early employee at YieldStreet, it’s been a super fun journey to watch the company grow as much as it has in the last few years. It’s exciting to see it get validated through our incredible investor engagement and things like our record Series B round of $62M.

Is this where you saw yourself 10 years ago?

I was in grad school then, and what I’ve learned since is that having a goal but being flexible in how you get there is very important. For me, I love challenging, experience-based problems to work on. I really thrive in ambiguity. These are things I’ve learned about myself throughout my career, but if you had asked me 10 years ago, “Will you be at a Series B fintech company leading the growth initiatives,” I probably would have never guessed that.

What’s your advice for recent college graduates?

Take some time to think through what unique gifts you bring to the world. What do you think differently about? What would you do and not be paid for it? Challenge yourself to get some clarity on what really gets you going, and think about the ways in which you could turn that into a career. I think in today's workforce, there's a lot of flexibility to do different things in different ways. That kind of clarity and passion can be a huge differentiator, especially early in your career. I was just talking to someone who's an aspiring photographer. He has so much clarity when it comes to what he loves to do, but he doesn't necessarily need to know where he'll be in 15 years—he just needs to know how to get to his first show. Determining your passion and then taking the first step is really important for young people.

Samantha Costanzo Carleton is a Contributor to VentureFizz. You can follow her on Twitter @smcstnz.