Case study

Why Esther, an angel investor and startup founder, uses Frec for long-term investing

5 min read

Esther Crawford is a successful entrepreneur and mother of three. She started her career as a content creator, then went on to found her own company, Squad. When Squad got acquired by Twitter, Esther joined their team as a Director of Product Management. Now, she writes $25k angel checks as a scout for Sequoia.

But Esther wasn’t always comfortable managing money. Growing up, her family had very little, and so no one ever taught her how to think about finances beyond putting food on the table. But when Esther started making more than she had ever expected, she realized she needed a plan.

We sat down with Esther to discuss her journey with money management, and why Frec is now part of her portfolio.

Before Frec

Learning financial literacy the hard way

Esther grew up on welfare, with a single mom. “So I didn’t really have a lot of models for financial literacy,” she told us. “I wasn’t really taught anything about personal finances, let alone business finances.” She made a lot of mistakes as a young adult—she only learned about interest rates when she missed a few credit card payments.

Then, early in her career, Esther started making more money than she’d ever dreamed—and she had no idea what to do with it. “It pretty much just sat in my checking account,” she confessed. “That’s how dumb I was about it. I didn’t even put it into a high yield savings account.”

Esther’s relationship to money started to evolve as she got more exposure to financially literate people. “I started to realize that they thought of money so differently than I did. They thought of it as an asset that could go work for them; I just thought of it as something you earn in order to buy the things you want. Those are completely different world views.”

Investing for the long term

By the time she sold her company to Twitter, Esther had learned a lot more about investing, and she knew it was time to really think about her long-term finances. She put most of her money in index funds, “because I have the belief that there’s no individual who can reliably beat the market.”

Esther and her husband decided to manage all of their own money, because “I hated that so many advisors and services were going to take a big percentage of my money. And there’s so much great technology out there for automating this stuff.”

These days, her goal is building generational wealth. “I’m trying to set my kids up for success, and give them the things that I didn’t have. So the way I think about it is: How can I leverage the money that I’m earning to provide experiences for my family, and also have that money grow?”

Why Frec

Why she trusted the team

Esther heard about Frec through a friend. At first, she was unsure about trusting her money to such a small team. As a successful entrepreneur herself, she knew that the most important thing was to look into Frec’s team—and she came away feeling satisfied that “this is a very solid group that I can trust and rely on.” 

And when she started using the product, she was pleasantly surprised by how involved Frec’s founders are with their customers. “That kind of high touch customer service is really nice, especially when using a new service that I haven’t used before. You wouldn’t get that kind of customer support from a more corporate company.”

As easy as putting money in an ETF, but with extra benefits

“Before Frec, I’d never done any tax loss harvesting,” Esther told us. “But as I learned more about it, I realized it could be really useful for me down the road.” 

“I really appreciate that using Frec is as easy as putting my money in an ETF, but it also has this other benefit, which none of the other services that I use have: reducing my taxes.”

Being invested in real estate, and having previously sold a company, Esther is all too familiar with capital gains taxes—“so anything that reduces my tax burden is a product I’m very interested in learning about and potentially using.”

“Frec fit that bill, and it was so seamless to sign up and start to get those benefits that will accrue over years. I’m not looking for a short-term solution. I’m thinking much longer term. And so far I’ve been really pleased with it.”


  • Esther grew up without much financial literacy. “Money was something that we just didn’t have,” Esther said—which meant she didn’t learn much about how to think about it, or manage it, growing up.
  • Like so many tech people who see success, Esther didn’t really know what to do once she started making money. Quickly, Esther started making more than she ever expected—and didn’t really know what to do with much of that money. It was just sitting in a checking account, wasting away.
  • She opted to manage her finances personally, not with an advisor. “I hated that so many advisors and services were going to take a big percentage of my money,” Esther said, so she and her husband opted to self-manage.
  • Esther uses Frec to save her from future taxes. When she learned about tax loss harvesting, it felt like the right thing to do—who doesn’t want additional tax savings? Esther uses Frec as part of her broader portfolio, and has “been really pleased with it” and how it fits into her long-term goals of building generational wealth.

This testimonial may not be representative of the experience of other customers. There is no guarantee of future performance or success. 

Investing involves risk, including the risk of loss. Frec’s direct index product advisory services are provided by Frec Advisers LLC, a registered investment adviser. Brokerage services are provided by Frec Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. 

Frec Advisers LLC and Frec Securities LLC are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Frec Markets, Inc.