When Walter Schubert first thought of the idea of an online financial service aimed at gays and lesbians, he thought he was on to something big. Today he said the service, which is launching tomorrow, has taken on a life of its own.
"I think it's a concept whose time was right," he said of the Gay Financial Network (GFN).
The GFN taps into two hot markets on the Net--the gay community, one of the strongest and most represented on the Net; and the financial community, which these days is about the hottest venture online.
Finance-related sites, including those offering information and advice as well as those featuring online trading, have been booming in the last few months.
CNET Radio talks to GFN founder Walter Schubert
But there also is a strong social component to the GFN. Schubert is a third-generation member of the New York Stock Exchange, but he also is a gay man seeking to help liberate the gay community through better and more secure finances.
"The Gay Financial Network really recognizes its obligation to build a community to help people come out of the closet," he said. "What keeps people in the closet is fear that they might lose their job or lose their credit or housing. Those are financial concerns. My hope and dream is that we will be cutting that fear out of our lives so we can just go about our lives--and live happily. It is about taking the fear out of finance."
Although the network specializes in finances for the gay community, Schubert said all are welcome to join.
"What I'm really hoping for is that people will open accounts because we're good, because we have superior products, and because the tools we offer to our members are superior," he said.