Flirting with the stock market is fun. Making a few bucks to supplement your income is even better. But unless you’re an industry professional, that’s where it stops. To take your hobby any further — let’s say managing an investment strategy others might pay for — you’d need licences, connections, a country club membership, shiny shoes, a suit and an obscenely expensive tie.
And you’d need to quit your job. Then go work for a company that manages other people’s money.
Nope. Not any more.
Managing a public investment strategy is no longer an exclusive club for a small crowd of guys with vast libraries of hair gel. New technology has changed all of that. Trading fees are starting to melt away, social media and other services have made information freely available, and it’s now possible for a regular Jane to set herself up as someone who can earn from sharing their investment wisdom. Without all that risk.
You’re smart, and you’ve got a great portfolio of companies or investments that you think are going to deliver profits. But you don’t have cash to start investing yourself. Problem? Not as much as it used to be, thanks to startups such as wikifolio.com.
Through the platform you can now publish your ‘fantasy’ selection of stocks and other financial instruments. This is known as a wikifolio, and anyone can view it. And if it’s good enough to attract the attention of ten ‘followers’, that’s where it gets really interesting. Because then your wikifolio can form the basis for an exchange-traded product. And you’ll earn a fee from that.
“The continuous lowering of bars to act as an ‘investment expert’ is empowering individual investors to act as such,” says Can Ertugrul, Head of Partner Acquisition at wikifolio.com. “They’re now able to share their trading ideas via specialized social media platforms like StockTwits or social trading platforms like wikifolio.com.
“In other words, what was limited to highly-paid professionals with the formal technical knowledge and the traditionally required infrastructure is now opening to a broader group of individuals.
“Wikifolio.com is empowering individuals and for the first time enables them to make their trading ideas investable for others via exchange-listed and exchange-traded financial products.
“This trend of a sharing economy is seen in other areas as well and already has created big Consumer-2-Consumer platforms such as YouTube, eBay, AirBnB, and others. All of them are lowering the barrier for people who would otherwise be consumers to act as ‘producers’, providing them with a marketplace to monetize their content, goods or real estate.”
As an investor, would you have more faith in a popular wikifolio than in your ‘professional’ fund manager? There’s an interesting debate around incentives here. Your fund manager gets a salary or fee regardless of performance, although he may well receive bonuses for good decisions and get fired for bad ones. Your wikifolio builder gets no wage, and can’t get fired, but it’s possible to do well enough to quit the day job. It’s been known to happen…
That discussion is for another day — stay tuned to the blog for wise words from the unlikely characters who’ve won big. With tips thrown in. For now, we can say that the wikifolio.com concept is another example of the sharing economy in positive action. Let it thrive!