How This Video App is Helping Retail Investors Make Better Stock Picks


    If the current bear market has you searching for more trustworthy investing insights, you’re not alone. Poor economic conditions, mass layoffs, and falling stock prices have investors across generations looking for alternatives to their current solutions.

    Of late, video-based platforms (think YouTube and TikTok) are the fastest-growing source investors turn to for investing insights, particularly for younger generations. But the information these platforms offer, while accessible, come with risk.

    “Investing insights have become an online free-for-all,” says Charles Qi. “Anyone can call themselves an expert and begin dispensing advice, which can be to the detriment of their followers.”

    He aims to change that.

    Qi is the CEO and Founder of StockPick, a video-based investing social network for retail investors. Prior to StockPick, Qi spent over a decade at CIBC Capital Markets, a top Canadian investment bank, where he oversaw more than $1 billion CAD in institutional assets. He is also a CFA and holds a Master’s Degree in Computational Finance from Carnegie Mellon University. Charles’ drive to build an app for retail investors is embedded in his professional experience, both as an analyst and also in designing financial products for the banking sector.

    “StockPick delivers in-depth investment analysis through short-form video not previously available on any platform,” Qi says. “A big focus for our team is the quality and transparency of information. On StockPick, creators have public profiles where anyone can view their experience and investing history, making it possible to assess the source and quality of investing insights.”

    StockPick creators have public profiles where anyone can view their background and investing history.

    For Qi, retail investors’ desire for video-based information isn’t unexpected. Over the last decade, the app industry has undergone a gradual shift toward video as the dominant content delivery method. Social networks were largely text-based at the outset, led by platforms like MySpace and Facebook, before an evolution to image-sharing on Instagram, and finally to  video-sharing on platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

    But these social networks aren’t built for retail investors. There are obvious gaps for people looking for credible stock market information. Many financial influencers don’t provide data to back up their stock recommendations. It’s also common to find “pump and dumpers” on these platforms — people who aim to create a buying frenzy that pump up the price of a stock, only to dump their shares at the inflated price.

    Qi notes that part of the problem is that these platforms aim to reach the broadest possible audience, rather than provide high-quality, customized content to individual investors.

    “Unlike other social media platforms, StockPick’s curated community and transparent creator profiles make it easy to assess content quality,” says Qi. “On top of that, it can be tailored based on individual knowledge level and interests, be it specific securities, investing education, or even news about the economy.”

    Users can personalize their video feed based on their specific interests and knowledge level.

    Ultimately, Qi’s vision for StockPick is to help traders break through the noise and identify stock market opportunities, without having to read dozens of long articles or conduct their own time-consuming analyses. While credible, accessible information is at the core of this, Qi’s team has built additional features to help investors assess the stock tips and ideas in the broader context.

    For instance, every video that references a security has a bullish-bearish voting meter. Users themselves can vote on a stock, and also get a sense of the community sentiment: votes are tabulated from all users across every video that covers that stock. Together, this helps investors make more informed decisions.

    Qi has witnessed monumental changes during his career in finance. The pandemic, for example, witnessed a spectacular rise in trading as millions of Americans were forced to stay at home, many of whom continued earning their paycheck but not spending money on things like eating out, entertainment, and travel. Savings rate soared, and a variety of risky asset classes like crypto, SPACs, option ETFs and meme stocks took advantage. There was much talk of the “democratization” of investing, but many of these assets crashed during the market downturn.

    Despite the volatility of the last few years, Qi says that people are still eager to invest. “But,” he says, “it’s time to change how they do it.”

    The change in market conditions and falling stock prices shone a light on the importance of quality investing insights. Qi himself saw more people becoming more interested in the fundamentals.

    “When people feel more knowledgeable, they tend to be more confident in their investing decisions, as well as investing in general” Qi says. In other words, understanding the normal fluctuations in market conditions can help investors steer the course in their own personal investing strategy, rather than panicking when the market turns.

    A man watching a video on Amazon stock on the StockPick app.

    While users can upload their own videos, they can also create the videos entirely in app and add “presentation slides.” This allows experienced investors to share deeper analyses of the security they’re discussing, and viewers to receive supporting information about stock recommendations.

    StockPick is launching in just a few short weeks. You can join their waitlist to be notified of the launch. If you can’t wait that long, you can also get daily stock tips from experienced investors on their YouTube (all 60 seconds or less).

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