At this week’s FinTech Cup, the stand out theme was harnessing the power of social media for the greater good of financial technologies. Openfolio achieved this in an unusual but very sleek, easy to use way. They combined Linked In, Facebook and E Trader to create Openfolio, a social media platform for sharing stock portfolios.
Hart Lambur and Yinon Ravid are behind Openfolio. Friends for 13 years, they graduated Columbia together in 2001 and have been working in finance since then, as traders for Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund, respectively. Two years ago, they realized there was a hole in the personal trading market for a friend’s input, and in the social media market for a trader’s input.
“What we realized, before we quit our jobs, was that personal investing is really difficult, even for us in the middle of Wall Street,” Mr. Lambur told Betabeat at the FinTech Cup, “When you look at the tools we used to invest money ourselves, it was what we learned on the trading floor. It wasn’t for work stuff, but for the personal stocks. It was asking your coworker, ‘Hey, what do you think of this?’ during work. It was a conversation. We realized that the trading floor as a sounding board was very successful, but accessible only to a tiny portion of people.”
To expand the accessibly of the trading floor sounding board, they created Openfolio, coding it themselves over the past year.
Openfolio pulls from the users existing brokerage account to create the stock portfolio and from their Facebook or Linked In profiles for a ‘friends’ list. Then, it recalculates your profile as a series of percentages instead of dollar signs. That way, there isn’t as much jealousy or too much personal financial information floating around cyberspace.
“The concept is around vetted, verified information. You might not share that publicly, there’s a private mode. We don’t want talking heads. We want this is to be a place that’s real information from real friends, a quality brand based on your circle.”
The best part comes with chart comparisons: you can compare your results to friends, coworkers, people in your age group, your retirement bracket, and even Warren Buffet. Openfolio also pulls the top stories of the day, charts and trading information onto company pages, creating a one stop shop for making company specific financial decisions.
Eventually, Mr. Lambur says “there will be an educational portion” to help their users make more successful trades. In the meantime, they are focused on “starting with a network community of expertise and trying to make it more accessible.”