Friday, 10 October 2014

My Personal Feedback on MeetInvest- The World's First Financial Social Platform

With regards to this post, I was invited by one of the founders to try out this platform, Meet Invest.

Currently, MeetInvest is still in it's growing stages, having just begun operations not too long ago.

Mr Hendry has also kindly requested for me to minimize screenshots of the layout of this platform as he wishes to preserve the curiosity factor. Therefore I shall respect his wishes, only screenshots of important factors I think should be shown will be posted.

What do I think about MeetInvest? Well the idea of a social platform for investors to socialise and communicate has no doubt been an intriguing idea that I was excited to see how it would turn out. Think of it as a Facebook for Investors only if you will.

But first, what is MeetInvest all about?

Mission: To give people the power to invest like an expert and connect with other like-minded people – FOR FREE!

We provide you with the tools that allow you to understand the WHAT, WHEN, and HOW of investing. It is our belief that the tools that professionals use on Wall Street should be available to everyone worldwide in a simplified and understandable format and at no cost. We provide you with the computer generated results employing the criteria of success formula of strategies published by highly successful investors like Buffett, Graham, O’Neil, or Templeton, but without all the complicated financial jargon. Our team of financial analysts and programmers has developed algorithms around these strategies that not only illustrate in extensive back-testing the hypothetical past performances of these strategies, but also show the user going forward which stocks meet the criteria on a daily basis. Users can then interact on the platform with others around the world with similar collectable and investment interests.

I recently reached a point in my life when I, like many others, started to think about investing. I’m no millionaire, but I’ve saved some money for a while now and I don’t want to lose it. I want to make my money work for me, but how do I know what, when, and how to do it? I’ve never considered myself a numbers person, but upon reflection I realized that we are all numbers people when it comes to our personal finances. So, I started by reading the financial section of my newspaper, and although it all sounded very impressive I didn’t understand much. Then, I bought some investment books, talked to friends, and even spoke with a few financial advisors. The problem was that most of the time the only answers I received were heavy on the financial jargon and light on simple practical explanations.

Going through the published works of the likes of Buffett, Templeton, and O’Neil you get a wealth of information, but it can be very daunting. Then I discovered Susan Levermann. She has been very successful as well, but she doesn’t sound as scary. In fact, she provides almost exactly what I’ve been looking for all this time: a how-to guide for investing myself. I brought my new find to Michel Jacquemai, a veteran of the financial industry and to whom I go for help. He is not easily impressed, but after going through the book, he too agreed with me that it is an easy and highly informative read.

We realized that this is not just something for me, but also for everyone out there with the desire to understand how investment experts pick the right stocks, and who want to share their experience with like-minded people. With this in mind,, our content-filled financial social media platform, was born. We founded meetinvest on August 13th, 2014 and quickly grew from zero to a team of 20 plus highly enthusiastic programmers, financial analysts, quants, art directors, creatives, relationship managers, lawyers, and copy writers. Our international team consists of natives from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Russia, Venezuela, United Kingdom and the United States. Together we have been working day and night to build the first global financial social media platform:

After reading this, I feel that this social platform, if done correctly can be very very beneficial to newbie investors. The people who want to start, but don't know how to. I know how they feel, because not too long ago, I was one of them. This platform in it's prime stage, can help out a lot for this group of people. The daunting task of searching through wells of information is not a pleasant prospect.

The Registration Stage did not take too long, however there was an interesting factor to include here. We are requested to state our Investment Interest Areas. However, we are not informed on how this information will be put to use.

Once in the platform, the layout is pretty minimalistic and basic. The way I like it. In my opinion, the more complicated a layout is, the harder it is for users to understand and fully appreciate the power of a platform.

Click on my Profile, and you'll be able to edit your information easily. Similar to Facebook, you are also allowed to join groups. However the amount of users on this platform is currently low, because as mentioned, it's in the beginning stages. You are also allowed to follow various users, instead of a "Friend Request"

Moving on, there's a big orange button labelled, "Run Strategies". Being the naturally curious person I am, I clicked on it.

Just a small snapshot of the various strategies by different people. The information provided is very basic and a short summary.

They also provide a "Success Formula"

Revised (taken from a Forbes article in 2002)

MktCapM is >= US$ 300 million (basis year 2000) adjusted yearly
Dividend growth periods >= 5x over past 12 FY
Outstanding Shares for latest FQ is >= 5 million
Institutional shareholders are >= 80
EPS over last 12 FY increased >= 7 FY
Dividend paid out >= 12 past FY
Compound annual Dividend growth rate over 12 FY >= 10%
P/B is <= 2
P/E is < 20
Dividend Payout Ratio long term <= 0.5
Long-term debt to equity ratio for latest FQ is <= 0.5

Rank according to current Dividend Yield % (higher is better)

Personally, I feel that this would be complete Greek to many people including myself. It is my hope that these information can be further broken down and made easier to understand.

There is also an option to submit posts or comments. Other users can then flag it as Helpful.
Become an Expert!

After going through the platform I had several opinions of my own to add.
My User Journey was pleasant, it was easy to understand and navigate through. However, when it came to handling the strategies and stock selection tools, it was less detailed. This will be improved in time however, so it's not a big deal.

There are also message functions available to chat 1-1 with everyone else.

Features that stood out for me was the option to segment the users into groups. Not everyone is interested in the same things.

I would recommend instead of being able to create groups by ourselves, firstly there should be main categories that we can join. Sub groups can then be created inside the main group itself. It would be way easier than navigating and having to search for different groups.

Example, Property Investing / Real Estate Investment Trusts/ Value Investing/ Index Investing/ Options

Secondly I noticed there are a mix of foreigners and locals in the platform. Under the different main groups, there should be an option for Locals. Why is this so? No I'm not Xenophobic. I bear no malice towards foreigners or locals alike. Simply put, many financial bloggers in Singapore are talking about local stocks and shares. I could only imagine the chaos if people share about multiple countries at the same time. There are people interested in local stocks. Then there are people interested in foreign stocks and even both. MeetInvest should take note of this.

So far, I think that MeetInvest is off to a good start. This platform will be very useful to many people including myself once it's up and running at full speed. I am anxiously awaiting to use this platform once more.

What does everyone else think? Please feel free to share below in the comments on what you are looking for in a Social Media Investment Platform as MeetInvest can look at the comments too!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

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