Sometimes a startup rolls out a new feature, and it just hits the sweet spot of what consumers are craving. It looks like Wikinvest has a hit on its hands with its new realtime portfolio tracker. Less than three weeks after its launch, Wikinvest is tracking $1 billion worth of real investments tied to the real brokerage accounts of about 10,000 members.
The Wikinvest portfolio tracker lets anyone link up their real brokerage accounts to Wikinvest so they can keep tabs on their actual holdings, which are updated automatically every time you make a trade. That way you don’t have to manually update your portfolio (which is what most finance sites make you do). Getting to $1 billion worth of tracked assets in such a short time suggests there is a real need for such a service. Social investing sites like Covestor and KaChing also let you track your real brokerage accounts, and even invest alongside other users—Covestor recently passed $100 million in tracked trades managed through its service.
The difference is that Wikinvest’s portfolio tracker is purely an information product. Wikinvest doesn’t hold or direct any of these assets. They are all in Etrade, Schwab, Ameritrade, Fidleity, and other brokers. But Wikinvest ingests the data and gives people one place to research and track all of their investments. Co-founder Mike Sha says the “vast vast majority of the adoption was from new users.”
One of the biggest requests for the product has been to add brokers who manage 401(k)s. Sha describes the pain financial consumers are feeling: “A lot of these financial institutions are really old school, whose wealth management products were centered around communicating with clients via phone calls and monthly/quarterly reports by mail. Times have changed and they’ve fallen way behind on their web-based self-service tools.”