In full transparency, investing is not what it used to be.
And that’s just it. Transparency. Today’s top-performers are no longer barricaded behind heavy doors of big name firms. They’re out in the open, sharing their research, their findings, their “ah-has.” Every trade seems to be content fodder: a TikTok, a Tweet, a podcast, an idea for a new Substack (“would anyone be interested?”), a post on r/wallstreetbets.
It’s everywhere. So-called genius investing advice is everywhere.
For the rising investor, the proliferation of financial know-how in media and culture is undoubtedly exciting. It feels as if nerding out over stock analysis is somehow cool — as if someone invited your favorite econ professor to brunch.
But the slew of “knowledge” can also be disorienting. You can never quite know who’s posting in good faith, who has the numbers to back up their supposed lore, and one person always takes the joke too far, leaving a queasy feeling in the stomach that you might have fallen into a corner of the internet where good investors go to rot.
Amidst the sea of possible influence, the only thing easier to find than savvy guidance is immediate skepticism about it. Tenured professionals who post anything get eye rolls. Newbies with fresh takes solicit raised eyebrows. Experienced money managers are seen as out of touch and anyone who started recently is clearly spellbound by a meme mindhive. Look up or look down, and it’s chaos out there.
But there’s verifiable hope. A new platform is re-leveling the landscape, and bringing credible know-how to a whole new surface. Commonstock, the social network that links directly to brokerage accounts, is designed to orient attention around its users’ track records rather than their social noise. This ensures the best information is readily accessible, and the smartest minds have a platform to be heard. Here are some of the primary reasons top investors are using Commonstock:
1. You can see into other investor’s portfolios.
Since your Commonstock account links to your brokerage account, your financial portfolio is integrated into your profile. As a user, you are able to peruse other investors’ portfolios and track exactly what companies are fueling their strategies.
The transparency is part of the overall ethos of Commonstock, CEO David McDonough says. The platform is really about empowering successful financial minds to share their knowledge in a place where it can be valued, appreciated, and applied by others for broader wealth creation.
“I’ve found the smartest people are not always the best marketers,” says McDonough. “I wanted their track records to do the marketing on their behalf. I wanted their influence amplified by results, not sales tactics.”
The way it works is your brokerage account relays your stock percentages — not your actual dollar amounts. When you follow someone on Commonstock, you can see how their portfolio is distributed, how it’s performing (in real time), and what’s on their watch list. You can share anything from your portfolio — from stocks to options to crypto.
2. There’s a way to know when other investors trade.
When it comes to trading activity, the open-portfolio policy prioritizes showing over telling. On Commonstock, you can get to know instantly when the people you follow make a transaction. There’s no sussing out the viability of a prospective shift — you can see it happening — from the people you love to read — in real time.
Perhaps most importantly, you can’t hide away your bad trades, and over-promote your good ones. For better or worse, your followers have “the receipts.”
3. You can judge someone’s advice based on how much money they’re influencing.
This is a biggie. On Commonstock, your influence is not judged by the volume of followers that you have — or plucked under the table from a social media agency (no shame). Rather, your influence is metriced by how much money you’re influencing. That is to say, Commonstock is not a site about followers. It’s about follower assets.
Your followers’ assets are aggregated into a lump sum of influence. That value is next to your avatar — it’s the only place actual dollar figures are shared.
In this way, the verification system is not about blue check marks for virality. It’s about actual strategic influence over assets. The paradigm challenges the idea that retail investors are only interested in trendy, celebrity, or high-visibility players.
Rather than fame, most people just want good advice, says McDonough.
“It’s a popular trope that retail investors in online communities are just a bunch of people buying lottery tickets,” the CEO explains. “Most trading and influence is pretty responsible in the long term, well thought out and well diligenced. People are logical and rational human beings.”
4. You can always know what assets people are talking about today.
Although the design of Commonstock reclaims a fair amount of trust and reliability to the world of investing, it doesn’t sacrifice timeliness. Investors enjoy live, trending breakdowns of stocks, categorized into simple fields like “Most Bought”, “Most Sold”, and “Most Mentions.”
You can always see how your favorite investors are performing, relative to market trends. The system is designed to not only bring active, important conversations to the forefront of your feed, but to also show the legitimate effects of the trades. In many ways, Commonstock is a healthy mix of message board virtue signaling and the Bloomberg terminal.
5. Investing isn’t sidelined from culture. Investing is culture.
“It’s crazy that teenagers know the Chair of the Fed,” says McDonough. “I wasn’t worried about the Fed’s monetary policy at seventeen.”
Commonstock is built out of the philosophy that learning financial skills from a textbook is not a route that will work for many (if not most) people. Learning something new — especially something so deeply tied to the trends and energy of the news and media cycles — should be fun.
The memes are not the problem. Done right, the memes are the solution.
On Commonstock, you’ll find there’s a focus to the conversation (psst, it’s definitely stocks), but there’s no limit to the creativity you’ll discover. It’s fun. Dare say, it’s even fun-ny. As FatBabyFunds ($20m follower assets) wrote in early 2022…
6. Investors want returns, not chaos.
Commonstock has entered the chat at a time in which the dichotomy between retail investors and institutional investors is falling away. In many ways, the platform represents the merger, and ushers in a new class of investors.
The core message at the Commonstock welcome party? Investors, no matter their experience, are usually acting rationally in their own self-interest.
“If you look back on the last 20 years, we as retail investors have been told it’s too risky for us,” says McDonough. “It’s so rewarding to watch self-directed investors take control and finally feel empowered to make the decisions themselves — and actually do a lot of good research. In a lot of cases, they can outperform institutions.”
High-performing investors who connect on Commonstock are looking for valuable, sustainable information. They’re willing to share insight into their portfolio because they value credibility and track record over visibility and attention. Ironically, there’s now a place where they — those who know what they’re talking about — can be seen.