If you have seen my profile or read any of my articles, you may have noticed I'm involved with Instavest. In this post I will explain why you should become an analyst for the company as well.
As a contributor I'm sure you've been asked to become involved with many different websites. Your goal is to have your reach expand as far as possible and to monetize your investing/writing skills. Being a contributor on any website is an entrepreneurial experience which means your decision making skills must be laser sharp. Your time is extremely valuable; you don't want to spend effort on a lost cause or sully your name by being a part of an unscrupulous website. I will explain why making the decision to be involved with Instavest is just as a wise move for you as it was decide to contribute to Seeking Alpha. I have some credibility on this issue because I am a contributor like you and I have used the service.
So what is Instavest? Instavest is a trading platform which lets you as an analyst post any trades you make. Investors on the site see your trades. At that point they decide whether your idea has merit. If you post a convincing short summary on why you made the investment, the investor may decide to copy you. If the investment ends up being profitable when you sell it, the investor has the opportunity to give you a gift of between 5% and 15% of the profits (N.B. This is voluntary compensation due to the SEC's rule on performance fees). Instavest takes a 20% cut from this gift.
This all sounds great in theory, but in practice will it work? That depends on your skills as an investor, your reputation on Seeking Alpha and other websites, and how good your stock pitches are. I can only speak about my experiences. I have had 14 co-investors in the 5 stocks I have purchased. I have had $44,423 in total of investments. This is only the beginning of what I expect from the platform because of the growth in accounts which is 15% per week.
Opening an account now will allow you to garner a reputation on the site by building a track record of winning trades. A great track record will help you stand out from the newer analysts on the site in the future when there are tens of thousands of investors using it. Once an investment gets copied by one investor the trade tends to be piled into so gaining those first few followers is critical. Gaining a following on Instavest will allow investors to be alerted every time you make a trade. There is no question my mind that if I invest well I can expect growth in investment dollars copying my trades. I currently have 12 followers.
The site tends to reward under covered stocks. If you cover smaller companies, this site will be perfect for you. It is difficult to profit off of ideas on under covered investments with articles because the page views are often lower. In this concept the new ideas are rewarded much more.
If you are a journalist, being an analyst on Instavest is not for you. Only the investor can flourish on this website. You show your conviction by putting real money on the line. This makes your credibility increase. The problem with getting advice on financial matters especially on CNBC is you don't know what the interests of the expert are. Instavest solves this. Your money is directly aligned with participating investors.
The way the financial sector works right now is going to be turned on its head in the next few years. You can see glimmers of this with websites like Estimize which crowd-source earnings estimates. It is difficult to see what the future holds, but I would be shocked if Instavest doesn't radically change the way the retail investor makes his/her investments. Seeking Alpha has started this change by giving real traders the platform to post their perspectives on the stocks they have the most expertise on. Instavest is a natural extension of this by allowing you to put real money on the line and sink or swim on the merits of your ideas.
I regret that I didn't get involved with writing for Seeking Alpha from the start. If you look at the top writers, almost all of them have been writing since about 2011 or earlier. Getting involved in a site like Instavest will allow you to gain that following you crave. The one advantage Instavest has over Seeking Alpha is that because real money is involved, the platform has the potential to be more lucrative than even a Seeking Alpha subscription model can be.
The great thing about Instavest is it is a perfect fit for investors who already are doing research and posting articles. I was already trading with another account, so the only additional work I have to do for Instavest is to write the small pitch before I post the trade. This isn't work because I already have so much knowledge on the company I am buying/selling.
I am not the only analyst from Seeking Alpha on the platform. The others are Chris O'Donnell, Mike Serebrennik, Jay Yoon, Adam Khan, Brendan Rose, Jeffrey Himelson, and Thomas Lott.
I have been asked by some investors if the platform is "legit." Now that I have been using it for a few weeks I know it is. When I was in your shoes, deciding whether to join, what really sold me on the idea was the fact that Instavest received funding and guidance from the Y Combinator. The Y Combinator is the premier organization for helping small technology start-ups. It helped companies such as Reddit and Weebly get started.
If you are interested in becoming an analyst for the site, click here. If you are an investor who wants to start an account, I will have another article written up which is geared towards you.