Ever wanted to get into investing but were confused as to where to start? For several years I was in the same boat. I was interested in finance, stocks, and investing, but I was completely lost as to how to begin. In order to feel comfortable and enjoy investing I needed more information.
The past financial and economic woes of the United States and, more broadly, the world has made investing, even for the most experienced investors, a scary experience. Information is the key to successful investing no matter what your definition of success is. Information is the mantra for a new Harvard start-up called SprinkleBit that I recently discovered. I immediately fell in love with SprinkleBit, and its model for investing, which is a completely new approach to investing focused on information sharing and growth within a community.
The backbone of Sprinkle is a term called crowdsourcing. This is the idea that problem-solving and solutions, or in this case investing advice and tips, are best found by outsourcing the problem to a “crowd” of people. In other words, the combination of ideas and suggestions from many people will give a well-rounded and successful solution to the problem. With SprinkleBit all users have their own profile, where they can post their investments, ideas, and comments. Much like social networking sites, such as Facebook, individuals can also visit the pages of other users and comment on their investments and ideas as well. Individuals can look into investment strategies of others and learn from their successes and disappointments. Additionally, everyone receives a grade on how well his or her portfolio performs. This helps an individual more easily discern who has really been successful, compared to those whose ideas may be less proven.
SprinkleBit is, however, not just an open forum for discussion but a real-time trading platform. Stock prices, trends, and other invaluable information is available for investors for free through the website. There are also tutorial videos, educational articles and blogs, and competitive tournaments available to users. The competitive tournaments are a great way for members to hone their investing strategies with the added benefit of winning cash and prizes. Every user receives a $5,000 portfolio of fake money to invest with when they sign up, which they can use to invest virtually online. The company also plans to launch a real-time brokerage firm later on this year for individuals who feel comfortable with this virtual trading and are ready put their own money into the markets.
Quality information is the key to any investing strategy. SprinkleBit brings people together in a community conducive to learning more about investing, allowing individuals to develop their own investing strategies and personalities. For those who are interested in getting started in investing or for those who are nervous from the past few years of economic turmoil SprinkleBit is a great place to start, no matter an individuals’ experience level or interest.
Financially Stephen grew up in a family that preached saving and living below your means. That, in part, translated to his interest in Economics, especially how economics can affect individuals’ financial lives. Through his financial markets class in the fall of 2011, he furthered this interest by analyzing macroeconomic events. Stephen believes that finance, personal finance in particular, is a subject severely left out when it comes to public schooling in this country, and it is a problem that has manifested itself and contributed to many of the problems seen today. He also believes that education is the key to improvement and hopes that through his writings he will be able help people learn about finance, macroeconomics, and how to be financially savvy for the future.
In his free time Stephen enjoys playing and watching sports, wakeboarding, sailing, and country music. At UNC he has participated in Strive for College, UNC Dance Marathon, and UNC Relay for Life.