By Kerim Derhalli (CEO, invstr)
I believe that we are all natural investors. We are born with the ability to understand ‘up’, ‘down’ and the human emotions that drive financial markets. We make investments every day of our lives with our time, our energy or our money. And each time we cross the road we make a calculated risk-reward decision.
invstr helps us to unlock and grow that natural ability and learn to become great investors in the same way we learn to play a sport or a musical instrument. When you play a sport, you’ve got to get fit, you’ve got to practice, and then you’ve got to go out into the real world and perform.
Getting fit in a financial sense is about three things: understanding the world around us; following the markets and seeing how they move in relation to the news; and finally, the social element – talking to people. Markets are made up of people and you need to understand what they’re thinking. invstr creates a level playing field where we can access more than 50 different newswires, calendars of economic and corporate events, research reports, streaming real-time data and, critically, each other.
We have built games on invstr to help people practice their investment skills with real world data but in a riskless environment. We will soon be launching a fractional share ownership capability that will allow investors to start building diversified portfolios with relatively modest amounts of real money. That opens up the world of investing to literally hundreds of millions of people.
As well as being social, our app is also highly personalised. We allow our users to create their own blended newsfeed from the many curated sources of content that are integrated into the app, including premium newswires and research providers.
We also use artificial intelligence to rank all of our 15,000 daily pieces of content for each individual user based on their interest profiles. Our profiling and recommendation engines learn from the multiple points of interaction users have on invstr and dynamically adjust as each user’s interests change. We even build separate interest profiles for the working week and the weekend.
I believe that we will all ultimately have a Dropbox-like account in the cloud where we hold our most prized digital asset – our money – and which we are able to manage with the use of highly intelligent platforms. We will be able to move our money, make investments, participate in peer-to-peer lending or crowd-funding and source insurance underwriting. We will in effect all be our own banks. We are building invstr with all of the capabilities and intelligence to operate as such a platform at scale for everyone.
We set invstr up in 2012 and launched our first product in 2014. Since then invstr has won several innovation awards and been downloaded more than 200,000 times. We now have active users in over 160 countries, who have between them traded almost one trillion dollars worth of notional securities across the platform and generated paper returns well in excess of most hedge fund managers. An intelligent platform, which people can use to collaborate on, makes all of us more intelligent. That is how we will get to build a fairer, wealthier and more sustainable society.
About Kerim Derhalli
Kerim Derhalli is the CEO and Founder of invstr. He is a former Global Head of Equity Trading at Deutsche Bank and spent thirty years at leading financial institutions including JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch.
invstr is the investing app and social network which is making finance fun, fair and collaborative. Headquartered in London with offices in Istanbul, it is a free app which enables investors of all levels to play investment games, learn about the markets and share financial opinions. The app provides access to high quality financial news, market data and community predictions in an easy-to-understand way.