Stocktoberfest 2015- Robinhood, Stocktwits and SparkFin

Team Robinhood will be at Stocktoberfest. So will team Stocktwits and Spark Finance

My favorite app at the moment is Robinhood.

There are many things that make Robinhood special, but the ease in which I can demo buying/owning a share of Apple or Facebook is incredible.

Nearly 100 percent of the time, the person I demo the app too downloads Robinhood on the spot and says they will fund an account.

What’s next will be special for investing and trading.

I can’t say when, but I am confident that we will get to a day when investors from all the different brokerages will be trading from the apps they use most. There will be the push towards more open financial ‘API’s. Let me explain.

In 2008, when I started Stocktwits, I would hustle from broker to broker explaining the benefits of Etrade (for this example) plugging into our API and letting their customers trade/invest from the platform where they spend most of their time.

Etrade was not interested. The API’s have never been great, but it’s the legal cost that has also been a factor. It was just not worth Etrade getting sued over a trade that was socially started ‘off’ platform.

The proliferation of smartphones and social networks with the existence of Robinhood have finally altered the future course for all brokers.

I believe that once Robinhood connects and shows the power of deep-linked, secure, financial app/web social trading and investing, the other brokers will follow suit. A trade that starts out with a transaction on Robinhood and a notification to friends on Stocktwits could lead to thousands and eventually tens of thousands of financial transactions. All trackable and all potential media and data stories of their own.

This will lead to a much faster unbundling of services within the brokerage industry. The old ‘silo’s save Bloomberg and maybe Reuter’s will have to rethink how they work with their existing customers and how to gain new ones.

I expect that for 99 percent of investors (non institutions), the transaction becomes a commodity. The future of the industry will be defined by a social research, collaboration and idea generation. That is where Stocktwits, Spark Finance and over 20 startup companies in the Stocktoberfest demo room come in.

This phenomenon is a reason we will also see a $1 trillion company as more people will take a long-term stake in the companies they love and use.

I expect those in attendance to walk away with a strong glimpse into the future of trading/investing. It is an exciting time to check in.


  1. Atanas Stoyanov says:

    A lot of (old and new) brokerages are now offering their own APIs, the battle is heating up :)

  2. @hilohub says:

    I demonstrated the ease of use of Robinhood to my assistant with a buy of Alibaba. I then compared that to buying stock through our B/D. Needless to say, she was amazed. Besides fintech, the next real game changer would be to get most government services to embrace some sort of disruptive change via mobile apps.

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