The internet might have brought us dank memes, but it has also given rise to “social trading”, or “social investing” which started in the late 2000s as online forums became popular and people started to use the internet to socialise and share information. Now, social trading is essential for anyone who’s trying to become a self-taught trader.
In the pre-internet days, finding out about trading was like diving into an esoteric world of witchcraft and wizardry. Learning how to invest meant reading boring tomes written by high-profile investors in order to learn the ropes, and then praying that you didn’t lose all your money. For those with money, the safest solution was to hire a wealth manager.
As with all investments, make sure you do your proper research before copying methods out there. What works for some people at certain times may not be 100% foolproof.
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What is social trading?
Social trading basically refers to social networking for traders. Just as you might share photos of your holidays, ask for restaurant recommendations or share your opinions on a friend’s post on social media, social trading enables traders to interact with each other with the shared goal of sharing and learning more about trading.
You know how EDMW users somehow manage to collect and share impossibly detailed information on local scandals? When it comes to social trading, less experienced or less informed traders get to benefit from information and content shared by more skilled investors. What’s more, just as Instagram lets you steal OOTD ideas from fashionistas, social trading lets you copy successful traders’ trading strategies.
There are quite a few social trading platforms out there, some more active than others. The goal of any social trading platform is to build a vibrant community who actively participates in sharing information. Here are some of the more popular ones.
InvestingNote Singapore review
Who is it for: Users who want a stock search engine to check stock data
InvestingNote claims to be the largest social network for stock investors in Singapore.
They’ve got some nifty features including a stock search engine that instantly lets you check data for any stock across a range of stock markets. They’ve also got a very good charting software in real time that lets you save charts on the server.
But their main draw is their active community that not only shares information but also enables you to earn reputation points when you participate, which can later be redeemed for vouchers and other perks.
The rewards system encourages members to contribute quality content, and there are many insightful instances of market analysis or estimates. Some users even post their trades for other traders to critique, and the community is generally friendly and helpful.
InvestingNote is currently considered one of the most useful social trading platforms in Singapore, and if you’re new to trading this is probably one of the first platforms you should join.
Who is it for: Users who want to trade as well as get advice
eToro is a big European social trading platform focused on cryptocurrency CFDs, stocks, forex and commodities. It’s also an online trading platform, which means you can execute actual trades using your account. eToro Platinum account holders can also trade with leverage.
But the platform also has a social trading aspect. Not only do users share information and ask for advice on the platform, but you can also programme the platform to copy trades from established traders. If you yourself are a successful trader and others copy you, you’ll be paid for the privilege.
You can browse other traders’ portfolios in order to connect and communicate with them, or you could simply stalk them and automatically copy their portfolios.
Who is it for: Users who like detailed financial analyses, and doesn’t mind an old interface
ShareInvestor is a Singapore platform that makes it easy to compare stocks and read analyses. They also have a WebPro membership tier that offers more detailed data. Their main draw is the detail involved in their financial analyses. But how does it measure up as a social trading network?
They have an active discussion forum where users share information, ask questions and discuss trades, and while some users lament that the community is not what it used to be, it is still a good source of tips and tricks. Some people complain about the rather archaic website design, which does look like it’s from the nineties.
Who is it for: Users who like an intimate community
This is a Singapore-based platform that, as its name suggests, is focused on stock trading. They’ve got portfolio tracking features and management and screener tools to help users can manage their investments more easily.
Stocks Cafe has several tiers of membership including a free one that gives you a limited portfolio profile and lets you perform up to 30 transactions a month and add up to 30 stocks to your watchlist.
The StocksCafe community and forum are quite active, with members sharing their portfolios and viewing and following other users’ trades.
Members can use stock screeners that enable them to find and filter stocks based on certain criteria. You can create your own screeners based on your desired parameters such as yield and dividend strength and then share them with other users.
The StocksCafe community isn’t as big as that of bigger platforms like eToro. This makes it suitable for those who prefer a more intimate community feel.
What’s your favourite social trading platform? Share your recommendations in the comments!