Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Evolution of a walled investment community


For months, I have been struggling with Python Django that allows me to build websites that solve real problems. Completing a course specialisation did not help with my personal confidence but I am starting to get some headway after buying a beginner's guide and coding up their tutorial problems.

Ultimately, the questions I want to answer is this: Should investment forums be open or should it be closed like a walled garden?

The conventional model is to open up a discussion forum or FB group so that the forum can gain value as they get more likes, the final end-point may be monetisation as FIs get to advertise to the audience. 

Personally, I don't like this model. 

In practice, the forum becomes an enabler for FAs and all sort of dubious characters roam around the area PMing potential customers. I've seen quality posts taken a peg or two down even though the poster was data-driven and just wants to share. Some friends even claim that at least 20% of follow up comments are unnecessarily negative. An open garden invites free-loaders who plunder the community and generates toxicity for genuine participants.  

In my model, monetisation comes first with an investment program. As I do not spend my earnings due to my FI status, the dividends I receive from conducting my course ( now well over $1k per month ) allows me to make my ongoing offering better for my community that currently resides in a closed FB group. 

A walled garden allows me to curate who comes into my community and I have a handful of extremely loyal members who share goods stuff with the community. 

The next step is to build a bespoke web app for the walled garden to harness the hive mind to improve investment outcomes. Through voting, crowdfunding and generating comments, a smaller walled community can provide better quality information on various stocks. 

Right now my solution is just a simple blog framework with more advanced fields. Over time, I hope to implement voting and PDF download features to enhance the offering, even incorporate some data science into the offering as I can poll an API to provide some fundamental data on the tool. 

Over the short term, it reduces the administrative workload to conduct my program, but ultimately, my goal is to compete with my more quant-driven partners but to complement them for an end-to-end tool-box for students of my program. 

My coding skills are still quite noob right now, but I am going to add a feature to my app every day so that it can become a unique offering one day.

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