StockTwits Review 2017
StockTwits is a web and mobile-based social sharing platform for investors. It's basically Twitter for investment gossip and news. That's really all there is to it.
Okay, fine, there's actually more to it than that so let's take a deeper look at StockTwits and whether or not it will actually be helpful to you as an investment app.
This social sharing app aims to empower users with the democracy of investment ideas. The real question is whether having access to other people's investment ideas 24/7 is really a good idea. In the age of the internet troll, do we really want to be influenced by others' social media investing thoughts?
You'll have to decide if StockTwits deserves a place in your investing.
Fees & Commissions
Like some of our other non-broker apps such as TradingView, StockTwits does not cost anything to use. Why? Because it's more focused on social sharing and they make their money in other ways.
Unlike TradingView, StockTwits is totally free. All the way free. No upgrade memberships.
Of course, there are no commissions because the app doesn't allow you to buy and sell securities. StockTwits is not a broker, simply a social sharing platform.
The only way you'll spend money on StockTwits is if you buy one of their admittedly catchy shirts.
So How Does StockTwits Make Money?
There are plenty of integrated ads on StockTwits and this, I assume, is how they make their money. In fact, you can go order your own ads on StockTwits right on their website.
Note: That's not an affiliate link - I just thought you might want to see what it costs to order up an advertisement on StockTwits.
I will say, however, that AdBlocker for Google Chrome does a remarkably good job of getting rid of all of them.
See the pictures above for an example of StockTwits interface on the web without Ad Blocker and with Ad Blocker. Without Ad Blocker running, ads take up well over 50% of the screen. I think it's clear why it's a free platform.
Account Minimums & Maximums
Again, StockTwits is solely a social platform that operates a lot like Twitter. There's a nearly endless stream of other people's opinions. But no account minimums or maximums to be seen.
This is where StockTwits shines and those of you who are more on the trading side of the spectrum will rejoice. Particularly if you love social sharing every opinion or idea you have about stock trading.
There's a whole community of people who love to make guesses, just waiting to hear from you!
Social Stock Market Sharing
StockTwits has a really nicely integrated "hashtag" for every stock and practically every security. When you post an idea or share a comment you can just type in $+Ticker like ($AAPL). Then it will automatically tag the Apple stock feed and provide real-time data about Apple stock.
Gotta admit it's really well done and a great feature for this hyper-connected app.
There are tons of ways to filter posts, follow other users, or refine what ideas you're seeing based on strategies, securities, time frame, etc. You can see people's ideas for anything under the sun and there's plenty of StockTwits users out there to share ideas with you.
I find the social sharing aspect to be fun when I'm really in the mood to think about trading. Which is about once every other month for me. Most of the time it's just oppressive and endless streams of opinions from people whose common sense I sometimes am forced to doubt.
StockTwits is definitely for you if you find yourself on social media all the time. If you like to constantly share every idea you have on social media and hear every detail of those around you then StockTwits is a great match.
If you're more of a passive investor or social media introvert, it may be a hard pass.
Social Investing Heatmap
I love this feature of StockTwits. It's basically a sector heat map based on what people are saying about different investments. You can easily see what's popular and what's not at a glance.
It can be filtered by the day or by the week. I find that this quickly gives me a sense of what the most active social investors are up to.
In fact, with a quick glance at this heat map and a brushing over a few comments, I can generally pick up market moving directions quickly. Combine this with a quick read of the financial news for the day that I've got a pretty good idea of what's happening in the world of money. All in less than 30 minutes.
So, what do I do with that information? Usually nothing.
I've considered the uses of social signals in developing a trading strategy. I think with the right approach, social signals could be used as a type of momentum indicator perhaps, for a trading strategy.
Honestly I usually just watch the hyped news go by like a passenger on a train. I always make my own guesses and come to my own conclusion about speculation and movements but rarely participate.
On occasion being plugged in like this leads to a short term opportunity I enjoy taking, but largely I just keep informed.
I do get a better sense of the big swings in the market though. I like to stay updated so I can see how the smaller corners of the market are doing as compared to the broader feel of the market each week. It helps me better judge the overall flow and movement of the market - like a huge river of small talking heads.
Dangers of Social Investing
There are arguments to be made on both sides of this coin. Some will agree that sharing collective investment knowledge helps raise everyone's ability to make money.
Here's another blogger's take on the dangers of social sharing with investments and how to make it work better for you. Basically, it boils down to being smart about who you follow and tempering the incoming ideas into smart actions that align with your investment style.
Others will point to times when the collect financial behavior has caused world economies to lose tens of billions of dollars (credit crisis, 2008 anyone?).
Me? Well, I sometimes like to check out other people's ideas and then mull them over. Food for thought. I enjoy having different perspectives. But I always avoid jumping headlong into any investment.
My investing philosophy is generally slow and measured. I would caution any user of social investing technology to beware the collective decision making. Create your own conclusions. Make your own decisions. Then make your investment.
That may or may not be what others are doing.
History has shown us many times that just because the group is doing it, doesn't make it a good idea. Anyone who has studied World War II history knows what I'm talking about.
This wonderful pun on a favorite pop-culture animal actually makes me chuckle. It's bad but good. Like an Arnold Schwarzeneggar movie. So bad I love it.
This is the in-house finance and investing blog. It's entirely run by one man (just like me!), Scott Steinhardt. I find the advice and information to be somewhere between logical and sensible, and hyped news of the day.
Of course, this is on a platform whose entire user base is concerned with the minute-to-minute gossip of the stock market so it makes sense.
I will admit that I am pleasantly surprised at the reserved and sensible tone of the blog in general though. Considering that the site as a whole tends to be swept up in sensationalized investing ideas, the blog remains relatively neutral.
Pros & Cons
- Very short-term focused
- Tends to border on gossip
- Opinion overload
- Sleek interface
- Familiar feel for social media users
- Active community
- Quick learning curve
- Tons of varying opinions
StockTwits is a well-executed social investing app. There are no two ways about it, it's an essential app for those who love to read and share up to the minute stock trading ideas.
If you're a social media and stock trading junkie, you need to be on this app!
However, being exposed to unlimited opinions and ideas on trading and investing can be bad for some investors. Particularly newer impressionable investors are subject to a barrage of ideas. Sorting out gossip, trading strategy, and real investing advice can be nearly impossible.
Go enjoy StockTwits and learn from others activity. But be careful not to get swept up in the river of talking heads.