In 2020, wild fluctuations in the stock market due to the epidemic turned millions into opportunistic investors. Following submerged shares in March, veteran traders and Nasdaq Novices poured their dollars into buzzy tech companies such as Tesla and Zoom, as well as businesses surrounded by Kovid restrictions, including airlines, restaurants and cruises.
To reflect a year of volatility and impulsive investing, the popular trading app Robinhood, which expands Conflict By marketing itself to young people, released a year-end data dump for its users. A news release promised that Robinhood Recap would be a “special personal experience that will take you through your investment journey this year – from ideas to trades, your most memorable investment moments, big or small, and others along the way. Milestones. “
Robinhood’s wrap-up – stocks available to anyone with an active account before December 15, purchased, dividends, and interest, showing which stocks they held the most and other data in their portfolio Has clicked on.
some people Praised the beauty of recapitalization And they said Enjoyed finding How quick they were to adopt Robinhood. A company spokesperson wrote in an email, “We are delighted to hear from many customers who have enjoyed their year-long investment in investment, from sharing to their social media.”
Robinhood is one of several popular consumer apps to embrace sheer, data-driven year-in-review lists, such as Spotify Wrapped, a replay of upbeat or fittingly disappointing songs heard in 2020, and the year of Strava , Which includes its users running and cycling for miles. These packages use spirited language and attractive graphic design to encourage their users to share on social media.
But for most people, personal financial decisions are not as comfortable as their most played performers of the year. They are inherently private.
Comedian and entrepreneur Karim Rahma, 34, wrote in an email that he would “never share this information publicly because it is so much more sensitive than my listening habits on Spotify.”
Nevertheless, many people posted screen shots of their recap on social media. Many were hurt by how many times they checked the price of the special stock.
Eric Milligan, an information technologist, said, “Tesla in general has been growing like crazy in general, and apparently their stock has closed, so it was funny.
Jordan Bishop, 29, was also surprised by the slide in his recap. “Before you know it, you’ve tested it 10 times a day, and it’s giving you a little dopamine boost each time,” he said.
Rajat Kamboj, a 20-year-old college student, wrote in an email, “Robinhood made me feel like I was very obsessed above or below every dollar and it was very unhealthy.” His recap told him that he checked the value of his Tesla stock 18,656 times in 2020, an average of more than 50 times per day. (“You’re kinda connected right now,” read their recap.)
“As a self-directed brokerage, we do not offer investment advice,” Robinhood spokesman said in a statement. “The goal with the Robinhood Recap was to celebrate milestones and give people a broader view on their activity over the year, enabling them to frame their behavior long-term.”
The recap became a meme on the Eckerby finance-focused subreddit Walvetbets; Has created a user Parodic version A recap post revealing extensive damage. (“You made some risky calls …”)
A spokesman for Robinhood wrote, “There has been an unprecedented boom in retail investment this year.” “We welcomed millions of new customers to Robinhood, about half of whom were investing for the first time. With Robinhood Recap, we tried to remind new and long-time customers about their investment journey.
Robinhood added three million users this year, taking its total to 13 million. The app has become a favorite of young and inexperienced investors, who have been fascinated by trading at no charge, offering free stock and an attractive user interface that uses an The New York Times reported in July Described as “the Silicon Valley playbook of behavioral nudity and push notifications”.
The Times article stated that Robinhood users trade riskier products at a faster pace than customers at major brokerage firms; For example, Robinhood users contracted and sold 88 times the riskier option as did Charles Schwab customers.
Many said the recapitulation seems to fit the company-wide strategy itself as a lifestyle experience, and not just from a more boring trading platform to appeal to investors who are less sophisticated .
“Their bright and colorful UI, ease of opening margin accounts and access to options, and now Robinhood Recap give me an idea that they are trying to appeal to young people,” said 19-year-old Luke Thornburg. “These youth who are usually inexperienced and more risk-tolerant may choose Robinhood because of these things.” He said that when he first started using the app, he lost money on risky options trading.
“Spotify seems to be the obvious type of comparison there,” said the founder of Mr. Bishop, Personal finance website Focused on air travel. “I just find it fascinating, and a little dangerous, how, you know, personal finance and social media are blending together in this way.”
Gina Fuchs, 24, who is a community coordinator for a non-profit coding camp for young women, wrote in an email: “The app does a great job of being accessible to small merchants or those who own Toes are dipping into the stock world (me)! And for that reason is attractive to millennials. If the data were captured more creatively, it would have been an interesting feature for them. “
Although this year has been good for Robinhood from a business perspective – $200 million funding round Its valuation was raised from $ 8.6 billion to $ 11.2 billion in August – the company has also faced intense scrutiny for its practices.
In June, 20-year-old user killed himself after Wrongly assuming that he had a negative balance of $ 730,000 On the app, Robinhood faced a round of critical press among young, inexperienced investors revolving around the app’s appeal.
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company of “misleading customers about revenue sources”, citing “repeated misconceptions that trading to obtain customer orders” Failed to disclose the firm’s payment receipt from the firms. ” Robinhood agreed to pay a fine of $ 65 million. And on Wednesday, Bloomberg News reports A complaint filed in San Francisco against Robinhood Financial could become a class-action lawsuit.
“This agreement relates to historical practices that do not reflect Robinhood today,” Robinhood Chief Legal Officer Dan Gallagher said in a statement. “We recognize the responsibility that helps millions of investors make their first investment, and we are committed to developing Robinhood as we grow to meet the needs of our customers.”
28-year-old Brett Robinson, who works in film development, saw the iteration as a cultural artifact of late capitalism. “She inadvertently made me understand that ‘if something is free, you are the product,” she wrote in the email. “Of course Robinhood is more interested than my engagement in any way.”