‘This Is Not Financial Advice’ Shows Human Side of Crypto, Meme Craze, and Influencers

‘This Is Not Financial Advice’ Shows Human Side of Crypto, Meme Craze, and Influencers

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On February 5, 2021, then 33 years old. retail investor Glauber Contessoto emptied his bank account, maxed out his credit cards, and put everything he had in dogecoin—69 days later, his initial investment of $180,000 was worth more than $1 million.

Contessoto was like millions of new traders flocking to crypto exchanges with all the money they could muster, placing big bets on mythical stocks that seemed to magically rise until the day the music stopped and the losses mounted. More than 20 million new traders and investors have opened online trading accounts for cryptocurrencies and stocks amid the pandemic. The combination of stimulus money, ultra-low interest rates and the boredom of working from home fueled multiple bubbles in the capital markets. Those bubbles burst, as we know, but not before taking new traders like Contessoto and his friends on a wild ride.

Directed by Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, This is not financial advice Show cryptocurrency and the democratization Not only of the stock market, but also of financial education itself thanks to social networks, the way people access financial information and invest has changed. But the film also offers a sometimes painful look at the dangers of investing in meme stock and crypto.

“What’s lost in the media hype around the rise and fall of cryptocurrency stocks and memes is that real people’s lives were profoundly affected by it,” says Caleb Silver, editor-in-chief of Investopedia. “This is not financial advice reminds us of that in a profound and important way while educating us on how to understand today’s markets through a compelling narrative.”

The documentary, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, follows Contessoto and other everyday retail investors: a father of three who quit his job as a math teacher to take part in day trading meme stocks. and cryptocurrencies, a young TikToker looking to educate herself and other young women on the stock market, and an investor and businessman looking to create opportunities for his community.

The film offers a balanced and diverse perspective on the world of retail, peppered with insightful commentary from financial analysts and an air of “enter at your own risk,” while humanizing social media-powered cryptocurrency. bubble— and eventual collapse in 2021 — through the eyes of those who were right in the thick of it.

A warning about the dangers of cryptocurrency stocks and memes

Dogecoin started as an internet joke inspired by a meme in 2013and gained a cult following that peaked in 2021 after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted his support for cryptocurrency.

What followed was a social media frenzy with retailers like Contessoto taking to YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok and other social media platforms to document their experience staking Doge (and other cryptocurrencies) and tell others to do the same. himself, but to quote the adage Contessoto uses at the beginning of all his YouTube videos, this is not financial advice.

The film serves as something of a cautionary tale about the realities of those who make investment decisions based primarily on social media hype and FOMO: fear of missing out.

“What wins in that world is whatever is most provocative, whatever is most entertaining,” Morgan Housel, a money and psychology writer, says in the documentary. Housel says that content creators just want attention and recognition.

The documentary includes a montage of TikToks showing retail investors reacting to the cryptocurrency crash of late 2021, many losing thousands of dollars in an instant. In one scene, Contessoto shows that he only has $245 in his bank account, but $1 million in Doge.

Generation gaps and social currency

This is not financial advice highlights the results of making financial information more accessible to a broader group of people who might not otherwise have the opportunity or resources.

Social media and apps have allowed people to start investing without even getting off the couch, let alone consulting an investment adviser, creating generational divides around money and highlighting how today’s younger investors approach investment. investment so differently.

Where their parents might have valued cash and stability, younger investors are open to higher risks in hopes of higher returns, looking to their peers and YouTube or TikTok more than Wall Street for investment advice. .

In one scene, Contessoto tells his mother that he turned down an offer from a company that was willing to pay him more than six figures in cash a year, asking them to pay him in Dogecoin.

“Oh, you’re kidding!” exclaims Contessoto’s mother. “Why didn’t you ask for cash? You need cash.” To which Contessoto replies: “Because Dogecoin is the future, mom.”

Investment success or luck?

As exciting as the crypto rollercoaster may appear from the outside, the film shows that the rush of these sometimes massive short-term gains is not always sustainable.

“They fired their shot, they hit it, they got the money, God bless them,” Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and a CNBC contributor, says in the film. “That is not success in investing. That is the success of the lottery”.

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