Wikinvest's Mike Sha on How Crowdsourcing Produces Better Investment Advice

Wikinvest CEO Mike Sha"When it comes to investments," Wikinvest CEO Mike Sha mused in the DailyFinance studio, "there's this overwhelming sea of data out there. One of the challenges that a lot of investors have is really kind of wading through that information, and trying to understand what matters and what doesn't. Part of our approach is to actually pull in a lot of information but then try to synthesize it and present it in ways that are meaningful; and at the same time, hopefully we're cutting out a lot of what users don't have to pay attention to."

Wikinvest is an online research portal and portfolio manager featuring user-generated content on stocks, companies, and economic topics. In a February 2008 interview with the Financial Times, the co-founders expressed vast ambitions for the company. "We want to be huge," said Sha, a former manager at His partner Parker Conrad elaborated: "Eventually, we want to offer coverage of more stocks than Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns combined." That aspiration would soon become significantly easier to realize: Bear Stearns collapsed the following month, and Lehman was gone by the end of September.

WikinvestThe financial crisis focused attention on Wall Street's opacity and propensity for underhanded dealing -- to say nothing of the resultant market volatility, which forced investors large and small to scrutinize their assets with renewed vigor.

"There's always been this inherent conflict of interest," Sha says of the Too Big to Fail financial institutions, where in-house research departments and investment banking divisions provide opportunities for collusion. By contrast, the wiki format allows users to collectively assemble truly unbiased material for consumption by retail investors.

Faster, More Robust Analysis

Wikinvest's intention, according to Sha, is to serve "normal people with investment accounts who need better tools that aren't designed for the day-trader or the super-wealthy person. If you've spent a lot of time looking at financial institution websites, a good portion of them seem to have been built a very long time ago."

Toward that end, the company plans to introduce a new product later this year, a kind of electronic investment adviser built from analyses of a vast multitude of user transactions. "Imagine a system where you have a huge computer analyzing your accounts, comparing millions of different options and different combinations," Sha explains. "I would venture to say that that analysis will be a lot more robust, and will happen in a lot faster of a transaction time, than, say, if you hired a financial adviser, and that guy was supposedly managing your account."

Watch Mike Sha discuss transparency and opacity in the investment industry, as well as some of the hidden costs of doing business with a brokerage:

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Forex for Beginners

Learn about trading currencies and foreign exchange transactions

View Course »

Income Investing

Grow your nest-egg.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Register to win a free copy of Eye In The Sky Screener. A winner will be announced on the first day of each month. It is the screener professional traders rely on.

Visit to register for your free copy today. Simply click the "Request Your Free Copy" button to enter.

"Trading Information @ Your Fingertips!"
Michael McDonald

July 23 2011 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Giving baby the most effective breast-feeding is essential task in the motherhood phase. Simultaneously, a woman has to look after herself as well. Mother care products are designed to execute this dual role playing, and one can try* to have it.

July 16 2011 at 3:17 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

i like visa (V) gobs of money never goes out of style.

July 15 2011 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The best investment advice for these times is to pick stocks that will replenish what is lacking in our economy. First thing comes to mind is energy which we are really short on. It doesnt necessarily mean increased oil supplies through exploration.. it can also mean increased alternate energy. There is other areas that are way too underutilized like aluminium .. We probably should invest more there bercause aluminium will play a critical role in solar thermal technologies that is not widespread yet.. We no longer have the luxury to seek out the most proftiable ones as our economy is getting worse day by day. We must also seek out the most producitve ones without too much regard toward profitablity.. If not, our economy will not be growing as fast as we desire and we will still get shortchanged elsewhere like through budget cuts and deeper debts... Profitablity is not everything ... Value is a good criteria to take in consideration.

July 15 2011 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply