You've just opened your first brokerage account; you're excited and eager to begin your DIY investing journey.
Unfortunately, your immediate family doesn't invest. Your coworkers don't know what they're doing. And you're struggling to find other Canadians to connect with.
So like many Canadians, you begin down the rabbit hole of Twitter accounts and mindlessly search anonymous Reddit forums to no avail.
Until now, the investing industry in Canada has been a private and rather lonely experience for investors - Blossom Social is here to change that.
Looking to come to your own conclusion?
In this day and age with lighting fast download speeds and secure app stores, many people simply prefer to take a trial run of the platform themselves. If this is you, just click below to download the app and start exploring it within seconds.
The only thing I ask? When you're finally situated, give me a follow at @Stocktrades.
What is Blossom Social and Social Investing?
Blossom Social is a social network for investors. It is an innovative new investing app in Canada that offers a unique and transparent way for investors to generate investment ideas and deepen their knowledge of the investment industry.
In contrast to anonymous platforms like Reddit & Twitter, Blossom users link their existing brokerage account to the app so that all the holdings and trades details shared within the feed are verified by actual data, creating a transparent learning environment that leads to richer discussions – if someone says they're buying 100 shares of Tesla, you can rest assured knowing their money is where their mouth is by cross-referencing with their portfolio!
This idea of social investing is already gaining rapid popularity in areas like the US, where Public.com has over a million investors, and in Europe, where eToro has millions of users.
Blossom aims to be the first to bring this concept to Canada. The app is free to use and already boasts over 10,000+ Canadian users since its beta launch in June 2022, with the user base growing daily.
I've even found myself using the app, linking one of our model portfolios at Stocktrades Premium that I own and communicating with other Blossom users daily.
Let's dig into why I like the platform.
Features of Blossom Social
Blossom Social offers many features that make it an attractive investment tool. The app's main idea is to provide investors transparency by setting up verified stock portfolios.
Blossom provides content in a feed-based format. The For You feed is where you are shown the content you are most interested in based on the people & topics you follow.
This includes real-time trade notifications and posts for other Blossom users you follow. Here you will also find Hot Posts that are trending within the community. You can also toggle to the Public feed, exposing you to the various conversations and posts happening in the community.
Users can create posts and tag trades, stocks, and images, share their portfolios, create polls, and share stock charts.
From my time on the app, I've found that users love to engage with interactive polls, share their portfolios for community feedback, share earnings reports, ask general investing inquiries, and enjoy the occasional fun stock market meme.
On Blossom, your profile is your portfolio. Once you've linked (or manually added) your brokerage accounts, you'll see a pie chart breakdown of your holdings at a high level – I've found this to be a valuable way of viewing your holdings all in one spot. You can scroll down to see more granular details on your holdings and create a watchlist.
For privacy reasons, only you can see the dollar figures, while other users viewing your account will see percentage gains vs losses.
And, of course, similar to other social networking apps, you can upload a profile picture, fill out a short bio about yourself and view your followers vs following statistics.
The Discover Tab is a valuable area on which users can improve and curate their unique experience. It is here where you can search for new community members to follow and connect with, as well as being able to select what topics they are interested in.
For instance, I follow topics like Dividends, Technology, Mining and Market News - and my feed will be curated for this type of content.
The Dividends topic is trendy, with over 8,000 users following the topic alone.
Some fun statistics and insights are provided within the Discover Tab, such as seeing the top gainers of the day within the community or the Top 25 Most Held stocks on Blossom to help with stock idea generation.
Keep in mind short-term gains like this and what everyone else holds are immaterial to your long-term portfolio's success. But for entertainment and "nice to know" purposes, I do enjoy it.
Learn & Earn:
And lastly, the Learn & Earn. An opportunity to learn about companies and earn a few bucks!
The Learn and Earn feature is where companies pay Blossom Social a marketing budget to educate and help with brand awareness. Users can take quizzes about the companies and earn money for their efforts.
A user can earn anywhere between $1-2 CAD in their Blossom Wallet for completing a short educational lesson and completing a comprehension quiz based on the lesson's contents.
Blossom has previously partnered with companies like BMO ETFs and Harvest ETFs. The users seem to love this innovative concept – the opportunity to learn & earn – what more could you ask for?
The earnings from the Learn & Earn can be withdrawn upon the user's request or sent as a gift to posts within the app.
The Pros and Cons of Blossom Social
Every platform has its benefits, nuances, and annoyances. Let's tackle a few of them here.
- Unlike Twitter, the platform is not stuffed full of bots. Discussion and engagement are unique and real
- Linking your brokerage is easy and secure
- New developments in the app are making it so you aren't seeing investment strategies or people that you don't want to
- A wide variety of investment styles will likely have anyone finding a niche they're interested in
- The app can be buggy at times, particularly on Android. However, I give it a pass for now because it is so new
- There is no desktop or browser-based version
- Due to influencer promotion, there is a bias towards particular types of content, such as high-yielding or FIRE strategies. However, this has been shrinking as of late as more Canadians take notice
Security & Privacy of Broker Linking
Throughout experimenting with this platform, I see the platform clearly emphasizes security.
With this prevalence of internet scams and malicious attempts to deprive Canadians of money, the app goes above and beyond to ensure bank-level scrutiny across all dimensions.
Blossom partners with Snaptrade's API, which recently closed a $2.2 USD million seed round and is run by the same founders as the Questrade companion tool, Passiv - a Y Combinator graduate company.
On Blossom, they state the data is never stored or sold; instead, it operates on a read-only basis where the brokerage data is simply populated into the app.
Currently, Blossom links with Wealthsimple Trade, Questrade and Interactive Brokers – with more brokerages like TD Direct and RBC Direct coming soon in the pipeline.
Suppose you're hesitant about the broker linking aspect. In that case, manually adding holdings is always available – or shoot the team a message over the in-app Intercom communication feature to get additional clarification.
Or, realistically, you don't even need to link your brokerage at all. It has plenty of other features to keep you entertained.
The Future of Blossom
Blossom has ambitious plans to become Canada's first social brokerage. Led by ex-McKinsey Founder & CEO Maxwell Nicholson, to date, the company has already raised over $1.5 million CAD from key investors such as Ryan Homes (LOI Ventures), Pareto Holdings and key social media influencers Brandon Beavis and Shay Huang (The Humbled Trader). It plans to launch its official seed round fundraising campaign later this year.
The company plans to file its application to become an IIROC-regulated introducing broker in the spring of 2023 and hopes to allow trading, much the same with a brokerage like Qtrade, within the app by year-end.
Blossom Social is gaining popularity for good reason.
A recent study done by Public & Finimize showed the younger generation is 3X more likely to go to the internet with investing inquiries than their close friends and family. I expect this trend to continue.
Blossom is doing a great job of incorporating state-of-the-art technology innovation to merge these realities for Canadian investors – to change the landscape of investing via increased transparency.
I've found myself checking the app daily, with its transparent social media feed, real-time notifications, and wealth of information, and as a new and exciting way to meet other Canadian investors.
However, a warning for those heading to Blossom with the thought process of improving their portfolio using the app. There is relatively little screening of information, and although opinions are opinions and I respect that, I've spotted outright factually inaccurate information on numerous occasions.
This is not unique to Blossom. This is every social network you visit, which is primarily why I did not highlight it as a negative towards the app.
This is an app, on the social side, that should be used to communicate with other like-minded investors and as a form of entertainment. However, I wouldn't rely on it for investment decisions or information unless it comes from someone you really trust.
Whether you're a seasoned investor or just getting started, Blossom Social is a tool that is well worth considering for your investment toolkit. Try it today by signing up with the button below.