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Web Summit

eToro CEO on democratizing the stock market

eToro CEO on democratizing the stock market

I’m not a trader. I have no experience with stock markets, and frankly, I thought it would remain this way. That was until I met this week’s guest, Yonni Assia.

Israeli, and as direct as you would expect, Assia is the CEO of social trading platform eToro. A global investment marketplace with the aim of democratizing investing for new traders whilst providing a pretty interesting prospect for the more experienced.

Now at 10 years old, the social trading platform has amassed 5 million users in 170 countries, and on course to make a real dent in an industry barely changed since its inception.

Assia puts the growth trajectory down to the truth that the “sharing economy caught on” and largely reduced the transactional costs in asset sharing.

The big change has been the availability of data on people and things, which makes sharing cheaper and easier than ever, and thus possible in an unimaginable way.

“Facebook, Twitter was the beginning and then suddenly you had individuals on Airbnb sharing their real estate. People began to understand it was possible to monetize your assets whether it was an apartment, or their digital assets like a financial portfolio.”

Before the sharing economy, sharing anything was usually more hassle than it was worth.

The differentiator with eToro compared to the traditional stock market is the god like capability of being able to view traders that are performing particularly well.

What’s more is that you can copy them exactly.

Assia described the woes experienced by many entrepreneurs peddling a disruptive business, explaining, “We were dismissed as idiots…No one in the traditional finance space believed that anyone would share, or create their own online portfolios. Now, 99% of eToro users share their portfolio with other users.”

To hear more about social trading and how Assia overcame his critics, take a listen to this week’s podcast above.

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