[App Friday] Flow Club really does make social investing fun and addictive
Remember that scene from literally every Hollywood movie about the stock markets or trading or finance where they’re all sitting around a long table, screaming themselves hoarse on the phone, hi-fiving each other, clinking coffee mugs on good stock calls, holding their heads in dismay, at times throwing things at TV screens?
Hollywood got it right - because trading or investing is inherently a very social activity if you look back at its origins. Before computer screens took over, trading was done on paper, in markets and other common gathering areas where people would coalesce every morning to bid on stocks.
In the modern world though, what with online investing platforms enabling investments at the click of a button, the activity has increasingly become one carried out in a silo.
Social investing is making a comeback though, and this time, in a digital format.
Over the past couple of years and largely because of a record number of retail investors signing up on platforms such as, , and , more people are participating in stock markets — and social investing is actively becoming an ask from people on the hunt for investment ideas.
is one such social investing app. At its core, Flow Club allows friends and users to track, follow and discuss each other’s portfolios and investments, and share ideas in closed groups or communities.
On the Google Play Store, the app has over 10,000 downloads, but hasn’t been rated yet.
We took it for a spin, and here’s what we discovered.
Using the app
Right off the bat, Flow Club’s UI/UX is a delight. The modern, clean interface with the very characteristic WhatsApp text bubbles does not let you feel like you’re on a new interface — it feels familiar.
The sign up is a breeze, and you’re in the app in no time at all.
There are three main pages on the app:
- Home — which is also your main landing page. This is similar to the page you see when you first open your Instagram or Twitter app: it shows you what the people you follow on the app are doing.
In Flow Club’s case, the app gives you a quick overview of how the portfolios of the people you follow are performing — whether they’re up currently or making losses. The app does a great job of sorting through the people you follow and slotting them into categories, such as ‘best performing portfolio’.
On the home page, you can also access your “boxes” — basically like a watchlist of stocks and mutual funds you want to track. You can also ‘watch’ other people’s “boxes” and see how those instruments have been performing.
- Discover — this helps you quickly see market movers and losers of the day, some index movements, as well as find interesting people to follow.
A must-not-miss feature here is the bot pages of well-known and veteran investors such as Radhakrishnan Damani, Azim Premji, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, etc. These pages, while they’re not handled by the investors themselves, do a great job of collating the positions they do have open in their portfolios, which one can easily replicate and execute on their own trading accounts.
- Chats — like the name suggests, helps one connect with friends, as well as create closed, personal groups to discuss investment ideas.
The app asks you to plug in your brokerage account, after which it analyses and shows you your positions. Currently, Flow Club only supports a handful of the most used online trading platforms, but it does promise to add more soon.
Every time someone in your circle executes a new trade, the app notifies everyone and invites them to comment/like or give the trade a thumb down — which the app makers perhaps hope will spark discussions around the trade. And I did see instances of that happening.
Flow Club eventually wants to turn into a social-first personal finance app and offer trading services from within the app.
(Image source: Flow Club's website)
Flow Club has nailed social investing on its head.
The “addictiveness” that social media is well known for translates quite well, and had me going back to the app almost as frequently as I do my other social media accounts.
What really caught my attention were the bot pages and how perfectly they captured the investor’s portfolio. Analysing their sector allocation was fun, and it inspired me to do some independent research to understand their bets, better.
The ‘boxes’ feature, while it wasn’t unique, was still useful. I did like that I could follow others’ watchlists, and I realised I tended to do that more often if they had created a “themed” box — such as sugar stocks, or EV-related stocks.
I also enjoyed seeing how my friends’ portfolios were doing on the app, and it encouraged me to keep looking for interesting investing ideas.
All in all, the app ticked all the boxes for me. The one downside, if I were to be a persnickety human being, would be the time it takes to get used to the app. Flow Club could do with slight decluttering, but it isn’t a big enough issue for me to stop using it.
Also, the app is relatively new and does not have a lot of people on it, yet — but that’s just a matter of giving it some time to grow and thrive.
I like Flow Club and it’s staying as part of my list of useful financial apps.