Brenden Mulligan's avatar
$274.9m follower assets
What if Commonstock had more anonymous profiles?
This question comes out of sheer curiosity. Let me explain the logic ..

Love it or hate it, web3/crypto is pushing boundaries of what financial transparency is. Never before has such a large number of people been comfortable with totally exposing their entire investment history. But many, if not most, do it anonymously. Although you don’t know who the ape-avatared person on twitter really is, you 100% know how well they’ve picked what crypto/NFTs to buy. That's enough to know if they're BS or worth listening to.

Commonstock is without a doubt the closest thing traditional finance has to web3. It brings transparency to traditional financial in a way no one has ever done before. It has made people comfortable exposing their trading history. And it’s done so while staying neutral (e.g. it’s not trying to compete with existing brokerages - it embraces them). That's made it lightyears ahead of unverified screenshots on WallStreetBets and far more objective than sites like Public whose ultimate goal is to compete with other brokerages.

That led me to wonder… while Commonstock has been very aligned with web3 psychology when it comes to being transparent about trading history, anonymity in traditional finance has largely been unexplored. On CS, you have to reveal (for the most part) who you really are (“doxxing” yourself in web3 parlance). Even if that’s not a requirement, it’s the vibe.

But what if it wasn’t? How would you feel if the portfolio you were tracking was a totally anonymous identity. If you knew that CS guaranteed the trading history was verified and accurate, would it matter? Or would you be hesitant to trust it without a real identity tied to it?

I'm genuinely curious, and would love the community's thoughts on it.

Disclosure: I'm a Commonstock shareholder, former employee, and big fan of the team and platform.
Would more people share portfolios on Commonstock if it was anonymous?
44 VotesPoll ended on: 05/08/22
Conor Mac's avatar
Would more people share portfolios if they were anon? I think, yes. It’s ‘easier’ to do so, to be able to hide behind anonymity. Perhaps, also easier to express one’s self without judgement.
Would it make me value the person/data/insights less? No.
Should Commonstock be exclusively anon? I don’t believe so.
So to answer your question, i think the answer is ‘yes’, people would share more but i think it should always remain optional and deserves more nuance. As innovative as Web3 has been, the dark side of anonymity has also been pretty evident.
Brenden Mulligan's avatar
@investmenttalk 1000% agree. might update my post title to clarify i'm not suggesting 100% anon, as that wasn't my intention at all. It was just if it felt more appropriate to be anon, would that bring a new class of people willing to share than it currently has, which could be a benefit to the community overall.
Irish Born Investor's avatar
I like my anonymity not because of the people on CS or Twitter but mainly because of those in my normal life. Wouldn’t be a fan of friends (or enemies) knowing my full financial situation or being able to monitor me too much. That said I am probably slowly moving toward a DOX.
ParrotStock's avatar
@irish Same for me Irish, I'm anonymous more for my personal connections than for the CS or Twitter Community.
Reasonable Yield's avatar
I am anon, and want to share mine but no UK brokers yet
Luka 🦉's avatar
I am eager to share it, even with real $ data. But it bugs me that IBKR integration doesn't work properly and requires trade permission which I can't give. 😭
Logan's avatar
How do you define anon? I can create a new CS account today and provide non descriptive user information to conceal who I am. I suppose CS would know my information in the backend, but that wouldn’t be available publicly. This would achieve anon status to a degree, but not as defined in the web3 world.
Brenden Mulligan's avatar
@bang oh yeah, publicly anon is all I mean
Scoreboard Investor's avatar
I’ve thought about updating my profile pic to a real picture of myself and going the opposite way
Brenden Mulligan's avatar
@scorebdinvestor oh fun experiment! See how that changes your audience / engagement / etc …
Giro Lino's avatar
The short answer is "yes."

However, I'm afraid I have to disagree with a few points you mentioned.

We go back to the old discussion about "why should I trust someone not sharing the portfolio?"

I don't believe CS's goal is to create a copycat community. Ppl share to i) show how good are their performance or ii) in the pursuit of improvement.

IMO, if CS succeeds in supporting ppl looking for (ii) curating the best content on the platform, it's a multi bn $ company.
You don't have to share you identity on CS. I know a lot of people do, but anyone is more than welcome to change their @ and name to something else. If you have a linked broker the data is still factual, irrespective of your identity
#1's avatar
It would be a Yes imo but take note of the risk associated with the anonymity.

Say a pseudo account becomes a superstar, with more all more assets following. Would users be able to tell if the user remains the same over the years?

Would CS be able to confirm if a different "person" is now handling the account?