Rubicoin on investing, cryptocurrency and fintech

Michael Hocking spoke to Rubicoin co-founder John Tyrrell about the importance of investing, the problem with cryptocurrency and the fintech mentality.

All the noise about crypto has, for me, become rather like a buzzing fridge. A bit annoying, hard to ignore – but ultimately rather enticing.

But what about good old-fashioned stock investing? Rubicoin’s aim is to bring the consumer back to stock – to teach the consumer how to invest, and help them to do so sensibly.

John Tyrrell, co-founder of Rubicoin, explained the Rubicoin philosophy, and the continued importance of stable investments amid all the noise.

John Tyrrell, COO, Rubicoin

What is Rubicoin?

Rubicoin was set up about 4 years ago by myself, and my co-founder Emmet, with a mission to get the world investing successfully. We started giving courses on stock investing, and it was going quite well – we were getting a lot of positive feedback. But then we’d have people coming to the course and 6 months down the line saying to us, “Yeah it was great, I can’t wait to get started.” And we’d say, “You haven’t started yet?” To which they’d reply, “No, I just couldn’t get into it, it’s too hard.”

We dived deeper and realised there was a fear of getting started. People believed in it and wanted to get started, but they didn’t know which broker to choose, what advice to listen to, which stocks to invest in, how to diversify – a lot of very simple stuff, to our minds. The whole idea of Rubicoin is to make the process of becoming an investor as easy and as beautiful as possible.

Tell me about ‘Learn’ and ‘Invest’.

We created two products – Learn and Invest. Learn is designed to educate people about the stock market. People are afraid of asking dumb questions, and of course there’s no such thing as a dumb question. We even have a section in Learn called, ‘What’s a stock?’ Then the Invest app is learning by doing, essentially. We curate a list of around 100 stocks (US), and analyse stocks based on a time-proven and back tested set of criteria. We do the heavy lifting for our customers and apply our criteria to all the stocks on the exchange.

What is the importance of teaching people to invest?

As people who have invested over a long time, we can see the value of diversifying your finances and protecting your future. If you have problems with college debt, or planning pensions, taking control of your financial future is just something you need to do. A lot of people aren’t investing in stocks because they’re afraid of it.

What is the advantage of trading stocks over cryptocurrencies?

Investing in a cryptocurrency means you’re buying a piece of the overall market, so you’re basically saying you’re going to buy one stock. When you’re investing in limited businesses, and you’re building a diversified portfolio, you’re spreading your risk. We do a stock of the month – if you bought our top seven stocks and our worst seven stocks that we recommended last year, your combined portfolio would be above 30%. The power of diversifying can’t be underestimated. If you decide to go and buy a cryptocurrency, you need to ask yourself: “what else am I investing in?” Investing in one area, in one sector, is essentially putting all your eggs in one basket – which is not a good investment philosophy.

There’s been a general movement towards democratizing finance of late – why do you think this is, and what’s the upshot of this for investments?

It’s massively important. The entire fintech start-up industry, for certain, is all about that. It’s saying: here’s a complicated system that is hundreds of years old, and its complexity is keeping the man on the street at bay. Fintech is about that – breaking down the barriers.

What do you think Brexit will do to the stock market?

It’s hard to tell. All good investors will tell you it’s time in the market, not timing the market. Get in as soon as possible. Don’t worry about where the indices are now as opposed to 6 months ago. We try as much as possible through our products to teach our customers not to get bogged down in the noise. The constant ticker tape running across the bottom of the screen telling you what’s happening in the stocks – the majority of it is just noise.

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