Published on June 29, 2017 on the Voleo website

The stats are in, and the trend is disconcerting.

Now in their 20s and early 30s, recent surveys show that millennials have yet to embrace the concept of stock investing. In the United States, a Harris poll found that nearly 80 percent of millennials are not invested in the stock market. While the numbers are better here in Canada, the trend is the same. Simply put, millennials lack confidence in the market.

But who can blame them?

The children of Baby Boomers, millennials had their coming of age in an era of great political and economic volatility. From watching the attacks of September 11, 2001 live on television to witnessing their parents’ savings vanish during the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, their lack of confidence is understandable.

While confidence is low among millennial investors, young women are particularly hesitant. According to a 2015 CIBC poll of Canadian millennials, investing confidence drops even more for women with 58 percent saying they lack confidence when it comes to investing, compared to 36 percent of young men.

As millennials become the dominant force of Canada’s workforce, this trend should not only concern the trading community and those that run our stock exchanges, but everyone interested in the country’s economic well-being. Stock markets are both an excellent opportunity for long term gains, especially for young people who can play the long game, and an important driver of capital for businesses looking to become and remain globally competitive.

If we’re to turn the tide, we will need to do something radically different. Here is where Voleo fits in.

As the only true social stock trading app, think of Voleo as Fantasy Football meets Facebook meets stock trading. You can download it for free and its mobile and web-enabled technology platform allows groups of users to form their own private trading groups to invest in publicly traded securities.

When a person decides to establish a trading group using Voleo, they initially decide who gets invited, how much the minimum investment is and a number of other rules relating to the functioning of the club. Once the terms are set and the members are invited and settled in, the app takes over permanently and democracy rules the day in the Voleo universe with the group voting on whether to buy or sell.

The beauty of Voleo is that it creates an entirely new trading landscape, in which club trading success and failure is tracked and individuals are transparently scored on their trading, their proposals and their ultimate decisions. This score is called the DROID, which stands for “the definitive return on investment decisions.” With a high score, those individuals that make the right calls, proposing, approving or disapproving of the right club trades stand out within this newly created social trading ecosphere. Just like in the early days of Twitter and YouTube, there is an opportunity to produce the next generation of social media stars and providing a new channel for financial influencers.

Voleo flips traditional stock trading on its head by making it fun, relevant, and drawing upon the power of the crowd.

This is not your grandparents’ investment club, yet all the traditional benefits of investing together remain: If you don’t feel you have enough money, now you can pool together with your friends. If you feel like you lack knowledge of the market, you can gather insights from the community. If you don’t trust the media or what experts are saying, then you can listen to your peers. If you don’t have enough time, it takes just seconds to vote and responsibility for idea generation is shared.

Voleo has been described as a “ton of fun” by early adopters whose feedback has already led to new features. Students who first tried Voleo SimuTrader to make hypothetical trades gained confidence and are now investing for their financial future. The trading revolution has begun.