When Warren Buffett talks about investing, everyone listens.
Now, those listeners can sign up for a constant stream of Buffett’s investing wisdom, along with insight from other major investing names including Carl Icahn, George Soros, and Ray Dalio through an app called iBillionaire.
“The stock market is volatile,” says iBillionaire cofounder and CEO Raul Moreno. “As an investor, you’re deciding if you need to buy or sell or hold. One of our missions is to help investors make these decisions, and we thought, ‘Who would you want to help with that decision?’ In an ideal world, you’d want the best in the industry to guide you through the process.”
And that’s what iBillionaire aims to do. By tracking the activity of billionaires chosen for both their proven ability to do well in the market long-term and their status as industry thought leaders, the app provides a constant stream of information about their investments.
This information comes from publicly accessible SEC filings that ostensibly, anyone could look at.
“By learning what the billionaires are doing and what they think, we provide the value,” says Moreno. “Obviously the information is available publicly, but it’s not easy to understand or to see on a phone, where people are making the decisions.”
iBillionaire has a few parts: There’s the app, which provides a running commentary of what billionaires are doing with their money and allows investors to compare their own portfolios to those of the billionaires; an index created from 30 large-cap equities popular among said billionaires; and an ETF (IBLN), which tracks the index and allows anyone with at least $US25 to invest.
“The reason we chose an ETF structure is we believe that it allows any type of investor,” says Moreno. “It trades like a stock: You can buy it from any bank — JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, all of them. We believe in the democratization of these investors’ ideas that historically have only been available to rich people. We have the diversification, the liquidity, but not the high fees or high investment minimums. That’s one of the reasons we like ETFs, and why we’re bullish on them as an investment vehicle.”
Moreno says that the iBillionaire Index ETF currently holds $US36 million in assets, and iBillionaire’s site claims that the index outperforms the S&P 500.
The iBillionaire app itself has has 160,000 global downloads, and 90% of those downloads are from individual investors, Moreno estimates. The other 10% is from financial advisers.
“We assume the market is volatile, and as a result of that reality, you will have to make investing decisions, and those decisions are not always buy and hold,” Moreno explains. “We give you the information about what the billionaires are doing and thinking, so you can make your own decisions and think for yourself about what’s best for you. I guess it goes against the traditional view of passive investing, but it’s not completely active investing, either. It’s a mix of both.”
If Acorns, the app that invests small amounts of money ETFs that we’ve previously discussed, is an app for people just dipping their toes into the investing waters, iBillionaire is for those who are already nose-deep.
Anyone might be interested in seeing how billionaires invest, but it’s that next step that might be intimidating to rookie investors: connecting that insight with your own portfolio.
iBillionaire is very clear about the fact that it’s not an investment adviser and that the information it provides may apply to each investor in a different way, but applying any investing insight to your own situation involves a certain amount of knowledge.
Still, it’s pretty cool to get a push notification about Seth Klarman.
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