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Graham Griffin
Graham Griffin
Articles (164) 

Investing According to YouTube

Looking into the advice from financial influencers

Since the very first video was posted in 2005, YouTube has grown to see a user base of over two billion people. The platform’s viewership spans 100 countries and has content posted in 80 languages. This widespread usage sees one billion hours of content consumed on a daily basis.

The platform has served for both the purposes of entertainment and education. In recent years, it has popularized the world of finance and investment for the masses. Channels that are focused on financial advice and investment ideas have gained millions of subscribers and hundreds of millions of views.

YouTube, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL), itself caters to these channels as they have easily targeted and searchable keywords that help content make its way to the intended audience. The producers see the benefits of YouTube's search algorithm, on top of their channels raking in thousands of dollars in ad revenue thanks to their advertiser-friendly content.

On a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of people click on videos that are intended to give them ideas on what they should do with their money, all with disclaimers that it should not be taken as advice. The content seen varies greatly, but employs many of the strategies utilized by the top investing gurus around the world.

Undervalued options

One YouTube channel that takes a more active approach is Market Gains. The channel has been active since 2012, but has only been producing over the last several months. Since then, they have grown to over 27,000 subscribers and see upwards of 100,000 views on their most popular videos. The channel focuses on providing up-to-date information on stocks and options.

In a video titled "Stocks That Are Still Cheap - BUY NOW" | Robinhood, the channel dove into some undervalued stocks that are believed to be good options moving forward in the short term. The first company discussed was Invesco Mortgage Capital (NYSE:IVR).


Market Gains claims that companies that are involved with mortgages in general have been beaten down recently due to the pandemic as people are not actively seeking out the market. This has placed traditionally strong, consistent companies at a lower valuation where they can be bought for below their true value. At the time the video was made, Invesco was trading at $6.15 per share when it is usually closer to $15 per share.

GuruFocus gives the company a severe warning sign of poor financial strength and a medium warning sign that their dividend payout ratio is too high. Cash compared to debt has remained low over the last five years, though the company has seen its net income bounce back after struggling in 2018.



Rising in popularity on the platform is videos targeting passive income. One of the most popular strategies for generating passive income amongst investment YouTube channels is dividend payouts.

Andrei Jikh, the magician of finance, is a proponent of dividend investing and passive income strategies in general. His channel was created in 2017 and has generated over 53 million views in three short years. The videos on his channel focus primarily on investing, but also delve into trending topics in the world of finance at large.

His recent video, "7 Best Stocks For Passive Income (On Robinhood)," has generated over 300,000 views in the last week alone in which he dives into his favorite companies to invest in for their dividend payouts. One of Jikh's favorite dividend stocks is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).


In this video, Jikh shows off a graphic that gives Apple a 99 out of 100 dividend safety rating alongside a one-star valuation rank according to Morningstar. He is upfront about the fact that Apple is a very expensive company to buy at the moment, but that if it were ever trading at fair value it would be a great buy. He emphasizes the amount of free cash flow that Apple has access to as this can protect the dividend payout.

GuruFocus gives Apple a financial strength rating of 6 out of 10, a profitability rank of 10 out of 10 and a valuation rank of 1 out of 10. A price-earnings ratio of 27.56 places it lower than 62.92% of the industry and a price-book ratio of 19.38 places it below 99% of the industry.


Index funds

The final strategy to look at comes from a channel run, and self-titled, by Graham Stephan. Since 2016, the channel has grown to over two million subscribers and has generated 164 million views.

Stephan got his start at the tender age of 18 by moving into the world of real estate. Since then, he has generated over $120 million in real estate sales, which serves as the basis for his financial expertise on YouTube. His channel focuses giving advice on topics ranging from generating passive income to real estate investing and analyzing other popular financial influencers.

As a champion of both real estate and passive income, Stephan’s advice largely revolves around generating income with the least amount of effort and avoiding additional fees at all costs. Thanks to this focus, he emphasizes the ease of success that investors can find by putting their money into index funds.

While Stephan does not go into any specific funds, he recommends that viewers look into the "3-Fund Portfolio" according to Forbes. Within this strategy, an investor would be investing in a total market, international and bond index fund. He emphasizes the ease of use in investing through index funds as the investor does not have to worry about day-to-day prices. At the same time, index funds allow for maximum diversification across a portfolio so that an investor is never plagued by one industry tanking at any given time.

Mobile investing

While every investor will take a slightly different strategy, and YouTube’s finance influencers are no different, there is one common ground that exists throughout the world of video advice. This point comes down to an interest and collaboration with mobile investing.

The majority of investing and financial advice videos on YouTube are either directly sponsored, or contain an advertisement for a mobile investing platform like Robinhood or Webull. These platforms give people new to investing a relatively straight forward, no-frills platform to invest their money with.

In short, these mobile investing platforms are capitalizing on a younger demographic that is viewing content on YouTube and has little to no experience with investing. The content creators that make these sponsored posts are largely getting paid in some form or another, so their advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

Disclosure: Author owns no positions or funds mentioned.

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