Everybody eats

Everybody eats

The push and pull of wealth transparency

When the meme-ification of all things finance and #gains launched into the broader public sphere following the GME stock frenzy a little over 1 year ago, we got a glimpse into the nascent world of social finance. Humanity has thrived on the sharing of information, initially parent-to-child, then expanding through communities. The innovation of the internet massively expanded this reach, however, historically we’ve seen the sharing of personal experiences around finances and wealth lag behind significantly. How many people were encouraged not to speak openly about money by loved ones and elders? A 2021 survey reports only 25% of 55-75 year old Americans regularly speak about money, while 47% of 18-34 years olds states that they regularly discussed money. As we’ve seen with a few other taboo or socially stigmatized topics, things are definitely changing. Enter social media.

Over a decade later, it’s hard to overstate the impact social media has had on society. Suddenly, interactions could be short, anonymous, pointed, vague, and consumed in a number of different forms. Online communities began to be formed around the usual suspects (movies, sports, dating, etc.), but it was most transformative for the stigmatized topics, the ones that previously never had a home in traditional in-person conversations. Combine this with increasing wealth inequality and much easier access to information and financial markets (looking at you, Robinhood), and you get the perfect recipe for the social finance revolution.

Though there are many opinions about money, I struggle to think of many other things that almost everyone wants more of, which creates massive opportunities for collaboration, gamification, and general fun. At Listen, we’ve started to see a number of new platforms aimed at making it easier to chat, plan, and invest with loved ones across multiple channels, spurring a broader shift towards learning and gaining together. As we all continue to connect on more personal aspects of our lives, more and more consumers are dropping the notion that finance is a zero-sum game, and looking towards a future where everyone can eat.

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