Covestor Using The Follower Model in Public Equities

Angel List uses the Follower model in early stage ventures, to great effect.

Covestor is doing the same in public equities.

I have no data on how they are doing; however I notice that they have not raised a round for over a year. Companies with a lot of momentum tend to raise ever-bigger rounds at frequent intervals (or get acquired or go to IPO).

MyBankTracker has this rather negative review.

The market for public equities is far, far bigger than the market for early stage private companies. So, one might expect Covestor to be doing far better than Angel List. However, one of the lessons that Peter Thiel teaches at Stanford is to start in small markets.

In early stage private ventures, there are enough passionate and motivated Lead investors (they aspire to be VCs and have been locked out of the permanent aristocracy of VCs) and there are enough Followers investors who feel that all the best profits have been taken in the private markets before companies hit the IPO trail. That combination of motivations is fueling Angel List.

That combination of motivations is missing in the public markets. It should not be missing. A healthy public equities market is vital to a free enterprise society. That is why I think we have “the crushed dream of a democratized stock market” and why I keep banging the drum for XBRL. The Follower model makes total sense in Public Markets, but maybe the market is not quite ready yet? Or maybe nobody has got the formula right yet?



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