mYCharts - August 8, 2019
Solving Student Debt with Ramp Capital
Q: Can you tell us about the origins of Ramp Capital and your philosophy on the increasingly popular #FinTwit?
A: The origins of Ramp Capital go back to around 2013. Another anonymous blogger, Zero Hedge, recognized a phenomena where, at the close of the market every day, some mysterious buyer was coming into the market and aggressively bidding up stocks. I found this to be interesting, so I decided to create a Twitter account to capture the zeitgeist. Something I didn’t expect was that within the first couple of days, I already had a few thousand followers. From there, I just ran with it and Ramp Capital has evolved over the past 5 years. I try to present market information in a funny yet critical way.
On FinTwit, it’s a pretty tight-knit community. There are a bunch of stars, ranging from Downtown Josh Brown to Wu-Tang Financial, who all take different angles on the markets and investing, but we also all live in a bubble that we helped create. When I try to explain FinTwit to people outside of this bubble, they never seem to understand it or have the same enthusiasm as I do. The market, with its trends and news and ridiculousness, is always evolving and there are so many good ideas shared on FinTwit every day that it never gets old.
Q: How long have you been using YCharts?
A: I’ve been a YCharts user since the start of 2019. The amount of economic information available on YCharts makes it a one-stop shop for comparing just about anything markets-related. Because Twitter moves so fast, I used to struggle with trying to quickly find data and information to post on Twitter or write about in a blog, but YCharts has filled that gap for me.
Q: When you put together your mYChart, what were you trying to understand or communicate?
A: When I had the idea, YCharts had recently rolled out a new feature which showed the growth of $10,000 over any timeframe and I wanted to use that functionality. This type of analysis had previously been sensationalized by the financial media and Twitter users and it has the effect of making people sense a fear of missing out (FOMO).
While putting together this chart, I was trying to figure out a unique way to use this $10k growth feature and combine it with a current hot topic — the hot topic of the day was student loan debt. I wanted to show that if you had invested in $SHOP when you were a freshman in college you could have used the proceeds to pay off your debt. This was a perfect hyperbole.
Ramp followed up his first tweet with this chart showing that $10,000 invested in Shopify (SHOP) grew to over $100,000 in just four years:
Q: Is there a secret tip or shortcut that you’d like to share with other YCharts users or someone considering trying out the platform?
A: First thing I’d say is that I’m building interpersonal relationships with real people every time I tweet or comment on something. I make my audience think, laugh, or react, and YCharts is great for a joking dialogue on social media — but remember: there’s a real person behind every account, and I’m very much talking to and with them.
My secret tip for anyone using YCharts is to always use the search function and leverage the Support team. The search function is just like Google so even if you don’t know the exact name of what you’re looking for, YCharts will understand what you’re looking for and offer suggestions. As for customer service, I’ve sent multiple chats/emails to the YCharts team asking about certain functionalities or data series and I’ve always received a detailed and timely response. As a bonus tip, try tweeting charts from directly inside YCharts using the “Share” button.
Q: What have you noticed about how your followers respond to your tweets when you include a visual element, such as a chart, GIF, or video?
A: It is a proven fact that visual elements like images and videos always get more engagement on any social media platform, and Twitter is no exception. I like to scan Twitter to see what’s trending and what people are talking about, then figure out an interesting, funny, or ironic way to present that data. After I post a chart, I just sit back and watch people engage with each other through comments or even more visual elements. If you do this well enough, and with a little luck, one may eventually go viral.