From cooking videos to stock market, YouTubers try to lure millennial investors

Riska Rahman

The Jakarta Post


Securities firms have turned to celebrities and social media influencers to lure the growing middle class, especially millennials, to invest in their financial instruments as well as to educate potential future customers on how to invest in the stock market.

Presenter, model and YouTuber Kevin Hendrawan — who has more than 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube and 316,000 followers on Instagram — is one of the influencers approached by securities firm Sucor Sekuritas.

“I was approached by Sucor [Sekuritas] last year to star in a three-episode web series aimed at educating millennials in achieving their dreams and reaching financial freedom through stock investment,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday last week.

So far, the series has garnered over 1 million views since its premiere on YouTube last November. However, his endorsement for Sucor did not end there.

“[Sucor Sekuritas’ team] asked me to continue the partnership after they found out that I have been a stock investor for a long time,” he recounted.

He began investing in the stock market about 10 years ago when he was in high school. He started with an investment of between Rp 2.5 million (US$176.18) and Rp 5 million that came from his pocket money.

He also asked some of his friends to invest in the stock market. They often shared investment secrets, including how to pick the right stocks, gain profits and avoid losses. He also learned how to get his confidence back after incurring losses and, most importantly, to become disciplined and patient in investing.

These lessons proved to be beneficial not only for him, but also for his followers — mostly aged between 18 and 30 years old — as he shared these tips in offline events with Sucor Sekuritas and the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) and also online.

Despite being a seasoned content creator, Kevin admitted that he still found creating interesting online content about investing for millennials to be challenging due to the technical nature of the topic and lack of interest from them.

“This topic is not as ‘sexy’ as other topics like love, drama or scary stories for most viewers online,” he said. “That’s why I need to create content that’s light, exciting and easy for them to understand like through the web series.”

Masterchef Indonesia winner and YouTuber William Gozali also produces such content for his social media channels. He is well-known for sharing his cooking and food review videos on his YouTube channel. Through his Instagram stories and podcast, Sudut Pandang Gue (My Point of View), he tells his 69,500 followers on Instagram mostly aged between 18 and 36 years old about his own investment experiences.

He even showed off his stock portfolio, including gains and losses, while also recommending that they open an account with Indo Premier Sekuritas like him if they wanted to start.

“I want to show them that investing is a long-term process and also make them aware that they need to be patient,” said William.

Although he has only been sharing his investment experience online for the past month, he said his posts had started to pique his followers’ interest as he would often receive questions about investing. Kevin said his followers would sometimes come up to him, telling him that he had inspired them to start investing.

This online content and offline events with influencers also benefited securities companies in terms of increasing the number of retail investors.

Sucor Sekuritas vice president of retail and business development Bernadus Wijaya, for instance, said the company’s total retail investors had reached more than six times its institutional investors. It also saw a 30 percent jump in active users since it started to conduct offline campaigns with Kevin.

On the other hand, Indopremier Sekuritas deputy head of marketing and retail Paramita Sari said its partnership with William had been effective in spreading word of mouth to digitally savvy millennials and encouraging them to invest.

IDX president director Inarno Djajadi also felt the benefit of teaming up with influencers and YouTubers.

“We can reach a wider audience to spread awareness about our Yuk Nabung Saham (Let’s Invest in Stocks) instead of the old way of holding concerts in our main hall,” he said.