One of the things we strive for at Gear Diary is to make sure our readers are getting honest, accurate information. We do our best to be unbiased in our reviews, and we do our due diligence as best we can when new ideas get pitched to us. With all that in mind, we’re going to raise a major red flag about a pitch we received recently from a company called Qooore.
The heart of Qooore’s pitch is this:
The AI-powered investment app Qooore, educates Millennials and Gen-Zs to invest safely and intelligently while learning the basics of finance all in a visual, experiential, and TikTok-like language they understand.
Here’s the thing, though: it’s completely unclear why Qooore exists. That sounds like a worthwhile goal, but it’s not unique, and there are plenty of ways that can teach investing that’s a little less this:
For example, there are NerdWallet’s straightforward and clear “How to Invest Money” articles. Or articles from experts on sites like Motley Fool. Or the firehose of information available on Investopedia. The point is, there’s nothing mysterious or hard to understand, nor is most of this information hidden behind subscriptions. It’s all a quick Google away. So Qooore needs to bring something super great to compete, and instead, all they bring is a half-assed app and a slew of contradictions.
It’s easiest to list our issues with Qooore in bullet form:
- The app is terrible. The card-style UI is a mess: it’s hard to navigate, and there’s no rhyme or reason to any of the cards or the order in which they appear.
- Qooore has said they do plan to offer trading in the future, but it appears their brokerage partner is a quantitative trading firm. In English, their partnership is with a company that follows patterns and computer algorithms to predict stocks. It’s a perfectly valid way to trade, but it’s not about the fundamentals of a company’s history, which appears to be what Qooore is pushing.
- No one involved in Qooore appears to have any experience with investing. They’re all qualified in startups, but absolutely no one has “investment experience” anywhere in their biographies. So who’s coming up with Qooore’s “investment advice”?
- Qooore claims to be AI-based, but there’s zero information on who developed the AI or how it is supposed to help. There’s no investment track record provided either, so apparently, you should just take Qooore’s word for it that the AI knows how to invest.
- Qooore offers up news headlines and half-articles, but there are no links or ways to research further within the app. It’s basically like a child cut up a copy of the Wall Street Journal and made a collage of the headlines for you.
- Why Qooore? It’s needlessly confusing and annoys our spellcheck!
Also, to give you a better sense…here’s a gallery of select screenshots from the app (click any photo to open the gallery):
Nothing about Qooore makes sense. We’d say it’s a solution searching for a problem, but it doesn’t even solve anything! Everything about it screams “red flag,” so we asked the company some questions. Here are our questions and their answers, which we quoted precisely and did not alter for grammar or phrasing, followed by our responses to their answers.
Gear Diary: Does Qooore plan to add links to further follow news headlines? I noticed while browsing the app that there were headlines but no way to follow the information further.
Qooore: Yes, of course, we are in the process of developing the news delivering system, and the app will take on a very new look soon.
This is excellent news because the current app is terrible! It feels like a proof of concept instead of a fully baked (or even half-baked) product.
Gear Diary: Will Qooore be including risk assessment and risk tolerance education in the future?
Qooore: We are planning on integrating high-grade investment courses. Depending on the level of the user and at what point they left the app, they will have various trading functional abilities and contents available upon visiting it.
Ex: the module on shorts will not be available for the users unless they had covered the short trading module previously.
This is a non-answer. For example, we can all understand the mechanics of how skydiving works, but that wouldn’t address whether skydiving was something we wanted to do. Risk assessment is one part education, one part internal evaluation, and that last part appears to be missing based on the answer.
Gear Diary: What exactly is the purpose of Qooore? Is the goal to eventually funnel users into becoming investors through Qooore?
Qooore: Our goal is to create a community of the generation that understands basic investment principles. For the long-term outlook, we see Qooore as a platform that keeps on developing and helping the users since day one of their investment journey, ranging from choosing the IRA to buying their first house and opening up a savings account for their children’s educational expenses.
This is also a non-answer. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites and services that already offer this, and their apps and links actually work, with news stories that aren’t half a headline from an unknown, unlinked source.
Gear Diary: I noticed Qooore’s brokerage arm is through Alpaca Securities, which appears to be a quantitative firm. How does that track with Qooore’s app, which appears to focus solely on fundamental investing (since the app seems intent on educating users on the history of companies and the qualitative news around them.)
Qooore: Yes, at the moment we are developing trading through API Alpaca, but we are not limited to this partner alone. Right now we are in the active process of getting the RIA License. After that, we would be able to deploy other services with a wider range of investment tools. No conflict could possibly arise between this and our initiative to tell people about basic concepts of the investment world.
Even without a conflict, it’s still confusing. Why partner with Alpaca at all then? What are they bringing to the table?
Gear Diary: I read the bios of the people involved in Qooore. It did not appear any of them have retail investing experience, and a very brief skim through FINRA’s BrokerCheck did not show that any of the Qooore principals hold a Series 7 or Series 66. Who is driving the investment education arm of Qooore and what is their background?
Qooore: Nowadays, people get their knowledge about fundamental of investing from basic tests and tips.
Furthermore, the users will be present with the opportunity to exchange proven strategies with each other and learn from the best.
Right now, the game mechanics is in the development stage. It will allow for a more accessible and comprehensive way of acquiring knowledge. We work in tandem with industry professionals and are confident in the quality of the content.
We also are in the process of obtaining all the necessary licenses and certifications. At the same time, we are in contact with the licensed professionals of the fintech market.
Yes, and I could go on WebMD and diagnose myself, but at some point, it’s helpful to check with an actual professional. I can self-diagnose an ear infection, but I still need a real doctor to give me the antibiotics. All sarcasm aside, this leads to so many more questions:
- Yes, people get their basic knowledge of investing from tests and tips. Those tests and tips are designed and supported by actual professionals, though. The internet is absolutely a game-changer in terms of the ability to educate oneself, but someone, somewhere, has an education in the subject in order to teach it.
- Exchanging ideas makes sense — this already exists on places like r/personalfinance, plus various investment discussion forums. But what is the metric for “the best”? There’s no track record to examine or any numbers at all, really, so apparently, we can all become experts by looking at a poorly designed app?
- We’ll say this real slow: INVESTING. IS. NOT. A. GAME. YOU. CAN. LOSE. REAL. MONEY. IF. YOU. ARE. NOT. CAREFUL. PLEASE. EDUCATE. YOURSELF. FROM. LEGITIMATE. SOURCES. Again, we have references to “industry professionals” and confidence in the content — content that is unattributed and where no actual “industry professionals” appear to be involved. This is like asking the cashier at CVS about your medication interactions; just because someone works for CVS doesn’t mean they’re a pharmacist, and starting a mysterious, half-baked investment app doesn’t make you a professional.
- Great. There was a reference to obtaining an RIA license, which is a positive because it’s a heavily, heavily regulated license. However, WHERE are the other “licensed professionals of the fintech market”? Again, no one with a name and bio on the website has a Fintech background or a financial license, so who are these other professionals, and why aren’t they credited?
We were very skeptical of Qooore from the start, but we gave them a chance to answer our questions. Their answers led to even more questions, and the red flags are starting to look more like a bloodbath. Barring a very big change in the app’s presentation, style, and background, Qooore should be avoided. In the meantime, you can get educated in finance and investments in less opaque and far more transparent and open ways for free from plenty of more reputable sources.