Making the Financial World Accessible on Social Media

Finances, money, and investments: Simon Schöbel, student in the Mannheim Master in Management program, produces videos, in which he shows young adults how fascinating the financial world can be. The 26-year-old regularly creates new content for his social media channels called “InvestScience”. His videos have become so popular that he has caught the attention of the service “funk” operated by the German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

As a teenager, Simon learned how to manage money through a monthly budget set out by his parents. At the age of 18, during his bachelor’s program in Business Administration at Hof University, University of Applied Sciences, he bought his first share: “I got so inspired by a presentation held by a stock market correspondent at my old university that I decided to give it a try”, Simon explains. After the purchase, he became even more interested in investment opportunities, and he started to expand his financial knowledge.

For almost two years now, Simon has been producing videos on finance alongside his master’s studies. “I started creating content in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was at the peak of the first wave. Thus, I had a lot of time to come up with various ideas. And then I thought: A rational voice of reason might be useful,” he says. And Simon's story is a story of success: He has about 250,000 followers on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram and some of his videos have been viewed by over two million people. “However, this did not happen overnight: During my first year, I had just under 1,000 followers. It was not until recently that my videos became more popular“, Simon explains.

His content and the way he presents it vary depending on the channel and the target group: “On TikTok, there are a lot of people under the age of 20, so the message should be easy to understand.” Simon shares his knowledge about shares and ETFs with teenagers and young adults, explains which insurances are useful, and offers advice on pensions and pension plans. At the beginning, it took him over a week to produce a single video. “Now, I often conduct interviews and cut them into multiple videos.” A member of the University of Mannheim was also already featured in his videos: Last year, he spoke to Professor Dr. Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi about the gender pay gap.

A lot has happened since Simon uploaded his first video on YouTube. Today, he makes money with his videos, employs two student assistants, and has a second job: Simon is a consultant for the TikTok channel “Your Money”, launched by funk and Hesse's public broadcasting cooperation, Hessischer Rundfunk. The 26-year-old can see himself sharing his financial knowledge even after graduating: “It is not up to me whether or not I will continue my work. This depends on the future success of my videos and on my viewers’ feedback.”

Text: Luisa Gebhardt / April 2022