Stock Prof videos aim to educate the public about investing

March 5, 2024

By Mark Muckenfuss

StockProfs’ YouTube channel:

Cal State Monterey Bay professors Jennifer Kuan and Timothy Orme want to turn a scary place into a friendly one. They are introducing people to the stock market through the power of YouTube..

Many people, Kuan says, avoid the market because they’re frightened of losing money. 

“What I would like is for more people to understand the stock market kind of critically and also to feel empowered to invest,” said Kuan, an associate professor in the College of Business. 

To that end, she and Orme, an associate professor in Cinematic Arts and Technology, have produced Stock Prof, a series of one- to two-minute videos illustrating what the stock market is, how it works and providing some guidelines for how to approach investing.

The first six-part series was produced in 2023 and can be found on YouTube. The pair is currently working on Season 2. 

The videos feature cutout animation and voice-over narration to illustrate such things as what a stock is, how its price can fluctuate and what an investment fund is.

Kuan said the idea for the project was inspired by a paper she published in 2018 that was an institutional analysis of the stock market. In discussing the subject with her students, she realized there were some knowledge gaps.

“There were some basics about the stock market that people don’t understand and that would be interesting and important for people to know,” she said, “especially in light of the new development of platforms like Robin Hood (an online trading platform) and cryptocurrency. I was thinking, how can I reach people like my students and other young people? I want them to be investing but in a way that is safe for them.” 

She thinks the stock market has the potential to help level the economic playing field.

“I’m thinking about how the stock market and investing are a way to build generational wealth for people who are historically discriminated against in housing and banking,” she said. 

Orme said the project has been very collaborative.

“My role has been to take the ideas and try to help them be digestible in one-minute videos,” Orme said. “I work with Jenny on writing the scripts. I’m the producer in some sense. Together we figure out what the visuals should be.”

While it would be nice to see one of their videos go viral, Orme said there is no way to control that or make it happen. So far, the number of views has been modest, but he sees great potential.

“Ultimately, if someone goes to YouTube and types in, “How to invest,” we want our video to be the first to pop up,” he said. “That’s one of the longer-term goals. The views will come I think once we get the marketing going.”

Kuan said she is confident the work will be seen. 

“I think the content is valuable and I think the quality is really good and it will eventually make an impact,” she said. “If we can make this accessible to more people, that would be really great.”

If nothing else, she has enlightened at least one person. 

“I feel like I have a better understanding of how to invest,” said Orme. “I’ve been learning a lot.”

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