This is Not Financial Advice

A character-driven feature documentary exploring the psychology of investing through the story of the Dogecoin Millionaire and a generation of new investors powered by the internet and social media.

Location

Various

Year

Completed 2022

Credits

Directors: Chris Temple, Zach Ingrasci

Producers: Jenna Kelly, Carrie Weprin, Martine Phelan-Roberts

In Association with: XTR, Mr. Wizard Productions, Bearcat & Legion M

Representation: Cinetic Media

Publicity: Sunshine Sachs

Director's Statement

It was March of 2020, and I was sitting at home scrolling social media in search of a distraction. At first it came in the form of group chats from friends – telling me to get into stocks and crypto. Soon after, targeted ads began warning me not to miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rich. It seemed like easy money, and with months of pandemic-fueled unemployment looming, I decided to buy in.

Soon I was trading Tesla, Gamestop, AMC, Dogecoin – any asset that someone on the internet told me to buy. The dopamine highs of trading became my form of rejecting monotonous quarantine life. And the community I found through it, was a way of feeling less lonely. Together, we daydreamed of getting rich and believed we were changing the financial system.

In January of 2021, shortly after GameStop became a national talking point, I put out a tweet seeing if anyone would be interested in making a documentary. Thousands of people engaged with the post, and within three days, we had begun production with XTR and the NYTimes’ Nathaniel Popper. A year and a half later, we completed This is Not Financial Advice — a film that ended up very different from where it began.

Making this character-driven film was cathartic, and illuminating for my own toxic relationship with FOMO, greed, and addiction. The more I filmed with individuals getting caught up in the hype of crypto, the more easily I could see their – and my – mistakes. The internet and social media have forever transformed investing, and I hope this film will help millions of others better understand their relationships to money and to help them think critically about wealth inequality in this country.

– Chris Temple