This is Not Financial Advice
Glauber “Pro” Contessoto—an immigrant working multiple jobs and living in a 220-square-foot apartment—gambles his life savings on a joke cryptocurrency. Two months later, he becomes “The Dogecoin Millionaire” and a hero to his growing YouTube following.
It’s easy to get rich online. But as Pro will soon discover, it’s even easier to lose it all. Amateur investors like Pro must navigate a landscape that’s rife with scams, bad advice, and a fear of missing out. THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE exposes the startling risks and rewards of today’s market through expert commentary and the anxiety-inducing stories of real people trying to make millions.
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
The impact campaign for This Is Not Financial Advice will leverage the film as an engaging and educational entry point for millions of people worldwide to learn about financial literacy. We’re partnering with companies, organizations and institutions who share our passion for inclusive financial education. By sparking these conversations, especially in marginalized communities, we can help combat the wealth gap. If you would like to support the campaign, please reach out or to donate, click here.
In March of 2020, I was sitting at home, scrolling social media in search of a distraction. I found it 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.
Soon I was trading Tesla, Gamestop, AMC, Dogecoin, or any asset that someone with a YouTube account told me to buy. The dopamine highs of trading became my form of rejecting monotonous quarantine life. And the community I found through it made me feel less lonely. Together, we daydreamed of getting rich and believed we were changing the financial system. But we weren’t doing either. I wasn’t investing. I was gambling. I just hadn’t learned the difference yet, and wish someone had taken the time to teach me.
This is Not Financial Advice began as a grassroots effort, when I put out a tweet to gauge interest in a documentary about regular people getting into investing. Thousands of people engaged with the post, and within just three days, we had begun production with XTR and the New York Times’ Nathaniel Popper. For the next year and half, we followed four amateur investors as they tried to find wealth, joy, and stability in a financial system that for generations had excluded them because of their gender, race, or insufficient funds. We captured the euphoria and greed of investing in a booming economy, followed shortly by the fear and anxiety when it came crashing down. This rollercoaster ride of ups and downs is also mirrored in the visual language of the film, while the score helps accent these boom and bust cycles through melody. Our intention was to embed a viewer into the minds and emotions of a new investor in the internet age, not to reflect and judge it from a pedestal.
Making this character-driven film was cathartic, and illuminating for my own relationship with FOMO, fear, and greed. The more I filmed with individuals getting caught up in the hype of “get-rich-quick” crypto schemes, the more easily I could see their mistakes—and my own. The internet and social media are transforming wealth in this country by giving more people the chance to invest. But with that comes deep risks, particularly for some of the more financially vulnerable members of our society. I hope this film will help millions of people learn how to be smarter investors, better understand their relationships to money, and to help them think critically about wealth inequality in this country.
– Chris Temple