Former Indonesian cleric helps small investors via social media

8/14/2021 12:43 PM
Young Indonesians take financial advice from social media influencers

Small investors in Indonesia have found new, innovative and unusual ways of investing – via a former cleric's social media accounts.

The world's most populous Muslim country keeps an eye on the Instagram account of Yusuf Mansur, who owns an asset management business. He is a former teacher, who also goes under the name of Jam'an Nurchotib Mansur, and he teaches the 2.9m followers on his Instagram page and 13 million overall across YouTube and Facebook about different stock and investment tips where he insists that he is "simply encouraging Indonesians to become investors and make good use of available opportunities."

Indonesians are increasingly shunning traditional forms of finance in favour of other alternatives, such as following tips from influencers such as Mansur and investigating more shariah-compliant ways of doing business.

One such person, who follows Mansur's advice is Fithriyah, a 35-year-old who follows Mansur's Instagram account and started investing recently. 

"I don't understand stock trading, but I usually look at his postings for ideas." he said. "He is an ustadz, who always preaches for self-discipline and not to become greedy, so I trust him." 

Back in November, Mansur thought that the nation's airline Garuda Indonesia would recover its losses once the pandemic had passed. Shortly after that, the stock price soared over 45%. Air transporter servicer PT Garuda Maintenance Facility Aero Asia was another one of Mansur's tips, and as a result, shares jumped 55% over the next couple of days. 

With his track record at making the right calls, people high up are starting to notice, including high-level investors such as Shane Swanson, senior market structure analyst at Coalition Greenwich.

"It used to be just blips on the radar that you assumed would smooth out over time," he says. "It's not the case anymore. We need to follow this trend or be left behind,"

Indonesia Stock Exchange Director Hasan Fawzi says there's nothing wrong with influencers giving tips because they help attract new investors into the market. 

"He was really just promoting nationalism by recommending state-owned company stocks," says Fawzi. "But we have talked to these influencers and asked them to educate their followers properly, and in accordance with the regulation, and to pay more attention to the fundamental aspects of the companies."