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Values-Based Investing App

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As an average investor, you don’t have access to the wealth of information financial advisors and banks have. You can read a prospectus, Google a stock, or ask those in your circle, but often times, the information is heavily-quantitative, dense, and impersonal. I want to create a values-based investing app that analyzes your interests and values and recommends portfolios accordingly.

My target market is millennial investors, as research has shown that they are more likely to be interested in social impact investing and ESG investing. I anticipate that by offering values-based portfolios, and not the traditional portfolios that are based on risk profiles, we will be able to attract market share and hopefully those who haven’t previously invested because the barrier to entry was too high. Additionally, this hyper-personalized investing experience can help people feel more connected to their investments and hopefully encourage them to invest more and more frequently. 

What do you think? What are some of the risks I’m not thinking of? Would you invest in an app like this?

7 Comments

  1. I like this idea, but see it being more appealing for the novice investor. For this to be competitive for a more advanced investor, I’m looking at things more like fund fees, performance, etc, and less about alignment with my values. I think a lot of people may feel the same as me too. I’m all for personalized portfolios and value investing, but I’d just want to make sure the fund fees and opportunities were comparable to the bigger platforms.

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  2. I like this idea and see it having nonprofit implications for the underbanked. I would recommend having a few more entry-level products to ease people into investing who may not be as equipped to jump right in, e.g., budgeting and saving tools.

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  3. I really like this idea a lot. As someone who wants to know how to better invest according to her personal values, this is really appealing. One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll have to make sure the app is really secure– especially if it’s linking to my personal accounts. Are you thinking that the app would understand my values and interests by connecting the app to my social accounts? How many accounts would I need to connect to? I’d feel that I was incurring more risk with each additional account I link out to.

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    • You raise some great points. I imagine this can be designed for in a few different ways: we’ll have a low-tech solution where the user inputs various interests and values manually, and there won’t be a need to link out to external accounts. This may be a more secure version but less personalized of a portfolio. We’ll also have a solution to link to a few different accounts, and we’ll securely store your information. You’ll be free to request deletion of your personal information at any time, so you could receive your personalized portfolio and then request that we delete the personal inputs that went into it. Does that help answer your question?

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  4. Hi August– interesting idea you have! I can see some implications for my field, real estate. There are many folks now who want to get into it and many folks who also have knowledge to spare. There’s money to be made on both ends, and there’s a matching process that could be made to find opportunities, connect folks, and make deals. I think we should chat more if you’re interested. Feel free to shoot me an email if you’re interested in talking more and maybe partnering!

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