Fintech apps that strive for good
Fintech platforms are helping to ensure customers not only understand what diversification means, but also how it can help them build a more balanced portfolio.
There are fintech apps out there that are focused less on gamification and more on personal finance. Let’s take a look at three: Wealthfront, Stash and Public.com.
Andy Rachleff, co-founder and CEO of Wealthfront, made the decision that the company would remove all financial jargon and acronyms from its communications to explain concepts in “plain English,” said company spokesperson Kate Wauck.
Wealthfront, one of the largest independent robo-advisers with $15.85 billion in AUM, has Rachleff write a lot of the educational posts himself. The fintech has also dedicated its Instagram platform to pushing education on timely topics to its 16,000 followers.
Micro-investing app Stash has a built-in educational arm, Stash Learn, that breaks down personal finance and presents it in a way that all customers can understand, said Stash co-founder and CEO Brandon Krieg.
“We also made sure that investments themselves were as accessible as possible by giving the ETFs on our platform new names,” Krieg said. Stash will name Schwab US Dividend Equity ETFs “delicious dividends” or iShares Global Clean Energy ETFs “clean & green,” and Global X Social Media Index ETF “social media mania.”
What’s more, as customers navigate the app, they’re met with dozens of icons next to various financial terms. For example, when customers look at their portfolio, they can easily access more information on what a “return” is or the “average price” of a share, Krieg said.
Other tools Stash offers, like diversification analysis, help to ensure customers not only understand what diversification means, but also how it can help them build a more balanced portfolio for themselves.
THE PUBLIC EYE
Combining social networking and investing to advance financial literacy is Public.com’s mission, which leverages a community feel with the app’s 1 million users. When users open the app, the first thing they see is other investors talking about their investments and personal finance.
Public.com has also built features that provide in-app context and education to help members make their own decisions. These include Safety Labels, which appear on potentially risky stocks before members make a trade; Long-Term Portfolio, where members can drag, drop and “lock in” stocks they want to hold for the long run (the app will remind users of this if they go to sell these stocks within a year, helping them remain aware of their short- versus long-term investing goals); and Why It’s Moving, which provides contextual information on why stocks are moving significantly up or down.
Public.com does not encourage day trading or offer complex trading instruments, like margin accounts or options, a company spokesperson said.
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