The social aspect of playlists sounds significant. Why is social investing so important to you?
AL: To give some background here, when we started [careers in finance] we were so intimidated by investing and this was partly because we did not have a community. We didn’t have a network where we felt safe and secure, where we could ask questions and share knowledge. Shareability is significant because, at its core, Alinea is a community-driven platform where social features are integrated throughout the whole experience.
How does Alinea encourage young people to invest and plan for their financial futures when so many have limited access to money or funds?
EH: When we started, the first thing we focused on was offering fractional investing to make sure that a person can diversify their portfolio, but at the same time, invest as little as a dollar. Over 76% of our users are first-time investors. They’re starting with very small amounts. The average first-time investment is about £19 ($25, €23), which gives them the confidence to then re-invest down the line. Our refunder rates have increased tremendously because users have been able to invest confidently.
AL: Apart from the low minimum investment amount, Alinea’s user experience is built for accessibility. The design is meant to feel non-technical and approachable. We don’t use any colours like red or green, for example, that would put you in a psychologically triggered state, whether that’s fear or greed. We want users to feel neutral or positive when making important financial decisions. Therefore, the design and the experience feel like a social media app. We want it to be and feel like the furthest thing from a scary technical investing experience.
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