How Alinea is powering an investment youthquake

featured-post
type - big idea
Big Idea
category - fintech
sector - media & technology
sector - youth
Eve Halimi and Anam Lakhani, the Generation Z CEOs of investment app Alinea, explain how they are making finance accessible, sociable and responsible for young women, from traditional stocks to cryptocurrencies

Let’s begin with some background on Alinea and its services.

Eve Halimi: We are a social investment app for Gen Z by Gen Z. We offer investment services such as stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and cryptocurrencies. But what we are most famous for are investment playlists.

Anam Lakhani: A playlist is basically a collection of investments that reflect a theme or strategy. We offer Alinea-featured industry playlists, but the creative part is that users can create their own playlists, which can be shared with friends who can then copy – or edit – a playlist and then invest in it.

How can playlists drive responsible investing?

EH: To give you an example, if I were to create a food playlist, I’d put Beyond Meat, McDonald’s and my other favourite food companies, and then I can allocate the [investment] weights that I want to, click finish, and then invest as little as a dollar in up to 10,000 companies in this playlist.

We’re big proponents of putting your money where your mouth is – many playlists are centred on a cause. One of our most famous playlists on the platform is fighting climate change. Other very popular causes are Black empowerment, LGBTQ+ empowerment, women-founded public companies and green tag companies.

Published by:

4 May 2022

Author: Isabelle Jones

Image: Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Face Mask

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Alenia, US

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.

‘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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