The world of stocks and investments is an intimidating place for many people. Terms like dividends, bullish graphs, and shares are all unknown terminology for the majority. It is even seen as a male-dominated industry, and women in finance are a scarce sight. There is a lack of financial education in our grade schools, which heavily affects the new generation of hardworking kids. Even with some insight on the realm of investing, the intimidating UX in today’s investment platforms repels rather than attract. Investar is inclusive and accessible with its simple hierarchy, design, and copy.
What it does
Investar breaks barriers by introducing kids into the world of finance and helps them become star investors. Our web application uses a friendly user-experience, full of playful colors and imagery to attract younger girls between the ages of 10-15, which allows them to have fun on the platform and learn about the financial realm simultaneously. Children can practice buying shares from companies such as Scotiabank and Tesla with our fake currency system. They can buy or sell shares, and see their money grow!
How I built it
Investar was first brainstormed by three women in tech by building off of each other’s ideas. After mocking up the design and branding on Adobe XD and Illustrator, we created a web application using React.js, express.js, node.js, postgreSQL, and Bootstrap. Our team used Yahoo’s Finance API to gather the sponsor company’s stock share prices. We used Visual Studio Code’s Liveshare extension and Github. So a little bit of everything!
To give the users a more stock market-like experience, we created a fake currency system in which users get $1,000 when they create the account. They then have the option to buy or sell shares across some amazing companies. The goal is to give young girls an environment where they can invest in company shares and excel at it with dummy data. In the database, we keep track of the user’s current balance and the stocks they are investing in. When they buy or sell a share, the money in their wallet is updated accordingly.
Challenges I ran into
Though an incredibly exhilarating weekend creating amazing projects, there were some challenges we ran into. Our remote team was in different timezones, which caused some complications, but we sacrificed some sleep in order to learn and build what Investar is now! As we all worked with new frameworks and programs, we ran into personal challenges with Bootstrap bugs, Postgres installation, and React component rendering, but powered through and solved our issues.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Our team is incredibly proud to have published a finished full-stack web application with SheHacks! Our team members all worked with new frameworks, APIs, and fought through pesky bugs all weekend. We all learned new skills, collaborated at light night hours, and created an app that contributes to society for the better. We are proud of how our app pushes for the need to close the gender gap in the finance world, encourages younger girls to expand their financial literacy, and help them gain confidence in investing.
What I learned
Our team learned more about the stock market ourselves, as we completed this project. We learned how to install and utilize Postgres as well as new aspects of React.js. We were able to teach each other new coding concepts as well as learn about cryptocurrency through Hedera’s session, which we all attended as a team! Lastly, we excelled in our skills in team coordination and communication in a remote setting.
What's next for Investar
Investar’s journey in spreading financial literacy doesn’t stop here! We hope to be able to expand on the stocks provided on our web application, giving users a chance to discover other companies and make their own choices in investments. Investar also hopes to create more friendly documentation and stories that simplify the financial world for children to understand and learn from.