The idea behind this app also came from our own experience with personal finance and investments as some of our team members barely had any knowledge of how investments worked, much less how to invest successfully. We soon realized that this was also a problem that many Gen Z-ers and millennials face despite the importance of being financially literate and knowledgeable about investments, especially in an economy heavily impacted by COVID-19. A survey by Investopedia revealed that only 37% of affluent millennials feel knowledgeable about investing at all, and this number does not even consider the “everyday millennials”. Through investyx, we hope to help millennials, Gen Z-ers, and future generations gain financial literacy, especially in investments, and prepare them for their roles and success in the world of economy.
What it does
investyx has two prominent features: interactive game simulations and personalized ratings for your investments. The interactive game simulations feature four main categories of investment -- real estate, stocks, bonds, and index funds -- with a series of levels that test your knowledge of that specific area of investment through scenarios with increasing difficulty. If a question is answered incorrectly, feedback will be given immediately with pointers on what the user should have done instead in this scenario. Through this practice, the user will be better prepared for similar investment situations they may face in the future and will actually “have experience” thanks to our game simulator. The other feature of our app rates your investments using bank data, providing insight on how effectively you are using your knowledge of investments.
How I built it
This app was built with Swift in Xcode using Storyboards. For the rating feature, we used the Plaid API, which takes investment data from a bank account and developed a unique algorithm that calculated a score in the context of the user’s financial situation and rewards good investment behavior such as gaining profit and having a sensible amount of investments. We also used Firebase to sign up and authenticate users which allows us to save their personal progress in the game. Lastly, this app heavily relied on using graphics and animations for the game simulations, which were designed in Procreate and Canva.
Challenges I ran into
We initially wanted to build a chatbot in our app, but we soon realized that our vision for it was not feasible in this given amount of time, so we turned to Plaid API instead. With the Plaid API, some of the challenges we had included having to understand and interpret the large amounts of data given, developing a backend for the app using a Flask Framework and converting it into a RESTful API, something we had never done before. Additionally, we had some difficulty saving information with Firebase. Furthermore, the virtual nature of this collaboration made it challenging to share code and troubleshoot together.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of completing a project in this short amount of time. We are also proud that we were able to overcome the obstacles we faced and demo a fully functional product. Finally, we hope that investyx will help millions of young people everywhere gain financial literacy and make financial choices that will better their lives.
What I learned
We learned how to use Plaid API and integrate it with our project as well as how to incorporate gifs/animations into Xcode. We also learned how to connect multiple view controllers in Xcode to provide a smoother user experience. Besides all this technical knowledge we gained from this project, we were also able to take away some knowledge about investments through the research we did.
What's next for Investyx
We hope to add and create more levels in the different categories of our game feature as well as create a more dynamic game experience. Additionally, we aim to develop a chatbot that will give personalized feedback for the user’s investments and that will help guide the user through the game.