We all know that great potential lies within the stock markets, but how many of us have the time and money to put into investments? With Minvest anyone can start investing with no minimum portfolio balance, and no prior experience with investments needed. Our platform is well integrated to your bank account, and you decide how much money to invest in, with the option to withdraw any amount at any time. Sit back and watch your investments grow as we expertly manage a well diversified portfolio on your behalf.

What it does

Minvest is an application which uses algorithmic trading to manage clients' investment portfolios. The client simply transfers any amount of money from their bank account into the investment platform, and our algorithms take care of the rest. Each user is classified to a certain investment "style" or "strategy", depending on their own personal preferences, and based on these profiles, our algorithms pick out the best investments, and perform appropriate trades on the stock market when the timing is right. Our platform is a form of "crowd investing" in that users pool their money together in order to make investments that they normally would not be able to on their own. There are two current challenges with investments: either one cannot afford to make the minimum investments (usually minimum 100 shares, or a minimum dollar investment amount), or one cannot afford to diversify their portfolio in order to minimize their risks and maximize their opportunities. With Minvest, users now have access to investments previously out of their reach, and with trading and portfolios managed through algorithms, the management cost stays low, allowing us to offer no minimum investment required for our users. We believe that with this platform, more individuals will be able to benefit from the markets, as well as have a financial peace of mind that their money is expertly managed and will grow in the future.

How we built it

Our front-end client is an Android application, and our back end is created with Django. We used several APIs in our back-end to build our services algorithms. Using Capital One Nessie API we tightly integrate users' bank accounts, and allow them to easily transfer money from their bank into the platform, or withdraw from the platform and deposit into their bank accounts. In creating our algorithm that determines which securities to build our portfolio with, we used the Yahoo Finance API, which brings us key performance indicators of securities in which we analyze to select the best investments. The actual trading of these securities would be done through the Zipline API, which is built with Python. This API is used to create professional trading algorithms, and allows us to build and backtest our algorithms to 10 years of historical data, with full performance and risk indicators. Displaying all this information is our Android client, which gives users the commands to deposit into and withdraw from the investment platform, to view their book value, portfolio value, change, and percentage change.

Challenges we ran into

The greatest challenge we ran into was developing our algorithms. We had to do in depth research about investment performance indicators, from P/E and P/B ratios to alpha beta risk ratios, to how book values are properly calculated when it comes to making multiple trades with different securities at different prices. However, once we got a hang of it, we were able to identify important traits of the securities that would help us make investment decisions.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of the fact that we were able to learn a lot about investments, as well as being able to implement a few different APIs together to make a final product!

What we learned

We learned a lot not only about investments, but applied our learning to create algorithms.

What's next for Minvest

Next steps would be to further develop our algorithms to be able adapt to more market situations, and to allow for users who may be more advanced to have the option of further narrowing down what industries they would like to invest in, such as financial services, utilities, commodities, etc.

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