Inspiration

As someone who is knowledgeable about finance and the stock market I'm often a point of contact for people who have questions or concerns about investing, the stock market and/or the economy. I graduated with a degree in Business Administration: Finance years ago during the recession and I was never able to use my degree professionally, but I have used the knowledge I obtained and am still obtaining personally for myself and to help others. Besides just being generally interested in investing and the stock market, I was also inspired to create this skill to help others better understand some of the terminology they will come across while reading stock market related articles, watching a financial tv show, or listening to a investing podcast. Amazon Alexa is a powerful tool that's becoming more accessible and easier to use with it's various access points, and with this skill people will be able to quickly equip themselves with some important terminology that's often used in investing, which will hopefully help them make better decisions when it comes to their own personal finance and investments.

What it does

Stock Market Help contains definitions for an abundance of stock market terms. To use this skill simply open it and say the name of a term that you want a definition for. For ratios and ratio definitions upgrade to Stock Market Help Pro with the in-skill purchase. If the skill hears a ratio or another unfamiliar term that's not in its catalog yet it will ask you if you want to upgrade. If you want to be able to quickly access ratio definitions as well, simply agree to the in skill purchase upgrade. You can also say "What Can I Buy" while using this skill and it will direct you to purchasing the Pro upgrade. However, this upgrade is not necessary for normal functionality. Without the upgrade, this skill still has a lot of terms in its catalog.

How I built it

I built the structure of the skill using Voiceflow. For the data within the skill I used my investing notes and various official investing websites to verify information and add additional information after researching. Financial websites that I used to research terms and definitions include Investopedia, The Balance, & Bankrate.

Challenges I ran into

One of the main challenges I ran into was making sure the data I include in the term definition response was helpful, worded understandably and not too lengthly. I first and foremost wanted the responses to be helpful. After that I had to read my responses in a way that someone unfamiliar with the stock market could generally understand what's being said to them. After that I ended up shortening some of the responses so that the user wouldn't drift off and lose interest in the response due to it being too lengthy.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud of the number of terms that I included in this skill and the range of their difficulty. The terms in this skill range from beginner to advanced. With the wide range of terms included, this skill will be helpful to those that aren't very knowledgeable about investing and the stock market, and it will also be helpful for those that are who might want to refresh their knowledge or even learn new information.

What I learned

During the creation of this skill I learned more how to make responses more conversational and structure a better flow between the user and Alexa. I've created other Alexa skills before but this was the first time I incorporated In-Skill Purchasing to an Alexa skill so I learned how to do that effectively as a one time purchase.

What's next for Stock Market Help

Updates with more terms for the regular version and the Pro upgrade(in-skill purchase) version.

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