Bonsai — Build Investment Portfolios App

Hi everyone,

I'm back again with another very exciting project! I've been playing with the idea of designing an Android app that allows you to build your own investment portfolios (around ETFs) modularly and get important insights in the process. There's quite a few tools out there but they're usually super cluttered, not prioritising the most relevant data or not very intuitive to use all around.

The primary goal of the initial moments of the onboarding is to make sure that you have the opportunity to clarify your objectives, so that we can suggest a few pre-built portfolios. This is an opportunity to remind you about the fact that portfolios should also be informed on your present circumstances, rather than on just a rough desired outcome that could be unrealistic.

Holdings are the main building blocks of a portfolio. You can get different insights on your portfolio potential growth and historical performance by changing the dimension of each of these blocks and how they are allocated (commonly called rebalancing). This is incredibly useful because as you are tinkering with your portfolio, you will be able to contextually understand how those different arrangements will help you get closer to your goal or not.

At its core, Bonsai is a data visualisation tool that provides you with enough freedom to analyse some of the most relevant metrics you need. Is your goal to save for retirement? Are you just 26 years old? Are you moderately risk averse? Holding for 30 years? Maybe you can take a little bit more risk before you turn 30 by allocating a slightly larger slice of your portfolio towards stocks. But what about past performance? How well has this portfolio been performing during crisis and historical highs? Is this portfolio too expensive to hold? How diversified am I? As such, the app has to scale well enough to be able to answer these complementary questions under different scenarios.

Although we try to hand-hold you during the early stages of the onboarding as a fail safe for less financially literate people, we're targeting Bonsai towards those who want to have the freedom to build portfolios the way they want and equally possess the knowledge necessary to make conscious decisions based on the insights they get while using Bonsai. Also, all portfolios are sharable so that you can reach financial experts that can more accurately advice you along the way. This is important, because the goal behind Bonsai is not to replace a financial advisor, but instead, to provide a platform from where constructive feedback can be nurtured collaboratively.

I believe that independent investing has a high growth potential as long as there are tools that help augment and inform people in making conscious decisions. Finance is typically a hard topic to understand, but with some core principles in mind and reasonable goals you won't have to be a financial expert to get some results.

Thank you!


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Eduardo Santos
Product Designer

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