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Designed to distract: Stock app Robinhood nudges users to take risks

By David Ingram

Betterment, another startup brokerage based in New York and a competitor to Robinhood, said it is taking such research into account when making design decisions about its app. Although it shows some numbers in bright colors, it does so to tell users whether they’re on track to meet long-term goals rather than what’s happening with short-term swings in the market. The company, which collects management fees, says it actively tries to discourage day-trading.

“It’s almost like being in Las Vegas,” Dan Egan, Betterment’s managing director of behavioral finance and investing, said of other investment apps though he did not call any out by name. “They want to maximize the emotional impact of seeing that number.”

“You can see in the design the incentives of the company, and the incentives of the company will drive the design,” Egan said.

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This article originally published September 12th, 2019 on NBC News