New finance app provides stock market challenges

New finance app provides stock market challenges

By Alana Dore, news correspondent

Everyone has a different level of knowledge about finance and the stock market – from those who have been investing their money for years to those who think “NASDAQ” is a rapper from the 80s. Recent 2014 D’Amore-McKim School of Business graduate Balazs Sarkany, along with partners Fawaz Al Obaid and Ahmed Alkhaled, are here to help bridge that gap.

The three founders of Risk-Free Markets (RFMarkets) have developed their first smartphone app, Waylz. The app, which connects through Facebook, allows users to challenge friends in head-to-head investments with play money, and the winner is whomever’s predictions are more accurate about stock price changes. The player with the more accurate prediction wins the amount of ‘Waylz Coins’ that were bet, which moves them up in the ranks.

The goal of Sarkany and his partners was to help people learn about the financial world and give them a platform to test themselves without actually risking anything.

“The idea of Waylz came from noticing the current issue that our generation faces, where there is no fun way of getting involved with the investment world early on and learning, advancing without risking any capital and yet still gaining benefits,” Sarkany said. “[We wanted] to create a truly fun and risk-free platform for users [to learn] about the financial markets.”

Sarkany and the team believe that the most effective way to reach and educate users is through an easily accessible and enjoyable smartphone game. The idea appeals to some, including accounting and finance major sophomore Marshall Jeffries, who thinks Walyz will be a hit.

“Managing your own stock portfolio is very risky, so having the opportunity to practice those skills with no risk would be very beneficial to anyone looking to invest,” Jeffries said.

Joaquin Surraco, a sophomore finance and economics major, agreed that the app is appealing, and thinks it would be popular even among those who do not study business.

“I would definitely use that app,” Surraco said. “It’ll give undergrad students exposure to the markets and allow them to better understand how the markets move. It’s definitely a useful skill for students of all majors.”

Waylz founders hope the app will catch on and open people’s minds to the possibilities offered by the financial world.

“We wanted to change the way people view the financial markets,” Sarkany said. “[People think it] is risky, hard and boring, but through Waylz they will learn about the markets risk free, challenging and beating friends with real rewards without putting a dime at risk.”

RFMarkets has plans to introduce a website once the app is fully developed. The website will focus on the education side of investing to give hungry users the chance to improve their knowledge and further fight the intimidation of investment.

Photo by Sara Tucker

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