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Launch HN: Alinea (YC W21) – Invest in stocks you believe in
97 points by anamlakhani_ 47 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 130 comments
Anam, Eve, and Nikhil here, co-founders of Alinea (https://alinea-invest.com/). Alinea is an investing app for those who want to understand the companies they are investing in. We explain how each company makes money, how they treat their stakeholders, and their environmental impact on the world so customers can buy stock in companies they believe in.

Despite our different backgrounds, the three of us struggled with the same problem. We knew we had to invest our money to build wealth, but when we tried, we felt intimidated and lost. We had so many questions - What kind of stocks do we invest in? Where do we find accurate information? And quickly realized we’re not alone, our friends and other people were also experiencing the same problem.

So in early 2020 we started working on a new approach to investing. We wanted to build an experience without the hassle and complexity of charts and financial jargon. We also wanted to move away from a gamified experience which tends to cause stress and anxiety around investing - so we’ve gone as far as removing red and green from the app entirely.

There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion around how to start investing in stocks so we guide our users through the process. First, we match you to stocks based on your interests so you can better understand a company. Second, we simplify hard to find research into bite-sized formats, so you can evaluate if it's a good investment. Lastly, we show you the impact of your investment on our environment, society, and workplace. We do the homework, so you can make an informed decision.

Underneath the hood, we’re using Drivewealth for stock prices and executing trades and extract data from ISS reports to offer visibility on a companies’ environmental, social and workplace impact scores. We sort through SEC filings and earnings reports to consolidate and synthesize information. We’ve custom built UI in native swift in“swipeable cards” so the information is easy and quick to digest.

In the past months, we’ve seen the power of retail investors who want more choices than just putting their money in ETFs, we provide the tools for them to make informed stock investments. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on what we’re building!




I assume you are leaning heavily on some kind of natural language processing to automatically extract this information from SEC filings and earnings reports. That's a great idea. I just hope that you're being very very careful about the generalizability of your models & their performance over time.

Obviously 99% of the work in buidling such a system is just getting access to all the data and setting up the ETL pipelines, and that alone is value worth paying for.

I'm also a bit confused by this part:

We wanted to build an experience without the hassle and complexity of charts and financial jargon.

Yes, there are some funny terms like EBITDA out there, but ultimately this is all just part of doing due diligence. If you want to make a medium-term or long-term investment (i.e. you're not gambling on short-term options), you gotta look at that stuff.

And if I don't want to do it myself, I can log onto Schwab, Ameritrade, Fidelity, etc. and get 5-10 analyst reports on pretty much any ticker, including an "in-house" grade (e.g. "this stock has an overall D rating") that, theoretically, is all I need to know for making that kind of investment. I'm curious (not doubtful, just curious) what you offer that's better than this.


Currently, we are seeing that retail investors aren't doing any research at all, especially young people are relying on social media and memes to make investment choices which can be dangerous. EBITDA is important and it's a hard concept to understand for those who aren't familiar with finance - that's why we offer digestible insights to make it accessible. Analyst reports are very long to sift through and most people don't want to spend the time. That's why we opted for swipable cards of information so users don't feel the hassle of "doing research."The other platforms aren't mobile first and do not offer this ease of use and accessibility to non-financially savvy individuals.


Is it possible you're training your users to become even more susceptible to other investment scams?

At the end of the day, the fact is that securities analysis and investing savvy is a sophisticated skill requiring many years of study before any kind of +ev outcome can be expected.

In a way, this is one of the biggest reasons I think the move from private pensions to 401ks and the like has been a gigantic disaster.

I mean, I remember working at Google and a dozen or so of us on my team would go through some fairly deep analyses and discussions regarding 401k allocations, mega-backdoor contributions, tax implications of same, HSAs, HD healthcare plans, etc.

My brother's a carpenter. My dad works in a factory.

They are both forced to make these same decisions, except with basically zero background whatsoever in any kind of financial education. They don't know the very basics about the fees their funds are taking, they aren't too interested in figuring the exact tax-efficient pathway to retirement.

And why the hell should they be?

Forcing commoners into market participation was a mistake.

Your app is well-intentioned. Seems pretty great, to be quite honest.

But you're training your users to become used to coyote-behaviour (that is, Hey Investing Can Be Quite Simple!), whereas we should train all regular existing "market-participants": Anybody who wants to get you to invest directly in markets, whether it's your RRSP organizer, your 401k, whatever, they in general are not operating with your best interests in mind.

401ks and the like were a huge boon to wallstreet and huge hit on the working class. WallStreet basically forced every Tom, Dick, and Harry into their arena. Guess who's gonna win?


I share these curiosities and agree with the sentiment that something that requires skill to de-risk should not simply have its perception of risk lowered but actually educate. This is likely a contrarian view, but there is a benefit in novices losing non-trivial amounts of money so that they learn risk avoidance and develop a respect for expertise & experience. It's no different from how children learn from mistakes and the risk is proportional to the learning experience.


I think it depends ultimately on the target audience of tools like this. If the target audience are people with a steady income flow that can bounce back from losses, then mistakes along the way are useful long-term. On the other hand, if the target audience is made up mostly of people who don't have the luxury of bouncing back, then those mistakes will be devastating.

It's definitely a fine balance for a product like this. You want to make investing feel "easy" but not so easy that it seems like all it takes to make money is to read a few bite-sized tidbits about a company, thereby increasing the risk-taking behavior.


Commoners!? Wow, just wow. You sound like exactly the kind of hedge fund snob wsb is taking down.


If you believe WSB is "taking down" hedgefunds instead of "being played like a fiddle" by them, you should probably take a second look.


Could you give an example?

Market making firms have done really well due to wsb and the increase of retail volumes but it's unclear to me that hedge funds have benefited in any material way.


Not the OP, but check out the below examples. Beneficiaries across the range, from fundamental equity funds, quant funds, and distressed funds. The retail guys weren't just buying shares from themselves and market makers.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-hedge-fund-made-700-millio...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/08/gamestop-...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amc-ent-holdg-silver-lake...


I don't see anything inaccurate or insulting about referring to people without financial education or experience as commoners in the context of finance.


> we are seeing that retail investors aren't doing any research at all

> EBITDA is important and it's a hard concept to understand for those who aren't familiar with finance

Is there any proof that the later group has better outcomes ?

Even if you understand all the terms, aren't you ultimately just investing based on gut feeling since all the observable information has already been factored into the purchase price anyways.


Except, of course, not all observable information has been factored into the purchase price.


> not all observable information has been factored into the purchase price.

Why wouldn't it already be priced into the current stock price?


Because someone needs to incorporate it into the price. People are dumb and inefficiencies in the markets abound.


> EBITDA is important and it's a hard concept to understand for those who aren't familiar with finance

I disagree. The acronym is surely a mouthful, but you can summarize EBITDA as "approximately the same as cash flow generated by the company before paying any taxes, interest on loans or making capital investments like building a new plant or buying manufacturing equipment" which should be very intuitive for someone to think through


I don't think that's intuitive at all. If you lack any financial experience, merely looking at cash flow is going to be intimidating.


That's why you look at EBITDA and ignore the walk from Net Income to Cash Flow.

If you're not looking at statements, all I'm saying is "EBITDA is the cash generated (i.e. the profit) before taxes or interest on loans"


Interest on loans varies wildly by industry though. EBITDA is certainly something on can reach a useful level of understanding on with a bit of effort, but it's hardly intuitive to someone who's never looked at financial statements before.


> we are seeing that retail investors aren't doing any research at all

I don't necessarily agree. From Robinhood's most owned stocks by 02/25/21[0], you can 'maybe' argue that 2 out of them are 'meme' stocks. This is either an indications that investors know what they own or they follow the crowds (AAPL, AMZN, DIS, etc). It is easy to make conclusions based on media articles, but overall Robinhood investor is definitely not a meme investors

1. Apple 2. Tesla 3. AMC 4. Sundial Growers 5. Ford 6. General Electric 7. NIO 8. Microsoft 9. Walt Disney 10. Amazon

[0] https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/the-top-50-robinhood-stocks-...


This is great. I've been thinking about hacking something like this together for myself for awhile now.

Part of my interest in this is that I'm sitting on a bunch of company data already - both public and private companies. I'm the founder BigPicture, a B2B sales tech startup, where we had to acquire similar data sets to power our product.

Basically, we got sick of paying Clearbit for the data, so we ended up building our own thing. Here's our API docs that shows a sample of what we have: https://bigpicture.io/docs/enrichment/company/

Getting this data is a pain in the ass, so if you're interested, I may be open to partnering in some capacity. My email is michael [at] bigpicture.io


I think the premise of it is awesome, but it can only be wrong. I'd like some data that proves that the retail investors of your platform end up beating S&P for a start.

Companies themselves struggle to even understand their own balance sheet.

There are plenty of services which offer aggregated data about balance sheets with typical market formulas.

Basically there's a huge industry of sell side analysts that often create huge reports about a company, or something that is going wrong etc. It isn't really possible to distill all this information in an 'bite-sized format', as there are many variables and even some outside factors like macroeconomics and so on. Sometimes, even something that isn't shown Today in the balance sheet end up making a company over time shrink until it's gone.

Wouldn't this actually create the fake perception that they are well informed before getting into a business?

What if I sign up and end up seeing that my market performance by using the Apps advice is trash? What if I end up investing in a company full of intangibles that find out that those intangibles are worth nothing?

If you even go to a hedge fund you might find out that most of the analysts suck, and they study their whole life for it and often have degrees in very respectable universities, while breathing all the 'financial jargons' you wrote. So, can an amateur really read a few sentences and make good investments and at least beat an index?

All this without reading a book about investment or understanding a balance sheet. :-)


> I'd like some data that proves that the retail investors of your platform end up beating S&P for a start.

Is that the goal of ESG filtering? My understanding is that people doing that accept potentially lower returns in exchange for greater moral alignment.


I am not quite clear on what your question is. We simplify hard to find research into bite-sized formats so people don't have to sift through 100 page SEC filings and complex earnings reports. Currently, there's no way of having this information be readily accessible, especially for young people.


I love it, don't listen to this person. You guys are exactly what I need. Keep it up please.


I believe they should listen to this person, not because he's right nor wrong, but because he's made valid arguments about Alinea's value proposition.

Entrepreneurs should always be open to criticism, distil it and take what they consider useful, even if it doesn't come in a constructive form.


I like the idea of making this stuff easier to digest, but I'm curious in what way are SEC filings and earning reports less accessible for young people vs old people?


Simplifying the data into bite-sized formats is prone to bias since you have to essentially editorialize raw data, picking and choosing what information to bubble up into the reports and what to ignore. How do you plan on ensuring the integrity of this process?


when I invest in ESGV I already accepted the fact that I won't outperform S&P500. Then after I know TSLA purchases Bitcoin and TSLA is in ESGV I sold my ESGV.

This company is exactly what I need. I can research myself. If adults/professionals in this world can't be trusted to do things right, then you gotta do it yourself.

I don't care. I need to put my money where my mouth is. Wealth doesn't matter if we have no Earth to live in. I don't want to live in Mars.


I think you are missing the purpose of the services they provide.

Why would it be necessary for them to prove their customers beat the S&P but not necessary for Schwab or TDA or Robinhood?


all true, but does it even matter anymore? Tesla has a P/E of over 1,000, for example.

increasingly people invest based on the story and the ebb and flow of social media. does the balance sheet play into this? it doesn't appear so...


we always had times in the stock market where people invested like you said, it isn't the first time. i'm talking about the serious people that stick investing for decades and build real portifolios.


I guess I would want to see the outcomes of the average user. If the median user underperforms the S&P 500, which they likely will, I feel it's misleading to say you're empowering people. The alternative, meme-y yolo stocks, are worse, but is this really better if the informed choice is highly likely to be sitting in an ETF?

> We also wanted to move away from a gamified experience which tends to cause stress and anxiety around investing - so we’ve gone as far as removing red and green from the app entirely

If you're taking material personal financial losses and you're not feeling stressed, I'd say there's a problem


> If you're taking material personal financial losses and you're not feeling stressed, I'd say there's a problem

I disagree. Markets tend to swing around but trend upwards on average. If you are emotionally tied to the big red or green number when you see when you open up your brokerage app, you're bound to make bad, emotionally-based decisions.

(Edit: I guess our disagreement might come down to the definition of "material". In the past few days of market turbulence I've had days where I was up or down by amounts that I would be devastated to have “fall out of my pocket”, but that I can shrug off because I know I can't time the market and I'm better off not trying.)


I guess you're right. But conversely if something you're invested in "for the long haul" has a demonstrated long term negative trend, I'd probably want that to be on my radar.

On some level my concern is that this platform will get people interested in making highly undiversified portfolios, allow them to lose their shirt, and not give an indication that their current strategy is failing and that they should STOP putting more money in.


Makes sense, that is a valid concern. I think the right balance is somewhere less emotion-driven than Robinhood’s dopamine cycle, is all.


Doesnt the median user earn the market return which we could say is S&P 500?


If everyone's strategy were to buy some collection of assets and sit on them, you would expect some definition of the average individual to earn the average market return. But users of trading platforms are probably trading actively, and making mistakes. It's also likely that the average user would benefit from a diversified portfolio to reduce the risk of losing big all at once. They're less likely to get that picking stocks themselves.


The average professional fund manager actually underperforms the S&P. It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that the average retail investor does even worse.

However, there's an easy way for people to overcome this - buying an index fund (Vanguard is very cheap), which lets you capture (almost) the S&P's performance.


Not necessarily, the distribution of people's returns have a lot of skew or fat tails.


Alinea is also a three-Michelin star restaurant in Chicago. I don't think names need to be 100% unique, but in the case of targeting wealthy investors - I'd assume they're one of the most likely groups of people to already think of "Alinea" as a restaurant. Plus, Alinea is involved heavily involved in tech via Tock.


I thought this initially ("why is Alinea on HN?"). Name clashes are common in startups though (Robinhood Markets vs World Wide Robinhood Society and Clubhouse vs. Clubhouse Software), especially when it's a common word in an unrelated industry.


Robinhood is a particularly silly choice of name, because he was a figure of historical significance, continues to be a figure of cultural significance, and the name carries connotations about values, mission and impact with which practically every organisation using the name is jarringly at odds.


They have nothing to do with each other though. Alinea isn't really involved in tech... They have a Tock but that's it.

The groups owner is the CEO of Tock, but I don't think that means that Alinea itself (and its name) is heavily invested in tech.


It's also an extremely common word in Spanish meaning "align" – which in the context of their brand can be taken to mean to align oneself to a set of beliefs.


Wikipedia claims (without a citation) that the restaurant's name comes from a symbol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alinea_(restaurant)


It will be difficult to displace the restaurant in search results as well as popular culture, especially for a US-based startup.


They even have a wikipedia page!


A while back there was a series of puzzles from the mystery league to promote that restaurant. I enjoyed them very much. But I didn't know what the restaurant was, or where it was. I thought Alinea was the name of the puzzle team. I gave them that feedback.


I think the idea is, if you use this app, you will become rich enough to eat there.


I hate to pour cold water here, but a stock I believe in is one that financially performs well. It doesn't matter what the mission statement or philosophy behind it is. I think all those intangibles are highly overrated as an actual concrete $-demonstrated strategy for investing.

I find very mixed / uncorrelated results of companies emphasizing ESG issues leading to good financial performance. Larger factors control a company's fate.

Shareholder pressure on such issues rarely is a major factor in producing the ESG outcomes envisioned. More often it's broader market or social changes that lead companies to change, not the shareholders (even large institutions) buying or selling their stock for "moral" reasons. Divestment campaigns, for example, are rarely the thing that actually bring down a company or country -- their fate was already written elsewhere. With that in mind, what is the chance that my 100 shares are worth anything in terms of company direction.

Now, that said, I'm not going to invest a company that does illegal things. Nor am I interested to invest in coal companies, for example. I don't want to add to our global warming problems, even in the small ways that I personally have control over. But those companies were already doomed by each and every one of our choices about how to buy energy, the cost of natural gas, alternative energy generation costs, and the economics of coal-fired power plants tanking the demand for coal.

I would rather use my money to influence the regulations and government policies that corporations act under. I wish you luck, if for nothing else than to see if your model can gain traction and do something positive!


To Wit: Why the Biggest U.S. ESG Fund Has No Direct Renewable Holdings “We hesitate to overplay the ESG hand,” says Parnassus Core Equity Fund Co-Manager Ben Allen.[1]

[1]:https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-03/biggest-e...


There are also implications on what is "ethical" or "moral" these days, but more due diligence research will definitely help.


@Alenia, keep forging forward, know that opinions are subjective, and focus on helping the customer stay the course when the markets are down so they don't panic, and sell low and buy high. Objectively, this behavior is the biggest cost to investors. If you can help them through this, they will see fruit in time. The markets will go up and the markets will go down - it's the nature of the beast. Good luck to Alenia! Soon, the customer will tell you if you are or are not giving them what they need.

As to the market, at the end of the day no matter how much research and due diligence are applied, no matter how much you take EBITDA into account, it's still a roll of the dice. No one controls what fully moves the markets. Natural disasters, company fraud, deception, a CEO who has an affair, lack of company innovation, consumer fads, and shifts, etc. You can do all the research in the world and follow the best discipline but that's no guarantee. The markets have been programmed to swing when they shouldn't and not when they should. No different than when a company beats expectation but doesn't meet the "subjective" opinion of a few analysts and the stock tanks when in reality it should have risen, or at a minimum stayed flat. The entire financial world is subjective. If a company like Alenia can get investors to put money in the market in a moderate play, then over time that investor will or should in theory/historic make money. They may not have unrealistic returns like a few lottery winners out there do, but over time they will produce fruit. You can't play the same guitar with stocks and mutual funds - they have different strings.


Does this have any relation to the world-famous restaurant, sometimes in the past ranked as the #1 restaurant in the world, of the same name?


Hi -- I'm the co-owner of Alinea... the restaurant and group.

While they are in different industries, I owned a derivatives trading group for years, run a tech startup (Tock), and am getting a bunch of emails from folks thinking I started this or am affiliated in some way.

So... while I dislike conflict, I really don't like be associated with something I have no control over. There will be an incoming email shortly.


Amazing to read your answer! When I lived in Chicago I Was lucky enough to eat there multiple times, and it felt a bit like something sacred was being trod on. Will never forget eating "birthday cake" directly off the table, scattered in a little cosmos. Thank you for everything you've done.


Amazing. FWIW to the Alinea (YC W21) folks, I felt your name, branding/colors, and logo felt completely off and strange. Good time to change it up?

Edit: And fonts. Modern edgy logo font and the website complimentary font is a bit... Crayola. Not dogging on you all, I'm sure having this be a focus of your launch isn't fun for all your hard work. It's a really neat idea.


Ditto on using this opportunity for a design and brand change, the purple is overwhelming and even the name for a mass market brand is tough IMO. Do you pronounce it Ah-lean-ah? A-lin-euh? A-lien-ah? Not obvious and if you're thinking about leaning on WOM its a tough word because people might hear it and google 'alina' and miss you entirely


I was about to post something like, haha, the founders didn't do their homework but after checking if there's any brand registered, there isn't. So what do you mean by, there will be an incoming mail shortly? Will you ask them to change their name and if yes, on which basis?


Very interesting background, what made you move from finance to restaurants to tech?


Nick wrote an epic piece about what motivated his company to create what eventually became Tock:

https://web.archive.org/web/20190407042116/https://www.aline...

(good to see you here, Nick. big fan!)


Great interview with Nick about this and other topics:

https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/20135760/kokonas-know-...


> There will be an incoming email shortly

To the founders: ignore their email and consult your lawyer.

Trademark infringement generally requires an element of consumer brand confusion.

There is no way USPTO will see a restaurant and a stock trading app as likely to cause consumer confusion, as they are in completely different industries with absolutely no overlap. Sharing the same name doesn’t matter much given that fact.


Likelihood of confusion is not an immensely high bar for nationally/internationally-known brands (or ones that wish to be nationally-known )in the age of the Internet. Your restaurant gets a string of negative BBB reviews that feature prominently on Google that were actually aimed at someone's product? That's actual harm you can point to. If Alinea were just a local restaurant instead of an internationally-known institution, it'd be one thing, but If I were the YC company I'd take the opportunity to rebrand.


Observation: several posters in this very thread have expressed confusion.

Also, it's always bad form to give out legal advice on the internet.


> several posters in this very thread have expressed confusion

Consumer confusion within a specific industry. Like a food company using their name.

If this were a food delivery startup, there would be an issue. Since it's an stock trading app, very few trademark attorneys would see an issue with it.

And of course, consult your attorney, as mentioned in the original comment.


ignore their email and consult your lawyer

You're making the assumption the email is a legal threat of some sort rather than an attempt to resolve the issue at hand.


No, not organizationally related to the restaurant. https://www.thealineagroup.com/companies/alinea


It's also the name of a very popular french furniture chain


Also the biggest provider of educational aid for elementary school in Denmark


Yes, Alinea means a new way of doing something,for us, it's a new way of investing!


Why on earth would you name a fintech company after a world-famous restaurant? Bonkers...


To those who have not seen the Grant Achatz profile in the Netflix series Chef’s Table (S02E01), I highly recommend it. One of my favorite episodes in the whole series. Excellent cinematography and storytelling. Obvious not the only reason Alinea is world famous, but definitely gave it a ton of exposure.


Possibly both have the same source (Latin) not a direct reference ?


They are in... completely different industries?


Sort of. The Alinea folks also started Tock, which is a tech startup.


I don't understand the downvotes you're getting or the negativity in the comments. I've never heard of Alinea - the restaurant before - and it's really strange that people are being anal about someone else using the name for a completely different industry - it won't be confusing to anyone.


Here's a simple test I always use when figuring out if a name is good and not confusing: Google it. If you search for "Alinea", what do you get?


Does that really work though? What about mega companies with very common word names? Segment, Zoom, Stripe, etc.


It would be a bad idea to name your next tech company "Stripe" (or your next restaurant, for that matter; ew.)


Ha! I guess my point was that when those companies started up, searching for those terms was bound to result in some businesses popping up, though I'm sure they made the call that "hey, they're not in the payments/analytics/whatever space, so no worries"


You might also take a look at your logo when you're thinking about your brand. It looks very similar to Aether Apparel: https://www.aetherapparel.com


So you deliberately gave your startup the same name as one of the most famous companies in another industry?


There's definitely some barriers to be removed in the retail investing world, looking forward if Alinea can help. Could you elaborate on 'we explain [...] how they treat their stakeholders' as I guess this is very opinionated and depending on stakeholder type? Which scope of companies are you currently covering?


We derive data from ISS to show the transparency and impact policies companies have in place. We break this down into three categories: impact on our 1) environment 2) workplace and 3) society. Currently, we are launching with 50 popular stocks.


I think this is a great idea, the biggest trend in global investing is ESG, with all the largest fund managers moving that direction, in part driven by client demand but also in recognition that they don't want to be laggards to the cultural shift and the inevitable regulatory interventions that are coming down the pipe; everyone expected ESMA to lead the way here but it's telling that the SEC also published a letter of intent. So I see this app as filling a real need as well as anticipating one of the mega trends that appears to be set to play out over the next 5-7 years. I've worked in fintech for 15 years, and built and sold a couple of companies in this space, happy to offer any advice that might be useful but it seems to me you've got a great idea that's well positioned.


Thank you so much! Would love to chat


Would you give more details on how you guys evaluate companies' environmental impact ?


Definitely, we derive data from ISS (https://www.issgovernance.com/) to show the policies and goals in place for environmental impact.


Spot on! I'm looking forward for the day money/value will based on not only on what you provide/create but also on how much that impacts all the connected things to make that happen.


Controversial opinion on here but these are already directly related.

ESG investing is investing. There is no difference. ISS reports or whatever ESG ranking de jure actually hinders that process because it tries to quantify and simplify something that is inherently complex (and btw, ISS do this with their other products, their proxy service exists because ETFs don't want to actually do hard work and think about how they should vote their shares...it is anti-capitalism, rewarding sloth). It is like China's "social score" system...it is identical.

I worked in this area, I met many fund managers (and worked in equity research myself). When people talk about fund managers not doing ESG work, that is because some fund managers just don't bother doing any research at all. ESG was a critical component of investing before the term ESG existed, it isn't possible to value a company without considering the value that company generates for customers, workers, suppliers, the communities in which they operate.

Also, one of the key points on this actual subject is that impact is ambigious. There are competing notions of impact and good. The number of companies that openly embrace criminality is, thankfully, quite small. In every other case, you have a company that is providing a service, someone else pays for it and you have to make a judgement, there is no magic formula...often, these conclusions are counter-intuitive. As an example, bookies...gambling is awful, you hear lots of poor people do it and waste money...where I am, we have public health, and the only people funding gambling addiction are bookies. In countries where gambling is illegal, there is no funding, and the addiction isn't recognised or treated. Sometimes you have a gambling govt monopoly, like HK, which drives people into illegal forms of gambling. So it is unclear that impact is negative (the issue is that gambling addiction actually exists, and ppl will gamble whether it is illegal or not) without actually doing research, beyond a simple: gambling = work of Satan (btw, this applies generally...the growth in ESG investing is correlated to a growth in moral Puritanism).

Honestly, it is a little unfortunate that people have gone so deep into ETFs and ESG ETFs...active funds do this work, they won't necessarily align with your own system of ethics but it is a totally and complete fiction that investors do not consider impact beyond profits, and that some ESG/quant approach is the solution. I have never come across a manager who doesn't consider impact when doing research. And any quant approach I have seen is totally and completely deficient (there is no incentive to do the work properly) if you actually care about values.


it is obvious that considering environmental effect is the next parameter in company evaluation. We can even call it capitalism 2.o maybe. We just don't have the model yet.


Yes, our community definitely wants to know how their investments impact the environment


The name is going to have to change to avoid confusion with the restaurant.

Also, you've mentioned "value based investing" in a comment reply here.

Is this the same thing as "value investing"? Or is it something new that you're introducing?


Yes, value investing!


Value investing like Fama French HML? Value like the factor that's gotten trounced over the last decade?


You could make the argument (and many people have) that HML and other simple value formulations aren't actually true value opportunities: they are just cheap and often value traps.

While I kind of look down at value, I think you can outperform with it but you need to look a lot deeper than simple ratios.


Just a waitlist for now it seems.

link: https://alinea-invest.com/


We'll be launching on the app store on Monday! You can reserve a spot on the waitlist for now (:


What about Android?


Only iOS right now! Android will be coming up in the near future (:


Same name as my favorite restaurant in the world.


Considering how famous this restaurant is, it may confound discovery.


It means "Align" in Spanish, which is nice and makes sense for such a product.


I like this idea a lot... My only concern is the hip factor in the app could drive a surge in the demand for the underlying securities rather than people investing based on value. This could create a situation where "green investing" is wildly popular and cause a bubble.


Understand your concern that's why we offer as much insight as possible to push value based investing rather than simply following the hype.


i don't know if your app is good or bad yet, but your building principals are on point.


I think young people are more likely to take advice from Tik Tok or Youtube gurus. Social media and influencers have all the power over them. Good luck with the app though!


Thank you - that is what we are trying to change!


Btw it says unable to send OTP when I tried to register.


Amazing, will you allow non US residents to invest?


So, how do you plan on making money?


I think the coming of companies like this signals the end of the bull market, the bubble is close to bursting. Every milkman is trying to get rich on the stock market. It was like this in 99. It was like this in 08. And before the german mark fell.

"Side by side with the wealth were the pockets of poverty. Greater numbers of people remained on the outside of the easy money, looking in but not able to enter. The crime rate soared … demoralization … crept over the common people … from watching their own precarious positions slip while others grew so conspicuously rich … Almost any kind of business could make money … The boom suspended the normal processes of natural selection … Speculation alone, while adding nothing to Germany’s wealth, became one of its largest activities … Everyone from the elevator operator up was playing the market."

Dying of Money: Lessons of the Great German and American Inflations


How are you positioned to take advantage of this? What's your portfolio like?


It's hard to take advantage even if things are frothy to be honest. The market can kick the can down the road for years longer than you expect, and melt up in the process - you could lose your shirt by shorting. The only concrete advice I'd have is to avoid the most speculative sections (e.g. meme stocks) and own businesses that can thrive even without constantly raising cash.


Have put options on a few tech stocks which have doubled in value in about three weeks


Nice! Definitely being long vol in the current market environment is a good call imo.


Shouldn't "Show HN" rules also apply to "Launch HN"?

"Off topic: ... sign-up pages, newsletters, lists, and other reading material. Those can't be tried out, so can't be Show HNs. Make a regular submission instead."

https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

This looks like an awesome product, but kind of annoying to see a "Launch" but it's just a waitlist. Why not wait until Monday?


(I'm going to mark this subthread off topic to be fair to the founders, who haven't broken any rules.)

It's a good question that has been on my mind too. I'm going to revisit the Launch HN process once the W21 stampede settles down.

You guys have probably noticed that we've been stacking two Launch HNs per day for a while now. This is because of how big the W21 batch is. Demand for Launch HNs is growing as YC grows; meanwhile frontpage supply is strictly limited. Not sure yet what to do, but the 'price' is going to have to go up somehow!

This subthread was at the top of the page. When a comment like this appears, it means that many other readers have the same question, and if it's upvoted to the top of the thread, that's even clearer.


Totally fair, I don't want this to be the top comment, I hate the middlebrow-dismissal and I've sort of committed that sin with this comment.

Thanks!


That sin is a co-creation and the upvoters bear the greater part of it :)


To be fair there are launch HN posts for hard tech companies too where you can't try the product yet!


Sure, but if it's software and it's about to be publicly accessible very soon, why not wait for that?


I’d cut them some slack, they seem like they’re just following the YC advice. Move fast, launch early. No reason to be a stickler about the rules.

Besides, tons of apps and services launch via testflight, gated betas/waitlist-then-interview. Superhuman, dispo, and clubhouse all did that strategy.


They follow one set of YC advice, but not another set of YC rules (what hpvic03 wrote). Although I do think YCnews takes Launch HN and Show HN differently. The first is only available to YC companies while Show HN is for anyone.

> Besides, tons of apps and services launch via [insert shitty "growth hacking" launch strategies]

Yeah, tons of them do but let's avoid that here if we're trying to keep the level a bit higher than just fad-of-the-day applications.


No, they explicitly do not apply. YC companies also have their own rules for hiring posts. It's a fringe benefit of owning the site.



Link?


You can sign up for the waitlist here (https://alinea-invest.com/)! We'll be launching on the app store on Monday


> available only to residents of the United States

Meh




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