Stephen Davis, co-author of What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It, writes in the Huffington Post about one idea that could give investors the information they need to make better choices.
We need to re-install checks and balances to Wall Street if we hope to bring financial agents back into alignment with consumer-investors. And to do that, we have to take the veil off Wall Street practices. That’s where an app comes in.Take the example of Buycott, a free app launched in 2013, which aims to help consumers align their values with their purchasing. The first question it asks is: “Have you ever wondered whether the money you spend ends up funding causes you oppose?” You can scan a product at a store to see if the company that produced it is involved in any ethical campaign you support.
Now, let’s imagine a smartphone tool that asks a parallel question: “Have you ever wondered whether the money you save ends up funding causes you oppose?” It could compare pension or 401(k) plans, providing you with a picture of how accountable each is, how fees compare, and how well or poorly they align with what you believe. That’s a gap just waiting to be filled.