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Investing Blog Roundup: Are Digital “Nudges” Investment Recommendations?

Smartphone applications (and even traditional websites) are generally built with user psychology in mind: what do we want the user to do with our application, and how do we design the application in such a way that encourages the user to do that? For example, Facebook, Instagram, etc, are built to be as addictive as possible — to get you to interact with as many things on the site/app as possible, to continue using it as long as possible, and to get you to use it as often as possible.

What about brokerage apps/websites? If they’re designed in such a way to increase the likelihood that you’ll make a particular financial decision (e.g., trading more often or buying a particular security), at what point does that cross over into the realm of being a “recommendation” — subject to the regulation that would come with investment recommendations from a broker-dealer?

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