If you like to keep up to date with the innovations that are shaping how we all save and invest, then you might have spotted the launch of AltFi’s ‘Digital Wealth State of the Market’ report last week.
It’s well worth a read, featuring some fascinating consumer research from Opinium, alongside interviews and features with the likes of Wealthsimple, Pensionbee, Nutmeg and others (including me – but don’t let that put you off…)
Hot on the heels of the launch, I had the privilege of talking through some of the report’s key themes in a special, one-off webinar, alongside AltFi’s Managing Editor, Oliver Smith, and Wealthsimple’s Europe CEO, Caroline Murphree.
It’s available to listen on demand here – so go check it out if you’re at all interested in what the future for this market could look like.
We talked through some of the big topics currently dominating European wealth and savings – such as…
Industry consolidation. I think there’s a huge amount of private equity seeking to ride the macro trends (like an ageing population and the continued impact of growing pension freedoms) that the wealth management sector is particularly well-placed to capitalise on.
Plenty of larger companies are looking to get a piece of that action, be it in the advice, investment or wealthtech space; and for better or worse, they tend to find acquisitions preferable to home-grown innovation.
Ethical investing. A topic that’s only going to grow in significance, in my opinion, as the weight of influence shifts generations to social media savvy Millennials and Gen Z’s who will bear the brunt of our impending climate disaster. I think they’ll vote not only with their feet, but with their investments, too (maybe literally through new stewardship offerings such as Tumelo).
Infrastructure. I touch on the importance of digital infrastructure in my article for the report; the experience of 9+ months of working from home has shown even more clearly the lasting inefficiency of financial services. We can put electric vehicles into space, but in some cases we still can’t put a mutual fund in an ISA without 6 people, 12 weeks of admin and the odd fax machine.
US v Europe. The US is thought to be ahead of the pack, and in some ways it is. But I think it’s horribly behind in others – in particular, the increasingly casino-esque nature of bonkers trading apps, which encourage deeply risky behaviour.
Their business models profit from high-volume trading through payment for order flow strategies that invariably screw the end retail investor. In the majority of cases, their users would benefit instead from a low cost, long-term passive investing approach; and not just financially, but from a mental wellbeing perspective, too. To see what the future could be like, China is the place to look, not the US.…
… and more besides. It was a really stimulating hour of conversation to be a part of, so do have a listen. I hope you find it as useful as I did fun.
Oh, and I’d love to hear what you think. Do you agree with what was said? Or did we get it spectacularly wrong? Either way, reach out.
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