David Stevenson, Editor in Chief of AltFinanceNews, is a columnist for the Financial Times (the Adventurous Investor), Investment Week and Money Week. He’s an experienced media entrepreneur (he’s set up a number of online media companies focused on online TV and viral videos) and knowledgeable investment expert. He was also one of the very first journalists to write about the sector in the main nationals.
Simon used the metaphor that going to a financial advisor is similar to going to a GP. “People need the reassurance of a professional because people don’t trust themselves when it comes to investing”.
“Customers appreciate good financial planning over questionable advisors offering FTSE.”
Something the financial services industry is lacking is empathy because it is very male driven, Simon said.
He also mentioned how the “financial advisory market is not efficient, but it is still making money” and therefore is replaceable.
Jane praises how successful Investec's Click & Invest ad campaign was earlier this year, however, can't afford to compete with the likes of Schroders who are battling to be "front and center".
Eventhough the industry would have prefered if the robo arm from UBS had not shut down, Investec has still got a growing and broad customer base after starting one year ago.
People invest approximately 50/50 in cash ISAs and stocks & shares ISAs for which Jane believes it would be much more beneficial if more investments were put in to stocks and shares ISAs as “the money would be working harder”.
Jane is uncertain that the big tech companies like Google or Amazon would expand in to the robo industry due to "there being a lot of regulation sitting around this space so it's doubtful they would see it worthwhile".
In his closing address, David Stevenson pointed out that Australia like the UK has a banking oligopoly and that’s a shame. But he stressed that onlookers should watch out for new players that are attacking the oligopoly.
He also urged caution about open banking, claiming customers are scared of it. He added that you’ll have a hard time even with open banking winning investors over.
This panel looked at core products, risk and the average loan size.
Jonathon Kelly said that their best product was the core product flexi and that the average borrower took in $2,000 – 5,000.
Larry Diamond said zipMoney is a mix between credit and payments company, offering effectively a digital credit card. He said $1,000 – 5,000 is his company’s sweet spot for borrowers.
For Daniel Foggo and RateSetter, it’s about amortizing personal loans.The loans RateSetter looks for are typically around $35k, mostly for cars. “We’re doing this more at the point of sale nowadays. Really about the consumer finding a convenient way of funding this.”
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