How to win clients for digital banking solutions: put the client’s interests first!

Fintech on Fridays

Increase simplicity for the advisor and the client by efficiently managing complexity in the backend! 

We live in an overwhelming world, especially so for banking clients. Every day new apps and opportunities advise on how to invest your money or on how to improve your finances. Despite all that, financial education is still at a low point and people don’t like to think about their finances. Under such circumstances how do you stand out and engage with clients while offering them what they need? 


Focus on 
offering the best experience and not on having many functionalities

It seems that among some financial institutions “more is always better” is still a widely spread notionOffering an abundance of functionalities in offline branches, appsor online banking portals does not help established players win new clients. Neither does having every conceivable app or participating in the latest tech trendMoreover, pushing funds, insurances, or other investment products does not inspire anyone to buy. It is just an attempt to scream the loudest. Competing based on product features, price, or marketing budget won’t get them far either 

What clients want is a solution. Instead of focusing on what productsbanks happen to have and trying to convince clients that they have a problemfinding a solution is keyEverybody likes to discover new solutionsso the clients should discover how a financial institution can help them with their concerns. 

Let’s play through an example: You aim to offer retirement investment product. One option is to tell your clients that they are going to need more money for early retirementFor this, your clients have to go through a lengthy questionnaire, bank statements, and masses of documents. And in the end, they find out that they won’t have enough money and should buy product XYZ. Not very exciting. 

How about using technology? By doing so, your client can add current accounts, investment portfolios and real assets (like real estate), all via API and done automatically by smart softwareAfter this process, you can indicate the potential retirement gap in a simple number: the probability of reaching the retirement goal. If that number is low, you offer to take care of this and let the client invest without much fuss. Over time you keep the client updated by showing how the probability changes according to market movements, saving habits and other factors. The client doesn’t care about the backend product as long as that probability goes up. To clients, it is important that their needs are your top priority, not the product.


Seamless integration and Simplicity

To achieve seamless integration and to build a simple application that is both fun and efficient to use, I want to propose a motto: Manage the complexity, so your client can enjoy simplicity. 

A single probability score relies on a lot of complexityTo be precise, here are some examples: Connecting the different APIs to information providers, checking markets and calculating the probability, keeping an eye on account transactions checking if there are any changes for the client. Amid all these complexities, it is essential to pay attention to the integration between accounts, your backend, the frontend systems, and the investment product. Only through handling the complexity for your clients, you can win them over.  potential client that has to jump through countless hoops to connect the problem (e.g. retirement gap) to a solution (e.g. your investment product) won’t become a client.  

The same applies to different functions that try to give your clients a better understanding of their financials. When client has to use 5 different apps in order to get a view of all assetsthose apps won’t be used at all. Everything needs to be seamlessly integrated:

Wealth aggregation that gets connected to financial planning.  

● Current account analysis that automatically leads to the retirement gap.  

● The retirement gap that can be filled automatically with the right investment product.  

● Progress report based on the product’s development and current account status.  

● The better integrated all these functionalities are, the better a client perceives your offering.  

To sum it up: Make sure to offer smart features, but not only for the sake of having them, rather have a simple and coherent process. Have a strategy on how to integrate new features into a compelling customer journey that seamlessly leads from one offering to the next. This will let your clients perceive taking control of their finances as easy because they will have trust in you to handle the complexity.

See how simplicity can grow out of complexity:

 

 

Fintech 2020 – What You Should Know!

Ralf Heim Fintech 2020 Fincite

 

How will the Fintech year 2020 be? What major events happened in 2019 and still have an impact today? Which new developments can you expect this year?

In his evaluation, Ralf Heim, co-founder and managing director of Fincite and Fincite Ventures, provides you with a first overview of the most critical topics in 2020.

 

 

Ralf, the Fintech market in 2019 was characterized by acquisitions, new challengers and, of course, new records. What progress, do you think, did digitalization in the financial sector make in 2019?

At the beginning of 2019, many people named AI as the topic of the year. It has become a strategical and a trendy topic for financial service providers. However, in the operational areas of the business, the problems are quite different.

For example, in the investment sector, topics such as MIFID2, digitalization and automation of consulting, asset management (including Hybrid Robo Advice), and open banking dominated the roadmaps of the financial service providers.

Among the advancements in business in 2019, banks’ internal interfaces are worth mentioning. As a software provider, we at Fincite are increasingly encountering more modern interfaces to core banking, portfolio management or CRM systems.

Such modern improvements in interfaces shorten the implementation cycles of innovative solutions. Also, many banks have made significant progress in UX.

N26, Revolut and Co., all these B2C start-ups with impressive international growth figures, show that time is running out for traditional banks.

 

Since you have already given us the first names, which financial technology providers or offers really impressed you in 2019?

The Neobanks have shown that international growth in banking is possible with low customer acquisition costs. That seemed impossible for a long time but besides these banks, I would also like to mention Finanzguru. 

In a year in which PSD2 accelerated the open banking movement in Germany, over 500,000 users of the Finanzguru app spoke for themselves and they made one thing clear: Customers want open banking! This kind of interest will certainly continue to grow if intelligent suggestions increase the added value of linking accounts and security accounts. In that respect, I am very excited about 2020.

Other than that, I was also impressed by a start-up outside the Fintech sector: Celonis has shown that with Process Mining it is possible to build a potential global software market leader from Germany by analyzing data, creating intelligence insights and with a simple UX. 

 

So far, so good, and what do you think, which Fintech trends will be significant in 2020?

Topics such as Blockchain, AI, Virtual Reality, and Voice, are listed by most analysts, but I believe that even in 2020 we will still have lab-status rather than a real breakthrough in the core business of those areas. 

I believe that three “buzzwords” of the last three years will make the difference in 2020 though:

1. Open Banking will be combined with valuable insights and will increase its importance for the customer and the bank (and its management). In addition, Open Banking will increasingly become a starting point for the advisory process.

2. Customer intelligence in core processes – By applying simple rules and learning procedures, banks will run initial tests to generate customer-specific recommendations or sales impulses.

While everyone in the world is already using A/B testing in online dialogues, I am looking forward to the first bank to optimize its advisory or asset management process with A/B testing. These kinds of rules and optimizations are the bases before starting any big AI projects.

3. Automation: The systems used in asset management and advisory processes are becoming more and more interconnected and thus more open for automatization.

While these buzzwords sound rather unspectacular, they will shape the future of the banks enormously. On the way to a zero-marginal-cost society, margins in the industry will continue to fall. 

Without improved services and increased efficiency through automated and intelligent processes, it will be harder than before for any bank to pave the way into a successful future.

 

Okay, these trends primarily affect financial institutions in the first place. What innovations in the financial sector can retail customers look forward to?

Retail customers can look forward to services that are more tailored to their personal goals. At the same time, banking products are becoming more intelligent and personal too.

By 2020, for example, I expect the first banks to offer digital, individually tailored investment advice based on open banking data for end customers.

This means that financial advisors will be able to tell their customers when they could retire after looking at their bank accounts, or whether their existing portfolio has a risk/return mix that suits them, or whether their investments are too expensive.

The current “off-the-shelf investment offer” approach is no longer appropriate in a digital age.

In the investment field, access to alternative investment forms will also become easier through personal loan platforms such as Mintos, or private equity platforms such as Moonfare, or the alternative investment platform Ianua, in which we hold a stake at Fincite Ventures.

As an entrepreneur, I am looking forward to a change that allows business customers to get a decent UX at last. Until today I still do not understand why banks do not offer customers much more additional insight into their financial data.

Furthermore, I believe that Fintech services will increasingly reach business clients and institutional investors in 2020. Especially in the institutional sector, there are also many processes that involve huge sums of money, which have, however, been “spared” from digitalization.

 

Thank you for the interview Ralf.

 

 

 


How technology  improves  the client-advisor relationship

Fintech on Fridays

The relationship between financial advisors and their clients is built on trust.  The levels of this trust and reliability are often formed over an extended period and sustained by repeating human interactions as well as a solid understanding of the client’s financial (and often private) circumstances.  

At the same time, the market for financial advice is facing numerous challenges. Rising regulatory and transparency requirements oblige the advisor to engage in time-intensive and often manual tasks. Examples include gathering information on the client’s financial situation and riskbearing capacity or providing suitability reports and advisor protocols. As a result, advisors have less time to build trust in existing relationships or forge new oneswhile the quality of their services simultaneously diminishes. 

In addition, an increasing number of clients, particularly younger generations, demand online access to their investment and a seamless experience with their advisors. The advice itself becomes a key element integrated into a digital, transparent and constantly available service offering. Advisors lacking a digital offering are at risk of not being able to cater to these client requirements. 

Key elements of technological contribution 

In this context, technology acts as an enabler to build trust and enhance service quality & scope: 

1. Trust  Foster trust by increasing transparency over the advice and investment process 

2. Time  Use time savings to focus on the client and improve the quality of service  

3. Insight – Develop a holistic view of the client’s assets in order to provide better, tailor-made advice 

4. Investment efficiency – Improve the risk-return relationship by providing the best products for the client’s financial and risk-bearing capacity 

5. Access – Adapt to “alwayson” clients requirements by providing constant access to investment and advice via online channels 

Dealing with such an important topic as personal finances will likely continue to require human interaction, however, technology is a necessary factor in a hybrid model of financial advice by enabling the advisor to have the time and tools to focus on the human factor. 

Whereas the use of technology in financial advice is still perceived as an added value to achieve a competitive advantage, it will evolve as a prerequisite in every advisor’s service offering. 

Provide a digital client experience  

The use of technology allows the advisor to save time to focus on the client relationship while improving their service to cater to the needs of an increasingly digitalized society. With Fincite CIOSwe have built a modular software that allows advisors to choose specific functionalities from a comprehensive toolset: 

Fincite CIOS

 

From an economic perspective, using these tools allow the advisor to increase revenue per customer by generating net new assets and reduce costs by cutting manual efforts along the value chain. 

 

 


Financial Advice 2.0: Inventing super-human advisors

Fintech on Fridays

In a world where technology is ever-changing and regulations ever-increasing, human advice is costly, ineffective, and risky. Robo-Adviceon the other hand, doesn’t resonate with clients on a personal level. Now, what is there to do? Here the Cyborg, the Hybrid-Advice philosophy enters the scene. human advisor with techsupported superpowers. 

The best of both worlds: efficiency with a human touch 

The problem today is, that human-centered advice is more expensive than ever. And clients are reluctant to spend money on itespecially when there are alternative services in the market available free of charge. Regardless of the availability of such services though, customers still have complex needs. And the faster financial markets advance, the more complex those needs get. A demanding regulatory environment for banks and their advisors puts them in an unpleasant spot. So, what is the current quick-fix given these circumstances? Private banks increase the minimum assets required to become a client or they abandon the typical financial advice altogether. Some banks and Fintechs try to disrupt the market for financial advice with Robo services, but with mixed success. What are the main obstacles for both? Robo Advisors lack the human touch and Private Banks are less efficient.  

The answer to this challenge is technology that enables financial advisors to be more efficient in targeting the right clients and giving them personalized proposals. Instead of going through many different lists and investment guidelines (blacklist, recommendation list, etc.), the software handles the process. Instead of checking if the proposal is within the boundaries of the portfolio, or if any client or bank-restrictions are violated, the software can handle that within secondsThe advisor can focus on the needs, wishes, and financial status of the client. You tease out what the client needs, manage the relationship, and the software calculates the right portfolio, the right products, gives you the right story with every possible recommendation and handles all regulatory aspects for you. 

“Humans lack efficiency and Robos lack humanity. Give advisors super-human capabilities by supporting them with software in a hybrid advice model. Give them the power of software efficiency with a human touch 

How to save 10 weeks per year for every advisor

Imagine you offer your advisors a tool that frees up 10 weeks of their time every year. 10 weeks focusing full time on the client. Establishing and caring for better client relationships. Here are practical ideas on how to get there: 

1. Be clear about your investment philosophy and set up a clear investment structure and process that contains:

● Categorization of Risk Profiles (How do you categorize your client’s risk profiles?)
● Risk and Strategy Offerings (What investment strategies or risk levels do you want to offer?)
Mapping of risk profiles and risk levels
Asset Allocations and Time Horizons

2. Set up a regulatory compliant advice journey that includes:

Sufficient Regulatory Information
Regulatory Restrictions

3. Define your investment universe

Set up a set of securities that you wish to use as possible investments for your clients
Include buy/sell/hold recommendations from your research

4. Define bank restrictions on the allocation

Have a blacklist containing, e.g. non-ethical investments
Have certain risk boundaries for asset classes or single investments

5. Give your client and advisor the possibility to include their wishes

Ask if the client wants to limit exposure to an asset class or investment
Ask if the client has a blacklist or darling stocks  

6. Connect for a seamless and efficient process

Integrate the advice software to your core banking system to process orders directly
Automate regulatory reasoning to have a compliant and transparent decision process 

All of these proposals can be configured and extended to your business model.  With our hybrid Advice Softwarefinancial advice gets more reliable and transparent without losing individuality and gives you the edge in a competitive market space.

 


How Software Can Close the Retirement Gap

Fintech on Fridays

 

Challenges of an aging society and how we can use technology to win the game 

It is one of the most pressing financial concerns for most of us: how do I ensure that my savings are sufficient to maintain my standard of living during retirement? 

Yet this concern remains heavily disregarded by most individuals, particularly in Germany where over 90% of retirees rely mainly on public pension schemes¹Several developments related to our society and its economy, such as the demographic shift in the population towards older generations as well as the sustainably lowinterestrate environment, lead to the unsuitability of public pension to provide sufficient coverage for retirement. 

Raise Awareness

Despite several additional savings products other than public pensions, such as company or private pensions, the main challenge of converting cash assets into suitable investment products remains. 

For most people, the challenge starts with awareness. The majority of future retirees are not even aware of their existing retirement gap. Also for the case of retirement planning, the simple logic prevails: the sooner one is aware of existing retirement gaps and the earlier one starts investing, the higher the expected returns and hence the lower the risk of facing such gapsThe issues resulting from retirement gaps can be severe and may very well result in poverty. Already today, 20% of the German population live in or are at risk of old-age poverty²The issue of existing and widening retirement gaps thus requires urgent attention from both the public and private sectors. The governments in countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have already identified the issue and provided their citizens with the necessary tools to understand their current state of pensions. These tools allow citizens to access a holistic online-view on their earned pension and also supply them with useful forecasts to simulate changes to their pension income. Although there are ongoing government-driven initiatives in Germany, the task of increasing awareness remains with the private sector for nowNevertheless, the subsequent step of closing identified gaps remains.

Provide comprehensive tools 

With our digital solutions, Fincite provides the necessary toolset for users to become aware of existing retirement gaps and derive the right actions to close them. During this process, we not only take into account the user’s existing pensions but additionally consider their aggregated wealth in a holistic view. This might include additional assets, such as real estate, which can significantly impact the financial situation during retirement. By analyzing a user’s current and planned living and financial conditions, our software enables them to determine their required retirement savings and identify existing gaps. A workflow could look as follows: 

1. Understand the client  connect current pensions, cash & investment accounts, real estate, and other assets to develop a 360° view of the client’s wealth 

2. Determine financial needs  develop financial goals for retirement by exploring all incomes and expenses

3. Identify existing retirement gaps  determine existing gaps by comparing the expected returns of current assets with the client’s financial planning

4. Provide suitable products  choose suitable products to close the retirement gap, taking into account the client’s financial and risk-bearing capacity 

5. Keep track – employ algorithms to monitor and realign the investment strategy during the saving and withdrawal period 

With this approach, you’re able to provide your clients with investment solutions to address the most pressing financial concern and at the same time generate useful insight into the client’s state of wealth.  

Find out more about our Financial Planning Software or contact us directly, our experts are happy to help you.

 

  • ¹ Bundesinstitut für Arbeit und Soziales, 2017
  • ² Süddeutsche Zeitung, Artikel „Rentner stärker von Altersarmut betroffen als gedacht“, Februar 2019

ESG Investments – An introduction to sustainable investments

Fintech on Fridays

 

ESG Introduction 

It is a myth to think that sustainable responsible investing is unrewarding and decreases profits  in fact, it is the opposite. The number of investment funds incorporating ESG factors has been growing rapidly and is expected to continue rising. By the year 2021 more than 92% of Asset Owners will implement ESG criteria in their investment screening process. So, what is ESG and why is it becoming highly significant?

 

ESG Definition 

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance, and refers to the three key factors that are a subset of non-financial performance indicators which include ethical, sustainable and corporate governance issues. Here are the factors which ESG addresses: 

● Environmental criteria examine business performances based on natural environment (waste and pollution)

● Social criteria focus on people and relations inside the company (employee relations & diversity)

● Governance criteria look at how a company is governed (e.g. tax strategy)

 

How ESG investment criteria have been established 

ESG caught greater attention in September 2015, when 193 countries adopted 17 measurable (“SDG-Index”) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to build international cooperation and contribute to economic sustainable development. As a result, an agreement was signed in Paris to further strengthen the sustainable belief. According to this Paris agreement which deals with reducing greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, each country must determine, plan and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming. In order to meet the ambitious goals of the UN and the Paris agreement, the EU created an action plan to: 

● Include sustainable considerations within financial decision-making

● Enhance transparency for private investors to increase private investments in ESG compliant companies and thus, deliver on ESG targets

 

ESG investment goals within the EU 

That action plan shall enable the EU to hit the following energy targets by 2030: 

● 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels 

● 27% share of renewables in energy consumption 

● 30% energy savings compared to a business-as-usual scenario

Currently, there is a wake of different KPIs trying to determine which corporations are sustainable. The viable question raised at this point would be on how to enhance transparency on sustainable investments. Thus, one of the main tasks of the European Commission is to implement a unique set of ESG KPIsThe implementation of these KPIs is an ongoing process but established data providers have already calculated ESG scores at quite robust level.

 


ESG 
impact on investment returns

ESG criteria are not only important when measuring the sustainability of investments but they also have a material impact on the returns and long-term risk of portfolios.  Private investments are adopting ESG measurements due to innovations in risk management practices. These innovations create new opportunities for long-term value in business and society. Businesses that adopt ESG standards, therefore, are more conscientious, less risky and more successful in their long-term commercial goals. Nowadays, ESG has become a necessity rather than an experimentThat is why various actors in the investment value chain, including investors, banks, and companies, have been increasing including ESG and sustainability information in their processes. Financial institutions and investors also check companies’ ESG criteria to screen investments and to evaluate the behavior of companies, as well as determining their future financial performance in the market. 

 

The Fincite ESG Software for Financial Institutions

Being aware of these new developments and consistently overlooking the financial markets, we developed a Software Solution making ESG the main element for asset management. We enable investors to analyze existing portfolios according to their ESG compliance or help them to set up an ESG compliant portfolio from scratch – fully automated and utilizing data from established data providers. For more information please visit ESG Investment Software

 

 

How to harness the powers of Open Banking

Fintech on Fridays

How PSD2 and Open Banking will change our view and ease of wealth aggregation and how banks can use it to their advantage.

Open Banking and PSD2 are associated with several problems for banks: costs, loss of data, increased competition, and increasing regulatory burden. The implementation deadline is near and very little banks have a clear proposition on how to use it instead of just complying with PSD2. What if I told you, that you can use Open Banking to win new clients to start new business models? And that you can increase client satisfaction and your share of wallet?

How to make your clients love you

Here is a common view on Open banking: Financial institutions have to create an API, which they might not be very familiar with. They have to share data about their clients, which competitors could use to take business away. And last but not least the costs of complying with PSD2 are increasing. But here is a not-so-obvious view:  By offering the more compelling proposition you can leverage your existing client base, your brand and the trust clients have in you to understand your clients better. Moreover, you can offer them more value and increase your share of wallet with the client.

Open Banking does not have to stop at current accounts as PSD2 does. Imagine the possibilities: You not only can connect current accounts, yes, (yawn!), but also: portfolios, real estate, private equity, cryptocurrencies, cars (yes, all of those data points can be delivered to your clients at their fingertips). Aggregate wealth and analyze transactions to give the next best actions that fit perfectly to your clients’ needs.

Answer important questions for your clients:

•How much am I worth?

•How much can I save and how much do I need to save to reach my goals

•Does my asset allocation fit my needs?

As a bank you can get valuable information about your clients:

•Did I advise them correctly?

•How much is my client worth? Does that change the way I treat him/her

•What other offerings would this client profit from?

“If you connect valuables of your clients, you’ll be the financial center for all their needs”

 

How to be the center point of your client’s financials

Now, how can a bank achieve digital excellence and connect to new clients? The answer is easy. It should deliver apps and solutions that offer real value for their clients.

Here is a roadmap to excelling in your business:

1. Think of a clear business case and what you want to achieve, e.g.

•Find out more about your clients

•Increase client bonding

•Increase your net promoter score

•Get new assets

2. Think about how you want to achieve this

•Focus on current accounts and use them as an example of retirement planning

•Use holistic wealth aggregation to give better portfolio advice in the context of financial planning

•Use aggregation to better target promising clients in your sales funnel

•Increase your assets under advice by comparing your expertise with existing client portfolios

3. It helps to know where your proposition is better than the rest

• Do you have a strong investment office?

•Can you offer a wide range of products?

•Do you have an extra trust factor?

•Are your services cheaper, more diversified, better performing than others?

Such digital tools based on Open Banking can help you to show clients digitally and easily how they will profit from working with you. And all that in an automated and scalable manner.

 

 

5 tasks your investment software can’t execute

Fincite 5 tasks your current Investment Software can´t execute

The digitization of the financial industry often progresses only cumbersome. Great successes or changes usually come from the emerging challengers or “online-only” banks. The established players are trapped in legacy systems that are not up to the pressure of digitization and regulation. 

This applies especially to investment processes. From consultation to portfolio design, steadily falling margins meet with high manual effort in all areas. In the field of tension between compliance, process costs and the desire for differentiation, existing technology often blocks the future. 

The following five points describe which tasks your current investment software is unlikely to perform and what added value you can expect from modern software.

 

1. Your investment software has too little data about your customers and their value(s)!

Open Banking offers new ways to gain a holistic view of your customers. The linking of accounts, deposits and other assets makes it possible to capture the financial situation of your customers faster, more detailed and more comprehensively than most existing investment software can.

With Fincite.CIOS, financial service providers can capture all their clients’ accounts, deposits and other assets (real estate, private equity, etc.) in a 360° view. Based on this hollistic view, CIOS provides recommendations for individual actions either directly to the customer or as a sales impulse for the consultant. With our Software the consultant gains an understanding of the client and the customer lifetime value.

 

2.You can´t automate your investment process with your existing software!

From collection of the financial situation and the risk profile up to the investment compliance and documentation there are many – often manually carried out – steps which cause high process costs and compliance risks. Most consulting or portfolio management systems often lack an end-to-end view for effective automation. But the processes of investment consulting or asset management can be automated to a large extent.

Fincite.CIOS digitally maps the processes from recording the financial situation to portfolio construction and order generation. This end-to-end process saves more than 25% of time per customer per year. In addition, automated processes can almost completely prevent violations of investment restrictions.

 

3. Your investment software is not a front-office system and can´t be customized!

Portfolio management or advisory systems are not built for customer contact. They rarely view their customers holistically in terms of their financial situation, current portfolios and individual opportunities.
Existing systems are often far away from the vision of financial service providers of a fully digitized and highly customizable process. Rather, they deal with questions such as:

– How many individual customer portfolios can the software manage?
– What happens if more than 100 customers access the software at the same time?
– How can we deliver an outdated user interface to the customer to meet reporting requirements?
– How can data fields for the MIFID2 reporting requirements still be integrated into the existing system?

Fincite.CIOS is designed for highly customized client portfolios and digital interaction. Our software includes the ability to provide your clients with real-time insights into their assets with a visually sophisticated and modern dashboard. Digital interaction and excellent communication processes will increase your customer satisfaction and loyalty and empowers your advisors.

 

4. Your investment software does not enable a fast roll-out

The world of a financial service provider is complex. Through several channels (e.g. consultants, online, mobile, distribution partner) different service models such as self-execution, investment advisory, and asset management models are sometimes rolled out across different customer segments (retail, mass affluent, private banking) in several countries.
Existing investment software is often not designed for this diversity and different purposes. 

Fincite.CIOS enables financial institutions to implement different service models on one software using a process mapping layer. Modern REST or GraphQL API layers allow access to the logic across different channels. To date, international financial service providers are already using CIOS’s multi-tenant environment to extend their consulting and portfolio management processes to multiple countries. All for a fast rollout.

 

5. Your investment software does not maintain a relationship with your customers!

The Markets are changing. And with them often the financial institution’s evaluation of asset allocation and individual products. But customers also change. Their financial situation and thus their risk profile can develop. It is just important to check these changes regularly (a requirement according to MIFID2 by the way) and to implement the recommendations of the Investment Office in the client’s portfolios as good communication – especially in times of crisis. In many cases, existing investment software does not meet these requirements.

By continuously linking the financial situation and providing market data, research results and signals, CIOS offers the basis to keep the client portfolio in shape and to provide clients and/or their advisors with specific knowledge for every market situation.

5 tasks your investment software can't execute. Fincite

Why Trends Matter in Modern Asset Management?

Fincite Blog Alternative Investment Trend

 

Companies or Trends?

Facebook announced that it’s planning to launch a dating service for its users, and shares of Match.com sell-off around 25% in intraday trading. Are markets over-reacting, or are there long-term trends that investors need to be aware of while investing?

Imagine a child born in 2000. She turns into an adult this year. Would she believe that Nokia was on the cover of Forbes with the headline “Nokia, One Billion Customers- Can Anyone Catch the Cell Phone King?” She was seven years old then, and the same year Apple launched the iPhone. The key was to spot the trend of the switch to smartphones, which was a great opportunity.

How to construct future-oriented portfolios?

It is the traditional way of investing and analyzing your portfolio, by sector, geography, growth v/s value, etc., the only way to do it or there needs to be another lens in these rapidly changing times.

We at Fincite explore other ways of looking at how we invest and what impacts our portfolio (learn more on our approach here).  Rather than looking at companies as per which sector they are in or started out, our methodology focuses on which long-term trends they impact.  This gives the client a different way to look at her investments, which is forward-looking.

We have created a database of long-term trends, which take into account economic, technological, demographic, behavioral, and environmental factors that we think will shape our future.  We have categorized these into MegaTrends and SubTrends.

• A MegaTrend is a long term trend which gives rise to more niche trends e.g. Internet of Things (IoT) is a MegaTrend
• SubTrends are a part of the Mega Trend, like Wearable Technologies, Smart Home, Cloud Computing, etc. are a part of the MegaTrend IOT

By categorizing companies into trends, we will enable investors to analyze and invest in a better way. The investors will be able to see if their current portfolio benefits or is at risk from these trends, and which stocks will help them participate in trends that they are interested in.

How does this work for the investor?

The investor can invest in these trends depending on her sophistication, objective and/or composition of her current portfolio. These could vary and we discuss some specific ones below:

1. Trends can be incorporated in the portfolio to mitigate specific risks, like impact of climate change, or demographic changes.

2. Opportunistic trading, such as shorting traditional retail sectors in a country due to the entry of Amazon.

3. Conviction and interest in a particular trend. Investors have researched, work in the trend and believe that a certain trend will dominate and they will benefit by investing in it.

4. Extracting alpha, in a traditional core-satellite portfolio, by adding some trends that have higher growth prospects but with added volatility- typically the satellites.

With this in mind, we have constructed Trendindicies to give investors, investment opportunities to diversify asset allocation by offering international investable opportunity set of equities representing trends.

We need to be aware of what impacts our portfolio and benefit from it. To see but be blind to opportunities, is not being a smart investor- be smart, take advantage of trends.