I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.
We are often asked what makes ETFmatic different. Offering asset allocation as an investment solution is after all incredibly common. In fact most, if not all, wealth managers do exactly that. Furthermore using ETFs to implement said asset allocation takes another step away from any active management and further standardises ones offering. So if everyone is doing asset allocation and using ETFs your service has become commoditized. The only way, most firms think, is then to compete on costs and here is where roboadvisors tend to have the edge over the traditional firms. Using technology, we as an industry, have unbundled many of the costs of traditional firms and have passed the savings onto the consumer. However, if all roboadvisors are doing the same thing and incumbents are fiercely writing big cheques to buy or build technology is this not just a race to the bottom in fees? How can one possibly standout in your offering?
Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.
Most investment firms offer you one of five portfolios and then fiercely market themselves as offering tailored investment solutions. In fact most firms, both traditional and even some roboadvisors, even charge you high fees for this “tailored solution”. The way ETFmatic was created and still continuously evolves, is to develop a technology stack that offers truly bespoke investment solutions. This is evident in our three portfolio management styles that allows our customers to create and have managed any asset allocation that they can come up with. However we also believe that using technology around an investment solution is not enough. Yes, it can be used to unbundle costs for the benefit of the consumer, however technology can also be used to build truly personalised individual experiences. We are staunch proponents of both the former and the latter.
Big data is all the rage these days. We often find ourselves at events and conferences speaking with management consultants and investment analysts who like to add this jargon to their arguments. [We are not entirely convinced they know what the term means, have created the most basic array to iterate over a few lines of data in any programming language or have actually read any papers on it. However we digress]. Therefore we will refrain from using big data in this post. However, we wanted to highlight how we at ETFmatic use data to enhance your investment experience with us.
If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold.
First it is important to address the elephant in the room. Investing and dealing with money is extremely personal for all of us. Combining these emotions with the idea that our usage is being tracked, monitored to be profited from can be, and rightly should be, anathema to most people. Most free digital service that we use today do have business models that offer your data (personal, professional, actions, decisions and interests) as a way of making money. Advertising to you or selling your data earns large amounts of money for many firms.
It is important to note ETFmatic is a discretionary investment manager. We expressly and solely earn money by charging you a straightforward investment management fee for managing your money. We are completely transparent in what and how we charge you. Therefore, any information we gather and use to provide you with better information, data, rewards, prompts and assistance is solely aimed to improve your investment experience. We like to to think of this as small data. Rather than big data which is often mined to be profited from, we use this small data to create unique and tailored experiences for you. Therefore not only offering tailored portfolios at the lowest fees possible, but also providing a truly personalised online experience is where we think we differentiate ourselves.
In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.
Serving clients in 32 European countries is a huge privilege. We see incredibly interesting data from the many regions and nationalities that use our service in a variety of different ways. Below are just a few of the ways we use this data to help create a personalised investment offering for you:
This is just some of the data that we gather and use to improve your experience. But it is only the tip of the iceberg. We are improving to provide more personalised information, education and data to you. Here are just three things you can look forward to shortly:
The fact of the matter is that roboadvisors by their very nature have taken a commoditized product (investment management) and have unbundled the costs and made them more commoditized. There are a few ways to differentiate oneself and most firms focus on fees. We would make the argument that we lead the pack on this metric. We also serve 32 European countries in three currencies and offer truly personalised asset allocation. However as important as the above, if perhaps not more so, is that we are constantly building in prompts, education and information to serve you with a truly personalised investment experience online.
If we want to differentiate ourselves in any way. Then this would be it.