The digital revolution of private investments
The World Wide Web was only founded in 1990, and in just over 25 years, the digital sphere has evolved to amass a wealth of knowledge that will only continue to expand. Individuals now use it to link their personal and social lives together, and are always on the lookout for products and services that will better their lives. On the business front, companies are transitioning to offer virtual services that were otherwise once only available in brick and mortar shops.
Take for example, travel concierge services. Gone are the days where personal advisors meet with clients in person. Or a dedicated concierge desk that caters to every need. You now have access to numerous concierge services online, each specialising in an area that best meets your needs in the shortest time frame possible. The same goes for private investments and wealth management. What has always seemed as a traditional or exclusive industry where the affluent discuss business behind closed doors has now opened its virtual doors to give a non-intrusive peek of what they have to offer. A quick search online would easily point you in the right direction, while seasoned, high-flying clients can now make investment decisions in a click or two.
Since the new millennium, both the finance and technology sectors have been merging to soar higher than ever in Asia, especially in Singapore, which is fast emerging as South East Asia’s technology hub. It’s also only natural that the younger generation is contributing to the rise in investments and purchase decisions, given its appetite for risk, spending power and early-adoptor attitude.
“The wealth in Asia is rapidly falling into younger, more tech-savvy hands. This is going to have a big knock-on effect for the provision of wealth services in the region over the coming years. Globally, we see Asia blazing the trail when it comes to the speed of consumer adoption of technology solutions, not least in the affluent consumer segments,” says Dominic Gamble, CEO and co-founder of FindAWealthManager.com. The company, founded in the UK and now headquartered in Singapore, prides itself on helping affluent individuals find wealth managers to suit their various needs, all through a few clicks of the mouse.
Gamble is not alone with that opinion. Last year saw considerable investment from the some of the largest global and local banking names. To get you introduced to the world of private investments, Gamble has listed three digital platforms to watch, each with its own merits.
SEARCH AND COMPARE
Find A Wealth Manager has carved an unparalleled niche as the global clearer for individuals with a high net wealth. Its search engine for wealth management allows affluent users with more than US$250,000 (S$350,000) in liquid wealth to find their best wealth management institutions using a proprietary algorithm that, in minutes, identifies and connects users to the appropriate advisers for their profiles.
Canopy allows investors to monitor their multiple banking portfolios and investment assets via a single application. All wealth management relationships, real estate and private investments are synchronised into one screen, doing away with paperwork, monthly statements, and multiple usernames and passwords. It helps give you a clear overview of your investments.
US start-up Robinhood has received plenty of acclaim in the States, and is backed by high profile investors including Google Ventures and Marc Andreessen. What’s lesser known is that Robinhood offers free stock trading online, via a slick tech interface that allows clients to trade a growing variety of shares and ETFs in the US. The company is making plans to expand to Asia.