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2 Tug-A-Wars and 3 trends in Digital wealth


Abaka  conversational AI for financial advice

I took the rolling escalators to the Gallery at King`s Place where the annual Robo investing 2day conference takes place, thinking about

Investors saved $5.5 billion in ETF and mutual fund fees, in 2018! A 6% decline in fees. Since 2000, the cost of fund investing has been cut in half!

Paolo Sironi stressed several times on stage that the battle between growing Volume versus building Value, continues. `Battle` may not be the perfect term to capture what is actually happening in the market. On the one hand, incumbents continue to gather assets because that is what they are used to be doing and Fintechs are looking to acquire more users because this a KPI that VCs pay for. On the other hand, APIs, Open Banking, Baas, Saas, are dethroning one by one each differentiating factor in the Financial digital transformation race.

I would call this The Tension or the Tug-A-War between Volume and Value.

Devie Mohan stressed that user experience is no longer a differentiator. Even though the number of users in the robo space has tripled in the last two years, the reality is that a sustainable business can only be built with a platform and not with one cheaper, better, faster product-service. All this has led us to the current re-bundling phase that Digital wealth has shifted to.

Trends that Devie Mohan identified from Burnmark research, are an increasing demand for specialized assets.

I would supplement these statistics with the observation that these are trends outside of China. They are happening while more traditional financial products are on the rise in China`s affluent population. From money market kind of accounts, bank deposits to real estate.

I close with the perspective that Lex Sokolin brought to the attention of the audience at the Robo investing event. He spoke about the rise of the emergence of Financial generics much like in the drug sector which naturally ties into where is value created and who is willing to pay for the non-generics. PSD2 and APIs are fuelling the creation of Financial generics and the battle is starting.


It’s never been cheaper to invest in the markets as asset managers slash fund fees by $5 billion – CNBC

Profile of newly rich shows preference for traditional investments – China Daily


Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019. 

I have no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post. 

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