The top investment & wealth management firms to pay attention to in 2021

The sharp market decline in the early days of COVID-19, as well as the proceeding market volatility, has significantly impacted investor’s portfolios. Wealth management firms’ top lines were also effected, as net income and fees tied to assets under management (AUM) saw a drop consistent with market performance.

While backstop and contingency efforts have been used as an interim solution to market challenges, investors and wealth management firms must consider new approaches to avoid losing market share and to stay relevant long-term.

Insider Intelligence has put together a list of the top investors and wealth management firms – Betterment, Vanguard, Moneyfarm, Robinhood, Advizr, Nutmeg, Wealthfront, Habito, Hydrogen, Sigfig, Scalable Capital, Mint, Wealthsimple, and Charles Schwab. We’ll share how each of these top firms are positioning themselves for success as we transition into the new normal.

Betterment

Betterment is the most popular AI-powered robo-advisor in the U.S. and has more than $6 billion in AUM. The company does not require a minimum deposit and charges only 0.25% of AUM annually for its basics plan, making it accessible to even the newest investors. Betterment realizes that customer focus is key in the times of COVID-19, and has advisors readily available to help investors sort out questions and challenges concerning their retirement accounts.

Vanguard

Vanguard had about $6.2 trillion in global assets under management, as of January 31, 2020. Vanguard is good for low-cost investing, with a $0 stock trading commission, making it ideal for buy-and-hold investors and retirement savers. However, active traders may require a more robust trading platform.

Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm is a robo-advisor that operates in Italy and the United Kingdom, that is very convenient and low-maintenance. It will conduct research and invest your money in the way it believes is best for your personal needs, and not just what is popular at the time. You can start a general investment account, or transfer your existing ISA account to the platform, and then simply watch your money work for you.

Robinhood

Robinhood offers free stock options, exchange-traded fund (ETF) and cryptocurrency trades, and its account minimum is $0. It is a great choice for those looking for low limits or trade crypto, but does not offer mutual funds or bonds.

Advizr

Advizr was acquired by Orion Advisor Services, LLC (Orion), the premier portfolio management solution provider for registered investment advisors, in 2019. It is one of the least expensive options on the market, as their full package of financial planning software tools, client PFM portal, and account aggregation benefits are available for only $75 per month.

Advizr is newer to the marketplace and is not as robust as some of the bigger players, but it is growing in popularity among smaller firms or advisors looking for an intuitive, easy-t0-use platform. The company collects client data and run tests to determine appropriate recommendations.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg launched in the UK in 2011 and offers investors a cheaper alternative to traditional wealth management services by focussing on exchange traded funds (ETFs) and tracker funds that carry lower charges. They also specialize in import substitution industrializations (ISAs) and pensions, and are ideal for those looking for someone to manage their portfolio and help them make tactical decisions.

Wealthfront

Number of Employees: 101 to 250

Number of acquisitions: 1

Total Funding: $204.5 million

One Thing to Know: In 2019 Wealthfron launched the Wealthfront Cash Account, offering a 2.24% interest rate and FDIC insurance that covers balances up to $1 million.

Habito

Number of Employees: 101 to 250

Total Funding: $231 million

One Thing to Know: Habito targets home buyers and tries to remove the friction of mortgage applications.

Hydrogen

Before launching in 2017, Hydrogen started as a product offering of consumer fintech company Hedgeable. Hydrogen launched as a standalone platform with the mission of allowing teams to deploy financial applications anywhere in the world.

Hydrogen has gained popularity due it’s quick application process, straightforward website, and online-only approach that does not require clients to travel to a physical space. This is a good fit for more experienced investors, as some mortgage knowledge may be required and it is not ideal for those who have had debt issues in the past.

SigFig

SigFig is an robo-advisor backed by UBS, New York Life, Santander InnoVentures, Eaton Vance, and Comerica Bank. They offer low-cost portfolio management, with no fee for the first $10,000 invested, with a competitive rate of 0.25% going forward. SigFig’s $2,000 minimum investment is higher than that of competitors, but many clients find that its unlimited free financial counseling and innovative portfolio tracking tools more than makes up for this.

Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital started in Munich, Germany in 2016, and has since grown to be one of Europe’s fastest growing digital wealth managers, investing over £1.3 billion of assets for about 50,000 clients. It provides the strongest and most consistent returns on low to medium risk portfolios, but is unlikely to be a top performers due to its heavy focus on risk management.

In contrast to services like Nutmeg and Moneyfarm, Scalable Capital has a minimum investment amount of £10,000, which has gotten them higher investments from the average client, but could scare away some newer investors.

Mint

Mint is a popular financial tool that was founded in 2009 by Inuit, the company that also created Quickbook for bookkeeping and accounting, and TurboTax for the completing, filing, and paying of taxes. Its mission is to keep individuals more informed about their financial health, whether they are looking for a general overview or want to explore its more robust features.

Mint has impressive website and mobile app, which syncs with other accounts and categorizes transactions. Users can check their net worth, set budgets, and create goals. While there is no fee to sign up, users will encounter advertisements. In addition, some might have to adjust their settings to avoid frequent notifications.

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple could be a good fit for investors of all ages looking to save money and take the next step in ensuring long-term financial security. They are a socially responsible investment option, and have live representative readily available to help clients. Wealthsimple’s fees are higher compared to the average robo-advisor, but they offer an account minimum of $0, which is useful for investors who are just starting out.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is a well-known wealth management company that went public in January 10, 2003. It caters to investors beginner investors with its $0 account minimum, as well as to active traders with its $0 commission for stock, options and exchange-traded funds. The company also charges no annual or inactivity fees. They also have an above-average mobile app, and offer sophisticated tools and trading platforms.

More to Learn

This comprehensive list of fintech companies merely scratches the surface of the fintech industry, which is growing in unprecedented ways.

And here are some related Financial Services reports that might interest you:

  1. The Banking-as-a-Service Report, which looks at five major BaaS providers, ranging from fintechs to 20-year-old legacy providers that we think represent a proper cross-section of approaches to offering BaaS.
  2. AI in Banking, which identifies the most meaningful AI applications across banks’ front and middle offices.
  3. The Global Neobanks Report, which explores how the neobank market has grown rapidly, and what’s in store as the industry pivots from hyper-growth to sustainability.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Banking fintech providers and startups to watch in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up our transition to a digital and cashless society, causing more people to become reliant on technology as a means to manage their money. As customer expectations evolve and more companies populate the financial technology space, finserv companies are integrating technology into their offerings in order to set themselves apart from the pack.

Insider Intelligence has put together a list of the top banking fintech providers and startups – Monzo, Starling Bank, Ally Financial, Tandem, Tide, N26, and Atom. We’ll share why each of these companies have been able to outpace other competitors, and the implications of their success. 

Monzo

Since being founded in 2015, Monzo has created a name for itself as a UK digital-only challenger bank with a bright coral-colored card, and is now valued at nearly $1.4 billion. 

Monzo’s mobile app aims to meet customer needs, offering budget tracking, cashflow advice, and the ability to make domestic and international payments. Their capability for customers to easily move money between accounts offers immense global appeal.

Monzo has been able to connect and build trust with the modern customer, by communicating in an informal, conversational tone. They have also used the Monzo Community Forum to build a brand community, listen to and engage with their customers, and contribute to the overall success of their brand.

Starling Bank

Starling disrupted the banking world in 2014, offering the benefits of incumbent banks, such as the ability to deposit cash and checks, plus added perks such as easy payments and instant notifications.

While Sterling has fewer customers than other challenger banks, it has more of their money, which suggests that customers are using this card for day-to-day expenses, and not just as a spending card.

Ally Financial

Ally Bank

Ally Financial went public on April 10, 2014, and has since drawn in over 8.5 million people with its high rates and low fees.

Ally is also know for their superior customer service. Diane Morais, Ally’s president of consumer and commercial banking products, echoes their company’s  sentiment when she shares, “It’s not okay to just be satisfied. Your money should be working as hard as it can.”

Tandem

Tandem is true to its name, given its capacity for customers to view all their money in one place. With open banking, individuals can access their spending and savings without logging into separate accounts.

Tandem’s simple interface makes it accessible to all, even those who aren’t as familiar with online banking. They also offer a “pocket accountant,” that analyzes all customer spending and offers custom tips to help save them money. 

Lastly, Tandem has the advantage of being connected with most major banks, which keeps them ahead of competitors that aren’t yet compatible.

Tide

Tide has attracted more than 200,000 customers since its launch in 2015, winning many over with their “three minute” business card sign-up and their robust mobile app that offers a number of unique features. 

Customers have the autonomy to freeze and unfreeze their card, check their pin number, and reorder a lost card. They can also integrate their transaction feed with accounting software in order to export their financial information as needed.

N26

N26, Europe’s first mobile bank, was founded in Berlin in 2013, and has since gained popularity among those who wish to transition away from incumbent banks, but prefer the security of a banking license. It also has excellent currency conversion rates, whch makes it ideal for international travelers. 

Their app is highly intutitive, and given that this company is relatively young, we can expect more innovation in the future. They are best known for their straightforward approach to banking, which has attracted many well-known investors, such as Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel.

Atom

Atom is one of the inital challenger banks that got it’s start in 2016, by making banking easily accessible to customers through their smartphones and tablets. Unlike many of its competitors, Atom offers savings accounts and mortgages, and business loans, as opposed to currents accounts.

Atom offers a number of safety and security features. Instead of using the standard passcode and password combination, they use face and voice recognition to keep their customers’ money safe.

More to Learn

This comprehensive list of fintech companies merely scratches the surface of the fintech industry, which is growing in unprecedented ways.

And here are some related Banking reports that might interest you:

  1. The Banking-as-a-Service Report, which looks at five major BaaS providers, ranging from fintechs to 20-year-old legacy providers that we think represent a proper cross-section of approaches to offering BaaS.
  2. AI in Banking, which identifies the most meaningful AI applications across banks’ front and middle offices. 
  3. The Global Neobanks Report, which explores how the neobank market has grown rapidly, and what’s in store as the industry pivots from hyper-growth to sustainability.
Read the original article on Business Insider