Ever seen a movie on what the future would be like?
and you thought, ‘yeah right‘?
Lol…I know that feeling.
One of my favorite movies, ‘Back to the future’ is credited with predicting wearable technology such as the Google glass.
In the Back to the Future franchise’s version of 2015, Marty McFly took calls on futuristic phones he wore as sunglasses.
It seemed like fiction back then, i.e. something someone dreamed up, but it inspired Google to think out of the box and come up with the Google glass.
Google glass might not have been a successful product but, you can’t ignore the benefits of innovative technology today, especially in the financial services industry.
We now make payments on our mobile phones. That wasn’t possible two decades ago but it’s the new normal.
Technology is changing the nature of almost every financial activity; from banking to payments and wealth management.
In Africa, we’re experiencing a lot of change in the banking and payments industry. My guess was, this trend is likely to catch up with investment activities soon
and it is catching up.
These are two (2) trends you should watch out for in terms of investment options;
Peer-to-peer lending (P-2-P lending)
P-2-P lending is the practice of lending money to individuals, or businesses, on a website that matches lenders with borrowers. i.e. you can loan an individual money on this website and earn competitive interest income. You can also borrow as well.
If you ask me, that’s an attractive interest rate.
They also seem to have all their bases covered, in terms of giving the borrower a credit rating and insuring what you give out as loan..
P-2-P lending market places are quite popular in the US and in the UK (Lending club in the US has given out over 1.5m loans) and are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if local banks will create their own market places or partner with these market places to give out small loans.
You should check it out. However, I would tread carefully with investing in this trend though, and start with an amount I don’t mind losing to test the terrain.
The second trend is automated financial planning i.e. Robo-advisors
Robo-advisors (robo-advisers) are digital platforms that provide automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services with little or no human supervision.
A robo-advisor collects information from you about your financial situation and goals through an online survey, and then uses the data to offer financial advice and help you automatically invest your money.
Sounds cool, right?
The main advantage of robo-advisors is they are low-cost alternatives to traditional advisors. By eliminating the human interaction, these platforms offer the same services at a fraction of the cost. Some of them also require no minimum deposit.
You’ll be able to invest in the stock market, mutual funds or fixed income securities simply by registering online on a platform. All you’ll need is access to the internet.
Right now, we don’t have a fully automated robo-dvisor in Nigeria. But, I’m definitely on the look out for one. If there’s anything that will make investing easier, I’m in.
So, I’m curious to know what you think, would you invest in this trend or are you one of those people who are careful with technology?
Feel free to share in the comment box below