ROBOS and Banks: The Dawning of a New Time

Will Banks Use More Robots

The use of Robo advisors is gaining prominence in mainstream banking circles. Clients have several options available to them when picking investment products. These include the go-it-alone approach where individuals are responsible for the management of their own portfolio of stocks, bonds, cash, indices, commodities etc. This option is best suited to professionals, or investors who understand the intricacies of the financial markets.

The other option is a choice between using traditional banks and investment gurus on the one hand, or the modern-day upgrades with things like discount brokerages. While there is certainly merit in all of these options, many investors are not totally sold on either option. A fusion of these investment possibilities which encompasses online advice with a self-directed brokerage is increasingly preferred by clients.

Fintech Disrupting Traditional Banking

FinTech has dramatically revolutionized the investment landscape, and banking operations are front and centre. New-age investors prefer having a say in how their money is managed, and this need has not been fully satisfied with the options listed above. Instead, clients prefer hybrid options known as Robo advisors. The concept of a Robo advisor is largely misunderstood by mainstream investors. A Robo advisor does not remove the human element from investing and portfolio management.

True to form, Robo advisors do not require clients to meet with investment gurus face-to-face. It is a convenience-based element at play, and one that makes it easier for anyone to instantly initiate trades at the click of a button. Most of the communication via Robo advisors is conducted through secure online connections and chat services such as Skype, messenger, and the like.

More Control Over Financial Portfolios

The Canadian investment scene is slowly adapting to this modern-day technology, but only the Bank of Montréal has infused Robo advisor technology as part of its investments toolkit. FinTech is leaps and bounds ahead of traditional banking. It is a major disruptive force in the financial world, and it caters to a large under-banked or unbanked sector of society. In Canada, the US and across Europe, clients are looking for easier ways to manage their financial portfolios, while still maintaining control over trades that are executed.

The conventional system of entrusting all of one’s finances to a fund manager with a bias towards certain stocks, ETFs or mutual funds is losing traction. Today, investors want to have a modicum of control over their portfolio, and they don’t want the emotional component, or the bias via the investment advisor. A Robo advisor serves this purpose well. Provided the range of financial assets available to the client is all-encompassing, a Robo advisor can pick the appropriate stocks based on client specifications. Hard data is analysed instantly, and the best investment options are provided to the client.

Robo Advisors with Canadian Banks

The do-it-yourself model cannot be ignored by banks for much longer. The explosive growth of FinTech investment paradigms has already caused multiple banks like HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, Goldman Sachs and others to stand up and take notice. Banks are implementing protocols to allow Robo advisors as part of their investment toolkit. One of the leading asset management companies is BMO. What many clients don’t know, is that BMO also has a robo advisor. Through use of this modern-day technology, BMO can now offer exchange traded funds across multiple portfolios.

It is the oldest bank in Canada, and also the first to adopt new-age technologies. Clients can easily synchronize their BMO online banking summary with their investment accounts for maximum functionality. A wide range of exchange traded funds is available, and the provision of Robo advisors makes it easy to use SmartFolio accounts. Account types include RRSP, TFSA, and RESP. By allowing customers to personalize their financial portfolios, it’s akin to a Robo advisor. This is the way Canadian investors are choosing to go, and many other big banks are now taking notice.

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Spread Betting Advantages and Disadvantages

 

 

All in all spread betting is high risk gambling. Unlike traditional methods of gambling where you only lose your stake money, when it comes to spread betting profits and losses are potentially unlimited which makes them risky. If you have tried your hand at gambling whether that is in the form of actual casinos, bets or online casinos and are feeling confident then here is what you need to know about spread betting as well as the secrets of financial betting.

The most important thing to remember before you get involved in spread betting is to actually understand what you are doing. The basic explanation of spread betting is that it simply allows you to speculate on whether the price of an asset will rise of fall, depending on your opinion and predictions. You can gamble on almost everything from shares and commodities to stock market indices and house prices. The appeal with spread betting is you don’t actually have to buy the underlying asset you want to trade, you can just take a view on the prices offered by the spread betting provider as to whether the price will increase or drop.

How Spread Betting Works

A spread bet is a bet on the future movement of an underlying asset. In general terms if you believe the asset is going to rise you place a buy bet, if you think the asset is going to fall you place a sell bet. To place a spread bet, spread betting firm offer you a quote which consists of a bid depending on whether you think the asset is going to rise or fall. If you do choose to place a buy bet your profits will rise in line with any increase in that price. If you place a sell bet your profits will rise in line with any fall. However if you have chosen to sell and the asset falls you will have dramatic losses, there are many examples of spread betting with all outcomes.

Advantages

One of the biggest advantages to spread betting is the tax break, with UK law there are no taxes on your betting profits either stamp duty or on capital gains. Another is that it can be an easy and cost effective way to trade if you know what you are doing. As when you buy shares through a broker you have to pay a fee. With spread betting that is not the case as the spread betting provider makes their money from the difference between the bid and offer prices. It isn’t just about the cost spread betting allows you to speculate on a whole range of markets that would be difficult to access otherwise.

Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage to spread betting is that if you have chosen a market that can be very volatile, unless you place a stop loss you could have a large amount of losses if you position moves against your prediction. As a long term investment it is not viable as if you hold a bet open over a long period of time the costs associated increase and it may be more beneficial to have bought the underlying asset. Ultimately you have no right as an investor, no voting right and you will not benefit from dividends.

 

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