Global Money Week: Investing in the Digital Age
19 Mar 2018
Last week Wits Business School hosted a panel discussion to coincide with Global Money Week. Divisional Director of Liberty Investments, Vimal Chagan was invited to share his thoughts on "Investing in the digital age." Here are a few key points that Vimal touched on:
Financial literacy, with an emphasis on ways to give more people access to financial education
There is a general feeling that there is a lack of reinforcement in financial education out there; where it seems there is not enough financial education or where there is education it is too technical. Leading to the question of whether financial literacy should be the responsibility of financial service providers or the government.
Technology as an enabler
When it comes to investments and insurance, technology brings the information closer to the consumer. This means that the role of the adviser will have to change. Previously the adviser was a service agent, providing a service. Now what's happening is that the service element is getting diluted. Customers are now so used to cellphone banking, so why not give the customer access to their investment details or investment information on their cellphone? The use of mobile to access financial information is a good thing because it cuts costs and keeps the clients more engaged, which is a positive. Technology is also making the financial sector more accountable for the products that they are taking to market. This together with regulatory changes in the industry will change the role of financial advisers in five years' time.
The changing investment landscape
Investment professionals need to embrace the new technologically and digitally savvy consumer and they need to make themselves more relevant in this new age. While intermediation is still important, its role is changing but they need to anticipate and respond to that. The one thing about technology is that it brings much more information to the public; as such you're dealing with a more informed consumer. That is what they need to prepare for.