Waking Up To The Retail Investor. Here’s What Three Industry Titans Had To Say

Written by

Carl Hazeley

VP of Content

What’s going on here?

Financial services firms are finally focusing on retail investors, so Finimize hosted an exclusive, sold-out event in April 2023 to discuss what’s next for this increasingly influential group of modern investors. We were delighted to welcome BlackRock’s managing director and head of the UK banks and digital channels business Joe Parkin, JPMorgan Chase’s managing director, international consumer Shaun Port, and interactive investor’s head of investment Victoria Scholar.

What were the highlights?

A high-level overview of our Modern Investor Pulse results showcased how almost 2,000 retail investors are feeling about markets, how much they plan to invest, and what they’re planning to invest in. The panel of experts described how they’re seeing investors behave, including a brief focus on meme stocks.

“Meme stocks are a bit of craze and not something that will come back anytime soon.”

Our panelists then discussed how they imagine cash savers could become long-term investors.

“It’s about helping people along the continuum from everyday banking to thinking about savings for short and long-term goals, and then toward investing to get higher returns and longer-term objectives like pensions.”

Part of that conversation centered around the role content – whether for education, research, or idea generation – plays in closing the gap between information and action for retail investors.

“Content’s a major part of what’s changed in the industry around wealth management and investing… People have come into the industry and made things easy to understand and engage with.”

We then discussed where investors are most interested in putting their money right now – and in particular, their rising interest in exchange-traded funds.

“The rise in ETFs has been fascinating to watch. It’s always been the perfect tool for retail investors and that’s really come through over the past few years.”

Plus, our experts focused on how content gives modern investors the confidence to take action.

“Bonds are typically a lot less popular among retail investors but we have seen a huge demand for content around that.”

That’s just the start, mind you: our pro panelists spoke about investors’ favorite stock and fund picks, the performance of private investors over the last three years, and why female investors tend to outperform men. Plus, insightful questions from our audience touched on improving access to bond markets and some more complex investment products, the impact of artificial intelligence on advice-based services, and the differences between US and UK markets.

Why should I care?

Our panelists identified three themes that they believe will drive retail investors’ next move. 

First, bonds are back. They’re finally offering attractive yields, so bond ETFs will likely be a major conversation for retail investors over the next three to five years. 

Second, rising interest rates mean folks are saving cash again. That’s probably a precursor to them investing: if people are encouraged to save more, they’re in the funnel to start investing more. 

And third, the gap between retail and institutional investors – which has been narrowing thanks to increasing access to information and platforms – will continue to shrink.

Firms that want to engage with this powered-up, increasingly informed, and action-oriented investor base should aim to meet retail investors wherever their interests lie and engage them with relevant content. With that in mind, the Pulse results coupled with our panelists’ insights should form the basis of financial services firms’ engagement with modern retail investors this quarter and beyond.

Watch the full conversation on YouTube

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