Bitcoin, ESG: two game changers for the wealth management market

In the last few years, we have witnessed two groundbreaking trends – Bitcoin and Social Responsible Investing – both of which have proven to fiercely shake up the wealth management marketplace. At this stage, it should be assumed that these trends are front of mind for every financial advisor – especially for those growing their business with younger/millennial investors.

Starting with Bitcoin/Cryptocurrencies:  A recent poll by Devere Group shows that 73% of millionaires will invest in cryptocurrencies by 2022  and Robinhood disclosed that over 9.5 million people traded crypto on its platform.

Additionally, institutional players, one after the other offer bitcoin to their wealthy clients (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan , Fidelity).

This underpins a major turnabout in the attitude of financial institutions. It is a mere couple of years since these very institutions blanketly banned clients from bitcoin investments of any kind.

ESG Investing: 2020 was the year of ESG (Forbes). Similarly, the forecast for 2021, which is grounded in Biden’s push for Climate Change, is bullish. More and more investors see their investment as a way to make an impact and save the planet.

This newfound investor conscience doesn’t end there; universities, faith groups, and even the pope are propagating mass protests against banks that fund/endorse fossil fuels- signifying the inevitable move away from non-renewable energy and firmly towards clean energy practices.

What does it mean for advisors?

One would think that most advisors would already be on top of this. Curiously, from a sample of ~2500 advisors in San Francisco who are active on Twitter, we found that:

  • only 9 mentioned Bitcoin or Blockchain in their Twitter bio
  • only 16 mentioned ESG, SRI, climate change/impact in their Twitter bio

This represents a dismal 1% of advisors!

Here is a word cloud with the most commonly used words in advisor bios:

At a bare minimum, advisors need to up their defense game. 

Meaning: 

  1. Whether they think Bitcoin is investing or gambling – advisors need to understand this new asset class, develop their knowledge base and be able to talk about this intelligently. 
  2. Both a good understanding of the client’s ESG perspective and a subsequent “fine-tuning” of their portfolio should be prioritized in order to ensure preference alignment. 

 

The opportunity is now

As a financial advisor, it’s time to seize the opportunity. If targeting socially responsible individuals, millennials, entrepreneurs (and the like) is a current/future strategy, now’s the time to hone your expertise on these major themes.

FYI- Our Find Application can help you identify specific individuals who care about these topics. Come visit us!

@EcairnBrandy

 

 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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