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ETFs are a reality but only if truly accessible to investors in the UK

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BlackRock reported this week that, according to their analysis, the proportion of UK wealth portfolios invested in index funds and ETFs will grow by 50 per cent over the next two years. For this week’s newsletter, Philippa Aylmer interviewed Bill Vasilieff, CEO at Novia Financial who says that ETFs will grow in the UK but only if they are able to access the products.

We also report this week that global stockmarket capitalisation fell 15 per cent last year, according to Capgemini, and the firm believes that the result of that is the first fall in seven years of the wealth of the global high net worth investor.

Put away the hankies, the drop was 3 per cent and these are the people who can afford it, but on the other hand, that is USD2 trillion less cash in the world’s economies.  

What for many appeared to be a patch of volatility, has had a significant effect that was most keenly felt in Asia, Capgemini says, with fewer ultra-high net worth investors, particularly in China.

Another finding of the report was that the wealthy favour a combination of technology and personal touch in their advisers, while another survey this week found that, in the US at least, wealth and financial advisers are an ageing population. 

J D Powers’ study of US financial advisers reveals the average age of the American financial adviser is about 55, and approximately one-fifth of advisers are 65 or older. Advisers under the age of 40 account for only 11 per cent of the financial adviser population in the US.

That demand from the client for a combination of technology and the personal touch is going to be hard to satisfy unless more digital natives step up to join the industry.

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Beverly Chandler
Managing Editor, Wealth Adviser

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