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Young developer starts off robo advice site

Next year's revamp of the Financial Advisers Act which will legalise the use of robo-advice in New Zealand's financial sector can't come soon enough for one young Wellington entrepreneur.

Monday, December 12th 2016, 6:00AM

by Owen Poland

Describing himself as web developer and futurist, Andrew Montague is the founder of Investful - a robo-adviser platform which promotes 'sophisticated, personalised portfolio management for everyone'. "We would like to provide a platform that enables Kiwis to get financial freedom, and the first small step we can take is by providing a really nice KiwiSaver platform that's low fees and good returns for investors."

For the moment, Investful is in a conceptual phase which requires market validation - and the all important regulatory green light. However the landing page for recently created website provides an insight into marketing offer of a 'smart, personalised KiwiSaver' with low fees.

Montague graduated from the University of Canterbury with a B.Com in economics and finance, but the 26 year old now works full-time as a web developer after graduating from the Enspiral Dev Academy. His aim is to create a web application along the lines of Trade Me or Xero, and he hopes that his participation in a start-up accelerator early next year will give him the project a  "leg up".

Having studied the robo-advice market for some years, Montague believes that there's a demand from investors who resent paying high fees. While he says there's "nothing wrong" with performance fees, he believes that it's difficult to beat the market in the long term and an automating the portfolio management process will eliminate the need for multiple fund managers.

"You don't pay them performances fees because it's just a robot and you still get that matching of a market and following the market so you can reduce the costs to the consumer."

A new report from the Dublin-based Research and Markets group, entitled 'The Robo Advice: Revolution or Evolution', estimates that automated investment advice is set to become the core of financial planning services with a market potential of US$19.5 trillion assets under management. The report argues that as awareness of automated options increase, and assets under management grow, many consumers and institutions will want to move away from expensive traditional investment advice into low cost automated options.

Montague hopes that scenario will apply to New Zealand, but in the meantime he needs to validate his concept with further market research into the wants and needs of KiwiSaver members. "I need to make sure that I build something that people want and not something that I think people want."

Tags: roboadvice

« CFFC calls for seven changes to KiwiSaverLVR restrictions to be reviewed »

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