Online financial advisor Advicement has launched in South Africa, aiming to change the way people save and invest.
Advicement was developed as a local “robo-advisor”, giving investors simple access to Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Founded by a former analyst at an investment bank, Igor Rodionov said the online tool aims to make the investment process more transparent for those looking to save and invest their money well.
“My thinking about a local robo-advisor started when family and friends kept asking for advice about their investment. This prompted some research that showed there were massive issues when it comes to service fees and transparency amongst traditional ‘face-to-face’ South African financial advisors,” Rodionov said.
“Unsatisfied with the available options in the market and noticing the popularity of passive investments overseas, the idea behind Advicement was born. The aim was to create an online platform that puts investors first – by making financial advice as cost effective and transparent as possible.”
Advicement asks users to first complete a questionnaire about their financial goals and preferences. It will then analyse the answers and recommend an investment portfolio with an appropriate risk level.
Users also have access to an interactive dashboard, providing information such as portfolio composition, projected analysis, risk scenarios, fees explanation and more.
Through the dashboard users can change risk levels and contributions to see the impact on their portfolio, until they are happy with their selections.
Advicement has also partnered online stock broker Easy Equities, so that when satisfied with their investment selections, users can proceed to trade via the Easy Equities platform.
“Easy Equities is a retail stockbroker and our sole execution partner, meaning that you will need to have an account with them to invest with Advicement. They also take care of the regulatory FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre Act) requirements and the whole process is exceptionally quick provided you have your FICA documents ready,” Rodionov said.
Rodionov hopes the Advicement platform will give South African passive investing a boost, encourage more financial service providers to roll out more passive products, and educate the public on the benefits of ETFs.
“It has been an exciting two years, which we used for research and development purposes, but now we are looking forward to sharing our work and passing the benefits of ETF portfolios to our clients,” Rodionov said.