Investment opportunities

Many of these developments are still at an early stage, while others have already gained a concrete foothold in the market. In the medium to long term, however, they will change the financial markets - whether with or without the current industry giants depends to a large extent on the flexibility of the established top dogs.

Investors who want to bet on this trend have four main options: Either one participates in established financial companies that one trusts to have the necessary agility in dealing with rapidly changing customer demands and competitors. Here the choice is particularly difficult because the banks & co. are reluctant to show their cards. Investments in financial companies that have not really actively dealt with the opportunities and risks of digitalisation should definitely be reconsidered. Here, for example, the stock exchange operator NASDAQ (ISIN: US6311011026) stands out positively as a pioneer, which as early as 2015 was one of the first Wall Street companies to actively engage with blockchain technology and has already developed its own blockchain platform called "Linq".

Secondly, one could invest in established software and technology companies that could profit from the "war" as a "weapons supplier", so to speak, regardless of which side wins: These include, for example, the US chip manufacturer Intel (US4581401001), which should benefit from a digitalisation of the financial sector due to massively increasing demands on computing power.

The third group would be large corporations that successfully offer financial services on a large scale, such as the aforementioned Alibaba Group (US01609W1027), which plans to take its highly successful financial subsidiary Ant Financial public in 2018 at the earliest and most recently bought the US money transfer service MoneyGram in order to gain a foothold with its money services in the US. The Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings (KYG875721634) is also interesting: with the payment function of the popular app WeChat (the Chinese equivalent of WhatsApp), Tencent became the biggest competitor for AliPay in China.

The fourth and probably most speculative option would be to invest directly in the attacking fintechs, many of which are not (yet) listed on the stock exchange.
One of these candidates is the German FinTech Group (DE000FTG1111). The software company, founded back in 1999, operates the online broker flatex.at, among other things, but is also an important provider of outsourcing solutions for other banks. Despite a quadrupling of the share price, analysts still see potential here and rate the majority of the shares as "buy". According to experts, the share of Finlab AG (DE0001218063) is also an outright buy. The Frankfurt-based investment company is engaged in the development of new fintech business models in Germany as well as internationally.

Investors who do not have the capital to achieve the required diversification in various fintechs could also invest in a corresponding stock index: The Solactive-im-Fin-tech-20- Total-Return-Index tracks the share price performance of the 20 highest-capitalised companies with a significant share of business in the FinTech sector. The index can be invested in via an endless index certificate from UBS (DE000UBS1FT8I).

 

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