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followersiconSelftrade’s new pricing structure went live yesterday, and while it is just the latest of many broker pricing updates over the last few months, it may well be the most significant.  more…

One We Like: Wealthify

April 25, 2016


followersiconWe’ve often written that despite all the talk about robo-investing in the UK, there haven’t been any true robo-investing providers. That changed earlier this month with the launch of Wealthify.  more…

followersicon The broker market has historically been neglected by major comparison sites, however niche providers such as brokercompare.info show that broker comparison is possible, and the major sites will enter the market in the near future  more…

followersiconAll leave is cancelled for salespeople in the retail finance publishing industry, as brokers, fund managers and wealth managers all ramp up their marketing budgets imploring people to invest in an ISA before the tax year ends on 5th April  more…

followersiconAcross the stockbroking industry consumers are faced with complex charging structures, which has made it difficult to calculate the expected cost of an individual’s investment activity. One specific charge, often tucked away in the ‘additional fees’ section, is the ‘transfer out’ or ‘exit fee’ cost  more…

One We Like: Betterment

January 26, 2016


followersiconDespite a lot of media buzz and misconceptions, there are hardly any robo-advisors in the UK at present. However, that is about to change, with the imminent launch of products such as Wealthify and Scalable Capital. With that in mind, we thought now might be a good time to dedicate this month’s ‘One we like’ slot to our favourite US robo-advisor – Betterment  more…

followersiconWhile working on a solution for retail investors that allows them to choose the cheapest Stocks and Shares ISA provider for their trading requirements, we started thinking about the role of mobile in this sector. Our tool looks at 19 of the biggest UK online brokers/platforms. Comparison sites account for the majority of new insurance purchases…  more…

followersiconWhy is it so difficult to compare the cost of share dealing, ISA or SIPP accounts? Technological advancements have given consumers the freedom to shop around for financial products, driven by companies such as MoneySuperMarket, CompareTheMarket, uSwitch and Confused.com  more…

followersiconWhy is it so difficult to compare the cost of share dealing, ISA or SIPP accounts? Technological advancements have given consumers the freedom to shop around for financial products, driven by companies such as MoneySuperMarket, CompareTheMarket, uSwitch and Confused.com  more…

Who Are Your Future Clients?

November 30, 2015


followersiconWhether we are talking to large corporates or fintech start-ups we get asked the same question in many different ways – who are our future clients? A product should always be designed to be engaging and inspire loyalty, but market penetration, rather than loyalty, will always be the biggest driver of growth.  more…

One We Like: Revolut

November 16, 2015


followersiconAt Black Swan Partners we are passionate about new Fintech products and like to give credit where credit is due. This week a storm has been brewing in the Black Swan office, and it goes by the name of Revolut; a mobile app attempting to save your hard-earned cash from the peril of exchange rate fees.  more…

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followersiconIn collaboration with IBM and Opinium, communications agency Embrace hosted ‘Get Personal,’ an event focused on the changing role of marketing within the financial services. As a keynote speaker, Stuart Millson of Black Swan Partners presented on the issue of personalised communications versus personal recommendations in financial correspondence   more…

followersiconThe brief for this blog was to imagine I was a 32 year old with £15k to invest, and write about where I would put it and why. Given that, touch wood, my wife and I will complete on our first home purchase on Friday, the truthful answer is a leveraged property bet! However, for the sake of a more interesting article, I will imagine a second pot of £15,000.  more…

followersiconLast week Black Swan Partners and our partners Hanno joined forces to lead a rapid prototyping workshop at Level 39 in Canary Wharf. In attendance were the six finalists of the 3DS Fintech Challenge, Algodynamix, CheckRecipient, Passfort, Quarule, My Stock News and Percentile.
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One We Like: Citymapper

October 6, 2015


followersiconWith so much fintech competition, it can often be the detail that makes the difference and allows a new start up to compete with established brands. In the mapping area, Google so often wins in head to heads, but ultimately companies come along and challenge the status quo..   more…

followersiconLast Friday, Gina Miller, co-founder of SCM Direct, delivered some strongly critical comments in an FT Adviser article regarding Nutmeg and the risk profiling it performs on clients as part of its suitability assessment. Both firms advocate discretionary allocation of portfolios constructed from ETFs with low, transparent fees, but currently Nutmeg is receiving more publicity and plaudits.  more…

I’m 26 with £15k to Invest..

September 21, 2015


followersiconI have a basic knowledge of the financial markets, but not enough to beat it consistently, and I place a high priority on saving enough for a house deposit over the next 5-10 years. But investing is no longer ringing an advisor to pay exorbitant fees; it is low cost DIY services on a mobile or tablet. I am one of the tech-driven Millennials, so where do I invest my first £15k?  more…

followersiconThe biggest beneficiaries from changes in the investment management industry – be it robo-portfolios, low-cost investment management or social investing – will not be the disruptors themselves, but the first big, established brands able to replicate those innovations.  more…

followersiconThe current regulations around retail investment advice can be improved for everyone – government, customers and operators all have a clear incentive for change. The Government has a significant financial incentive to ensure people are better advised, prepared and secure for their retirement  more…

followersiconAcross the industry the number of company Twitter handles is increasing, but firms still appear uneasy at the prospect of providing employees with their own business-linked accounts. This is not unique to the financial services; employees in a variety of industries tweet in a professional capacity from personal accounts.  more…

followersiconBetterment was the first company to launch a ‘robo-investing’ product, where a client’s portfolio is automatically managed based on an algorithm. Although it has been overtaken by Wealthfront in terms of assets under management, it still has more customers than any other robo-investing provider.  more…

followersiconSince the invention of Bitcoin in 2008, fintech innovators have been eager to follow the development of cryptocurrencies and their acceptance alongside traditional monetary systems. Bitcoin has returned to the news most recently after domestic capital controls in Greece led to many citizens turning to the digital currency.  more…

followersiconSo – budget day, first day of the Ashes, Wimbledon Quarter-Finals… This blog isn’t about any of those, which for a firm targeting the UK personal finance industry screams displacement activity, especially with the boss on holiday. However, it is timely, as overnight the leading robo-investing services in the US, Wealthfront and Betterment have gone to war
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followersiconWith such low costs, it’s somewhat surprising that CFDs maintain a reputation as a tool for speculators not to be touched by cautious investors. However, there is a chance that this will change following the entrance into the market of companies such as InvestYourWay and Bux.  more…

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