Robo-advisor sees record client growth during downturn
Nicola explained that with a remote service and a staff used to working from home at least one day a week, the sole factor during the COVID-19 pandemic that’s impacted their business has been the economic downturn and market crash. Those are developments they’d planned for, especially in their private investment portfolios, which include a real estate ballast and have, so far, performed well relative to most portfolios.
Those happy clients, Nicola said, are spreading the word, although she doesn’t think they are the only factor driving their new growth. She said investors with more time on their hands are turning to robo-advisors like WealthBar to either deploy capital they had on the side or put more time into managing their finances. Others see the merits of passive investing and want to get in while the market is down. She thinks that the combination of factors is driving a growth that she hopes will push WealthBar out to a critical mass of investors.
Her confidence in continued growth is drawn from strong numbers. In addition to the 81 per cent increase in new clients, they’ve seen a 23 per cent increase in new deposits and only a 12 per cent increase in withdrawal activity. The clients they already had are not pulling money out, they are putting more in.
Advisors, too, have been a key aspect of WealthBar’s recent growth. The platform has seen growing popularity on its advisor channel as independent advisors facilitate client conversations, using the WealthBar platform to execute investments without any need for a client to come to the office. With the addition of an electronic beneficiary designation function in the platform, Nicola says they’ve built a 100 per cent end-to-end process.
“These men and women who were working in financial services were signed up for a marathon and are now running an Ironman because of the way the things are,” Nicola said.