Category: mutual funds

BlackRock MyMap: Designed for First-Time Investors



Whether you’re sending your kids to university or preparing for retirement, meeting future financial needs can be a mighty challenge.

This is due to the many economic issues that eat away at your savings. Inflation, for example, is increasing the cost of gas, groceries, and other daily necessities. The COVID-19 pandemic, on the other hand, has thrown a wrench into many people’s personal finances.

Starting Your Investment Journey

This infographic from BlackRock introduces their MyMap range of multi-asset investment funds, and describes the benefits to first-time investors.

BlackRock MyMap Funds

Today’s Savings Struggles

The above infographic highlighted three savings struggles that make it difficult to meet your future financial goals.

The first is inflation, which refers to the increase in prices of goods and services over time. To understand how inflation can erode the value of your savings, consider this example:

  • £100 worth of goods in 2000 would cost £179 in 2021
  • £100 worth of goods in 1980 would cost £456 in 2021

In other words, inflation reduces the purchasing power of your savings over time.

The second savings struggle is increasing longevity, also known as longer life expectancies. Living a longer life is generally a good thing, but it does increase the risk of outliving your savings. Coming up with a solid retirement plan is becoming more important than ever.

A third struggle is the COVID-19 pandemic, which appears to be having a long-term impact on UK households. In a December 2021 survey, UK families were asked to (Read more...)

Bringing the World Into Focus: A Guide to MSCI Indexes



The following content is sponsored by MSCI

MSCI Indexes

MSCI

Bringing the World Into Focus: A Guide to MSCI Indexes

Economic development around the world has led investors to consider broadening their investment exposures.

But with nearly 30,000 equity securities available globally, the universe is far too large for an investor to filter by themselves.

In this sponsored infographic from MSCI, we explain their index creation process that allows them to map and categorize the stock market.

Defining the Global Universe

Although a majority of global market capitalization is located in the U.S., overseas markets (both developed and emerging) are home to thousands of publicly-listed companies.

Thus, the first step that MSCI takes is identifying eligible securities from public stock markets. Mutual funds, ETFs, and equity derivatives are screened out. This leaves ordinary and preferred shares, share equivalents, and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Share equivalents are securities that can be converted into company shares. This includes securities such as American depository receipts (ADRs), which are certificates issued by U.S. banks that represent a specified number of a foreign company’s shares. Meanwhile, REITs are companies that own and operate income-producing real estate such as office buildings.

Applying Investability Screens

A stock index is not useful if its underlying securities are not widely accessible.

To create an investable representation of the global market, MSCI screens its universe of eligible securities according to three requirements.

1. Shares must be investable

MSCI analyzes two different size metrics—free-float market cap and full market cap—to make (Read more...)

Kaszek Ventures leads a $15 million round in Chilean asset management startup, Fintual



Like other financial sectors in Latin America, the retail investing space is getting a facelift by local tech startups that are cashing in on the untapped potential for democratizing asset management in the region. One of those startups is Chilean-based Fintual, which today announced a $15 million round led by Kaszek Ventures, the largest fund in Latin America.

Fintual is an automated passive investment platform that allows the average person in Chile or Mexico to invest in mutual funds containing ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), investment vehicles that aren’t as well known, or as readily accessible in Latin America.

“The idea that got to me was that we were allowing people to invest in the long term, we enable them to invest in instruments they didn’t have access to before,” said Pedro Pineda, co-founder and CEO of Fintual.

Before starting Fintual in 2018 with his three co-founders, Pineda was an astronomer and an entrepreneur, who built and sold a Groupon copycat company in Chile called “Queremos Descuentos” (We Want Discounts) for just over $1 million when he was 28. 

After the exit, he admits he was a bit lost in life. 

“One day I decided that I wanted to do only the things that I wanted to do and with the people I wanted to do it with,” he said.

He traveled for a couple of years, and learned to code, among other things, until Omar Larré, Fintual’s current CIO, presented him with the idea for the business. 

Larré had been (Read more...)

In One Chart: Two Decades of Stock Ownership in America


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


How Many Americans Own Stocks?

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The Briefing

  • In 2020, approximately 55% of Americans owned some form of stock
  • That’s 5 percentage points lower than U.S. stock ownership in 2000
  • Stock ownership is strongly linked to household income. Last year, 84% of U.S. households earning $100,000+ owned stock, compared to just 22% of those making less than $40,000

How Many Americans Own Stocks?

2020 was an exceptionally volatile year for the stock market. But how many Americans were directly impacted by last year’s market highs and lows?

In other words, how many Americans own stocks as a part of their investment portfolios?

Two Decades of Stock Ownership in America

Stock ownership in the U.S. has dipped over the last two decades.

In a survey by Gallup, about 55% of Americans claimed to own some form of stock in 2020—either an individual stock, a stock mutual fund, or in a self-directed 401(k) or IRA. This is a significant decrease from 2000, when 60% of Americans owned stock:

YearYes, Owns StockNo, Does Not Own Stock
200060%39%
200162%36%
(Read more...)