Market Overview

Fintech Focus Roundup For October 31, 2020


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Robinhood Makes It Easier To Track Performance

The Nitty-Gritty: As part of a vision to democratize finance for all, Robinhood introduced high-yield savings accounts, fractional and recurring investments in U.S.-listed stocks and ETFs, as well as cryptocurrency and options trading.

To make it easier for investors to track their performance, Robinhood changed the way the value of customers' investments and returns displayed.

Now, the value on the Investing tab reflects the value of investments, less margin, and returns are calculated on net investments.

“This is definitely helpful to customers because it allows you to see your returns based on your net investments, and they aren’t affected by deposits or withdrawals, which they previously were,” a Robinhood spokesperson told Benzinga.

Additionally, a user’s cash balance will be displayed on the Cash tab, which will be home to further cash management data, such as deposit history.

“We want to make a distinction between your investing value and your cash balance,” the spokesperson said.

T. Rowe Adds ETFs To Commission Free Platforms

What Happened: T. Rowe Price Group formally announced its active exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were added to major commission-free platforms.

Now, retail investors and financial professionals can purchase shares of the new active equity ETFs through E*Trade and Fidelity, as well as the BNY Mellon | Pershing FundVest ETF, Schwab ETF and Vanguard Brokerage platforms.

What To Know: T. Rowe Price is a provider of investment insights and products that help consumers build and protect wealth.

In delivering safe exposure in emerging market trends, T. Rowe introduced an active ETF model which provides investors tax efficient exposure in high-return strategies.

The company’s most recently launched active equity ETFs include:

  • T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth ETF
  • T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth ETF
  • T. Rowe Price Equity Income ETF
  • T. Rowe Price Growth Stock ETF

In a conversation with Benzinga earlier this year, Scott Livingston, the global head of Exchange Traded Fund Product at T. Rowe Price, discussed the benefits investors receive purchasing active ETFs.

"The story here is around really good active management now being available in an ETF wrapper," he said at the time. "Previously, the SEC required people to disclose their holdings daily, in order to launch an ETF and extend the tax efficiency, cost efficiency, and convenience benefit of the vehicle to investors.”

“As an active manager, we were unwilling to do that because it’s the core of our alpha generation capabilities. If we were to publish those holdings, we could get our trading strategies front run, which would really hurt investor performance.”

The new ETFs, given their semi-transparent structure, protect T. Rowe’s intellectual property and the integrity of long-term product growth prospects.

SoFi Helps People 'Get Their Money Right'

What Happened: SoFi is a holistic platform for all aspects of financial health.

As part of a mission to help people get their money right, SoFi introduced a credit card that allows users to pay down debt with rewards earned for spending. Additional features include the ability to set up automated redemptions into accounts of choice, creating an easy way to redeem cash back, pay down debt, invest, or save for the future.

"Based on feedback from our members, we designed a credit card that helps our members pay down debt or invest in the future with every purchase, while building holistic, healthy money habits," said SoFi CEO Anthony Noto. "Through simply using the SoFi Credit Card and following the same daily spending patterns that our members do today, we are making 'getting your money right' the most intuitive and convenient choice."

Why It Matters: Overall, SoFi’s credit card comes as a natural complement to the firm's other products, such as SoFi Money and Invest.

"SoFi continues to create thoughtful and innovative products to empower its members to pay down debt and improve their financial lives," said Linda Kirkpatrick, president, U.S. Issuers at Mastercard. "We are proud to build upon our relationship with SoFi and work closely to arm their members with benefits and features that are directly relevant and meaningful to their lives."

DriveWealth Secures $56.7M Series C

DriveWealth, a global trading technology provider, announced a $56.7-million Series C to strengthen its technology, make acquisitions and scale its business.

The funding round was led by Point72 Ventures, SBI Holdings, Route 66 Ventures, Mouro Capital and Fidelity International Strategic Ventures.

Why It Matters: Overall, the funding round will assist DriveWealth in its next stage of growth, catering to investors reliant on new technologies.

"As incumbent and new financial services providers look to offer new products and better serve their customers, companies like DriveWealth will play a critical role in supplying the infrastructure that these firms need to innovate," said Tripp Shriner, partner at Point72 Ventures.

"We’re excited to continue to support DriveWealth in their efforts to help give more consumers access to investing tools."

IBKR Takes Leadership Stance In ESG

What Happened: As part of a mission to provide best-in-class access to top product and technology, Interactive Brokers introduced its free ESG dashboard to assist investors in selecting sustainable investments based on their criteria for different impact values and categories.

“The future of sustainable investing begins with the Impact Dashboard, which allows investors to align their portfolios with their values,” said Will Peterffy, ESG Director at Interactive Brokers.

“In a world lacking transparency, the dashboard quickly analyzes and grades your stock portfolio based on your values and presents your holdings through a personalized ‘impact lens’. You can then decide whether to keep your investments or move your capital to companies which better align with what matters most to you. The Impact Dashboard ushers in a new era where moral, ethical, and responsible behavior can begin to be valued in the marketplace.”

Why It Matters: Overall, the Impact Dashboard, which is currently available in Beta on the IBKR Trader Workstation, Client Portal and IBKR Mobile App, pushes the standard for ESG investing tools and solidifies the firm’s leadership role in the space.

The new product comes alongside the growth of IBKR’s robo-advisor, which was named “Best for Socially Responsible Investing” by Investopedia, as well as the launch of Socially Responsible Investment portfolios in 2019.

Meet Toggle, A Platform Used By Institutions

About Toggle: Traditional investment research tools tend not to provide users with meaningful insights. That’s according to the team at Toggle, an AI-powered tool for actionable market research.

Founded in 2019, the firm leverages a deep background in asset management and fintech to tap into data warehouses, algorithmically digest millions of data points on over 13,000 global assets, and deliver to users assistance on the most difficult aspects of trading: entry, management, and exit.

In the simplest way possible: Toggle provides active investors a supportive infrastructure for analyzing and acting on complex data sets.

“What we are focusing on is taking the raw commodity and turning it into something that … provides guidance without taking agency from you,” CEO and co-founder Jan Szilagyi added. “In fact, quite to the contrary, it’s empowering you.”

The Secret To Blowing Up On TikTok

What Happened: Jason Raznick, the founder and CEO of Benzinga, recently debuted The Raz Report series, where he discusses entrepreneurship, overcoming challenges to success, as well as the financial markets.

In this week's episode, Raznick sat down with Josh Richards, a Canadian-born TikTok influencer, investor, entrepreneur and podcast star, to talk about his journey, secrets to success on social media and his vision for the future.

Cracking The TikTok Algorithm: Raznick also asked Richards about how he was able to understand and leverage the TikTok algorithm to surpass 22 million followers and 1 billion likes.

“When TikTok first came out, they established the For You page,” the influencer said. “There were two people on the app that figured it out. It was Cash Baker and it was me.”

Richards said that sharing, saving and comments were paramount in his success.

“I started creating tutorial videos and I would show people really quick -- 15 to 30 seconds -- how to do a trick on TikTok. Everyone would save them because they would want to go try them later, or they would want to know how to do what I was doing and my videos would blow up.”


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Posted-In: Anthony Noto DriveWealth Fidelity International Strategic Ventures Interactive Brokers Jan Szilagyi Jason Raznick Josh RichardsFintech