FUTURE’S FINEST # 1 – FROM CRYPTO TO PENSION
Digitalisation has taken leaps and strides during these past few years. You dare not blink for fear of missing something. But it also means that there’s never a dull moment in the fields of IT, software and business. High time then, to catch up with Fokke and Maarten. Every month, in the Future’s Finest section, they share a digital innovation that you simply cannot afford to miss. Have you ever wondered, for example, what tomorrow’s pension build up will look like?
Crypto clamouring for attention
Last summer, the abundance of advertisements urging you to invest in crypto currency could not possibly have escaped your notice. Many companies are promoting this new consumer investment opportunity. And through a variety of channels, from traditional advertising on billboards and on TV, to fully fledged sponsorship deals between football clubs, Formula 1 and crypto-trading platforms. And more and more large companies, like Amazon, Tesla and Walmart, have recently been contemplating the use of crypto in their business operations. Some of these companies have situations vacant for people with substantial expertise in the crypto market. Others are exploring the potential of adding Bitcoin, for example, as a payment option.
DIY investing has never been easier
The rise of crypto is part of a broader trend that is making it easier for consumers to invest their money quickly. Nowadays, there are straightforward apps that enable you to put your money to work simply and quickly, in crypto as well as in traditional shares. Some of the players making a name for themselves include Blox, Bux Zero and Peaks. The bottom line is that a much larger group of people is being introduced to investing and that this group of retail investors is growing and becoming more involved in how they invest. The hype surrounding GME/AMC, the so-called “meme” stocks, at the beginning of 2021 shows just how influential the emerging retail investor can be. Partly thanks to the new players in the investment market, the state of the economy and the influence of social media, this group is quickly gaining prominence and can now, for the first time, play a significant role.
“The common thread is that it has become just as easy to invest as it is to consume”
Investing in companies and investing in people
In addition to the option of investing in listed companies, investing in people and unlisted companies and projects has also become a lot easier. Thanks to instruments like their mobile apps, platforms such as Kickstarter, Patreon and GoFundMe now make it quickly and easily possible to donate money and/or invest in people/projects that are greatly valued by consumers. The common thread that you also see here is that it has become just as easy to invest as it is to consume. This DIY-investment trend is also evident in pensions, and the Netherlands’ new pension act will make it even more pronounced.
Investing in yourself
So far, the trend has mainly been seen in new and emerging parties. Some pension schemes are already allowing you to define your risk profile yourself, as well as your preferred investment mix. It gives you much more control over how your contributions are invested. But as a result of the Netherlands’ new pension act*, every employee will be confronted with this. They will be given more options and have to make more decisions about how their pension is accrued. The new system allows more room for competition among pension funds/contribution institutions, which translates into more freedom and choices for people in how they accrue their pensions.
Is pension accruing about to be as easy and as much fun as it is with crypto apps, for example?
* In the old situation you know in advance how much your pension will be. However, in a traditional sense, you have little influence on how it is built up. Thanks to the new pension act, you will build up your pension nest egg through contributions and returns that you will have more influence on.