The Digital Experience as a Competitive Advantage

Insights from Virtual Summit

November 10, 2021

Key findings from the 2021 virtual Online Broker Summit

Investing has reached the mainstream market. Driven by new asset classes, strong equity performance, meme stocks and stimulus packages, traditional online brokerages and new fintech services alike have continued to see a surge in new accounts. With new demographics representing a large subset of these new users, many brokerages are curious.

Held virtually on November 10th, 2021, Trading Central’s annual Online Broker Summit gathered nearly 100 leaders in the digital wealth community to discuss emerging trends and how they are working to address them. Here are the top insights expressed within the brokerage panel and keynote presentation:

The escalating importance of digital experience

J.D. Power’s annual surveys measure the satisfaction of thousands of self-directed investors and explore their underlying drivers. Presenting findings from their most recent North American survey, Senior Director of Wealth Intelligence Mike Foy explained that while improvements have been made, digital wealth continues to trail behind other financial categories like banking and insurance. Ratings have steadily climbed over the past few years, impacted by the major updates investors have seen to platform features and interfaces. Today’s zero commission environment has removed traditional cost-based differentiators making the digital experience a key aspect of investor loyalty.

Additionally, loyalty is lower amongst the new investor segment, with 11% of millennialsand Gen Z saying they would likely switch providers within 12 months. Survey findingsshowed expectations are climbing as other industries continue to set the pace.

Mobile Usage is Addictive

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, usage across both web and mobile hasincreased. Older demographics are using the web and mobile app to simply reviewtheir accounts, while younger demographics expect a more robust experience with awider range of services and features... specifically within mobile. Brokers with all three“review, transact and research” across both devices held a higher satisfaction rateand improved brand loyalty amongst their users.

Client On-boarding: A missed opportunity to increase digital and mobile adoption

  • It may sound simple, but >50% of newly onboarded investors say their firm failed to provideinformation on how to navigate their website (even less provided education for their mobileapp).
  • This is low hanging fruit that’s easy to address! It’s a missed opportunity to bring awarenessto your platform’s broader set of capabilities.

Education remains a key focus

This year’s panel was moderated by Caleb Silver, Editor-in-Chief at Investopedia. Thepanel included representation from incumbent brokers and fintechs alike includingJennifer Barrett, Head of Content at Fidelity Investments, Aditya Pasumarty, CPO at BUX,Anthony Denier, CEO of Webull, and Laurence Amann, Director of Business Solutions atDesjardins.

As new and exciting changes continue to take place across the industry, educationremains a key theme. Brokers are looking for simplified content that’s transparent,snackable and personalized, which supports their users throughout their investingjourney.

The panelists agreed that having a simple tab for financial education isn’t effective.Education should be integrated throughout the investor journey across different pagesof a broker’s platform, with an understanding of where users might have questionsand how you can immediately respond.

With so many first time investors opening accounts, brokers globally are feeling a senseof “undefined” pressure to ensure users have the resources they need to succeed inreaching their goals. Amongst meme stocks, gamification and volatile markets, there’san emphasis on bringing education back to the basics. Brokers should look to supporttheir users as soon as they log on to the platform with how-to support, like how to fundyour account or place your first trade. They should also showcase the tools they haveto help their users research stocks and support their decision making.

Many new investors are getting theirfinancial education through socialmedia apps like Twitter and Tiktok,where there is a lower standardfor accurate information. Somebrokerages today see an obligation tobe present on these channels and helpfacilitate a factual discussion on boththe opportunities, risks and ABCs ofinvesting.

A layered, digital experience

Online brokers may never be able to offer the depth of knowledge that a third partyresearch house can, but they can integrate support in a way that’s layered andprovides access to different tool sets, optimizing content and allowing for transparency.Our speakers agreed that for both fintechs and larger financial institutions, compactinsights leading to rich information in the moments where investors become moreinterested or need it should be a primary focus for brokers, alongside strong digitaladoption, engagement tools and personalized content. This robust, holistic investingexperience results in higher satisfaction among users and brand loyalty.

  • When Online Broker Summit attendees were asked what they saw as their biggest opportunityin 2022, the top answers were: new investor accounts, crypto being approved and increasedattention in news and social media.

“Simplexity”: The buzz word of the day

Today’s investors are held back by too much complex information, but AI andproprietary natural language tools offer the opportunity to offer clarity. Dubbing theprocess “simplexity”, Chief Operating Officer Jerome Favresse demoed how TradingCentral’s latest tools deliver actionable analytics in a way that’s intuitive and simplefor investors to understand. Our research spans charting & fundamentals, news &sentiment and economic analysis. Through a variety of flexible integration methods,you can deliver a layered investment experience to your users leveraging quality dataand snackable insights.

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Insights from the

Online Broker Summit 2021



November 10, 2021

Laurence Amann

Director of Business Solutions

Caleb Silver


Aditya Pasumarty


Jennifer Barrett

Head of Content
Fidelity Investments

Anthony Denier


Mike Foy

Senior Director, Head of Wealth Intelligence
J.D. Power