Niche investment research and continuing professional development (CPD) provider, Dynamique, has launched a new product aimed at retail investors.
Guy Dobson, Dynamique director, said the retail investor training program was its first foray into the ‘mums and dads’ market.
“We’re also hoping the course will appeal to financial advisers and others who often struggle to come up with suitable and appropriate client investment education products,” Dobson said.
The ‘Be in control of your money’ course, which promises to help consumers “understand the what, why and risks inherent in any investment product and service”, has an annual cost of $75 per user.
Dynamique, which operates in both the UK and NZ, has traditionally serviced the wholesale market with a range of CPD products offered via seminars, workshops or consulting.
The group has worked with a broad range of NZ financial institutions including AMP Capital, BNP Paribas, Kiwibank, Nikko Asset Management and the NZX, Dobson said.
He said Dynamique’s work across providers has also helped it build a comprehensive view of market sentiment based on both formal and informal feedback.
Dobson said the firm collated some of these “observations” in a recent submission to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), including a call to encourage greater product innovation.
“The current era of fully priced NZ equities and poor bond returns should trigger a demand for more innovative financial products for many savers,” the Dynamique submission says.
However, the submission says innovation appears to be stymied with few managers, for example, using derivatives, private equity or “other tools to generate better returns for their clients and provide a floor under likely market sell-offs”.
“Why is this? Is there a skill shortage here or a fear of getting it wrong?” Dynamique says.
Dobson said the lack of financial innovation was a problem in other jurisdictions, too, which some authorities were beginning to address. In the UK, for instance, the financial regulator has recently created “sandbox safe havens” where product manufacturers can test new offerings without “regulatory intrusion”.
“Financial product innovation is now a real concern as the tried and tested investment methods and asset classes aren’t producing the goods,” he said.