Q&A: Thematic Investing

tiilio is an innovative, customisable Thematic Investment platform that provides investment guidance and the ability to invest in themes and trends. Learn more about tiilio from co-founder Anthony Johnson.

What is tiilio’s back story? How did you have the idea in the first place?

In 2018 I was looking to invest in Robotics & Artificial Intelligence stocks, but struggled to find a suitable and accessible investment platform catering to my needs.

Either the platforms were online stockbrokers offering thousands of stocks and that required significant company research, or, the platforms were Robo-Advisors that provided no engagement or transparency into the underlying stocks and also were too diversified across over 100s of stocks.

Hence I set out to develop an investment platform that made investing simple for novice investors, that was also accessible to invest in a matter of clicks and also affordable. Furthermore removing all complexity and financial jargon, to simply allow consumers to invest in their interests and areas they believed in.

What is your professional background and how did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Having studied Finance and Investment Management at university, I worked in the finance industry as a research analyst across several asset classes: equities, commodities and alternative investments

In recent years, I took a great interest in Thematic Investments, which involves investing in a specific sector or observable trend across social, technological and environmental themes. Although Thematic Investing has been around for over a decade, it has mainly been accessible to institutional and professional investors. So this is our aim: to bring Thematic Investing to the mass market, to show that investing doesn’t need to be complex or only accessible to experienced professionals.

I started out researching what barriers to investing consumers face and developing a strategy on how to overcome these barriers by building a product around it. The barriers consumers face are that they don’t know how to invest or where to invest. Furthermore, consumers are faced with complex jargon and high fees, and lastly consumers believe investing requires high minimum investment amounts.

What is your ambition for tiilio?

  • To simplify investing and make it accessible to the mass market.
  • To be the go-to platform of choice for Millennials and Gen Z generations in EMEA.
  • To educate Millennials and Gen Z that investing isn’t scary and that there are long term financial benefits to start investing early on in your career.

How would you define your USP?

Given our focus on Thematic Investments, consumers can easily invest in what they know and understand – tiilio gives guidance by providing relatable and pre-packaged investment portfolios.

We enable users to invest with minimum investment amounts by investing in fractional shares.

Furthermore, we want to provide more engagement and allow consumers to see the impact their investments are having on society and the environment, as opposed to just focusing on financial returns.

What is your value proposition?

We aim to lower the barriers to investment by making investing simple, accessible and affordable, and removing all the financial jargon.

Unlike other stockbroking platforms, tiilio doesn’t require consumers to do any company research as our platform does all of the hard work.

Investing with lower minimum investment amounts and lower fees, relative to traditional online stockbrokers.

How did you (or will you) tap into your niche?

As our target market is Millennials and Gen Z, we’ll be running surveys and focus groups to further understand what drives this generation and also what barriers to investing they face.

Millennials and Gen Z have grown up online, so using social media channels to market tiilio will be a key focus.

Building a community and developing a product tailored to the needs of Millennials and Gen Z.

What is your route to market?

  • Social media channels
  • Content marketing
  • Building a community and running events
  • Referral strategy

How does the platform work?

3 simple steps:

  1. Choose a portfolio / theme that aligns with a user’s interests or passions
  2. View the portfolio’s summary, performance chart and underling stock holdings
  3. Enter your investment amount and buy the portfolio in 1 click

What are its features?

  • Thematic investment in global trends / a user’s interests
  • Fractional share investing
  • View historical performance charts
  • Summary overview of the different themes
  • View the impact of your investment on society and the environment

Why should someone use tiilio instead of the likes of a Robo-Advisor (e.g. Nutmeg)?

Relative to Nutmeg, tiilio provides more engagement and transparency into stock investing.

Tiilio will create niche baskets of stocks providing exposure to a specific theme / trend, so users that want to invest in areas they know and care about.

Nutmeg provides highly diversified investment portfolio across the risk spectrum from “cautious, to balanced, to adventurous”. Each of these portfolio are investing into several Funds/ETF’s, therefore having exposure to several 100’s of securities (i.e. stocks, bonds, and alternative asset classes)

Users will also be able to see the impact their investment are making on society and the environment

Why should someone use tiilio instead of the likes of an online stockbroker (e.g. Etoro)?

Given there are thousands of available stocks to invest in, consumers simply do not know where to start investing. tiilio removes this hard work of having to make a decision on which stock to invest in and also doesnt require company research, as consumers simply invest in what they know and care about.

Unlike some online stockbrokers that offer risky investment products that use leverage where on average 75% of users lose money, tiilio will not be offering any leverage, as it is a long term investment platform.

Fees for online stockbroker can average around £12 per stock trade, with some charging as much as £20. tiilio fees for a basket of stocks will be at a fraction of the cost relative to online stockbrokers.

And finally, what would be your advice for a first-time investor (particularly key given the current volatility)?

When it comes to investing, you need to focus on the long-term, and look past short term fluctuations (volatility) in the stock markets.

There will always be volatility in investing, as we go through the rise and fall in economic cycles.

First-time investors should not try to time the markets on when to enter and exit positions. Instead, they should also focus making regular investments, and not get distracted by short term fluctuations.

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