Over the last 15 years, investing through investment funds and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) has grown exponentially thanks to the benefits they offer investors. In more than a decade, we have witnessed an explosion in supply, but also in demand. To give a few examples: the assets in investment funds domiciled in Europe alone currently amount to 10.8 trillion euros (i.e., millions of millions), an increase of more than 153%. Assets under management have more than doubled! As we said, this boom has not only been seen on the demand side, but also on the supply side, where there are currently more than 80,000 investment funds domiciled in Europe, almost triple the number at the end of September 2009. The market’s need for investment alternatives has sparked the imagination of managers, mathematicians, programmers, and more. And they have filled the market with new forms or processes of investment, new products and assets that we did not imagine seeing a few years ago.
A lot has happened since then. Financial markets have been in a state of flux with sharp rises and falls, from a currency war with China as the main protagonist, to seeing how several governments have had to be bailed out, as in the case of Greece. We have weathered an unexpected break-up of the European Union with Brexit, and even survived the major COVID-19 pandemic, which sent stock markets around the world reeling with falls of more than 30%. In fact, today, we are experiencing the effects of the war in Ukraine, which after an increase in debt by developed governments to record highs and extreme stimulus policies by the central banks of many countries, have brought inflation to exorbitant levels, and we are now witnessing the biggest rate hike seen in little more than a year.
Financial asset managers have not only had to innovate financially, but they have also had to adapt to market movements and changes, to the demands of regulators and to competition that has been doubling alongside demand. A wide range of specialised fund managers and boutiques have re-emerged, ready to try to cater to an increasingly demanding, knowledgeable investor who is more eager to find solutions to their needs. It is not only the global economy that is changing, but we have also been doing so over time. What once suited an economic environment may not necessarily do so now. In fact, we ourselves are probably very different from what we were—perhaps we have children now, perhaps we have a mortgage or perhaps we have gone to live on the other side of the Atlantic!
This is why we at Creand believe it is important not only to understand firsthand what an investment fund is and the features offered by investing in these vehicles, but we also consider it crucial for the investor to have sufficient knowledge to select, from among the wide range of investment funds and ETFs, those that truly suit their profile. In turn, these investments can be redirected to synchronise with us and the current changing world—and what better way than with the help of a professional? With this in mind, we encourage you to join us at the first online conference of Creand’s second Financial Education Cycle. Entitled All about Investment Funds, the conference will take place on 9 November at 7 pm. We will discuss the advantages of investing through these financial products, what types of investment funds you will find on the market, how to select the one that best suits your profile and what to look for when choosing a fund once you have decided where you want to invest your money.