The French client of roboadvisors aka the “five-legged sheep”.

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In French language “rechercher le mouton à cinq pattes” ( lit. “searching for the five-legged sheep” ) is an idiom meaning searching for something that probably does not exist.

I would like to tell that I actually found what I was looking for, the client of a French roboadvisor, but I still haven’t.

It has been two years since roboadvisors got in France. I work in financial advise and asset management and meet regularly their potential clients. I am, as far as I know, in their theoretical target, as well as many of my friends and relatives. I often attend conference on the subject and exchange with participants…

But no. Still nothing. Still no client met. Impossible to find one. Neither from Yomoni, Advize, FundShop, MarieQuantier, WeSave… No a single one*. Yomoni was claiming around 1.500 clients at year end 2016, which seems good, but those 1.500 people seem to never bump into me.

*(to be honest I finally met one after publishing this post).

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Active and passive management, where is it going to end ?

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This post was originaly published in French on the website quantalys.com as an answer to Philippe Maupas’s posts on the subject.

Hello Philippe and thanks for you post.

Two points drew my attention while reading your posts. First of all, it is clear in the various studies presented that costs still constitutes the best leading indicator of future performance, may they be active or passive.

No surprise here, this is both intuitive and widely proved. It is still a good thing to remind to investors though.

Then, you raise the possibility that the growth of passive management, very strong for now, might get slowed down by the the upcoming arbitrage opportunities that should logically appear above a certain threshold of assets managed with a passive strategy, strategy which is uncorrelated with underlying economic reality and therefore prone to arbitrage.

But telling at which level this might happen is far from easy. There will be, I agree, a equilibrium level between active and passive asset management, but which one ?

Continue reading Active and passive management, where is it going to end ?