FinTech expert: Next Warren Buffett will be retail trader

New technology means retail investors are better placed than ever to reach the upper echelons of trading.

Leaps forward in FinTech innovation will allow “the next Warren Buffett to come from retail investors and not traditional [institutional] money markets”, a leading entrepreneur has claimed.

Speaking at MoneyConf – a gathering of bankers and FinTech entrepreneurs in Madrid – Ronen Assia, co-founder of social trading site eToro, said retail trading behaviour is now much more similar to those in the insitutional market, levelling the playing field.

He said: “The rise of social networks over the past decade allowed us to harness that notion and share things online. When we launched, people thought we were just crazy [saying] ‘no one is going to share anything online because people are very secretive about what they do on the markets.”

However, Assia says that has not been the case and e-Toro is now seeking to become a “household name”.

He said: “We feel the attractive part is being able to connect to people around the world. Lets say, I am here in Madrid, I know nothing about the Spanish market. Now, I can log into the platform, find some spanish traders who know the market and allocate a portion of my portfolio to follow them.”

Assia cautioned that FinTech entrepreneurs would do well to remember that innovation in financial technology is a very different thing to developing non-financial technology, because it involves money. This, he said, means it takes time to win trust.

He explained: “If you look at the entire fintech vertical. FinTech is something that is for the long run. it is not just like developing a little game for IOS and taking the scucess in six months time.

“It takes time to develop a brand when you are asking for money. The economy changes, the regulators change. I think it is a matter of understanding that you are here for the long run and it will take a couple of good years to create a financial brand.”