Are tech titans about to enter the world of ETFs?

Given that Alibaba’s Ant Financial Group is already the world’s largest money market fund, Dave Nadig from ETF.com says it’s not such a far-out idea.

As investing becomes more automated, tech companies like Amazon, Apple and Alphabet could bring their expertise to an industry stymied by distribution challenges, he suggested at the Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Florida, earlier this month.

Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines, says that it’s “inevitable” that one of these big companies will enter the space in the next five years.

“There’s too much money there,” Edelman said on CNBC’s “ETF Edge” on Monday. “And as soon as one of them does, they all do.”

Tom Lydon, editor-in-chief of ETFTrends.com, agrees on the likelihood that tech companies will enter the financial services industry in the coming years.

“It will probably be in the form of an acquisition,” Lydon said on “ETF Edge” on Monday. “I look at Softbank. Softbank has got all the data in the world. They know if I go to the gym, they know my prescriptions, they know I like red wine, they know I like 80s music, because they are aggregating all the data there. They’ve got a $100 billion venture fund. I’d bet on a company like that.”

Brand and reputation could also help tech companies convince consumers to trust them with financial products, says Edelman.

“Everybody hates the financial services industry. We hate insurance companies, credit card companies, banks and brokerage firms,” he explained. “We’re increasingly hating Facebook so I think there might be a reputational challenge there if [CEO Mark] Zuckerberg decided to buy a bank, but I don’t know that Google would have that challenge and so I think there is a huge opportunity, especially with the younger generation. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see them one day enter the space.”



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