Biz / Tech

Ant Financial, Vanguard Group team up for retail investment service

Ding Yining
Users will be offered tailor-made investment suggestions and portfolios from a pool of around 6,000 mutual funds by more than 100 domestic asset firms.
Ding Yining

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial has launched an asset management service in collaboration with US-based asset management firm Vanguard Group to meet investment demands from retail consumers.

The service was officially rolled out on Thursday through Ant Financial's smartphone financial service application Alipay, which has some 900 million users. 

The automated advisory will allow individuals who make an initial investment of 800 yuan (US$113) to purchase a portfolio with a daily charge of about 0.14 yuan for every 100 yuan they invest, according to a joint statement.

Users will get tailor-made investment suggestions and portfolios from a pool of around 6,000 mutual funds by more than 100 domestic asset firms.

The mutual-fund recommendations are offered by a 51-49 joint venture between Ant Financial and Vanguard Group set up in Shanghai last year, which combines Ant's data analyzing and Vanguard’s investment modeling expertise.

The service's "Help You Invest" function is based on Ant Financial's analysis of each user's personal consumption habits, existing payment and wealth management data and risk preferences.

Users will be informed of estimated investment returns, covering worst to best case scenarios, and the advisory service will also adjust its portfolio through investment modeling. Financial market information and other wealth management related content will also be available. 

Investors, however, are still cautious about committing too much in mutual funds right now following several weeks of volatile performance of global financial markets.

"I don't want to risk losing any more after the stock market turmoil in the past two months and maybe fixed return wealth management products are a better option for the time being," said Shanghai business consultant Sherry Hu.

Ant Financial's wealth management platform has been seeking to lower the investment threshold for users who come to the app for mobile payment service.

It's working with fund companies and commercial banks to provide a wide range of investments that are easier to access than security brokerages or bank's own investment sites.

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