The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

“Mass Personalization” ?

02/12/2019

In 1893, the closed-end fund (CEF) was invented, and financial advisors said “this is better than sliced bread.”

In 1924, the mutual fund was invented, and financial advisors said,”this is better than sliced bread.”

In 1984, the exchange traded fund was invented, and financial advisors said “this is better than sliced bread.”

Recently, “mass personalization” was invented, and financial advisors are holding their breath.  In this version of sliced bread, clients would complete a detailed list of their values, such as no cigarette companies or no gun companies or no abortion-related companies or no companies without diversity on their boards, etc.  Based on this DETAILED disclosure of a client’s values, a portfolio of finely-tuned ETFs can be built for minimum costs.

Imagine having a portfolio that actually reflects your values!  Or, imagine having a portfolio that is crassly materialistic and more suitable for your local robber-baron?

While this may seem like “pie-in-the-sky” right now, it is amazing to me that a subsidiary of Eaton Vance took in $10 BILLION during their first year, mostly from high-net-worth investors.  Maybe, a person’s portfolio can really reflect the same values as the person.

By the way, bread, even sliced bread, is bad for you . . .

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