Last year, both time and cash-rich investors pumped billions into free online trading platforms in the hopes of scoring it big. Tesla
GameStop's meteoric rise and subsequent fall might mean that 2021 might be a bigger year for retail trading than 2020. So it seems Goldman launched Marcus Invest to compete with other trading platforms like Robinhood or WeBull.
Well, not so fast.
They'll be no white chuckle chart watching on Marcus Invest. No hopes of scoring it big after placing a bet based on social media. Investing on the platform is automated and works similarly to robo-advisory firms at many banks and brokerages. Users can pick from among 50 baskets of predetermined assets based on their level of risk tolerance. But, most importantly, Marcus Invest users can't actually buy stocks.
That last bit is sure to turn off the Reddit crowd that so many up-and-coming retail trading platforms are trying to lure. But for Goldman, that might not be such a bad thing.
Marcus Invest's asset class investing method is the gold standard among wealth managers- and for good reason. Because people just aren't good at picking stocks. In fact, one study found that the same robo-investors who will power Marcus Invest are actually better than humans when it comes to picking stocks.
Nevertheless, Marcus Invest's limitations are sure to put some people off. Investing through the platform won't be sexy. You won't be able to put all your chips on the next GameStop and then rake in boatloads. But you probably won't lose your life savings either.
Simply put, FOMO-fueled day traders aren't exactly Marcus Invest's target customer, and they're not for whom Goldman designed the platform. Marcus Invest aims to help users create wealth over time by making it easy for them to diversify their portfolios, according to Stephanie Cohen Goldman's co-head of consumer and wealth management, WSJ reports.
It seems that nowadays, Wall Street is split into two increasingly polarized camps. There are the Reddit keyboard crunchers, ready to overthrow conventional Wall Street wisdom with a click of their mouse. Then there's the elite, who leverage the research of graduate students locked in the basements of hedge funds offices to get an edge over the rest of the market.
And somewhere in the middle of these two camps- there's Marcus Invest's target customer. Someone who wants slow, steady gains. Someone who'd rather watch paint dry than watch the stock tickers roll by on CNBC. But also someone who sees the chance to leverage Goldman's research at such a low cost as a real opportunity.
These sorts of customers are out there; now, all Goldman has to do is convince them.