Rethinking Portfolio Optimization

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Harry Markowitz’s Mean-Variance (MV) framework is a foundation of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) and perhaps the best-known optimization framework. Consequently, our analysis focuses primarily there, but the framework is applicable to optimization models in general. Although MPT has attracted many followers since its introduction in 1952, it has also drawn criticism. Today, even though it is still accepted as a primary theoretical framework for portfolio construction, its usage by investment professionals is not as ubiquitous as some textbooks might have suggested.

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Access National Bank

At Access National Bank, we help our clients create and preserve wealth by combining on-target credit services with efficient cash management. Our mission with businesses and professionals in Northern Virginia and metro DC is to deliver exceptional service, a broad range of financial solutions, local market and industry knowledge, and ready access to decision makers.

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Fintech Customer Acquisition - Beyond Early Adopters

Article | February 24, 2020

This blog attempts to answer the following key questions at a high level: What could financial technology companies (fintechs) do to enable greater consumer or SME (customer) adoption of their products and services beyond early adopters? What could fintechs do to pull under-served and well-served customers away from incumbent banks and established providers?

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Investor Insight: Digital Marketing Trends in the Banking Service Industry

Article | February 24, 2020

With the growth of social media and a slew of technological changes, banking has changed the way it functions. Just as online shopping and e-commerce are boosting sales, similarly social media, blogs and the technology for sharing videos are also creating buzz about specific brands and products. Businesses need to adapt and keep up with the changing trends in digital marketing. Digital marketing trends in the banking industry is becoming increasingly important Everybody's digital today. Virtually any bank will have a digital presence from social media to PPC ads across Google and Bing. Most banks believe that their digital marketing spending must be increased and efforts must be across every digital platform to make their advertising more efficient. The number of digital advertising and marketing companies now accounts for more than 50% of their marketing expenditure, compared to 14% of 2017. The similar banking marketing trend has occurred in mobile marketing, which spends less than 40% of its budget but is increasing. Although the importance of digital marketing trends in the banking business demonstrates increased competition, it also makes it harder to distinguish. This means that banks must take uniquely different techniques, showcasing consumers and success stories, bringing value to market offering, and making the most of a highly competitive digital world utilizing non-traditional awareness campaigns instead of normal publicity campaigns. Transition from paid to owned media Paying or buying media is called paid media where investment is made through search, showing ad networks, or in the form of affiliate marketing where one can pay for visits, audience reach or conversions. The big share of paid media spent is still crucial to conventional off-line media such as printing, TV, and direct mail. Owned media is the brand's media. This includes online company websites, blogs, and mobile apps on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Brochures or retail outlets may feature offline-owned media. While neither is new, digital marketers are clearly warming up banks' options for both owned and paid media. Financial institutions may use these sorts of media to organize their media activities and use the media mix according to their marketing plan and budget. Marketing to Gen X and Y As millennials continue to age into their 30s and 40s, banks must adapt to the needs of this increasingly powerful consumer market. As more millennials reach credit age, they must have access to affordable banking products from a wide range of sources. Recent research shows that young adults are three times more likely to engage in a high-cost activity like signing up for bank loans and credit cards than their elders were at the same age. In the last five years, the overall number of bank account applications has increased by 165% -- faster than any other age group, according to a report from ‘The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).’ As the baby boom generation draws closer to retirement, banks have to figure out how to serve this growing generation of consumers. Marketing to millennials is no longer exclusively about offering something free or cheap -- think free travel or goods in exchange for checking out their accounts. Instead, examine how you can develop engagement with millennials as part of your overall banking experience and marketing mix. This includes pairing social media presence with mobile apps that allow millennials to check out different accounts or receive personalized services from banks. Consider a branded experience Fintech is a fast-paced field that allows users to interact with financial providers through apps and websites. The FinTech industry is growing rapidly, with a global reach and diverse competitive landscape. The FinTech culture is evolving rapidly regarding the customer base, service level, and governance factors. Digital transformation affects how organizations deliver services, deliver value and target their campaigns toward potential or current FinTech customers. Leveraging on the FinTech culture makes it possible for organizations to re-imagine their approach to customer service in a way that optimizes both results and cost-efficiency. There’s been an explosion in the world of FinTech. And not just in financial services but also software for everything from e-commerce to real estate. There has been a real shift in how people look at financial products. People want to feel comfortable investing their hard-earned cash in FinTech products -- including cryptocurrencies. It seems like everyone has an account at a financial services company. And they want access to new types of financial products that give them a branded experience. These services are designed to make it easier for ordinary people to get money from the banks, but not so easy that they miss out on exciting opportunities. Invest in personalized ad campaigns Personalization is the big concept behind any digital marketing campaign. It’s about figuring out which audience matches your interests so you can deliver the right product or service at the right time. In other words, personalization is about understanding your customer and discovering what makes them tick. How w0uld you know which customers will respond well to your marketing efforts is simply by understanding their specific needs and then tailoring your message to fulfil those needs. There is a growing shift from basic data science to more sophisticated personalization. Data science is an incredibly powerful way to understand your customer’s preferences, psychographic traits and other data points. Applied in the right way, it can provide a strong push toward providing more relevant content, special offers and better customer service. The challenge is applying that knowledge in a way that totally works for your bank. Integrate Digital Marketing Search Optimisation for banks The difficulty in creating effective digital marketing search strategies lies in the fact that customer expectations have never been higher. With e-commerce on the rise, customers expect to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. As a result, SEO strategies that are once suitable for traditional search engine optimization (SEO) are now impacting organic search results. The problem is that it can be difficult to determine which approach will deliver the best results for your business through digital marketing search engine optimization (SEO). Banks are beginning to pay more attention to digital marketing. They understand that by providing their customers with easy and convenient access to information. They will be more likely to spend money on the products and services said company offers. Digital marketing is not just about getting people to read blog posts or engage with social media pages - if that were the metric, everyone would read everything online! Instead, it’s about getting people who might not otherwise engage with business opportunities, or simply wouldn't know where to start looking for information. Maintain focus on customer experience and commitment The customer experience is the heart and soul of every bank’s digital marketing effort and every bank should strive to provide this level of customer service consistently. The digital marketing trend in the banking industry has taken to transparency and customer-focused messages. Many banks are beginning to understand how marketing messages can best stand on their own feet. With the ever-changing digital landscape, maintaining focus on customer experience is becoming ever more important. For banks and their customers, this means developing a continuous and interactive digital experience that allows them to stay engaged with their valued customers. In addition to branding and marketing campaigns designed to continue growing customer confidence, banks should also continue developing relationships with their fellow business partners through digital tools and social networking. The Take-Away There’s a numbers game attached to online marketing: The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your approach and demonstrate ROI. This is why marketers closely watch industry trends – it helps them to understand their customers better. In fact, according to a recent study by AdRoll, half of the businesses that use customer data to personalize their online ad campaigns have seen CTRs increase by 20%. Banks should be doing the same and looking to integrate data into their campaigns this year. Some Frequently Asked Questions What are the latest trends in digital marketing for banks? AI, augmented reality, voice search optimization, programmatic advertising, chatbots, personalization, automated email marketing, video marketing, Instagram reels, shoppable content, influencer marketing, and geofencing are just a few of the most recent digital marketing trends in the banking industry to watch out for. These new additions in the banking industry paves the way for a revolution in how financial institutes market their services. How do banks use digital marketing? Banks use the following types of digital marketing to gain attention: Explainer videos to make complex financial concepts more understandable. Make your website the primary point of contact for your customers. Set up a YouTube channel to provide information-dense content. Marketing through email Marketing via mobile device How valuable is digital marketing? Digital marketing not only helps in saving money by bringing in customers at a cheaper cost than conventional marketing techniques, but it also assists you in increasing your income. The value of digital marketing can now be evaluated more precisely and the influence it has on your business may have a significant positive impact. How do you advertise banking services? Make use of these five tried-and-true bank marketing strategies to raise awareness, attract customers, and do more: Content marketing: Content marketing is a kind of marketing that uses written content to promote a company's products and services. Develop textual, graphic, and interactive components for your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising Social media marketing Online Reputation management { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the latest trends in digital marketing for banks?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AI, augmented reality, voice search optimization, programmatic advertising, chatbots, personalization, automated email marketing, video marketing, Instagram reels, shoppable content, influencer marketing, and geofencing are just a few of the most recent digital marketing trends in the banking industry to watch out for. These new additions in the banking industry pave the way for a revolution in how financial institutes market their services." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do banks use digital marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Banks use the following types of digital marketing to gain attention: Explainer videos to make complex financial concepts more understandable. Make your website the primary point of contact for your customers. Set up a YouTube channel to provide information-dense content. Marketing through email Marketing via mobile device" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How valuable is digital marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Digital marketing not only helps in saving money by bringing in customers at a cheaper cost than conventional marketing techniques, but it also assists you in increasing your income. The value of digital marketing can now be evaluated more precisely and the influence it has on your business may have a significant positive impact." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you advertise banking services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Make use of these five tried-and-true bank marketing strategies to raise awareness, attract customers, and do more: Content marketing: Content marketing is a kind of marketing that uses written content to promote a company's products and services. Develop textual, graphic, and interactive components for your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising Social media marketing Online Reputation management" } }] }

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BEHAVIOURAL ANALYTICS WILL FUEL CUSTOMER INTERACTION IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

Article | February 24, 2020

The axing of third-party cookies by Google and the other major browser companies will require a major readjustment by financial services organisations. The decision, coming fully into force next year, will effectively choke off the data that has enabled personalisation, optimised website interactions and driven much internet advertising. It is no comfort that the browser companies have acted because of fears about infringement of privacy and data protection legislation such as the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) in California. The move will affect how UK financial services organisations interact with millions of people. More than three-quarters of Britons now use online banking and 14 million use digital-only banks, expecting a slick, light-touch interaction. So it appears that just as many people go digital, financial services organisations will no longer have access to information they need for personalisation, being unable to track where customers go on the internet after they have visited a bank’s website. All that data about individuals’ habits and preferences will be unavailable. It seems catastrophic, but in reality, it is not. Financial organisations have a new opportunity to radically improve how they interact with web visitors and customers. AI-powered behavioural analytics offer far superior, real-time capabilities, using the data from the first-party cookies on their own website domains and where available, data from customers’ transaction histories. The result is a solution that is faster, more accurate and responsive than conventional technology relying on cookie data owned and stored by third-party organisations. Instead of relying on such data for relatively rigid profiling and personalisation, behavioural analytics enables real-time interactions based on a more dynamic picture of how an individual’s requirements are changing. The technology analyses all the browsing characteristics including time on site, speed of movement and page views, as well as more obvious features such as interest in specific products. Historical data added to the analysis includes what customers did on previous visits and the interval between those visits, establishing patterns where possible. The flexible advantages of behavioural analytics hubs in financial services Segmentation allows a bank to identify customers as soon as they arrive on its site, according to whether they are a new or existing customer. Their behaviour then indicates what they want. Knowing what customers are interested in is important. Customers visit financial services websites for a host of reasons – from seeking information, to opening accounts, exploring loans and mortgage offers, making or setting up new payments. They may also want advice about investments and savings, pensions or small business finance. Almost all of these requirements involve quite complex mental processes which financial organisations can influence while consumers are on their sites. Collecting the data is not difficult – the skill is in making it actionable in an effective way, replicating the ability of a perceptive employee to read a customer’s state of mind. Banks can do this by setting up a behavioural analytics hub to understand what a customer’s behaviour means and how it can be optimised. Using customised parameters, the hub will, for instance, trigger a screen notification that prompts the web visitor to fill in a form requesting an appointment. In the case of existing customers, the technology can correlate health insurance offers with spending on fitness, and, in general, savings and investment recommendations can be tailored to the client’s concerns or goals as revealed by their navigation of a bank’s website or mobile app. Banks can set up analytics to see when consumers are behaving in a way that indicates they about to leave the website, allowing them to intervene with a notification that could include an offer. This provides a positive outcome and avoids the blanket use of offers that undermines profitability. It is a more sophisticated and personalised approach that avoids annoying pop-ups or recommendations that fail to match individual preferences. As part of a single AI-powered segmentation platform, the technology enables banks to personalise marketing content in SMS messages and emails sent to consumers (who consent), which deliver far better results through precise targeting. Solutions for last-mile interaction in the open banking era The single platform approach also has another major advantage. It is much easier to implement and far more efficient and streamlined compared with separate solutions for different parts of the customer journey. The benefits of using AI-powered segmentation solutions should be part of the financial sector’s broader strategy to transform its systems for the open banking era as we approach the end of third-party cookies. For established banks, the reality for some time has been that complexity of systems has undermined their ability to deliver a high-quality last mile. This they can now address without huge disruption or investment. The alternative is for financial services organisations to become lost on an ocean of data, losing track of customers. Behavioural analytics will bring banks new insights into customers that surpass third-party cookie data, being actionable and accurate and in real time. To provide a streamlined and profitable experience for themselves and their millions of customers, banks must now employ the latest advances in AI-powered behavioural analytics.

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Three Ways to Thrive in a Technology-Driven Financial Industry

Article | February 24, 2020

The banking and financial industry is changing at a blinding pace. Advancements in mobile payments, digital currencies, blockchain and innovative lending strategies are causing a radical shift and have challenged nearly every established convention. These new financial technologies (known collectively as “fintech”) are giving rise to new jobs while also changing existing roles and completely displacing some positions in the industry.

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Spotlight

Access National Bank

At Access National Bank, we help our clients create and preserve wealth by combining on-target credit services with efficient cash management. Our mission with businesses and professionals in Northern Virginia and metro DC is to deliver exceptional service, a broad range of financial solutions, local market and industry knowledge, and ready access to decision makers.

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