The "do it yourself" investor crowd is not exactly new. But now it has a newfound source of power. A new tool on the market from Motif Investing makes it easier than ever for individual investors to create their own ETF-like investment funds. The timing is what makes this tool potentially troubling for established mutual fund and ETF companies. Combined with an overall mistrust of the financial industry and a general populist empowerment (social media, anyone?), it could become the next disruptive change.
Consider the market reception it's received. In the five months since Motif launched Build Your Own Motif, 15,000 customer portfolios have been created, double the number of open-end, U.S. mutual funds. The assets are miniscule compared to mutual funds, of course, but it still indicates a strong desire for investors to handle their own investments.