December 2017 Trends & Highlights: Market Outlooks for 2018, Holiday Messages, Updated Private Sites and Morgan Stanley Access Investing

by on Jan 30, 2018


2018 Outlooks – In December, 16 firms across industries outlined their expectations for the new year. Fidelity added two videos, one on U.S. equity sector outlooks and a second on global expansion and volatility. Invesco released a video series on the 2018 outlook and posted a blog about fintech forecasts. Oppenheimer Funds and Janus Henderson each created dedicated microsites focused on trending topics in politics, the global economy, the U.S. dollar and monetary policy. Lord Abbett provided commentary on 2018 fixed income expectations and macroeconomic factors in 2018, and Federated added a commentary discussing the drivers of the bullish market going into 2018. Hartford Funds and Morgan Stanley also added commentaries, focusing on Japanese investment trends in the technology sector and forecasting the 2018 market, respectively. Vanguard commented on the status quo of the economy and markets for the upcoming year. RBC Wealth Management discussed current macro trends and their impact on 2018 investments, and UBS Wealth Management focused on societal trends and shifts that may impact investors. MassMutual took a different approach, looking inward at its current state and predicting the economic and financial outlook of the firm and market. AB segmented material into separate blog posts, highlighting potential volatility and subordinated European financial bonds. American Funds published a webinar with portfolio managers discussing predictions for global equities, fixed income and economies. BlackRock & iShares promoted a white paper examining political implications of global expansion, corporate earnings, geopolitical risks and inflation, and Franklin Templeton debuted a new page forecasting capital markets in the new year.

Holiday Messages – Eleven firms got in the holiday spirit, with messages and deals for the end of December. Citibank added a holiday brochure to its ThankYou Rewards, advertising the ability for eligible cardmembers to use points to shop at MassMutual offered discounts on Samsung products and Dell Smart Select bundles for field associates. USAA provided a 25% discount on flowers for clients. American Express offered a holiday catalog in the Membership Rewards interface.  Allstate introduced its Purple Purse Foundation Holiday Sweepstakes, which urged users to donate to raise awareness of domestic violence prevention efforts. GEICO and Fidelity added holiday-themed advertisements: GEICO introduced a video of neighbors discussing holiday lights while Fidelity released an infographic about increasing retirement savings rates. UBS offered a Holiday Cheat Sheet to spur discussions of finances and the current economy with family over the holidays, and Esurance tweeted safety tips for holiday parties. Pacific Life published a Happy Holidays message from the New Retirement Strategies Group. Federated released an infographic of popular technology gifts.

Private Site Capability Updates Ten firms updated private site capabilities this month, five of which involved transfer interfaces. Capital One 360 now allows clients to request money through the Send Money with Zelle interface, and Discover Bank facilitates domestic wire transfers within its transfers interface. Chase revamped its Wire Money interface to mirror the structure of other interfaces in its section, including now offering an anchored header. TIAA simplified its loan and withdrawal transaction interface with expedited access to key figures while TD Bank removed support for external bank transfers. Athene updated its withdrawal interface with a refreshed format and balloon tips, and Capital One redesigned its online deposit account application with new icons and an updated progress meter. Morgan Stanley updated the appearance of its stock and ETF expandable trade ticket and enhanced the Profile + Settings page with additional Profile and Employment + Financial Information views. Fidelity added themes to its Stock Screener, allowing clients to search for stocks based on an area of interest, and Principal integrated dynamic modeling components and more loan information into its Loans page.


Morgan Stanley Adds Robo Platform

Access Investing, the firm’s new automated digital investing platform, features goal-based portfolios that are automatically rebalanced and provide tax-loss harvesting. Access Investing offers unique thematic tilts that allow clients to select a globally diversified portfolio aligning with their interests, including gender diversity and genomics.

Morgan Stanley Access Investing Thematic Tilts

Chase Updates Mobile App

Chase updated multiple aspects of its mobile application this month, including introducing new functionality and a new organization scheme for settings. Banking and credit card clients can now edit login credentials and contact information, manage preferences, and show/hide and nickname accounts. Settings functionality is now organized into four sections: Personal Details, App Settings, Accounts and More Settings.

    Chase My Settings Section and Update Username & Password Screens