4 Feb 2019
There may be some readers who have been around long enough to remember the ‘tech bubble’ of the late 1990s.
This article was originally published on FTAdviser.com, on 10 December 2018.
Tech company valuations and stock markets went stratospheric, while whizzy tech companies promised an ultra-efficient future, with increased productivity and no more economic boom and bust.
The subsequent bear market put a stop to most of these fantastic future projections alongside a heavy dose of schadenfreude for sceptical observers (especially those analysts who had lost their jobs keeping to their common sense valuations during the bubble).
Over the following 18 year period, there is a sense that while tech stocks were a bubble and burst, there is a nub of truth to how tech can increase productivity, efficiency and competition.
More recently, and as smartphones have become part of everyday life, it is obvious how reliant we have become on tech for GPS navigation, organising our private lives, and indeed its increasing use within the financial sector.
And yet there is an undeniable sense of tech-bubble déjà vu about the latest cohort of ‘fintech’ companies.
Again the investing public and advisers are presented with a gamut of new firms, with quirky names, who aspire to re-invent, or disrupt, current business models in finance, investing, insurance and advice. The question is, should advisers pay any attention?
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