The mission of the foundation is to empower ordinary people to invest with confidence and security, and to foster social and economic stability.

It can do so by empowering retail investors to act confidently and purposefully in increasingly complex financial markets. While the amount of financial information available has reached unprecedented heights, many people still feel insecure and ill-informed when it comes to making long-term investment decisions. This often leads to either inertia or misguided investment decisions. At the same time, making smart investment decisions becomes ever more important in times when the adequacy of traditional retirement arrangements is increasingly called into question. There is a distinct mismatch between the need to make the right investment decisions and the ability of many people to do so. Peoplesfinancials wants to address this mismatch by educating people about key concepts relevant to how financial markets work - with the aim to empower individual investors.

The idea of empowering retail investors fits well with the broader post-crisis policy agenda in financial services legislation that strives to put the consumer at the centre. The European Union wants to integrate European financial markets into a true Capital Markets Union and has devised a retail financial services action plan that puts retail investors at the heart of European capital markets. Peoplesfinancials wants to contribute to the policy debate about strengthening capital markets and retail financial services and how innovation in financial services can benefit end users.

A grass root initiative:

Consumer protection is a pressing issue among investors, investment firms and policy makers. It has become a major issue exacerbated by the effect of globalisation, the evolution of technology, and the proliferation of more sophisticated products.To counter this and to ensure a high degree of harmonised protection for retail investors - the authorities have issued a new EU directive which is applicable starting 3 January 2018. The new EU directive has been adopted as part of a wider framework of EU legislation that strives to empower retail clients. To improve the security of a financial product and the quality of an investment strategy - investors and investment firms have turned to Big Data Technologies to be able to meet this new reality. As a result - a layman is now able to make an informed decision independently regardless of market circumstances and/or product complexity. An investment firm can now also improve its decision making process to increase the quality of an investment strategy and the performance of a financial product. These initiatives which are in line with the foundations’ purpose contribute to an increased protection for consumers.

A world where financial products are treated as a mere commodity by all. - Michael Heijmeijer, co-founder

A United Nation initiative:

Launched in 2009 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the SSE initiative (sustainable stock exchange initiative) is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges (in collaboration with policymakers, regulators, investors and companies) can promote responsible investment for sustainable development. The UN SSE initiative is co-organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and the UNEP Finance Initiative. The SEE initiative seeks to find ways to raise the level of responsibility among key stakeholders to a standard and leadership in sustainable investment. This includes companies that are able to manage risk and opportunities in order to create attractive markets where investors can better evaluate fundamental drivers and as more investors recognise the value of the SSE initiative, this will restore trust and confidence in capital markets and foster greater stability and development. The foundation would like to contribute to the SSE initiative by providing data, search engines, intelligence, analytics on 16 million products and issuers. The foundation’s purpose is to supply the means of education which will enable investors to better evaluate the risk of investment in financial products so that they can appreciate fully the importance of their investments and their impact on the economy and that, with this greater command and understanding, they will be able to contribute to the capital markets in more controlled way.

PeoplesFinancials will establish greater awareness and a better understanding in the risk of financial products among the public, enabling them to invest with more confidence and consideration. This, in turn, will contribute to greater financial and social stability... Markus Ferber, co-founder

Only when the layperson benefits from an equal playing field with product issuers and investment banks, when s/he has access to objective evaluations and transparency, will the balance of power shift and the world become more stable. The foundation will be key to maintaining a balance between the public, capital markets, and the industry.

By participating in or supporting these initiatives, you have the power to change the financial game. Read on to discover how we intend to do this.

Please contact us for more information.

Michael Heijmeijer: Chairman & CEO representing concept & technology;
Markus Ferber: Member of the European Parliament since 1994 & 1st Vice Chairman of the ECON committee and rapporteur for the MiFID II file.

PeoplesFinancials Foundation memorandum: download