Last year, Fidelity launched its Metaverse exchange-traded fund — the ETF with the ticker symbol FMET.
The Fidelity Metaverse Index tracks the current development of a future internet. According to Fidelity’s website, the metaverse will blend “augmented reality and virtual worlds” and enable many people to be work, play, and invest in these settings, “persistently and in a shared environment.”
It sounds like a projection of our current lives. But in the metaverse, we’ll enjoy experiences remotely, whenever we’re ready. As Andrew Kiguel, CEO of metaverse property investment firm known as Tokens.com, told CNBC: “You can go to a carnival, you can go to a music concert, you can go to a museum.”
Fidelity believes in the metaverse.
What’s in Fidelity’s Metaverse Basket
The Fidelity Metaverse Index is focused on companies doing metaverse development, and virtual products and services. Fidelity is, no doubt, thinking about its profile among young, digitally focused investors.
What companies does Fidelity think are poised for Web3 success? Fidelity lists its five top-ranked metaverse companies in the FMET portfolio as Tencent, Google, Apple, Nintendo, and Adobe — with Meta (Facebook) and AI leader Nvidia following close behind.
So, metaverse-making is a global trend. The holdings at this time are about 45% North American (mainly U.S.) corporations, an equal amount of Asian (mainly Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean) companies, and about 9% European (mainly French) innovators.
In a sense, Fidelity is also becoming a metaverse bet. Until competitors such as Schwab and Vanguard appear on the metaverse radar, Fidelity is a leading Web3 presence, along with JP Morgan, the first financial group to open a metaverse lounge. (“Virtual real estate ownership is one area JP Morgan is eyeing,” wrote FinTech Magazine.)
Fidelity Files for Virtual-World Trademarks
This year, Fidelity filed 16 digital payment and metaverse trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — including for fund investment services. The company refers to its intellectual property quest as important for “meeting customers where they are.”
Creating avatars to meet its 40 million investors in virtual spaces will be cheaper than maintaining physical offices. But will current and future customers come?
And how will the opportunities look after the regulators get their bearings and start laying down the law? No one can say just yet.
The biggest question used to be whether the metaverse concept is a flash in the pan. But Goldman Sachs calls the metaverse an $8 trillion global opportunity. Potential markets include real-estate showings, online education, and immersive worlds replacing the mobile phase of the internet.
Fidelity is willing and able to invest in this potential, and has vast compliance knowledge. Moreover, virtual financial management doesn’t need to be universally accepted for Fidelity’s investments to pay off. For now, Fidelity can boast its virtual street cred as the leader in metaverse fund investing.
Fidelity’s Virtual Reality Timeline
Here are a few highlights so far from Fidelity’s virtual-reality preparations:
- 2014: Fidelity dips into virtual reality with StockCity, designed to let customers tour their holdings as though they were exploring a metropolis.
- 2017 – 2019: Fidelity tests a series of VR financial planning system for advisers, and experiments in virtual reality design with Amazon Web Service (AWS).
- 2021: CEO Abigail “Abby” Johnson, who’s headed Fidelity since 2014, describes “going viral” on TikTok and Reddit.
- 2022: Fidelity launches a Metaverse ETF, education in the metaverse for retail investors, and a presence in Decentraland.
- 2023: Fidelity debuts bitcoin and ether trades together with cryptocurrency literacy modules for retail investors.
Important note: Fidelity’s offerings are only described for the purpose of sharing news and general information with our readers. There is always the risk (heightened in times of market disruption or volatility) that retail investors will lose money with ETFs and other investment products. Consult a financial adviser for guidance.
Oisín Breen for RIABiz.com: Fidelity Files for Vast Trademark Protection as It Readies Fidelity 3.0 for the Wild West Metaverse – Whatever and Wherever It May Be (Feb. 15, 2023).
Kate Birch for FintechMagazine.com: JP Morgan Is First Leading Bank to Launch in the Metaverse (Feb. 17, 2022).
Morningstar, Inc.; Bloomberg L.P.; Fidelity ETF Managers’ Prospectus & Reports, from FMR LLC.
And as linked.
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