Q&A with Selma's Patrik Schär

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

This Q&A is part of a series where I ask founders and employees of companies about their products and services and how they relate to the gender investing gap and other topics. I am either an affiliate, a customer or interested in becoming a customer with these companies. I may receive a commission for links posted, which helps me finance my blog and website. It is my hope that through these Q&As to bring these fintech companies closer to you and me and find the best ones that can help us increase our wealth while aligning with important values.

Selma is a Swiss-Finnish fintech startup and provides each user with a digital financial advisor. Selma creates individual investment plans, automatically manages both pillar 3a and financial investments accounts and makes investing simple and uncomplicated, even with small investment sums. You can see my full review of Selma here. I have both an investment account as well as a pillar 3a account with Selma. In light of this, I wanted to ask a few questions to Patrik Schär, Selma's Co-founder and perhaps dig a bit deeper into how Selma does their business.

> How does Selma bridge the gender investing gap?

It’s one of Selma’s goals that Selma can act as a tool and provide help to actually bridge that gap. As one of the very few FinTech’s with a female Co-Founder the topic is very dear to us: We develop Selma in a way that it is open to everybody, easy to use, transparent and provide educational content and events that everybody can get more familiar with investing in a nice and easy way.

> What is Selma's take on gender lens investing? Is this something that you are considering to include in your sustainability and impact investing options?

At Selma we are using ESG criteria (environment, social, governance) and ESG screened products where topics like diversity are built into the „governance“ part. From our clients, we mainly have the wish to address sustainability broadly instead of focussing on just one single aspect of it. However, we are very customer driven in our development and are continuously checking which product expansions our customers are looking for. This means topics like gender lens investing might well become relevant for us if we have more customers that would specifically like to focus their investment on it. At Selma, we’re constantly looking into topics that might be relevant for our clients.

>Sustainable investing is tricky and can be a moving target. What is Selma's strategy to ensure that a client's wishes to invest in sustainable companies are upheld? How does Selma implement this strategy?

Yes, investing sustainably is indeed tricky, thats why we base our portfolio on ESG criteria which are the industry standard. Here we go for the strictest implementations which are available (SRI ratings). When you decide to invest sustainably with Selma we aim for all our ETFs to follow at least the ESG rating. While we try to include as many SRI ETFs as possible, it is not always possible to create a broad, balanced mix of investments with SRI ETFs only. In a recent blogpost we have written about sustainable investment options and how they compare to Selma: https://blog.selma.io/deu/nachhaltig-anlegen-in-der-schweiz.

In addition, we also see it as our responsibility to push the whole industry and product providers towards better and more transparent sustainable products while Selma grows further and thereby gets more influence on how investment products are built and rated.

> What's on the horizon for Selma? Does Selma plan to expand their offering to include purchases into stocks rather than only ETFs?

There are plenty of things on our agenda :). We’re constantly working on making the advice that Selma provides even better, are launching our mobile App and expanding into more countries. While we are looking into how we can make more investment topics available, we don’t aim to provide single stocks. ETFs provide the advantage that you can spread your risk broadly starting with small amounts and that you aren’t that dependent on how a single stock develops. Also, we very concisely don’t want to build Selma in a tool to play around with your money but to build wealth long term. By the way, we are sharing our development roadmap openly here: https://trello.com/b/Q4hb4Ywu/selmaio-roadmap

Thank you, Patrik, for answering these questions! I am looking forward to following Selma's progress.

Is there a different way I should structure these Q&As? What other questions could I ask that would be relevant to you? Let me know in the comments below.

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++This is not financial, legal or investment advice and is not a solicitation to buy or sell products. I assume no liability for the accuracy of the information on my website, blog articles and any emails. Trading securities on the stock market is risky and you could lose your entire initial investment. I assume no liability for your decisions. I recommend products on my blog that I use myself. I may receive a commission for links posted, which helps me finance my blog and website.++

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