More and more players are entering which allow investment in foreign stocks. In this case, Colombia’s Superintendent of Financial (SFC) endorsed Insights Investments LLC opening its representative office in the country, with which Colombians would be able to invest in securities on the US stock markets as well as in diversified portfolios. The company’s co-founder Andres Villaquirón assured that accounts could be opened to operate in the United States in five minutes.
What is the purpose of insight?
Insight is a fintech startup that we founded over a year ago and what we aim for is to help the Latin American investor invest in an efficient, global and diversified way.
Which products do you offer?
With us, a person can open an account in the United States in five minutes and everything is completely digital. You have to download the app, fill in the data and in five minutes your account will be open, personal, fully regulated in the USA. From there you can start placing investment products.
One of the products we have is stock, like Apple or IBM. We give access to around 100 shares and we will definitely increase it to 150 or 200 shares.
In addition, we have thematic portfolios. We have people who tell us they want to invest in China and they can do it in a portfolio of 500 Chinese companies from different industries, so you can really see that country as an economy.
The third product is a highly diversified portfolio, depending on the risk level of the client.
What is the minimum amount to invest through your platform?
In shares, you can invest from US$5. We have a minimum of US$200 in the risk and thematic portfolio and this is because we need a certain amount to achieve diversification.
What is the commission?
Account opening is free. Then it depends on the product on which it is going to be. In the product of risk portfolio, where we manage the most funds, we charge 1% per annum, whereas a typical fund may charge up to 3%. In stock portfolios, we do that we don’t charge you if you have less than US$500 and if it is more than that, we start charging US$10 per month.
Have you thought about tying up with BVC to trade Colombian shares through their platform?
Today Colombians can trade the shares of Colombian companies that have ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange listed with us, for example, EcoPatrol. We haven’t taken up the issue of speaking with BVC directly, not because we don’t want to, but because we’re focusing on other needs first, but we want to offer local investment options.
And have you thought about crypto?
There’s a lot of interesting stuff in that market, not just in crypto, but in blockchain as well. We already have crypto available for our US clients, but not yet for Colombian clients, not because of a technical issue, but because of a regulator.
What are your estimates in terms of customers?
Within the market studies we have conducted, we believe there are approximately 10 million people in Colombia who fit our customer profile. We expect to reach 10,000 customers by the end of this year.
Which countries will they reach in the medium term?
We are actively working in Mexico, Chile and Peru, but we have seen interest in the rest of Latin America.