How is Finance and Investment Changing? — An Interview with the CEO of Antares | Hacker Noon

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@SergeenkovAndrey Sergeenkov

Cryptocurrency advocate and analyst, growth hacker

Due to several factors, the financial and investment landscape is currently undergoing a significant shift. Chief among them is the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that subsequently forced nations to lock down their economies.

On the one hand, companies are struggling to keep up with the drastically evolving consumer behavior. On the other, consumers and investors remain critical of the global economic uncertainties and, unlike before, are less inclined to jump at opportunities. Both convolutions arising from the dynamic change in economic policies around the world to curtail the spread of Coronavirus and cushion the effects of the pandemic have become tropes limiting the financial and investment industry.

However, before all this, there have always been elements of deficiencies synonymous with this industry. A majority of businesses and startups find it almost impossible to flourish in monopolized markets. More often than not, these entities encounter restrictions that affect their market visibility and limit growth. This assertion is more potent for companies looking to establish a global presence by onboarding a reliable network of clients and investors. And as a result of current economic realities, these limitations have further created wider disparities between established companies and startups. As noted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the pandemic has directly disrupted globalization, particularly foreign direct investments, which is expected to shrink by 30% to 40% within a year.

On the part of investors, the prevailing financial realities and the uncertainties that come with them leaves no margin for error. It is of the utmost importance to second guess every investment opportunity so as not to find oneself at the receiving end of an impending global financial crisis. Likewise, the influx of fraudulent schemes packaged as mouthwatering investment vehicles has put investors on the edge. As such, it is not enough to unravel the risks and rewards embedded in investment opportunities. Now, every investor must undergo even more cumbersome processes of acquiring and acting on market intelligence.

In light of these conundrums, I decided to seek the insight of a financial expert in the person of Alex Richter, a major investment banking player, management consultant, an experienced asset manager, and CEO of Antares. In this interview, we explored the implications of shrinking globalization, the tropes on both sides of the spectrum, and the role of Antares in all of this.

Andrey Sergeenkov: I am sure that there are lots of anomalies you have noted since the crisis kicked in, especially in the financial and investment landscape. To you, which is the most intriguing?
Alex Richter: I believe that the most impressive bit of development in this sector is micro-investing. While a majority of investors pulled out their investments at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, micro-investment startups have given companies and funds a new lifeline. The goal here is to ensure that the process is compact enough to accommodate individuals interested in investing a small amount of money in investment funds that have the potential of becoming big. Another compelling narrative is the influx of tailor-made investment strategies that are formerly only available to individuals who can afford private wealth managers.

Andrey Sergeenkov: How much have current financial anomalies stifled companies’ chances of maintaining a robust network of investors and clients?

Alex Richter: The shrink in globalization has negatively impacted the investment landscape. Unlike before, it is harder to analyze the profitability of companies because of the global economic uncertainties. This assertion is more potent when the investor and the company are not in the same jurisdiction. And so, all through the lockdown period, companies have had to solely rely on the revenue generated and cut the cost of running to stay afloat. Fortunately, it is looking ever more likely that value investing is coming back to the fore. Therefore, startups or small companies interested in attracting the interest of a global network of investors just need to maintain a high fundamental value and partner with growth inhibitors.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Do you think that the current financial realities, to an extent, have changed consumer behavior?

Alex Richter: Without any doubt, consumer behavior has undergone a massive change since the start of 2020. As such, it comes as no surprise that producers, service providers, and marketing platforms are currently scrambling to capture the extent of such changes and predict future alterations in consumer habits.

Andrey Sergeenkov: How have investors processed this shift in market dynamics?

Alex Richter: From what I have noticed thus far, investors are on the lookout for a shift in dynamics and are showing more inclination towards markets flourishing at the moment. Ordinarily, investors are more reluctant to take on risk but are not completely averted to capitalizing on market opportunities, especially if trends, government policies, and market indicators align.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Should we expect the interest in certain industries and asset classes to intensify in the coming months? If so, which industry do you think will come out on top?

Alex Richter: Yes, the current market shift has favored specific industries. The wellness and health industry are presently thriving. There is also impressive growth recorded in the eCommerce, the entertainment, and social media markets. Besides, impact investing is also on the rise. Hence, I expect fund managers to start adopting words like sustainable, environmental, and green.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What is your take on market intelligence? How crucial is it to both investors and companies?

Alex Richter: Market intelligence gives companies and investors quality insight into the workings of the markets they are currently operating in or a new one. With the right data, it becomes easier to project growth potentials, map out investment strategies, and take advantage of opportunities. Therefore, investors and companies must access and base their decisions on valid market intelligence.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Do you think that existing tools are effective enough to acquire, process, and execute quality market intelligence?

Alex Richter: There is room for improvement. Tools for acquiring and processing market data are not as accurate when businesses and the market in question rely on unique sets of pointers. For a market intelligence tool to capture the dominant narratives in an industry, it has to be customizable and have the capability to source for quality data. 

Andrey Sergeenkov: Now that a majority of economies are reopening, how critical is it for companies to capitalize on the first wave of market activities expected to trail the surge in international trades?

Alex Richter: Businesses need to have the structure in place to partake in the first phase of the international market rush. Though the competition for market share will peak during this period, companies that come out on top have a higher chance of achieving long-term success.

Andrey Sergeenkov: How do you think startups can go about adopting and implementing quality strategies to increase market visibility at this time?

Alex Richter: The intricacies involved in establishing high market visibility rely on several factors. For one, you will expect every business by now to have implemented a customer-centric mode of operation and engaged effective marketing strategies. One of the hacks that have proven to be effective is affiliate marketing. As always, the “word of mouth” marketing remains the most effective way to build a strong community for brands and products.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What role does Antares play in all of this?

Alex Richter: Antares has systemically combined all of the potent investment and business development strategies to establish an ecosystem where companies, consumers, and investors can all thrive. We have successfully removed the restrictions previously hampering exposure to the global investment landscape by onboarding highly profitable instruments and making them accessible to our network of investors. Through our unique multi-level marketing architecture, we provide cost-effective and result-oriented marketing channels for our partner companies and concurrently offer improved means of generating income to network participants.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Multi-level marketing is not a new concept, nor is it peculiar to your company. What are the factors that set Antares apart and position it for growth?

Alex Richter: Apart from enabling a unique architecture, Antares incorporates various technologies like AI and Cryptocurrency to ensure that all processes are transparent and that participants generate value on every amount invested on the platform. But this is not just what Antares represents. We have enabled a community-based ecosystem and have shown, time and again, that the growth of our partners, investors, and professional distributors is of the utmost importance. 

Andrey Sergeenkov: The Antares roadmap shows that it will go public in the first quarter of 2022. What are the company’s expansion policies that guarantee the fruition of this projection?

Alex Richter: Every 1 to 2 months, we plan on introducing new investment programs that are more profitable than the existing plans. We already have a well-defined roadmap to launch five more investment packages before the year comes to an end. To do this, we have incorporated a wide array of market intelligence tools and partnered with reputable institutions to research and onboard viable partner companies. With this in place, our expansion policy is rock solid and suitable enough to help us achieve our desired goals for 2022.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What are the criteria that you and your team have adopted to scrutinize the validity and profitability of potential partner companies?

Alex Richter: Antares utilizes strict multi-stage auditing systems and processes to ensure that all onboarded companies comply with the highest marketing and financial standards.

Andrey Sergeenkov: How long does it take to carry out these checks?

Alex Richter: These checks usually take up to one and a half years because we are focusing on long-term partnerships and successes. Also, we have over 15 companies we are working on integrating into our investment ecosystem in the next year and a half. Therefore, we are big on due diligence.

Andrey Sergeenkov: From the standpoint of a market insider and the CEO of an investment and marketing platform, what do you think every investor or consumer should understand about the current financial landscape, and why should they consider joining your network of market participants?

Alex Richter: What I will love for investors to understand is that there are no guarantees in this increasingly uncertain investment landscape. Investors must make an effort to capitalize on prevailing trends and carve out a practical approach to identify opportunities. For one, tailor-made investments, value investing, and micro strategies have emerged as compelling trends, and Antares is one of the few platforms that have managed to combine all three.

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