Goldman Sachs’ Marcus Focus: Online Savings Accounts & Personal Lending


Jason Moser: Goldman Sachs Marcus. Apparently, they are looking to try to help
consumers and/ or businesses manage debt a little bit more wisely. You had a chance to take a look at this is
Marcus offering that they have, learn more about it. Tell me your takeaways with
Goldman Sachs and Marcus. Matt Frankel: The wealth management offering
that they’re coming up with is still very much a work in progress.
I spoke with one of their executives. He said that it’s not just going to be a robo
advising platform. It’s definitely going to have
some sort of active component. Then I asked him more in
depth where Marcus is going. They had mentioned a bunch of possible growth
avenues — say, mortgages, auto loans, checking accounts, things like that. He said that even though they have the capital
and the ability to grow as fast as they want to, they’re still just going to focus on their
core businesses that they’ve had so far. Those are online savings accounts and personal lending,
both of which they feel have tremendous runway still. They shared a couple of stats with me. 70% of people in a recent survey don’t know that you can
pay off credit cards with personal loan proceeds. About 60% don’t know what
their savings account interest rate is. They see a big opportunity with just educating
the consumer and building up the products that they already offer, and they’re going
to cautiously roll out new products as they see fit. Wealth management is
just the next avenue. While other things like mortgages,
credit cards, things like that, could be coming in the future, I wouldn’t count on
seeing any kind of accelerated timetable. You have to realize that Marcus
itself is just about two years old. As I was talking to them, on that day,
they were celebrating two years since their first personal loan was issued. They’re still a very young platform, and are
still trying to establish their core competencies, and aren’t really inclined to grow that fast.
Moser: I think I can get by that. One thing that always takes me a bit by
surprise is, when you look at the bigger picture, a lot of people out there
don’t understand how finance works. From something as basic as a checking or savings
account to taking out a loan, or even what your taxes are going towards, how much you
pay in taxes, filing taxes every year. I’ve done a lot of research
on this through the years. I had the good fortune back in 2012, to interview
then-Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. He agreed, the biggest hurdle to clear in
regard to individuals in the United States in finance, is simple education. States aren’t doing a good enough
job of it through school systems. It’s not something where you can just say,
“We’re going to implement this nationwide financial literacy program.
That’ll take care of it.” My observation as a father and through what
we do as employees here is, it really all does start in the home. The biggest problem there is when you’re a
parent you don’t know enough to teach your child or children about those basic financial
concepts, then you’re really stuck. It certainly sounds like Marcus is leaning
more towards the education side, and helping people make smarter decisions.
I think we can all get behind that.

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