Every month, a new survey seems to show just how woefully unconscious most Americans are when it comes to personal finance and the stock market — recently, 8 in 10 adult respondents drew a blank when asked to explain what a bond is while seven in 10 stumbled with Defining a hedge fund though saying with confidence that they know it in droves.
Amid this widespread lack of financial and investing knowledge, the internet has long been a primary place for many to educate themselves – according to the results of Investopedia’s annual financial literacy survey, Generation Z is increasingly using YouTube (45%) and TikTok (30%) to learn about investing as Generation Z goes Millennium searches on the Internet (47%) and YouTube (40%).
In an effort to educate the public and secure its place in a start-up platform, financial services giant Fidelity Investments (FBNDX) – Get the Fidelity Investment Grade Bond report Launches a platform to learn about personal finance in the metaverse. Often called the Internet’s next iteration, the metaverse is a mixture of video, augmented and virtual reality in which users move through avatars.
Built on the Decentraland platform, Fidelity Stack will have a virtual lounge, dance floor and rooftop sky garden for users to virtually navigate.
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From exchange-traded funds to common investing misconceptions, each will contain first principles about the basics of personal finance. When they answer the questions (it will start with something basic like “What is stock?” and gradually get more complex) correctly, users correct “orbs” that will direct them to the exit.
Catherine Condon, head of marketing at Fidelity and Emerging Platforms, told TheStreet in an email. Users also encounter information about the Fidelity Metaverse ETF (FMET) and the industries that make up the fund’s investing world.
Fidelity isn’t the only big company trying to get early into the metaverse. Everyone from Brands International (QSR) – Get Global Restaurant Branding ReportBurger King is owned by Nike (NKE) – Get a Nike, Inc. report. from class B They have all tried to launch platforms where they offer games and interactive experiences with their names stamped on them.
Since the metaverse is still limited in scope and too abstract as a concept for most people, it is often less than a form of marketing with little educational knowledge (or, in the case of fast food companies, some discounts or prizes) to attract users.
But as more people sign up and get avatars (a process that could accelerate dramatically in the coming years or fizzle out like Google Glass in 2013), a company that gains early access to this platform will be able to reach an emerging demographic ahead of competitors.
“Consumers — especially the next generation — clearly have an appetite for immersive experiences, and metaverses have an incredible amount of potential,” Condon said. “I think we’ll see more people and organizations checking out in the future as we learn about the potential that digital engagement could hold.”