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Market Extra: Fidelity seeks to attract investors through ‘interactive’ metaverse experience

Fidelity Investments is seeking to engage people in the metaverse so they can learn about investing and the firm’s offerings such as exchange-traded funds. 

“We’re the first brokerage firm to develop this immersive educational experience” in the metaverse, said Kathryn Condon, Fidelity’s head of marketing channels and emerging platforms, in a phone interview. As “people learn best by doing,” Fidelity aims to create an “interactive” experience for those interested in learning about stocks, mutual funds and ETFs in an entertaining way in a virtual space, she said. 

Fidelity, which last year saw a record 3.8 million accounts opened by young investors up to the age of 35, expects the firm’s metaverse experience will probably attract a younger crowd, according to Condon. But it’s available to anybody in Decentraland, a metaverse platform built on the ethereum blockchain that people can access using a browser on their computer, she said.

In Decentraland, investors may visit “The Fidelity Stack,” a building in the metaverse where they can hang out on a dance floor or explore different floors to learn about investing basics and the firm’s fund offerings, according to Condon. For example, they can find information on the new Fidelity Metaverse ETF (FMET), which will begin trading Thursday, she said.

There’s a “gamified aspect” of the journey, with investors challenged to learn about ETFs while collecting “orbs,” or “little glowing globes,” along the way, she said.

“In this first launch, we do not have Fidelity representatives that will be in the experience,” Condon said, though they could “possibly” be included in the future. 

“We are really interested to see how people interact with this and we’ll decide as we evolve,” she said. Condon said there’s a “suggestion box” on the ground floor of the “The Fidelity Stack” so people can share their ideas, interests and questions.

Fidelity isn’t the first financial firm to enter the metaverse, which Condon described as the “next evolution” of the internet, “blending what we do in the physical world with the virtual world.” 

Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase & Co. became the first major bank to establish a presence there, creating a virtual lounge that’s also located in Decentraland. 

See: With a tiger and Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan enters the metaverse

Meanwhile, other exchanged-traded funds focused on the metaverse have recently launched, with the ProShares Metaverse ETF

beginning to trade just last month. Shares of the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF
which launched in 2021, have tumbled about 30% this year through Wednesday, according to FactSet data.  

“This space is evolving very quickly,” Condon said of the metaverse. 

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