On 15 October 2021, one of the members of the executive board of the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM), Jos Heuvelmans, gave a speech at the Investor Fair (BeleggersFair) on investments.
In his speech, Mr Heuvelmans addresses the excellent performance of the AEX index. In this context he emphasises that investors should carefully consider their investments and invest responsibly, but he also notes that brokers are eager in encouraging investors to invest as much and as often as possible (while he believes investing is also a long term activity) and social media influencers may pose a risk for investors (especially younger and starting investors).
Mr Heuvelmans also addresses investment apps and the AFM’s role in protecting investors. He refers to the user friendliness and accessibility of such apps, but also warns for the risks of gamification of investing. He notes that brokers are required to be transparent about the products they offer and specifically refers to zero commission brokers. Mr Heuvelmans notes that the AFM has previously successfully worked on a ban on commissions and warned for the risks associated with zero commission brokers. He concludes this part of his speech with a reference to payment for order flow (PFOF) phenomenon and notes that this is a way of disguising costs and constitutes anti-competitive behaviour. PFOF is prohibited in the Netherlands and the AFM is a proponent of an European wide ban.