• Products
  • Insights
  • Practice Management
  • Resources
  • About Us
One

Once Upon a Time – The internet we’re most familiar with arrived some 30 years ago during the era that’s come to be known as Web 1.0—which brought us web browsers, email, and noisy dial-up modems. Soon afterward, broadband and mobile devices made the internet a lot more useful as technology companies developed interactive platforms and social media apps for the Web 2.0 era.

Two

Enter the Metaverse, aka Web 3.0 – Think of the metaverse as the internet’s next potential iteration: a batch of new virtual- and augmented-reality technologies designed to provide a gateway into dazzling new three-dimensional environments where you and your friends can work, play, interact, entertain, and do business with one another.

Three Just Add Wings – Metaverse experiences aren’t easy to describe, but we’ll try. Imagine tumbling around on the International Space Station and enjoying the view of Earth, or maybe checking out the cool new winged avatars your work colleagues conjured up for your next virtual team-building exercise. Skydiving? Bull fighting? Sure, why not? 
Four

The Vision Thing – OK, those virtual-reality (VR) headsets are really geeky, but they may significantly enhance your metaverse experience. Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, hopes consumers will try its Oculus Quest VR headset (basic model: $300). Microsoft is wooing corporate and enterprise clients with its $3,500 HoloLens headset. These and similar headsets are mostly designed to operate as stand-alone devices or in conjunction with a smartphone app.

Five

Déjà Vu All Over Again – Remember Dungeons and Dragons? World of Warcraft? If so, you may have already experienced multiplayer proto-versions of the metaverse. In 2003, Second Life launched, featuring bespoke avatars that allowed users to live out fantasy lives in an adult virtual environment. In 2018, the futuristic film Ready Player One explored the virtual-reality world of gamers.

Six

Start Here—No Wait, Start There – A growing number of  competing metaverse “worlds” are being launched. Thrillseekers may want to try Meta’s Horizon Worlds for its promised “wow” factor. You probably know a child who is creating or playing games in the Roblox metaverse. In Decentraland and The Sandbox, you can buy and sell digital real estate.

Seven

Location, Location, Location – Sensing opportunity, big players have jumped onto the metaverse train. Snoop Dogg and Gucci have planted their flags in The Sandbox. An investor recently placed a $4.3 million bet on several Decentraland digital parcels.1 JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s virtual bank branch in Decentraland features his digital portrait in the lounge.2 

Eight

Investment Opportunities – A recent report predicts the metaverse/Web 3.0 economy may evolve into an $8 to $13 trillion total addressable market by 2030.3 Ways to play the metaverse could include hardware (think chipmakers and headset designers), metaverse platforms, or thematic ETFs. Finding real value may require help from a financial professional.

Nine

All Aboard? – So, is it truly open for business, and is it free? Yes, and mostly no! For now, you can download platforms onto your computer, look around, and create your avatar for free. But to buy that boffo party accessory for your avatar or buy virtual “land,” you’ll need to acquire the platform’s native cryptocurrency.4

Ten

But Watch Your Wallet – It’s perhaps no surprise that the metaverse has also become a playground for grifters and thieves. Some investors who bought digital real estate were duped into clicking email links designed to mimic legitimate metaverse log-ins but were actually phishing sites that stole user credentials and drained cryptocurrency holdings from digital wallets.5

 

 

survey

Top Five Things People Say They'd Do in the Metaverse but Never in Real Life

Source: Statista, 2022.

 

 

To learn more about metaverse-related investments, talk to your financial professional.

 

1 “The Sandbox Reports a New $4.3 Million Land Sale to Republic Realm”, beyondgames.biz, 12/6/21.

2 “JPMorgan Bets Metaverse Is a $1 Trillion Yearly Opportunity As It Becomes First Bank to Open in Virtual World”, fortune.com, 2/16/22.

3 “Metaverse May Be Worth $13 Trillion, Citi Says. What’s Behind the Bullish Take on Web3”, Barron’s, 3/31/22.

4 Decentraland’s native currency is called “MANA”; in The Sandbox, the currency is called “SAND”. The most widely held cryptocurrency remains Bitcoin. See “10 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin” and “10 Things You Should Know About NFTs”, hartfordfunds.com, 3/21. 

5 “Cybercriminals Target Metaverse Investors with Phishing Scams,” CNBC.com, 6/26/22.

Important Risks: Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

CCWP118 2226113

The material on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. The material should not be considered tax or legal advice and is not to be relied on as a forecast. The material is also not a recommendation or advice regarding any particular security, strategy or product. Hartford Funds does not represent that any products or strategies discussed are appropriate for any particular investor so investors should seek their own professional advice before investing. Hartford Funds does not serve as a fiduciary. Content is current as of the publication date or date indicated, and may be superseded by subsequent market and economic conditions.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider a fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the mutual fund, or ETF summary prospectus and/or prospectus, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

Mutual funds are distributed by Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC (HFD), Member FINRA|SIPC. ETFs are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. (ALPS). Advisory services may be provided by Hartford Funds Management Company, LLC (HFMC) or its wholly owned subsidiary, Lattice Strategies LLC (Lattice). Certain funds are sub-advised by Wellington Management Company LLP and/or Schroder Investment Management North America Inc (SIMNA). Schroder Investment Management North America Ltd. (SIMNA Ltd) serves as a secondary sub-adviser to certain funds. HFMC, Lattice, Wellington Management, SIMNA, and SIMNA Ltd. are all SEC registered investment advisers. Hartford Funds refers to HFD, Lattice, and HFMC, which are not affiliated with any sub-adviser or ALPS. The funds and other products referred to on this Site may be offered and sold only to persons in the United States and its territories.

© Copyright 2022 Hartford Funds Management Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value