For the most part financial advisors have had it pretty good over the past 30 years or so. There has been enough work – and enough good advice to pass on – that both the advisor and the client have gone away happy with what they have got. However, times change and if you are a financial advisor you will need to change along with them.
As with any area of business, if you stick with the tried and tested and don’t progress then you will end up being left behind. To move with the timesyou need to know how to do it – and how not to do it. Embracing technology – and all the advances it can bring – is a must, but financial advisors musthave a clear understanding of what they are doing.
The times are changing
As was predicted a few years ago, the rise of technology in the financial advice world has been phenomenal,but as with any industry that turns ever more digital, some things didn’t work out quite as expected. There was a general feeling that robo-advisors would really take off and there is no doubt that this is a massive part of the industry right now but they haven’t quite taken over like some said they would.
If you are a financial advisor at the top of your game, you will have introduced a digital element to your practice, but you will have realised that clients also want some kind of human interaction. There is a feeling that a completely AI financial advisor will not be able to pick up on the nuances of human life and experience – and that is where a good advisor will be able to combine the digital and human world.
Living in a digital world
We have all adapted to technological advances in every aspect of our lives and these innovations have undoubtedly made things better for everyone. Technology in the financial advice world means that you – as an advisor – can make the whole process more efficient by passing off the parts of the job that the client finds long-winded and bureaucratic, concentrating on the important stuff like wealth management.
Rather than taking huge amounts of time collecting information to see where you can best look after your client’s money, the digital side of the business can work through that much faster. That leaves you making the decisions that will help make your client’s money grow.
The future is now
Companies such as SigFig have really got into the robo-advisor side of the industry and believe that the time it saves is to the client’s benefit. Betterment and Wealthfront are independent robo-advisors who have really taken a hold in that area of the market and for some clients this has become the way to do business.
Shard Capital sees human interaction as still vitally important though. They recognise that the world is changing and that includes financial advice. They don’t think that by updating the way they do business and moving with the times means that the need for face to face meetings where clients can feel that their individual needs are being met have become less important.
Keys to success
Although there is an absolute need to keep up with the times and embrace the digital age, the best financial advisors are still the ones who have a real passion for what they are doing. There is no benefit in being left behind when it comes to using technology because the financial and investment worlds are constantly evolving. But you should want to learn new ways of working every day and find out all you can about doing your job more efficiently and effectively.
As a financial advisor you need to develop trust with your client and be able to perform to the best of your abilities for them. Using digital tools will help you achieve the results that both of you crave but there needs to be a real relationship of trust at the same time.
Building a future
Financial advisors need to recognise that clients will expect a different service than they have been experiencing previously. A connection needs to be made and they must feel as though you will do everything possible to help them achieve their financial goals. You will need to use technology to benefit the client not only yourself. Digital is the future – but it must go hand in hand with a human side.