I was very intentional in college about selecting a hybrid class schedule with some courses hosted online and some in-person. The duality of a hybrid schedule allowed me to benefit from in-person learning by establishing relationships with my professors and classmates, while I also enjoyed the ease and convenience of my online classes. It was like having the best of both worlds – and who wouldn’t want that?
The same rings true in the financial services industry, as an increasing number of clients prefer a hybrid financial advice solution. In our newest collaborative research with Javelin Strategy & Research, Overcoming the Digital Divide: Connecting Advisors and Consumers Using Technology as a Partner, we examine the changing needs and behaviors of investors and how these trends might impact the future of retail banking and wealth management. Here’s a quick overview of the insights:
1) The Financial Services Industry is Making Strides, but Investors Want More
Managing your finances is simplified when services like cash management and financial planning or advice are all in one place. Technology makes consolidating these services easier and can help advisors and clients improve their ability to make informed decisions through data-driven insights. Tech adoption still remains an uphill battle, as many retail banks are still using outdated technologies and wealth management firms are facing widespread challenges with tech integration. This means that bankers and wealth managers are commonly undeserving their clients and missing out on opportunities to create a lasting impact on their financial portfolio.
2) People Are Evolving. The Wealth Management Industry Must Too.
Client needs are ever changing and these shifts are happening quickly. Investor fears and goals are changing as economic conditions evolve, and these changes are influenced by several industry trends.
There are more investors now than ever and many find value in the guidance of a professional. Many younger investors have strong digital preferences, while baby boomers continue to express a preference for in-person advising. Investors in general value personalized platforms with omnichannel access to account consolidation and integrated services. This means that the future likely belongs to financial institutions that are equipped to service this split in preferences by offering robust and variable hybrid solutions.
A large number of financial advisors are set to retire within the next 10 years and many others have been migrating to RIA firms in recent years. What’s the reason behind these changes? Lower technological barriers to entry. Advisors are finding that technology is a valuable asset in client needs discovery and decision making.
3) The Hybrid Model: A Holistic Solution to Meeting Affluent Client Needs
Recent studies indicate that many investors prefer digital or remote correspondence with their advisors, and some of them even prefer digital-only advice. Convenience and control are among the top must-haves for clients when selecting a firm to manage their financial portfolio. Many wealth management firms are looking to appeal to younger, mass-affluent clients by taking a serious look at their digital engagement tactics in hopes to strengthen the client-advisor relationships. Now, more than ever, technology is a key factor in managing the relationship between the end user and financial institutions.
It doesn’t stop there – tech doesn’t just benefit investors, it can lead to major wins for advisors too. Saving time on filing paperwork, data entry, and profile building are all ways that automated tools can enable advisors to better serve clients and help them meet their financial goals.
Partnering with a fintech provider can benefit both the end user and the advisor, as well as the financial institution. Technology is a necessary complement to the advisor-client relationship, strengthening the communication and helping to build long-term viability for financial institutions offering these advisory services. Firms like SigFig provide an Integrated Financial Advice & Service Ecosystem, offering a complete set of digital wealth solutions for mass affluent clients as well as screen-based collaboration solutions for consistent services delivery. We believe that when consumers and advisors connect seamlessly through tech, institutional growth is nearly inevitable. Connect with us on Linkedin or via email to learn more about our products and how we power some of the largest financial institutions in the US to deliver a modern advice and service experience.
Click here for access to the full white paper, Overcoming the Digital Divide: Connecting Advisors and Consumers Using Technology as a Partner, to learn more about shifts in consumer expectations and how those changes impact the landscape of the financial services industry.
See disclosures at https://sigfig.com. All content presented herein and discussed in any referenced or linked materials is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any tax or legal advice or the basis for any financial decisions. Information presented is believed to be from reliable sources, but we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. Opinions expressed are those of the individuals presenting them and are subject to change, and not necessarily those of Nvest, Inc. or SigFig Wealth Management, LLC. Hyperlinks are provided as a convenience. We disclaim any responsibility for information, services or products found on linked websites.