by Tony Vidler
Well there is no way now that we can think the financial advisory world will stay the same. It has been signalling dramatic change for a few years, but the changes are now escalating at an even more dramatic rate than anyone could have predicted. It feels like it is all getting tipped upside down rapidly.
That’s bad, right?
I don’t think so…in fact I think it is good for financial advisers.
A year or so ago we were thinking that there were three camps; robo-offerings, institutional offerings, and the good guys. (Pick which side I’m on). The concept of advisers being able to deliver robo-type offerings seemed too hard, too expensive and too far away. Institutions had all the money, political clout and consumer trust. Individual (and especially independent) advisers had a great offer, but consumers hadn’t caught up with the power and value of personalised planning delivered by folk who HAD to stand behind their advice and wear full responsibility for it.
Well…haven’t things changed?
The level of trust by consumers in institutional offerings has plummeted…in fact many institutions are abandoning entire segments of financial services completely. In a blindingly fast period of time small advice firms have had to figure out how to embrace technology and incorporate it into personalised advice just to survive…and it is a short step from there to incorporating technology based advice and product solutions as part of a standard advisory practice. They hybrid-advice business has been born.
It is a great thing. It is better than “good”.
Many of the business building methods financial advisory firms had successfully employed to build their businesses have actually been struggling to generate the traffic and interest in the marketplace for years.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the big changes for professional services firms, and how they inter-connect, that have been developing for years…well before the last year of institutional melt-downs, public enquiries into business practices, latest rounds of regulatory reform, pandemics or the international civic rebellion which looks to finally put basic human rights for all at the forefront.
Market noise & confusion
Compliance & Regulation
Speed & service expectations
Value of advice
Is it little wonder that many advisers feel like the world they know is coming to an end?
The world they have known IS coming to an end..and that is good. In fact I think it is great.
The opportunity to invest in personal relationships and be valued on the strength of what advisers bring to those relationships has never been better. The ability to incorporate simple solutions and deliver them via technology-based services by an advisory practice has never been better….and that means the ability to separate simple advice requirements into simple and affordable solutions is now with the advisory domain, leaving them free to deliver the high value bespoke work where it is needed and can be priced appropriately.
So while many of the business building methods financial advisory firms have historically successfully employed to build their businesses have been struggling to deliver the good news is that the world has been tipped on its head.
I really feel that good times are coming for professional advisers who are focussed upon their clients and who are willing to build a hybrid practice which emulates robo-offerings where it makes sense to do so, and who separate their brand from institutional offerings.