The internet, e-mail, social media, mobile sites, cloud storage, 24/7 access from seemingly anywhere; the march of technology into our lives has been as irrepressible as it has been impressive. It has shaken up the established order and opened up limitless opportunities to individuals and firms to start up, maintain and improve their personal and professional lives.
The all-encompassing use of technology is something that financial advisers cannot ignore. People now want to access their finances as they access their social media and news – online and on mobile.
This is a part of the industry that is experiencing rapid growth. Online providers of automated financial advice are winning awards and clients left, right and centre. The premise of these solutions is a very straightforward one - clients answer questions about their risk appetite, portfolios are matched to these, they sign up online, transfer payment, get a summary - all wherever and whenever they want to do so.
These solutions are flexible, fast and secure. There are no meetings, no telephone calls and no exchanges of insecure emails. And most importantly, they are cost-effective for the adviser as the process can be faceless. So it’s a win/win for advisers and certain types of clients, both existing and emerging. So what’s stopping the traditional financial advisory firms from competing in this space? Only the appetite and energy to get involved.
Intelliflo’s clients already have an automated advice option readily available within Intelligent Office (iO) and it’s much quicker and easier to implement than you might imagine. It allows you to handle the 21st Century client, those so called Millennials who once they reach a certain level of means are likely to need full face to face financial advice. If you have been servicing them quietly and efficiently for a number of years, gently increasing their pot of money, then they are hardly going to go shopping around for a different adviser. The relationship and trust will already be firmly established by the time that they come to need advice – they will use you and your firm.
The value of your business can be greatly enhanced by having the next generation already on board. Even those advisers planning to sell up and retire in the coming years can establish a useful pipeline of business.
You may receive lower fees from servicing these clients - at least in the short term - but in return you’ll have a greatly reduced time cost in doing so, leaving you with sufficient scope to continue looking after your ‘traditional’ client base.
These online services, however, don’t start and end with the Millennials; older generations are investing their savings and income into online investment vehicles. Automated advice may be the perfect solution to re-engage with orphan clients who don’t have large enough savings pots to warrant face to face advice.
Intelliflo’s market-leading practice management system is already enabling this opportunity for over 700 advice firms. As part of iO, the Personal Finance Portal enables advisers to open up their businesses online. New and existing clients can be signed up to the service, enabling them to access their entire financial portfolio online, anywhere and at any time.
This lighter touch approach has benefits for everyone and, judging by the rapid growth of online investment portals, the demand for such services is very much alive and growing.
There is nothing to hold ‘traditional’ advisers back and it is possible to straddle both worlds. If the opportunity is there, why wouldn’t you take it?