Technological advances have transformed many industries and the financial sector is no different. The increase in financial technology (Fintech) tools and software has impacted the personal finance arena as well as the wider financial environment.
Fintech markets and investments
According to Accenture, global investment in fintech ventures more than doubled in 2018, exceeding $55billion. This increase was led by a huge increase in the value of deals in China.
The increase in online money management platforms has made it easier for individuals to manage their own finances. This includes online banking, investment management software, and so-called robo-advisors. It may seem that this reduces the need for IFAs or human advisors but it appears that this is not the case in reality.
Many advisors are embracing the technology as opposed to fearing it because it is able to reduce the amount of paperwork involved, and deal with many of the most repetitive tasks (most notably much of the number crunching). This, in turn, means they can have more one-on-one time with clients and strengthen relationships. Additionally, there are still elements that need human intuition and understanding, for example, estate planning, retirement planning, and a need to understand the desire for a work-life balance.
Independent financial advisors have an abundance of software to choose from, such as https://www.intelliflo.com – most of which will enable them to serve more clients in a more efficient manner. Fintech potentially also enables IFAs to expand their client base, as they have more time available.
One of the most helpful and popular types of fintech software for financial advisors is the client relationship management (CRM) system. This is a central hub of all information that they need to have at their fingertips – and also includes notes, appointments, to-do lists, calendars, and more. For example, a CRM could alert an advisor to the fact that a client’s child is turning 18 or that they haven’t reviewed their will for a while.
Other technologies that have been beneficial to IFAs include virtual meeting programs (reducing travel and allowing digital meetings with clients from beyond the traditional geographic area) and the adoption of digital signatures – making client signatures much quicker to obtain. Additionally, risk assessment software is proving very useful in terms of minimising risk.