Financial advisors need to take heed and start to embrace technology more broadly, not just in the ‘robo technology’ category, but also in front and back offices to drive necessary efficiencies in a world of compliance, security, and pricing pressures, says a white paper by CLS Investments, LLC. ‘The Coming Automation of Wealth Management and What it Means for Today’s Financial Advisor’ says financial planning is at the crossroads of a technological shift, amongst both financial planners and the clients they serve. In the years ahead, the impact of developments like robo advisors and other advancements in client facing technologies will continue to push traditional advisors to find new ways to manage wealth, leading to a whole new breed of advisor. Historically, changes in consumer technology have had a slow industry adoption rate due to the highly regulated nature of financial services. CLS asked respondents how they communicate with clients and, surprisingly, the responses were consistent across all age groups with advisors preferring to communicate with clients via phone, eMail, face-to-face meetings, and printed material. Social media and online platforms came in last. The difference in preference between the youngest and oldest cohort was negligible. However, CLS says a nagging wakeup call is ringing loud and clear: automation is coming to wealth management and advisors need to start preparing now to leverage their core competitive differences or else risk being marginalized in the near future. Almost all industry experts agree that the personal, human element in delivering financial advice will not be replaced by machines. Regardless, the fundamental economics and consumer expectations for working with advisors will forever change through new client facing and automation technology.
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