There’s no doubt that the advancement of technology has been a huge boost for many industries, shaking up everything from how we consume content to the way in which we unlock our cars.
Despite what some may say, the wealth management industry is no different. The rise of so called “Robo advice” is seen by many as the next big thing in how we plan and access our finances. The question many are asking now however is whether the rise of apps that can handle the entirety of a person’s financial world, and be accessed with a single thumbprint, are here to replace, or supplement wealth management firm’s.
As ever, the US leads the way in the technology revolution with an estimated 2 trillion dollars of client assets managed by these apps. The take up has been far slower in the UK to date, but the pace is picking up significantly, perhaps boosted by the rise of challenger banks such as Monzo as Starling allowing us to simply dip our metaphorical toes into the water without having to dive in head first.
The truth, as ever, lies somewhere in the middle. Failure to adapt and embrace the benefits of utilising new technologies to their fullest will see financial planning firms left even further behind, but over-reliance on such technologies removes that most crucial of human emotions, empathy.
Whilst even our phones are now capable of processing data far faster than we can even turn the kettle on, what they are not yet able to compute is the emotional understanding necessary to make life changing financial decisions for ourselves and our families. That ability to understand and comprehend that to some, being able to retire a year earlier and spend more time with our loved ones is far more important than adding another zero to our pension pot, is where financial planners will continue to add value far beyond ones and zeros.
At TWP we believe wholly in the use of computers – our risk profiler is a computer, our back office system is a computer and all of our partners use computers that talk to each other. However, when it comes to understanding goals and objectives, we like to use our client’s language – your language – your words and not ours; certainly not computers.
We believe that by having the ability to seamlessly merge human and machine that we can provide our clients with the best possible service, and help them achieve their objectives.