It’s a difficult time for the wealth management industry as it copes with changing regulations and a rising spate of customer mistrust, especially from the retiring community of America. On one hand, we have the seniors with limited or no capacity to absorb losses and make financial recovery when investment choices go awry. On the other, there’s the younger generation whose financial security post retirement is already at risk because of reduced incomes, unemployment, shifting ownership of retirement planning with defined contribution accounts for employees, and possible reductions in Medicaid and Social Security benefits down the road.
The biggest challenge for financial advisors today is to generate reliable income for individuals after their retirement. Since retirement planning is the core offering of many wealth management firms, its lowered performance has also dented the revenue and reputation of financial advisors and portfolio managers.
According to of the Financial Professional Outlook (FPO) survey, advisors find they are ill equipped to manage investment and saving for retirement goals which is a different cup of tea from regular financial planning. They feel the investment industry does not provide the right tools to set a standard for how this should be done.
While software solutions have made some headway in reducing the manual load of advisors and improving workflow efficiencies, they are at a nascent stage. Mobility is a logical progression given its growing popularity and potential in arming advisors with real time data and reports, order placement tools, business intelligence, and client engagement features anytime, anywhere.
Mobility solutions that focus on customer service
To survive the tumultuous financial climate, wealth management firms must break out of traditional moulds and offer innovative and diversified fund management services to customers. Financial advisors that strategize around customer focus and embrace latest technology such as mobility and social media can add real value to their services and generate profit for their customers and themselves.
Enabling financial advisors’ education
Over 98% of FPO survey respondents build expertise by consulting a range of resources including online material and books (68%), industry peers (52%), fund companies (49%) and accredited courses (45%). Mobile learning and training solutions can help advisors learn continuously, anytime, anywhere from multiple sources and via multiple content formats.
Increasing customer understanding of finance instruments
The FPO survey reveals that only 54% of clients have realistic expectations from their financial plans. Advisors can generate adhoc visual simulations of investment outcomes over a period on their laptops or tablets to drive customer understanding. Graphics and charts are better understood by clients versus complex financial details and calculations.
Winning customers’ faith
Technology solutions rule out inaccuracies created by manual calculations and predictions. With mobile solutions, advisors can quickly access client’s accounts, compare assets with liabilities, view industry reports, stock market analysis and equity research to take informed decisions on the best investment choices for individuals. Decisions can be taken collaboratively during client interactions and executed instantly.
Ensuring standards of care
Regulatory standardization and compliance can be built into enterprise software solutions such that advisors are alerted if they miss out on a checkpoint that could end up hurting the customer or the firm.
Reinforcing consumer focus
Enterprise mobility solutions enhance the quality of client interactions. Advisors can demonstrate a portfolio’s progress towards goals, build clients’ understanding of outcome oriented finance plans, and be more accessible. Greater transparency and informedness instills confidence and trust in clients.
The wealth management industry is poised at a critical juncture amidst new industry trends, rising customer demands for transparency, need for a model to deliver specialization and scale for competitive advantage, and creating potential financial rewards. Technology will play a key element in this strategy with mobility set to grab center stage owing to its ubiquity, ease of use and huge technological potential.