One of the essential skills of a financial adviser is the ability to spot future trends in the markets, but what do they know about the changes which are set to hit their industry over the coming years?
It is potentially an exciting time, with the markets recovering from the financial collapse and investors keen to return to the fray. There are, however, challenges which come with the territory. Competition is certain to be fierce over the next few years, and it will come from new sources. As well as rival firms, financial advisers will also have to deal with competition from robo-advisers.
To combat the technological challenge, the profession will have to fully embrace the opportunities offered by software for financial advisers. Industry insiders believe that technology for planning will soon mirror the position of investment technology today, with more aspects of financial and estate planning automated.
This should mean that those employing software for financial advisers will be able to spend more time on their relationship with the client, providing the human interaction not available from robo-advisers. This type of software for financial advisers can be found at Intelliflo, for example.
Consequently, firms may have to think hard about how they will provide face-to-face contact, ensuring it dovetails with technological input but also provides a good service for the client.
Combining this human contact with the services of artificial intelligence will be a fundamental task, as the technology develops, increases its range of support and begins to be used in risk assessment.
Ensuring regulatory compliance will be more important than ever, especially since last year, the Financial Conduct Authority reviewed robo-advice, and discovered many failings in suitability and disclosure. Many firms taking part in the process were obliged to make changes to the way they operate.
The constant monitoring of advice offered, through sophisticated algorithms, will mean that a client’s needs and goals can be regularly assessed in the future, and this kind of oversight of portfolios will be a skill all financial advisers and planners will need to employ. It is almost impossible to predict the roles technology will impact in 10 or 20 years, but successful firms will move a step at a time, as a younger pool of tech-savvy clients drives the changes.