Today’s fintech options help advisors deliver individual elements of the financial plan, but the use of multiple tools inevitably creates inconsistency, or even conflicts, between the results. This leaves advisors to manually adjust strategies to account for interactions between tools.
A growing financial practice cannot sustain customizing each aspect of a retirement strategy, one component at a time. Tech tools of the future will vertically integrate multiple best-in-class calculation engines invisibly, so the user experience is specifically tailored for the client. The financial planner’s role will pivot from manually adjusting tech outputs to providing financial behavioral coaching and helping clients make emotional decisions about their retirement plans.
The greater efficiency of the mass-customization process makes the service of highly-customized, quality advice more affordable to the mass-affluent, while still adding value for the consumer. A mass-customized approach to financial planning is smart. These advances lead to better results for clients and growth for advisors.
The fashion industry provides good examples for the best way to create a mass-customizable business. For instance, Men’s Warehouse was a market leader when it came to ready-to-wear suits. Their business model focused on identifying and understanding their customer and creating value. However, Men’s Wearhouse didn’t create the technology they use, they just capitalized on the existing technology and industry trends.
A successful financial planning business begins exactly the same way a mass-customized clothing business begins — with a clear understanding of the customer. From there, it involves refining advice specifically to the customer’s interests. This starts with hiring experts who build or identify the best software that automates the application of their expertise. The delivery of the advice provided through these software tools to clients is systematized in a way that motivates clients to take action to improve their situations. Men’s Warehouse employs tailors to customize the suit for the wearer, and financial planners customize and tailor financial plans for their customers.
As the financial services industry evolves, the software utilized to deliver recommendations is incomplete. The industry’s answer to this problem, so far, has been loose integrations among several software tools, but these “integrations” don’t cut it. The future of the financial services industry is a platform that invisibly weaves multiple decision engines together.
The advisors who will succeed in the evolving financial planning industry will do so by identifying a specific group of potential customers who have a core set of decisions to make, helping them make those decisions better than anyone else and effectively marketing the value that a better decision creates.
Lauren is a content marketing enthusiast with a love for storytelling - on camera, in writing, and through others. She has a robust communications background that includes: public relations, content creation, internal communications, digital marketing, and copy editing. Driven and motivated, Lauren holds a bachelor's degree in English and is an avid reader.