View more on these topics

The future of advice is already here

Natalie Holt, journalist with Money Marketing Photo by Michael Walter/Troika

In grappling with new technology, there is quite a lot of jargon to get to grips with: taxonomy, emotion recognition and dynamic segmentation are just some examples I have come across over recent weeks.

But behind the buzzwords are ideas that could radically change the way advice is given.

For example, who wants to sit through a risk questionnaire when you can sit in front of a webcam tracking your emotions?

Or for that matter, a system that promises not just to predict clients’ life events, but also identify which clients are closest to sacking you as their adviser is surely a great tool to have as part of an adviser’s armoury.

In just a few years, the conversation has moved on from the perceived threat of robo-advice, to an altogether more nuanced discussion. Instead of an either/or on the question of man or machine, increasingly systems are being designed to work with advisers rather than against them.

There are numerous way this stuff can be deployed: as a means of engaging a younger generation of “new wealth”; a way for younger advisers to initially interact with clients; a method of “know your client” like no other; a robust audit trail for why clients made the financial decisions they did.

With the move by some firms into life planning and financial coaching, the analytics these tools can deliver can offer a real point of differentiation and help clients further pinpoint how their life goals match up with their financial objectives.

And as the Financial Advice Market Review rumbles on, regulators are looking to technology to help advice firms deliver a service that is cost-effective while at the same time adequately managing the risks involved.

But for some, this is all just a bit Big Brother – mining client data and watching their facial twitches is all a bit much, and what is more, represents an unnecessary complication of the advice process.

Like with all technology developments, there may be early adopters who see how these new systems will fit neatly into their firm.

But having built up an advice service geared around the personal touch, there are also advisers who are understandably wary about wedding their business to something so radical.

We are glimpsing into the future of advice – and not of all it makes for comfortable viewing.



Man and machine: A glimpse into the future of financial advice

Technology is waiting in the wings that could overhaul the advice process and dramatically change the way firms talk to clients. These developments are not decades away, nor mere years away. Some of these radical systems are already here, making their way to the UK from US and European markets. They include systems that map […]


Ian McKenna: Time to ditch the term robo-advice

The recent report from SCM Direct “Fintech Folly – The Sense and Sensibility of UK Robo Advice” makes interesting reading for many reasons. It puts forward valid arguments for closer regulatory scrutiny of the commercial models of start-up businesses, as well as the need for greater clarity around what is broadly called robo-advice. This is […]

Simon Collins: The future of fintech regulation

There is no denying there are disrupters in town in the form of new financial technology firms and innovative service providers trying to reshape our traditional model. And it is not hard to see why. The financial crisis highlighted the deep levels of mistrust that had developed between bankers and the public, and the subsequent […]

Testing the Foundation

The global economy isn’t headed into recession, at least not yet. This month, David Lafferty, Chief Market Strategist at Natixis Global Asset Management, examines current capital market and portfolio risks for signs of recession. Click Here for Capital Market Notes


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Natalie, the future of advice is, always already here !

    For as long as I can remember, change and evolving has been constant and never relenting, most forced and very little organic !

    By the time you have grappled with last years, last months, hell even yesterdays changes its on to the next……….. I am reminded of a sign over the bar of a local pub frequented years ago “free beer for all tomorrow” ………….

    We are after all (well I certainly feel like) the genetically modified crop our creator never satisfied with the outcome so I am forever being dissected, experimented, and altered, natural progression and organic growth ignored !

    If you live in a petri dish you are confined to the microscope !

Leave a comment