What is Keeping Financial Advisors Up at Night? A 2018 Outlook

Last month, I recapped our growth in 2017, which we followed with a press release detailing what topics and trends our readers were interested in throughout the year. In the release, we noted that financial advisors are the fastest growing audience on Harvest. This group now accounts for nearly 70,000 monthly active users, over 300% more than a year prior. According to our data, two trending topics that stood out to advisors on our platform were “robo” platforms and practice management. To me, this suggests that advisors have been reconciling not only with how best to manage client portfolios, but also simultaneously trying to justify their existence. One month into the new year, here is how I see these trends playing out for the remainder of 2018: Robo-Advisors Robo-advisors are projected to manage $385 billion of client assets by 2021, according to Cerulli Associates. Betterment, Personal Capital, and Wealthfront were the pioneers …

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Technology Takeover: What You Need to Know About Robo Advisors

Technology Takeover: What You Need to Know About Robo Advisors

Technology is catching up to the financial industry at a rapid rate. According to a report by KPMG and CBInsights, fintech raised more than $19 billion in the last year. Originally, financial technology, or fintech as it’s now called, was the term used to describe technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions. Since the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the term has expanded to include any technological innovation in the financial sector, including innovations in financial literacy and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies like bitcoin. Some members of the financial industry are worried about the effect fintech will have on the financial world, specifically the effect of robo advisors. A robo advisor is an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of human financial planners. “Advisors are treating it as a potential threat …

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3 Questions Answered About the DOL’s “Conflict of Interest Rule”

3 questions answered DOL Fiduciary Rule Conflict of Interest Rule

Over the last year you’ve probably been hearing a lot about the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule, affectionately known as the “Conflict of Interest Rule”. And it’s no wonder considering the impact it will have on the insurance and financial industries. The 900 page proposal isn’t necessarily something you’d want to sit down with after a long day at work and dig into. So let’s break it down. First of all, who is most affected by this ruling? Well, if you’re part of the financial or insurance industries, you’ll most likely feel the heat. The ruling would have a direct impact on insurance agents, brokers, and advisors, as well as their partners (i.e. insurance companies). What is the proposal actually trying to do? Let me answer this one on a high level. When you boil it down, the regulation will create a substantial change in the way retirement plan …

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