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Forget Blockchain … Financial Planning Tech Holds Most Value for FAs

February 8, 2018

Fintech has become progressively more complex with the advent of blockchain and bitcoin but the technological solutions sought by financial advisors remain relatively simple, FA magazine writes.

Wealth management professionals are primarily looking for ways to integrate tech into their business for the sake of better financial planning, consultant Joel Bruckenstein tells the publication. That’s because so many aspects of investment management have become commoditized and advisors can no longer continue charging for some of the services they used to, he tells FA magazine. So advisors are “looking for something that brings a lot of value" to clients, according to Bruckenstein, who’s one of the organizers of the Technology Tools for Today conference, now in its 15th year, the publication writes.

T3 attendees believe the most value in fintech is in the area of financial planning, according to preliminary surveys, FA magazine writes. This includes products such as Advizr, eMoney Advisor, MoneyGuidePro, NaviPlan and Whealthcare Planning, Bruckenstein tells FA magazine. The companies behind these products are trying to expand the sophistication of their offerings when it comes to investment and retirement planning, he tells the publication.

Some products, particularly Whealthcare’s, are attempting to account for healthcare costs — something “nobody is getting advice on,” Bruckenstein tells FA magazine.

The current offerings also let advisors anchor software as a foundation to build the rest of the planning process on, rather than to exclude humans from the process, according to Bruckenstein.

Many advisors are still trying to wrap their heads around more complex tech such as blockchain, the distributed encrypted ledger technology. But the impact of blockchain could revolutionize financial advice, he tells FA magazine. Advisors and clients will soon be able to use the technology for immediate reconciliation of transactions done on smartphones, for example, he says, according to the publication.

And while cybersecurity is a major focus in fintech, Bruckenstein says advice firms still mostly struggle with the human factor when it comes to guarding cyberdata, FA magazine writes.

“People continue to write their password on a sticky note and put it on their computer,” he tells the publication.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the FA Magazine article cited in this story, click here.