What trends will shape ‘fintech’ in 2018?

We expect advisors’ use of financial technology to grow, allowing them to more efficiently serve investors

Time to read: 3 min

2017 was the year when financial technology, or “fintech,” made industry headlines. After such a year of change, what might 2018 bring? I highlight six trends I expect to see in the coming year.

1. The rising tide of digital adoption is shaping the expectations of tech-savvy investors.

The same dynamic that is driving consumer adoption of technology is washing over the financial services industry. Essentially, we have all become “millennials” in how we use the internet and smartphones to consume information and access services. This has given rise to the “investor 2.0,” who increasingly expect their wealth management firms to evolve and provide the same user experience, personalized service and convenience of 24/7 access to their money. Given this, we expect

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What do the recent SEC robo guidelines mean for advisors?

New SEC guidance provides effective ways for advisors to comply with disclosure regulations

Kevin Cimring 001Robo-advisors continue to represent a fast-growing trend in the investment advice industry, changing the way firms engage with and service their clients. However, given the automated and online nature of their business models, there are unique considerations for robo-advisors when complying with traditional regulations.

Following collaboration with industry participants, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management released a Guidance Update1 on February 23, which includes suggestions to help robo-advisors meet disclosure, suitability and compliance obligations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (IM Guidance Update No 2017-2).

The result of this collaborative approach is

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Robo-advisors vs. human advisors: Which provides the services that people most want?

While robos can help simplify processes, human relationships are key to satisfaction, says one investment survey

Kevin Cimring; Kevin

At its core, investing is seen by many as a data-driven activity. So, it’s not surprising that so-called “robo-advisors” might be perceived as the next big thing in portfolio management, especially when the services are offered at a fraction of the price of a human advisor. But there’s a problem with that theory: Many investors highly value the care and concern that come from human financial advisors and simply aren’t willing to hand over their nest eggs to a “robot.”

The value of the human touch was reinforced by a 2016 Gallup survey.1 Participants were asked whether certain positive qualities were more applicable to robo-advisors or human advisors. Robo-advisors outranked human advisors in just one of those 10 qualities: charges lower fees (63% attributed this more to robo-advisors and 26% to human advisors). In second place was “simplifies the investing process for investors;” only about one in three investors associated that quality more with robo-advisors.

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