For a long time, financial advice was quite an impersonal service with minimal collaboration between the client and adviser. Then financial planning advice came along, and we started viewing personal finances through a different lens.
Shifting from a transactional exchange to more human-centric planning, the evolution of financial planning advice has accelerated even further recently, with the development of robo-advice. But as technology continues to take over our lives, we look at the future of financial planning. And how embracing it can only make the journey better.
Financial planning advice through the years
Let’s go back to where it all began, to the 60s – the decade of social change, music, fashion – and of course – financial planning.
On 12 December 1969, Loren Dunton gathered with twelve business leaders in mutual funds and the financial services industry intending to create his concept of a college for educating financial planners – and a new profession was born.
After the College of Financial Planning established the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam in 1972, financial planning took off as a vocation, with a growing highly skilled network of professionals.
Over the years, financial planning advice has developed and changed, but the core concept has also remained true; creating a long-term strategy to meet your vision for the future and lifetime goals. And, the difference from financial advice is that it looks at the whole picture, not just one aspect in isolation.
What does the future of financial planning advice look like?
Technological developments have paved the way for many facets of life, including financial planning. It’s made it easier, faster and more accessible. Financial planners can analyse more, have a wider reach and connect with even more people. And the last 18 months has only propelled some of these advancements and highlighted areas of future change:
For a good while now, there has been a shift towards a more personalised consumer experience. And this has been no different in the financial services sector. You set out to find a solution to your specific problem. And a one size fits all approach doesn’t quite fit the bill anymore.
The pandemic also highlighted the importance of staying connected, not only with your friends and family but your professional advisers. Communication was vital while anxieties and concerns surrounding financial security heightened. And financial planners were doing all they could to support and reassure their clients.
The first robo-adviser launched in 2008 during the financial crisis. And in 2010 rumours of the ‘robo invasion’ started to float around the industry. Delivered via a platform with little human interaction, robo-advice formulates the advice through algorithms. Typically information is collected via a survey online, and the money is invested automatically online based on the answers provided.
Whilst the invasion never happened in 2010, at the end of last year, the FCA reported robo advice assets had increased by 700% since 2016.
Despite this increase, there is still a great need for professional and personalised financial guidance. The development of technology has meant that machines can take over the number crunching, allowing financial planners to spend more time building a greater understanding of the important stuff; your circumstances, goals and aspirations.
Technology is rapidly advancing and what we’ve learnt is that for financial planning firms to stay ahead of the curve, they’ll have to continue improving their systems and processes to keep up with the ever-improving user experience across the industry.
The digital experience
After having to transition to the online work environment during the lockdown, you’ll find many financial planning firms will continue to offer video or phone meetings far and wide. The geographical boundaries no longer matter as much. So you can find a planner that suits you, regardless of their location.
If you’re in the market for a financial planner and you’re doing your research and perhaps shopping around, here we have some of the vital questions you should be asking to find a financial planner you can trust.
It may sounds cliché, but money doesn’t make people happy, having rich experiences does. And to be able to have those rich experiences, we need to be in a space where we feel good about our physical, mental and financial health and wellbeing.
A financial planner looks at the complete picture of where you are now, where you want to be, and what your main priorities and concerns are. The result is a holistic plan tailored to you, outlining a strategy to help you get where you want to be.
Cashflow modelling allows for a more interactive and meaningful conversation about finances, as it provides a visual representation of your current situation and future ‘what-if’ scenarios. With this collaborative approach, you can understand the impact of your decisions and see key milestones.
Who benefits from financial planning advice?
Everyone can benefit from having a financial plan, but financial planning advice can specifically help people facing a big life event, such as:
- The transition into retirement
- A change of job
- Setting up or selling a business
- Receiving an inheritance or planning for your later life concerns
- Or feeling disorganised and needing clarity on your financial situation
In most cases, we rely on friends, family and the world-wide-web to help inform us on financial matters. And yet, even the savviest savers find managing their finances stressful, which is why financial planning is so important.
It’s about finding a professional you trust who can help build a plan to boost your finances and answer any of your questions. So that you never feel left in the dark when it comes to your finances. If you’re starting your financial planning journey, here is our complete financial planning checklist to help you on your way.
In support of Financial Planning Week this year, we are hosting a webinar on 14th October. During our ‘What is Financial Planning?’ webinar, you can find out more about the future of financial planning advice and the benefits of financial planning. You can register for the webinar here.
And if you have any questions or want to discuss your financial plan with a financial planning expert, please feel free to get in touch with us any time to have a chat with one of our Nottingham-based financial advisers.