The Future of Advisors is Fee-Based and Tech Obsessed
The advisory industry has been evolving and two trends are clear: The future is fee-based—and advisors are tech-obsessed. And where these two trends intersect, innovation happens. As the DOL fiduciary ruling heightens the demand to serve your clients with greater transparency and greater value, we predict the next big debate in the years ahead will revolve around this fundamental question: How can technology help create value for your practice while also helping you serve your clients’ best interest and maintain a fiduciary standard?
The fee-based future is coming. The advisory industry has been moving from commission-based sales to fee-based and fee-only advice, and the pace is accelerating. According to Cerulli, AUM managed by RIAs and fee-based advisors will increase more than 60% from $4.1 trillion in 2015 to $6.6 trillion in 2019, and RIA and fee-based advisor headcount will expand from 59,000 to 67,000. As more advisors shift to the fee-based and fee-only model, an increasing number of manufacturers and distributors are developing and adopting no-load and fee-based products to fit the way they work.
The tech obsession is growing. Studies such as Jefferson National’s Advisor Authority show that the most successful RIAs and fee-based advisors—those who earn more and manage more AUM—adopt technology into their practice at twice the rate of the typical advisor. They use more technology—and spend more on technology—to make their practice more seamless, more efficient and more scalable. For the most successful advisors, the only thing more expensive than adding technology is not adding technology.
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