The Future of Wealth Management: “What” and “How” solved, but not “why”.

The Future of Asset Management is not a simple topic. The asset management industry is being re-shaped even as we type this blog by several mega-trends. Like many other industries, technology is the main agent of change.

But is this new? For many years people have been explaining that the challenges in wealth management were not strategic (“why“) in nature, rather they are challenges of implementation (“what” and “how“). However, was this correct? Technology is impacting the implementation challenge but not the strategic challenge.

For example, in the 1970s, one turned to their stock broker – not only for advice on which stock they should buy – but also for “how” you actually bought a stock, and where you would keep it. Compare to today, when we all know we can jump on the internet and buy & sell securities ourselves – no problem. So by solving some of the practical implementation issues, we are now free to focus on “what” to buy. Again, the internet is having a huge impact.

With a few clicks away from this blog is a wealth of information about “what” securities you should buy. I often refer clients to websites that I think contain cogent and useful information.  There is even a book called the One Page Financial Plan (I always chuckle when you realize the one-page plan is actually a 138 page book.) But the idea remains……much of the wisdom you need for a solid financial plan can be summarized into a few paragraphs. And now, it is sitting there on the internet just a few clicks away. Shoot, you don’t even have to go to a library to check the book out. Click and it is there.  The “what” problem is solved.

So much of the “mystery” involved with investing has largely been removed. “How” and “What” are quite simple. The only question left is “why“, and this is where it gets difficult.

The simple answer to “why” is because it is right for you.  Right in the sense that it helps solve the investing/wealth management challenge you are facing.  Sometimes this is simple and sometimes it is not.  This is why technology will not do away with us humans in the finance industry…..we are here to stay because we work mostly in the touchy-feely realm trying to answer the question of “why“. Generic solutions easily found on the web might not be appropriate for you. You will need help, guidance and someone who knows the intricate details of your plan. The future is full of change, but the need for a human is the one thing that will not change.