Insights from the experts in investment fiduciary responsibility.

Fiduciary Links: Utopian and dystopian outlooks for the future of financial services

Posted by fi360 Team on October 21, 2013

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>>>In a column for, Matt Lynch of Tiburon Strategic Advisors shares some of his firm’s research on trends in financial services. This includes looks at the fiduciary issue, increased diversity in client base and of advisors, the wealth gap, technology, and products. He then offers two scenarios for how financial services might look in 2030.

In Scenario 1, we are in a financial services utopia in which advisors have embraced the changing face of their potential client base, technology, compensation expectations, and more. They have become more specialized and client-focused so that outcomes become the primary conversation driver and clients are more engaged in the process. Advisors are also running more successful businesses using technology to promote efficiency and with better succession plans in place.

In Scenario 2, the dystopian version, advisors have continued to exhibit the traits that make them one of the least well perceived occupations in America today. As a result, self-service models have become more prominent and, without the benefit of trusted advice, investors find themselves in a worse position than they are in today.

It’s an interesting read and always worth getting the benefit of Tiburon’s insights. We tend to take the optimistic view that something closer to the utopian vision is in our future. In fact, we just gave a presentation at FPA Experience this past weekend, in which CEO Blaine Aikin made the case for why a more fiduciary future is in store, not because regulators are going to mandate it, but because it makes good business sense.

Blaine’s concluding thought was, “As a financial professional, everything I can do to grow and protect client assets advances my business objectives, and every impediment to growth and protection of client assets is detrimental to my business.”

>>>Speaking of becoming more familiar with your clients, a new survey from UBS Wealth Management Americas shows just how different investors’ vision of their own future is evolving. No longer does retirement signal “old age,” it is just the beginning of a long, enjoyable post-work life that we anticipate will last decades longer. Even if the average American lifespan is just shy of 80, we’re not counting on getting “old” until we surpass that mark, so our retirement planning better account for this new perception of aging.  

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