There’s no doubt that we’re living in the golden age of technology and more specifically, software, including financial planning software. As consumers have increasing appetites for consuming digital products that make us more efficient, productive, or happy.
Consumption of popular technology always trends toward following generational lines. Each decade has its own “thing” that is fueled by cultural zeitgeist. In many cases in the past, those progressive technologies were largely superfluous or simply gadgets whose novelty waxed and waned.
Today, we’re in a different situation. With the proliferation of smartphones, apps are the “thing” of our time. For consumers, financial consolidation and planning software that provides insight into cash flow, the ability to track, maintain and reach goals, access to new financial products and the ability to move money simply from account to account or product.
Mobile Apps + Finance: A Match Made on Wall Street
The hugely popular stock trading app, Robinhood, has just announced its own debit card that will automatically invest money into stocks or crypto. It has similar functionality to Acorns, an app that helps anyone invest by depositing the rounded difference of a purchase into an investment portfolio.
In the same vein, billions of cryptocurrency transactions happen on smartphones. Coinbase, Binance, and Crypto.com all have dedicated apps to help would-be crypto-millionaires, trade, buy, and sell tokens.
You can also invest from money transfer apps like PayPal, Venmo and SquareCash, which almost everyone, young and old(er), have. The options for getting money into these different markets has never been as accessible and the barrier to entry has never been lower.
The Next Generation of Financial Planners
The point is, billions of dollars are flowing into the markets from non-traditional sources. Even kids and preteens are getting in on the action and increasing their financial literacy every year, although not all of the info they’re accessing, especially via TikTok, is accurate. The slick interfaces and ease of use of these applications will continue to onboard a whole new generation of investors.
But rather than relegate the future of financial planning to roboadvisors and apps, we believe this is a great sign for the financial planning industry and a great opportunity. These apps are designed to be limited in scope, but they open the door for people to explore more robust financial planning in their futures, which is where you come in. Connecting not only with your clients, but maybe their kids or grandkids, could be a great way to make inroads in multi-generational wealth management. With $68 trillion dollars set to transition from generation to generation, now’s the time to set a strategy and use technology to implement it.
Next Steps for Advisors
The excitement surrounding these digital products will continue and the next generation of investors and planners will be a boon to the industry and the clients that rely on them. We know that the only path forward is through progress and given the trend of technology to permeate every aspect of our lives, we’ll likely see more and more opportunities for people to make their money work for them.
As an RIA, this is an opportune time for you to learn more about the apps and tools that your clients are already leaning into and understand how they align (or misalign) or even potentially integrate with the technology you use to run your firm. Those similarities or differences provide powerful talking points to use with prospective clients or even in marketing campaigns for your services.
The greatest area of risk for advisors is not paying attention to the technology that’s already in your clients’ hands or dismissing them as incompatible with what you provide. Finding ways to work with the tech and trends your clients love will ensure that your firm is built to last.