Financial Planning
Focusing on the bad to make it better

Financial advisers must shift their thinking on the least enjoyable aspects of what they do and instead consider their capacity for innovation.

Speaking at the 2017 AFA National Adviser Conference today, Red Marker chief executive Matt Symons said industry chaos due to regulatory reform and rapid technological change is masking exciting opportunities for advisers to explore means of adding value to their businesses.

"As Winston Churchill said, don't waste a crisis. This is a great opportunity for you guys [advisers] to reimagine not just how to take the industry forward but also to imagine really improving your practices with data and technology," Symons said.

"Focus on things that are tremendously painful and think about those as candidates for innovation...Most of your industry loves meeting clients but that love then decays quickly when the client leaves and you then have to manually summarise the fact-find, create the Statement of Advice, review it, send it out and manually construct a portfolio.

"Technology can take all that pain away for you," he said.

Further, given the likelihood that Australia will soon adopt an open banking regime, advisers need to determine how they will provide faster, more real-time feedback to prospects where the prospect doesn't have to bring the 'shoebox of information'.

"You have to be able to adapt with an API to read access privileges that they might grant you on the basis that you can show them something. People don't really want data, they want insights," he said.

It's not clear in the current environment who consumers are going to turn to and trust to look after the plethora of data made available under such a regime and to be the trusted party to generate insights, Symons continued.

"I would have thought that advisers have a time-limited opportunity - by which I mean it may not be here in a few years but it's here now - to step up and help clients turn the raw data that they're potentially about to get access to into insight, which will in turn drive practice profitability," he said.

Read more: TechnologyMatt SymonsNational Adviser ConferenceAustraliaRed MarkerStatement of AdviceWinston Churchill
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