Fidelity Institutional, the division of Fidelity Investments® that provides clearing, custody and investment management products to registered investment advisors (RIAs), retirement recordkeepers, broker-dealers, family offices and banks, today announced a new collaboration with LearnVestTM, as well as additional resources to help advisors explore options to digitize their practices.
New Fidelity research confirms the need for advisors to begin integrating digital strategies: 55 percent plan to target emerging and mass affluent investors1 in the next five years, 2 a segment of investors who are comfortable transacting online and craving more clarity and simplicity in their finances. This is a shift for many advisors, considering that seven in 10 firms report that investors over the age of 49 or with more than $1 million in assets drive their current strategy. 3
“Advisors are seeking out efficient and scalable solutions to help the next generation of clients get engaged in improving their own financial outcomes,” said Michael Durbin, president, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “LearnVest‘s focus on making financial services broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want aligns with Fidelity’s mission and with the values of the nearly 10,000 advisory firms we serve.”
The relationship with LearnVest will help advisors offer clients access to an educational “financial wellness” microsite, powered by LearnVest’s original content, as well as preferred pricing to LearnVest’s technology-enabled financial planning program. The collaboration will be particularly useful for advisors consulting on workplace retirement plans. It adds to Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services’ collaboration with Betterment Institutional,4 through which RIAs may consider adding a client-facing digital platform to engage growing investor segments, like the emerging affluent, while still delivering the advice for which they are highly valued.
“Fidelity is focused on listening to and delivering against advisors’ most pressing needs, and ‘options to digitize my practice’ has quickly become one of the needs most often cited,” continued Durbin. “As the digital marketplace evolves, we will continue to provide theontinued Durbin. “As the digital marketplace evolves, we will continue to provide the solutions our clients need to evolve along with it, whether through strategic alliances or on our own.” Click here to hear from Fidelity’s Michael Durbin on the criticality of options for advisors to digitize their practices.
Fidelity is also launching a new report on the digital landscape in addition to the collaborations with LearnVest and Betterment Institutional. The range of solutions and resources aim to help advisors regardless of where they are in their decision to digitize: assessing the digital opportunity, incorporating digital elements or creating their own digital platform solution.
1. Assess the Opportunity
For advisors, digitizing a practice is not one size fits all. Advisors should consider reviewing their franchise front-to-back to ensure that it makes sense for them, and if so, to what extent, asking questions like: Can their brand support this? What are the implications for their current engagement model and scope of services provided? Do they have the talent in place?
Fidelity’s new report, Digging into Digital Advice explores the digital platform landscape and features “readiness checklists” and advisor best practices to help advisors take a practice management approach to integrating digital strategies in order to nurture and engage younger investors and enhance their client engagement model.
2. Incorporate Digital Elements
One option to digitize is to incorporate digital elements, such as online tools, into an existing model, particularly to support a broader segment of mass affluent investors efficiently and with scale. As such, Fidelity Institutional is working with LearnVest to help firms offer clients digital content and LearnVest’s financial wellness program – something particularly useful for advisors consulting with participants in workplace retirement plans. The resources will also be available to independent recordkeeper, broker-dealer and family office clients of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, National Financial® and Fidelity Family Office Services.
3. Create a Digital Model
According to recent Fidelity research, 56 percent of RIA and broker-dealer firm leaders plan to embrace digital platforms by incorporating them into their existing businesses or partnering with one.3 For RIAs looking to supplement their traditional advice model with a digital platform solution, Fidelity is providing introductions to Betterment Institutional. The business-to-business platform can give RIAs the tools they may need to bring advice to the masses, at the same time being more productive, more efficient and providing an engaging client experience.