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Leveraging the Human Element in a Digital World

April 03, 2019 U.S. News & World Report
Are you ready for a robot to plan your financial future?

A recent seminar on retirement tax issues in a Virginia suburb outside of the District of Columbia packed the room with a diverse group of investors either in or approaching their well-deserved rest.

Part of the discussion focused on digital tools for financial management, and most investors in attendance reported using digital services or products to help manage their money short- and long-term and to file their taxes.

But it quickly became apparent that such options only took them so far. No two investors came with the same concerns or questions about their situations. And they were there for answers.

According to Deloitte's 2016-2017 Global CIO Survey, more than 200 providers of digital advice in the financial planning profession in the United States are predicted to manage $7 trillion in assets by the year 2025.

That raises the question of the role of flesh-and-blood financial planners in such a future. It's clear technology will have a profound impact on the financial planning profession. It's also clear financial planners will be increasingly important to help make sense of that technology.

Two years ago, the CFP Board Digital Advice Working Group (DAWG) determined that investor comfort with digital financial advice will likely continue to grow. Alongside consumer adoption of technology, greater transparency across financial services will lead to an increase in the number of investors who demand demonstrable value from financial planning professionals.

The DAWG members identified five segments of the digital advice ecosystem – technology, consumers, regulation, firms, and advisors. They hoped to provide a framework to explore key challenges facing the financial planning industry and improve the quality of financial advice for investors. Ultimately, the group called for financial advisors and firms to tap the opportunities that technology presents.  Read more >

U.S. News & World Report
By Kevin Keller, CFP Board CEO
April 3, 2019