With 2021 fast becoming a distant memory and 2022 in full swing, there are a number of factors that will shape the year ahead and influence the long-term success of the financial advice industry.
Top trends shaping advice
The primary trends we expect to define 2022 include the acceleration of the generational wealth transfer; further demand for hyper-personalisation; the continued innovation of open finance; and the importance of using technology to deliver results. This could be a year when advice businesses start to take more meaningful steps to address their strategies.
The great wealth transfer
While some still scoff at the notion that significant value will change hands and new wealth holders will not want a simple continuation of the current business-as-usual advice model, it is clear that being unprepared to support a new generation of clients could be a big mistake.
The wealth transfer itself is undeniable; however, the speed, shape, and recipients of the transfer are what could force things sideways for advisers.
Available wealth is at an all-time high and compounded by a global pandemic, which has reinforced the importance of life fulfilment. Today more mass-affluent and high-net-worth individuals, couples, and families are making plans to ensure that wealth is passed down effectively. As the pandemic’s day-to-day impact hopefully eases in 2022, we could very well see a meaningful acceleration of wealth succession plan executions.
We may also start to see the transfers beginning sooner, either in full or in part, skipping a generation. The next generation after baby boomers is often fairly financially secure with their own plans in place. However, it is harder than ever for those younger generations, such as those in their 20s, to clear debt, step onto the property ladder, and accumulate wealth.
As that happens, it should not be underestimated how the change in client expectations and behaviours for financial advisers could be even more pronounced than if the wealth were simply shifting one generation at a time.
It is therefore critical for advisers who want to protect their assets under advice and revenues to start building a strategy to meet the needs of a different client base.
In all likelihood, the next generation of wealth holders will be accustomed to greater choice, especially around engagement and fee models. They will also expect to be able to interact digitally wherever they are, using the device of their choice. They will expect personalisation of service and solutions and an overall connected experience that offers demonstrable value beyond the end outcome – all with minimal friction.
Like other industries, this is the direction in which consumers are moving, and there is likely to be little loyalty for prior value if they can not meet today’s demands.
With the great wealth transfer as a backdrop, it is likely that hyper-personalised advice and service models will continue to be at a premium.
All generations of clients are increasingly looking for personalised relationships, and it is no longer acceptable to assume personalisation is a purely aesthetic component.