The Future of Advisor Independence


We’ve written before about the rapidly changing landscape occurring in the financial planning industry. The rapid exodus of advisors moving toward independent models is no secret. The question isn’t about if change is occurring – it’s where this course change is headed. Today, we dive into the priorities advisors should be watching as their options shift.


Clients Are Evolving and So Are Their Options

We wrote recently about the remarkable shifts in client behavior and priorities emerging in the younger generations. Not only is consumer behavior changing, but the solutions available to them are changing too.

New competitors are emerging every day, especially in the realm of fintech and robo-advisory platforms. It is easier for investors to manage their own investments or work with lower-cost investment managers. Independent or not, advisors must now differentiate themselves by doubling down on personalized services and demonstrating their value to clients.

This differentiation could be focused on a specific area of expertise. This value could also focus on the comprehensive management an advisor is well-equipped to provide.

We don’t advocate the fear technology but rather integrate it into your firm where possible. Create more efficiency without sacrificing quality or personal touch.


Access to Economies-of-Scale Tech is Expected

At this point, advisors know clients expect instant access to their financial information through the use of portals and other platforms. Advisors who decide to go (and grow) as an independent firm need access to economies-of-scale technology to offer experiences that aren’t just functional, but seamlessly integrated as well.

RIA’s like WealthPlan can help provide pre-vetted technology platforms that independent advisors can leverage with support and training. Our existing tech stack is constantly evolving, being stress-tested for integrated, smooth experiences.


Talent Acquisition and Retention

Gen Z and Millennials make up a rapidly growing segment of clients in the coming industry. They are poised to inherit wealth at an unprecedented rate in addition to their climbing personal income. The problem? The new generation of advisors is remarkably absent. This is true both in terms of advisors and their support staff.

Unless there’s a sudden reversal in this trend, what does this mean for financial advisors who aren’t nearing retirement yet?

It means there is likely to be a consolidation that begins to happen with a focus on mid-to-large organizations that can provide access to operational technology and support at scale. Advisors may need to serve more households per capita than before, and scalable support will be critical.


The Business Is Changing – Are You?

RIAs must navigate a rapidly evolving financial landscape and adapt to changing client needs and expectations while also complying with complex regulatory requirements and managing costs. By staying agile and focused on delivering personalized services and value to clients, RIAs can overcome these challenges and thrive in the industry.

If you’re looking to be a part of an advisor community that is facing the future boldly, we invite you to learn more about WealthPlan Group. We are committed to equipping our advisors with the resources and community they need to thrive through change.

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