Advisers should continue to embrace advice technology, as adapting to changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic showed the value of how technology can streamline adviser businesses, according to Vanguard.
Speaking at the 2021 Vanguard Virtual Roadshow, Tim Buckley, Vanguard chair and chief executive, said advice technology was about streamlining your operations.
“It’s all about time and how you can be efficient – I would say embrace advice technology,” Buckley said.
“Technology allows advisers to automate many rules-based activities such as portfolio management and rebalancing.
“It can simplify some more challenging financial planning tasks; they don’t have to build the technology themselves.”
Buckley went beyond that and said it was just generally better to fully embrace the virtual landscape.
“The other thing is to embrace virtual, we know from experience that you’ll grow quality engagement – the number of quality engagements – and you’ll drive your costs down, we’ve done it, all those advisers can do it too,” Buckley said.
“Advisers need to embrace their clients’ specific needs, giving your clients piece of mind is twice as valuable as finding the top-performing fund.”
Buckley said that within their own network, an estimated 90% of advisers wanted to leverage some form of work from home.
“It’s fair to say we’re not going back to the way we worked or interacted with each other in 2019,” Buckley said.
“That’s not to say that investors won’t want to see an adviser face to face again in person, but it’s probably going to become more of the exception.
“The leading businesses will scale their operations and improve their service through virtual, so you’ve got to be ready to embrace virtual technology.”
Buckley said he expected the “Zoom economy” we were living in now was here to stay.
“In the past year I’m sure you did everything virtually, from shopping, to going to retirement parties, to meeting with family,” Buckley said.
“2020 was the year the world embraced remote interactions, I think most of us will welcome a time when we can celebrate things like birthdays and graduations in person again.
“There’s plenty of activities where this dual approach/virtual approach actually might be the more convenient and effective solution or we might just pick it over face-to-face.”