I've been chatting with a few friends over the past couple of days about which model will prevail for wealth management in years to come.
2 sides to the argumentEssentially, there are 2 sides to the argument:
- virtualists: The virutalists are banking on a future where investment advisors will prospect, deliver advice, and service clients over virtual channels (Internet, phone, chat, video conference). This is a boundary-less marketing environment and doesn't put a premium on marketing to a local clientele. That's a world where there's no tennis, no kids' bar mitzvas, and certainly, no shoulder-crying on your advisor when markets go bad.
- ol' skoolers: This camp doesn't envision a world where the delivery of financial services changes very much from what it's been traditionally. Advisors have adopted email and websites and yes, are beginning to use social networks but ultimately, it's a face-to-face business. You may buy diapers online but you'll never really buy financial services online.
the physical relationship with an investment professional is less important when you grow up in the digital age. Imagine video conferencing and e-communication as the norm in the advisor/investor relationship (2025: Wealth Management in the Internet Age)