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The Latest In Financial #AdvisorTech (May 2024)

Welcome to the May 2024 issue of the Latest News in Financial #AdvisorTech – where we look at the big news, announcements, and underlying trends and developments that are emerging in the world of technology solutions for financial advisors!

This month’s edition kicks off with the news that self-directed retirement planning software provider NewRetirement has raised a $20M Series A round as the company demonstrates that its DIY tools really do turn a subset of consumers into bona fide prospects for financial advisorsWhich positions the software as either a white-labeled solution for advisory firms that want a way to engage a high volume of prospects in their funnel, or simply a solution to convert its own 70,000+ active users into paying clients of NewRetirement’s own financial advisors. Especially given that NewRetirement has already managed to get some sizable 401(k) providers and recordkeepers to offer the software on a paid basis to their own plan participants… which means NewRetirement is effectively getting paid to market its own advice services (a marketing funnel that pays for itself!?).

From there, the latest highlights also feature a number of other interesting advisor technology announcements, including:

  • Betterment Premium raises fees for its human CFP service to 0.65%, putting it remarkably close to the 0.70% average revenue yield of the typical advisory firm, as the robo-advisor ends up emulating the human advisor service and pricing model it once sought to disrupt
  • Trust & Will announces a strategic partnership with LPL and its 22,000 advisors, as more and more advisory firms look to include estate document preparation as part of their suite of value-added services to clients (while outsourcing the actual legal work)

Read the analysis about these announcements in this month’s column, and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, including:

  • A pair of new research studies (one from Cerulli, another from Fidelity) highlight how “tech-savvy” firms with high technology adoption are outgrowing the rest… not by attracting more clients with a better digital experience for clients, but simply by finding more of their own operational back-office efficiencies to be able to scale faster
  • The SEC serves up a series of very sizable fines to make examples of financial services firms that didn’t do enough to supervise their employees’ use of texting and other messaging apps (e.g., WhatsApp), in a reminder to all advisory firms that all business-related communication must be archived (and reviewed!)
  • As the buzz and hype continue around AI, a warning (coupled with a pair of enforcement actions) from the SEC not to engage in “AI-washing“… advisory firms that promote how they’re using artificial intelligence in their practices need to be certain that they are actually doing so  

And be certain to read to the end, where we have provided an update to our popular “Financial AdvisorTech Solutions Map” (and also added the changes to our AdvisorTech Directory) as well!

*And for #AdvisorTech companies who want to submit their tech announcements for consideration in future issues, please submit to!

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