The ‘Next Frontier’ in Investment Advice

We live in a world filled with dramatic change on a scale we’ve never seen before. The speed and magnitude of change in so many areas is fueled by technology. The sheer number of processes and functions we’re able to address simply from our phones has upended so many different industries, including travel, entertainment, and communication. The investment industry is no different.

So how does that affect us? Recent CSS/Ascendant “Decrypting Regulations” conference keynote speaker Bill Coppel of First Clearing discussed “The Next Frontier” for the industry, which will focus on the experiential rather than transactional.

Why? With the availability of information, it seems as though there is a diminishing value being placed on expertise. Anyone can present himself or herself as an expert, but providing information doesn’t necessarily equate to being an expert. Because of this, there’s been a large shift in who and what sources of information we trust. With the interconnectivity of our world, trust is being distributed across multiple sources while in the past, we used to just trust a handful of companies, people, etc.

The Next Frontier will demand that advisers focus on the experience that clients have. Advisers are in the business of cultivating their clients’ well-being and not just the rates of return. Our main source of happiness isn’t wealth, but it’s life experiences, relationships and time. Studies show these areas directly affect overall happiness, health, and longevity.

Technology is wonderful, but it demands that we as humans pay attention to the implications of it being so interwoven into our everyday lives. The investment industry cannot continue to focus on rates of return, because soon AI will be able to more efficiently manage portfolios than humans can. Instead, we should focus on the things that truly make people happy: life experiences, relationships and time.


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CSS frequently publishes blog posts which are written by our team from their observations in the field, at conferences and through experiences with compliance professionals. These posts are designed to further knowledge and share industry best practices. Topics run the gamut, including Form ADV, cybersecurity, MiFID II, position limit monitoring, technology challenges and more. Complete and submit the brief form below to receive notifications when we publish new content.

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