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Financial Planning Research Roundup: April 2021

Cara Woodland May 3, 2021

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The pandemic has shaped life as we know it, and its impact on financial advice is lasting. While many financial professionals believe it will be business as usual within 6 to 12 months, the forced adoption of digital technologies has changed the way firms conduct planning, as well as the way they approach their clients’ planning experience.

1. 2021 T3 Software Survey Report – T3

Almost 79 percent of financial professionals are using financial planning software, up from 64 percent in 2020. Adoption of financial planning software is growing steadily, as firms vie to enhance the value they deliver to their clients and differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace. Read the results of the 2021 T3 Software Survey Report to learn more about financial professional technology adoption.

2. Most FAs Expect a Return to Business as Usual Within 12 Months – Discovery Data

A recent report showed that financial professionals expect to be back at the office working as usual by this year or in 2022. Despite the adoption of digital technologies that the pandemic necessitated, financial professionals still show a strong preference for working at the office. Read more about the survey results here.

3. Cerulli Edge U.S. Advisor Edition – M&A Issue – Cerulli Associates

According to Cerulli’s recent research on banks, 44 percent are considering M&A opportunities in the next 12 months. Mergers and acquisitions, the study found, are becoming the norm in an industry working to build scale, advance technology, and broaden product lines. Access the full report here.

4. Advisors Too Reliant on Client Referrals to Grow Business – Capital Group

New research suggests that financial professionals are overly reliant on client referrals to grow their businesses. Nearly half of those in the study claimed that bringing on new clients will be the primary driver of growth for their business moving forward. Yet, 83 percent of new clients came from referrals from existing clients or business partners. Learn more about the study here.

5. Technologies Paving the Way Toward a Frictionless Client Journey: Wealth Management Roundtable Reflections – Celent

The pandemic has been an eye-opening situation for financial professionals and clients alike, as firms were quickly forced to adopt digital technologies to accommodate remote life. This came at a time when the industry was already grappling with legacy systems that didn’t integrate well and needed updating in an effort to improve the experience of planning clients. Hear from financial experts on the new types of technology improving the client’s journey.

Be sure to stay tuned for next month’s financial planning research roundup!

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About the Author

Cara Woodland is the Director of User Experience Research at eMoney. She helps the organization understand the wealth, financial advisor and financial technology marketplace in order help them be more customer centric in their decision making. She focuses on research related to customer experience, marketing, branding, new products and competitive intelligence. Prior to joining eMoney Advisor, Cara spent over 10 years consulting with Fortune 500 companies in market research, innovation and product development. In addition, she also has practical client-side experience within the finance and banking industry in developing marketing, front-end innovation and customer engagement programs. Cara graduated with a degree in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech and is a Certified Financial Marketing Professional. In addition, she is a frequent speaker and author on the topics of innovation, market research, creativity, communication and marketing strategy for colleges, professional associations and corporations.

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