Dan Dobry

The Future of Financial Planning

Over the last 20 years, financial planning has evolved, from trading in manual calculations and paper trails to financial planning software and interactive digital tools. 

But evolution does not with technology. Disruption and change within the financial industry will continue at the same pace over the next few decades, and those changes won’t be restricted to technological capabilities. 

Instead, they’ll expand the boundaries of the financial professional’s role, force them into new territories, and encourage deeper levels of connection. 

New Methods of Advice Delivery Will Once Again Change the Planning Profession. 

Today, we define a financial plan as a communication that demonstrates a holistic understanding of a family’s finances, desired objectives, and assumptions to convey an analysis of future outcomes on one or more financial topics that include recommendations and action items. 

As client preferences and expectations evolve, they will seek relationships with professionals who can help them connect achieving financial goals to achieving goals in other aspects of their lives as well. 

20 years ago, when financial planning was in its infancy, financial professionals worked primarily with wealthy clients. Much of their day was spent manually crunching numbers and executing repetitive tasks.

Today, the client experience has moved front and center in the relationship as financial professionals seek novel ways of engaging new and existing clients. The challenge of charging fees and the waning profitability of investment management has challenged firms to rethink the methodology of charging for the service and have come up with hybrid solutions. These solutions include structuring investments to be tax efficient, exposure to new asset classes, understanding the developments of the sectors of tomorrow, charging acquisition fees, and sharing in profits over an agreed amount. 

A financial professional’s responsibilities will no longer be clearly defined as they once were. As wealth begins to change hands generationally, and planners will need to understand and deliver value in this process, there will be a new set of expectations—new client expectations to exceed. 

Financial professionals will need to dedicate more time to building meaningful, human connections with each of their clients to elevate the financial planning experience. With time being a limited resource, they will need to build partnerships and implement solutions that allow them to expand and scale their operations. When the financial planning process is made more efficient by intelligent planning technology, maintaining focus on the human element of their relationships with clients will allow financial professionals to take advice into entirely new territory and deliver more value to clients than ever before

The transition to a Fee-Based Model 

Regulators worldwide are working to align clients’ interests with the interests of those who advise them, avoiding as much as a possible conflict of interests, and linking the compensation of professionals to their client’s best interest, encouraging them to develop new skills and pursue knowledge that will benefit those who are receiving the advice. 

The Rise of the Fee-Based and Hybrid Models

Cerulli Associates in their 2022 research reports that this year, 56 percent of investors are open to paying for financial guidance—a 5 percent increase from the previous year 

As the demand for advice increases, and a new generation becomes approachable, there’s a new market for financial professionals to serve. But they will have to be adept at securing new business quickly, as satisfaction remains consistently high among those receiving advice, with as little as one percent of investors citing dissatisfaction with their financial professional.

The Development of the Client Experience 

Ed O’Brien, CEO of, eMoney said “In the future, all wealth management activities will come together in an embedded, intelligent experience. 

Marketing technology is no exception. When you consider the way financial professionals present the value of planning, educate clients on financial topics, conduct client outreach, and work to convey the value of their advice, you can see that marketing and planning are already highly intertwined. 

Client success and business growth depend on both processes. Marketing and planning technologies will align in a single, continuous process that allows financial professionals to improve the client’s entire lifecycle journey at every step of the way.

Engaging Clients in New Ways 

There is a wave of new investors from new socioeconomic classes seeking advice that’s more comprehensive, accessible, holistic, and event-related.

We all know the market for advice is growing in parallel with the technologies available to financial planners, and we’re confident that financial professionals will not only leverage the efficiency gains that result from an integrated technology experience to serve more clients—going broader—but also form more meaningful relationships with families, delving deeper into who they are and what they want to achieve. 

What Should We Focus On? 

In life-cycle financial planning, we need to consider what milestones clients hit at each stage of life that require thought. Retirement, for example, is an event where clients seek advice on how they should plan their retirement to live the life they aspired to.  

The Rise of Cross-Border Financial Planning 

As the growing international economy and prevalence of virtual communication continue to flatten the world, hundreds of millions of individuals are crossing national borders, leaving their native countries for opportunities to work and live abroad, or just investing globally. 

Crossing international borders introduces several unique issues and challenges, from financial reporting obligations to tax complexities, moving money across currencies to moving retirement benefits between countries. 

This creates a unique opportunity for financial planners to specialize in the needs of cross-border clients to differentiate themselves… but also increases the burden of what financial advisors must learn to be able to effectively provide advice to a growing international clientele.

The Future of Financial Planning 

As the financial ecosystem becomes increasingly disrupted by technologies that revolutionize advice, financial professionals will need to expand the boundaries of their role and take on an even more holistic approach. 

While many financial professionals plan to retire from the workforce in the coming years, an even larger number of new clients will enter the market in search of highly personalized financial advice, delivered by a trusted financial professional that knows them beyond their net worth. 

This emerging pool of clients will demand a humanistic, integrated experience powered by AI and big data, which requires planning that examines who they are as people, considers their complex emotions, and aligns with the life events they foresee in their future. 

Financial professionals should begin preparing for the future of financial planning by considering how their service offerings today compare to the trends in the market today. 

These trends are creating a world where a professional is measured by his access to knowledge, tools, and methodologies to provide holistic life cycle advice for families for generations to come. 

About the Author
Dan Dobry was the founder and a director of the GlobalNET Investment House, he was one of the founders of the Union of Financial Planners in Israel (UFPI) and served as the first Chairman and President of UFPI. Dan was the Global Council Representative for Israel for the Global Community (FPSB) from 2012 - 2018 and was a member of the Committee for Standards and Qualifications for the European Union (SQC) until December 2021.
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