First published by The Australian Financial Review.
At present, technology is fundamentally changing the very nature of banking and wealth, and it's a very human story.
Sure, it's allowing savvy consumers to interact with their investments in real time, but this interaction goes much further than just being able to check your accounts. It's allowing investors to be better informed about market fluctuations and importantly, enjoy a closer, more fluid relationship with their financial adviser.
Investors rely on the human interaction. No doubt artificial intelligence technology can constantly learn from what it sees and act accordingly but it doesn't have the human interaction. No matter how smart it gets, it doesn't necessarily have the moral or ethical overlay investors need.
A good example is robo-advice as a standalone offer. It's smart, but lacks the human element. Technology can access a huge amount of information about an investor and that person's risk profile but if something goes wrong, an individual is going to want to interact with another human - not the machine. What technology does, though, is enable a more productive interaction.
For example, if a client wants to invest with an ESG overlay, technology such as an investment platform gives a financial adviser the toolkit to help assess this simply and act based on what's right for the client. It can also allow advisers to deliver more nuanced information to a client about how their portfolio is performing. When something happens in the market, they can provide more reasoned and informed advice. This is especially important at a time when there is so much noise out there in the news, on social media and through influencers across multiple channels.
A good example might be if news broke of a large company being involved in some sort of incident which immediately impacts on its share price. In the past, an investor may have seen the news break in the media and tried to contact their adviser.
Nowadays, a technology offering such as BT's Panorama platform makes it easier for investors to view their accounts and see what's happening at all times, it also allows advisers real time access to determine which clients may be affected by a particular event and share relevant information to them in real time.
With timely information provided via technology and the advent of tools such as digital consent an adviser can liaise more quickly with all their clients. They can inform them of an issue, provide them new advice in response to how an incident might impact their long-term investment goals and manage the client's instruction to proceed with the advice when received. Moreover, new technology allows for multiple portfolios to be rebalanced simultaneously should an adviser receive instructions from multiple clients at the same time.
Technology and investment platforms can give the investor and their adviser a nudge to interact with their account in real time as an issue plays out. It can also allow investors to better see what's happening and get an understanding of what it means to them.
It's also creating efficiencies for advisers so they can focus on their client relationships and helping their clients understand their investment strategies and help them reset as they go through life changes.
It's all about the personalisation of wealth management. Technology gives people more access to their investment portfolio because they can literally carry it around in their pocket. They can go onto a mobile app and immediately see how their investments are performing as well as interact with their adviser.
It's allowing clients and their advisers to be more proactive with portfolios and helping to create a more informed and engaged generation of investors.
This advertisement was prepared by BT, a part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714 (Westpac). This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to these factors before acting on it.