Think about these two quotes: The first from science fiction novelist and cyberculture futurist, William Gibson*, and the second from the opening paragraph of Michael Kitces excellent blog post, 3 Ways The Digital Age Will Change Financial Planning In The Next 10 Years:
Over the past two decades, the world has begun its transition into the information/digital age. However, the progression has been uneven, and the world of computers are still far more integrated in some industries and professions than others. The pace of change is accelerating, though, and in the coming decade, it will be time for financial planning to enter the digital age, driven in large part by major demographic shifts, as more and more of Generation Y become the newest clients and newest staff members in firms that will increasingly be led not by baby boomers operating their traditional model, but by the more technology-inclined Generation X.
– Michael Kitces
SO, what does the future hold for finance professionals?
We’ve taken a stab at a similar question before in our post, Advisor Forecast: The Client of The Future, but the question that Michael raises does not only pertain to clients. He asks, how will financial services change in the next 10 years?
Michael thinks the core changes to financial services will be a result of, “the rise of technology and connectivity,” which, via globalization, “is making the world ‘flat’ and breaking down the impact of distance and geography.” In other words, he believes the breakdown of geographical barriers to business will be the major driver of changes in practice management, marketing and business development, and the overall delivery of financial services.
“The Future is Already Here.” – Clients
We agree with Michael on all points. 10 years is TOO LONG a timeframe! The changes are happening NOW. Your clients, more and more of whom will be from Gen X and Gen Y, won’t wait 10 years for the finance sector to embody they see all around them NOW. That includes changes that forward thinking advisors are already making. That’s why the Gibson quote couldn’t be more important: The future is here, and most finance professionals haven’t gotten the memo.
Pardon the plug, but this problem is EXACTLY the one that Blueleaf is trying to address. Your clients want simplicity. They want transparency. They want communication and clear feedback. Embrace the future; your clients and your business will thank you for it! “What’s that? My business will thank me for it?” YES! Embracing the future NOW will make your business scale (a la better software, inbound marketing, freeware, Skype, operational outsourcing, cloud computing, digital documents, et al.).
Will it be quick and easy? Probably not. Could it be a more pressing issue? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Some are experiencing the future now. You need to be part of the revolution.
That’s what we see in our crystal ball, at least.