Fidelity's robo for financial advisers will give clients eMoney tools

Planning centric digital advice solution part of new Fidelity platform for advisers

Oct 18, 2016 @ 10:48 am

By Liz Skinner

Fidelity Investments' digital advice platform for financial advisers to use with clients will integrate some of eMoney's basic financial planning tools and will be available in March 2017 for a small number of advisers to test, the firm said.

A full rollout to all advisers is expected by June next year, and though pricing has not yet been set, it will be competitive with similar services, Fidelity executives said at the Inside Track conference for advisers in New York on Tuesday.

Advisory firms will be able to customize the risk questionnaires that their clients complete through the robo platform. They'll also pick the range of portfolios, all from sub-adviser Geode Capital Management, that clients can choose to invest their funds.

Fidelity's Automated Managed Platform will allow the adviser to remain the investment adviser on the account and the digital onboarding, goal-setting and monitoring that clients experience will be powered by eMoney. Fidelity bought eMoney in early 2015.

Adviser technology consultant Joel Bruckenstein said Fidelity's robo for advisers “was worth waiting for,” calling it the first true planning-centric digital advice platform.

“This joint Fidelity/eMoney development actually leapfrogs the competition,” he wrote on Tuesday.

The robo for advisers is part of Fidelity's new adviser platform that it's been working on for two years. It also will provide advanced analytics and automated workflow tools for advisers.

Many advisory firms struggle to integrate the various technologies they rely on for financial planning, portfolio analysis, client relationship management and other processes, which often requires duplicative work. Other large custodians also are working to enhance their adviser platforms to allow blending of technologies into a more seamless process.

(More: Tech-tardy advisers, prepare for a late-adopter penalty)

“For firms that want help designing their technology architecture, our total advisor platform removes the guesswork of linking it all together,” said Tom McCarthy, head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional.”

David Edwards, president of Heron Financial Group, examined an early version of Fidelity's new robo platform Tuesday and said it meets most of the criteria he was looking to offer some clients through a digital tool.

"It's 95% of the way there," he said.

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