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Episode 5: I would do anything for robo (but I won’t do that)

December 17, 2015 @ 7:49 pm

Runtime: 7:03

Despite their best intentions, coaches and consultants often give advice that advisers have no intention of following. Find out what Matt Archer and Nina O’Neal plan to do, and what they plan to ignore, as they implement a robo-platform.

The Renovation Room

Industry experts and executives offer strategies, tips and ideas on how practices can improve their business.

Joseph V. Maugeri

Joseph V. Maugeri

Managing Director, Corporate Relations, CFP Board

I believe Matt and Nina are taking the right attitude going forward as they launch this new platform. First, they are realistic enough to know that there will be bumps on the road ahead, and that they will learn and adjust over time. Secondly, they are taking a long-term view by realizing it will take time to fully utilize all of the platform’s benefits and for their clients to get comfortable using it.

However, I am not so sure they are taking the right approach to segmentation and deciding which clients receive which types of services. As their practice grows, they will be increasingly challenged to provide all services that clients may desire or need. Despite the fact that the robo platform should create more capacity, it may also bring in many more clients. Additionally, not all clients want or need the same level of service. So segmenting their clients may allow them to better adapt as they go forward and make the most efficient use of their resources. If there are clients getting more time than they need, it usually means some clients are not receiving enough.

Lastly, I still have not heard Matt or Nina address the question, “How will we fill the time we create through automated services?” Since they are providing this service to existing as well as new clients, they do not want to squander a great opportunity to add more value through more integrated, holistic advice offerings. What expertise will they need to acquire to deliver on these new offerings? Matt and Nina must answer this key question. It could mean more financial plans for more clients, spending more time on goals, updating plans, and implementation. This will improve the overall client experience and should result in even more success over time.

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Prosper as a Breakout Advisor

The principals of Archer Investment Management, based in Raleigh, NC, took notice when robo-advising achieved triple-digit growth over the past year. Now they're tackling the critical question that's on the mind of today's advisory firms: is robo-advising right for me?

Defining and driving success

Matt Archer and Nina O'Neal are excited. They clearly see robo-advising as a fit for their young, forward-thinking business. However, as we listen to this conversation, it's clear that some vital questions remain. Perhaps the most critical: “How will you define success—and what measurements will drive it?”

A framework for strategic thinking

It's estimated that as many as 18% of RIAs* are planning to add robo-advising services to their firms over the next two years, and this episode provides great perspective on why this should be viewed as much more than a simple go/no-go decision. It also outlines key strategic questions you'll want to ask whenever you're weighing any new service or technology.

Technology and Relationships: Finding the Right Balance

As a financial advisor, you're in the relationship business. Like Matt Archer and Nina O'Neal of Archer Investments, you've built a practice based on credibility, respect and trust.

Robo-advising and other services

In Episode Four, Archer Investment's Nina O'Neal and Matt Archer meet with technology expert Aaron Klein. He provides guidance on specific functions, parameters and tiers of service, and that prompts Nina to push back.

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