Good healthcare is often the result of patients having access to a group of diverse specialists. Imagine a scenario where you had a complex health issue and your only option was to see an orthopedic surgeon. This would be far from ideal, however, this type of scenario regularly occurs in the financial planning industry, as all members of the team typically have the same role.
If you have been following our briefings, you know that we have a blunt view of the financial services industry and how sophisticated investors can gain an edge in mitigating financial complexity and planning for their financial destinations. We have stated ad nauseam that there’s no longer a secret sauce when it comes to asset allocation or portfolio rebalancing. Computers do this stuff now and the services themselves are a commodity, so we don’t think that investors should pay for it.
So how can investors gain an edge?
One of our obsessions at SWS Partners is thinking about the role of the advisor and how to build the most value for clients. One powerful driver of value comes from automating everything that can possibly be automated within a firm’s business, especially today where the actual products and investments in any given portfolio are increasingly commoditized.
More than a year ago, I published a piece for Investments and Wealth Monitor that was a follow up to an interview I participated in as part of the Schwab Impact Conference in 2016. It felt appropriate to resurface the article now because many of the ideas are increasingly mainstream today even if they felt a little radical only a few years ago. Alas, it’s important for affluent investors to discern between talking points and the implementation of tools that will assist with financial self-actualization.