What’s In Your Sandbox?
Central to this effort is the concept of a dynamic ecosystem in which disparate parts are joined to create better and lasting solutions that evolve with market conditions and economic realities—even pandemics. And the most effective solutions will, of course, be invisible, just like our best consumer electronics hide their innovations behind an ever-simpler customer experience.

On June 25, 30 advice industry leaders connected (via Zoom) to kick off Next Chapter, an industry initiative jointly sponsored by Financial Advisor magazine; the Money Management Institute; and my firm, the Execution Project. The objective of Next Chapter is to tackle the challenges of serving clients in retirement by helping the industry transition and fully embrace the complexity of client solutions and the needed support of financial advisors.

Next Chapter is about supporting a more complex and comprehensive view of the industry and how to best organize the ecosystem. The team has identified 16 critical parts beyond investments. (See the chart.)

Teams made up of industry executives and thought leaders are taking on all 16 different areas of focus. Much like the teams that built the moon-bound rocket, this project involves specialists looking hard at what can be done to optimize each part of the overall solution so that the sum of those parts is better. And just as President Kennedy selected the moon as a motivational objective—“not because it is easy, but because it is hard”—it is time for the advice industry to make good on the promises of the past 30-plus years of helping clients invest for retirement and make sure they are able to comfortably and independently enjoy that retirement.        

Steve Gresham is managing partner of Next Chapter and managing principal of the Execution Project LLC. He is also chairman of Whealthcare Solutions Inc. and a senior education advisor to the Alliance for Lifetime Income.

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