When the subject is frictionless financial services on demand, there’s no better starting place than direct indexing, fractional trading, and separately managed accounts. Until recently, these popular investment strategies were the province of ultra-high net worth individuals. Digital capabilities made these strategies available to a more diverse investor base, further demonstrating the value of eradicating friction in financial services.

But that’s just the beginning. For consumers, digital technologies offer a real-time look across what they have in savings, where they’re investing and how those investments are doing, what they have in their retirement and non-retirement accounts, debt on the books, and available lines of credit.

A holistic picture of an investor’s financial wellness requires connecting the dots on the three-legged stool of banking, lending and investing. These can no longer be treated as three separate pillars. Increasingly, consumers expect these key components of financial wellbeing to be seamlessly coordinated, not separated into three disparate silos.

If a wealth manager has insights into those three parts of their client’s life, they’re able to send them relevant and timely messages. Like a water bill that’s abnormally high. Or perhaps an extra amount of money that was deposited into one of their accounts. What should be done with this money? Should it be invested or used to pay down a debt?

Instant access to this information enables decisions to be made in real time. This puts your client in the driver’s seat, right where they belong. This is value-added service that can only be provided by tech-forward advisors powered by a service-focused custodian.

48 Hours To Open An Account? Why So Long?
For financial advisors, it all begins with onboarding new clients. This first touch point sets the client’s experience. In legacy settings, when customers want to open a new account their advisor sends them paperwork and they sign near the yellow stickies. Then they FedEx it to the bank and someone asks them to wire money to fund the account.

Why do we tolerate a minimum of two days to open an account? What happens in those 48 hours? Opening a new account should be fast and easy. Frictionless eliminates delay.

A focus on frictionless also spells the end of batch processing, multi-day and overnight processes, and even same-day settlement. To achieve real-time service levels, we need – and clients demand – a new architecture for our industry’s foundational systems.

Unfortunately, many financial advisors still use old technology built around silos. In fact, a recent survey found financial advisors are so burdened by administrative and operational tasks that the average advisor can only spend 8.8 hours per week meeting with clients.

Client fees are high to cover those overhead expenses, yet advisors still can’t spend sufficient time on what’s most valuable to their clients — conversations about the complexity, the emotions and choices that mark our financial lives.

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