Reg BI implementation is less than a year away, and it is arriving at a time when investors are increasingly clamoring for more open and transparent financial advice.

Certainly, you could view these coming changes as a threat to the status quo. But disruption is often what keeps businesses thriving, relevant and healthy.

To accommodate this rising demand among investors for more transparency from advisors, as well as new regulatory obligations, financial advisors will need to lean more heavily on tech and digital tools to improve communication.

In particular, this means financial advisors should make their expectations clear with the wealth management firms they are affiliated with, in terms of embracing this moment as an opportunity to revolutionize the service experience for financial professionals and their clients.

Reg BI Requires Advisors To Deliver A Collaborative, Digitally Enabled Experience

First, some background on what will soon be the new regulatory normal for our industry: Reg BI compels commission-based financial professionals to offer clients "full and fair" disclosures anytime they recommend an account type, investment strategy or specific securities transaction, as well as when they open a new advisory account.

Also, broker-dealers will soon have to resolve compensation discrepancies between different investment products that could create conflicts of interest.

Put simply, it is impossible to do any of this without leaning heavily on technology.  At the same time, a growing number of investors crave a tech-driven experience with their advisors that transcends merely being able to look up balances or change an address. 

It’s therefore just a question of time before clients of all ages demand end-to-end digital solutions that enable them to do things from the comfort of their own home or workplace, versus requiring them to visit a financial advisor’s office.  This includes, for example, meeting with financial professionals to create, review and execute their financial plan.

It’s Not An “Either Or” Proposition

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