Jack Sharry, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, LifeYield, LLC

Operationalizing household-level portfolio management to improve investor and advisor outcomes is the key trend we see for 2020. Virtually all investors have multiple accounts, products, advisors, and custodians and little to no coordination or optimization of their holdings to maximize returns and income at the household level. Wealth managers and fintech providers are collaborating to create ecosystems that provide guidance for advisors and clients on how to improve outcomes trade by trade and, most importantly, how to quantify the benefit of those improvements in dollars and cents. This not only demonstrates to investors the benefits of coordination but also demonstrates the value of the advisor.

Matthew Bogart / Vice President, Marketing / NexJ Systems

At NexJ, we understand that advisors are facing real challenges: Fees are being squeezed, regulations are changing, and robo-advisors are becoming more accepted. The importance of engaging with clients more deeply will continue to drive innovation with advisor-centric digital assistants that leverage all available data to provide a holistic, hyper-personalized service. One trend we expect to see is the augmentation of advisors to deliver superior, value-added client experiences between financial interactions using enabling AI technologies.

Yang Xu, CEO, TradingFront

We foresee a greater set of challenges for small to mid-size advisors in 2020. The evidence shows that smaller advisors have bigger incentives to adopt new Wealthtech tools so that they can stand with their competition and meet the demand for a digital experience that newer generations expect. But the fact is that there are simply too many solutions. Almost every functionality that an advisor need has a SaaS segment, and within each of the segment there are dozens of providers. It’s unreasonable to expect a smaller advisor to put all the moving parts together. Smaller advisors need a simple, robust and holistic tech solution.

AJ Smith, VP of Financial Education, SmartAsset

Consumers are starting their search for financial products and services online but many financial advisors haven’t yet adapted their marketing and lead generation accordingly. The most critical time for a financial advisor to acquire new investors is when they’re online researching. We've found that the clients searching the web for financial advice and, potentially, a financial advisor, are very similar to those that advisors typically target. In 2019, nearly 70% of the prospects that came through SmartAsset looking for a financial advisor were either retired or within 10 years of retirement. In 2020, as they see greater success that is more cost effective than alternative marketing methods, we expect advisors to grow more comfortable working with online partners to help them find prospects that are actively in-market for financial advice, products and services.

Dan Rosen, CEO and Co-Founder at d1g1t

An emerging trend is the development of integrated advisory platforms that empower firms to scale up the high-value human services that will set them apart in an increasingly digital world. Powered by advanced interactive analytics, these platforms enable integrated investment advice that’s consistent across the entire wealth risk cycle, ensuring alignment across clients’ risk tolerance, goals, mandates and portfolios for multiple accounts and legal entities. Big Data, analytics, AI won’t eliminate human advisors but will empower them with knowledge they’ve never had before: knowledge about markets, portfolios, their client needs, desires, fears—and how they can best help them.


Kelly Waltrich, Chief Marketing Officer, Orion Advisor Solutions

 “The past decade has brought on tremendous growth for the finch space! Advisors have widely embraced the newest innovations, driven by a golden age of API development and integration. As we head into 2020, firms will need to shift from an “adopt-all” mindset and instead, invest in technology that will truly move the needle when it comes to improving client engagement and increasing operational efficiencies. The firms who will be most successful in making this shift, will be the ones who can weed through the unnecessary supplemental technology and identify ways to leverage the functionality within their core tech platforms. Tech optimization will be the name of the game in 2020.”


John Wise, Chairman and CEO, InvestCloud

“Wealth Managment Reporting remains an issue for many and in the New Year, client/wealth manager relationships will see significant improvement made possible with the adoption of new technology, robust tools and innovative apps that allow for digital empathy.  Together these technologies deliver valuable services that bring better engagement and improved business success. The industry can expect 2020 to be a transformative year for truly understanding the modern customer and making a connection. As we continue to see a significant shift in the client experience, wealth managers will need to adjust to today’s rapidly evolving market.”


Gerard Michael, President, Smartleaf

"Advisor-led wealth managers will not be compensated for anything that a robo-advisor can do just as well, and that includes ultra-high levels of customization and tax management. These will become table stakes. Forward-looking advisory firms will increasingly focus on being lifetime financial coaches."

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