The 9th annual FSI OneVoice conference was dominated by the group’s muscle-flexing over its growing membership and advocacy triumphs, but the dominant personality during the conference in San Diego was clearly Brett King. King is an author, consultant and founder of Movenbank, called the “first direct mobile bank,” in the U.K. and the U.S.
King facilitated a pre-conference leadership session on Monday, day one of the conference, and moderated a thoughtful panel of independent broker-dealer CEOs in the last public FSI session late Tuesday, but Tuesday morning he made a thought-provoking general session presentation called “Where Have All the Advisors Gone?” that focused on how advisors’ lives and businesses will change by 2020.
Pointing out that five years ago nobody knew what an iPad was, and that by 2016 some 80% of the world’s population will be able afford a smartphone, King suggested that changes in client behavior that are already taking place will significantly change the advisor-client relationship in the near future.
Take, for instance, banking. He argued that the smartphone will be the banking device of the near future. Instead of making a purchase with a smartphone that only gives you a receipt of the transaction, the technology he and others are developing will allow banking users to not only know what their bank balances are before and after they make a purchase, but also to track their spending habits. That will allow them to make more informed decisions about where and when they want to spend their money, but also to receive suggestions through their smartphone on what else they could do with their money. “Do you know how much you spend at Starbucks in a week, or a month?’ King asked the audience, suggesting that better, and immediate, knowledge of spending habits can lead users to change their behavior.
Since the rise of smart mobile devices allows clients and consumers to gain access to the investing information, for instance, that only advisors once had, they not only can make their own investing decisions, but can use free services like Covestor.com or etoro.com to follow the investing decisions of others, including professionals, and then mirror those decisions themselves. On such sites and on others, users not only can share their questions on all sorts of money issues with other users but then make investing decisions at the same time.