Advisors might be gradually moving away from just being investment managers toward offering more holistic advice to clients. However, they’re failing to discuss topics that are important to high-net-worth clients, according to the recent U.S. Trust’s 2018 Insights on Wealth and Worth study. The high-net-worth clients surveyed said the top five subjects they wanted to discuss more with their advisor were estate planning and strategic philanthropy. But only 48 percent of clients said they’re currently discussing estate planning with their advisor and only 16 percent were discussing strategic philanthropy.
Digital personal archival service Everplans has implemented one of its most-requested upgrades called Sharing After Death, or SAD. The new feature allows users to designate certain sections of the plan to be shared only upon Everplans’ receiving a notification of death. Instead of relying on official documentation of the client’s passing, such as a death certificate or an update to the Social Security’s Death Master File, the firm relies on a special, trusted user called an “Unlocker” to provide notice of death. Everplans noted that many users had asked to keep their financial details, wills, letters to friends and family, and passwords to online accounts from the eyes of anyone else with access to the user’s information—a group of users called “Deputies.” The firm suggests naming a professional as an Unlocker. “Sharing After Death works on the basis of trust,” the company stated. “Your unlockers should be individuals you trust and [who] understand your wishes. They should be in good health and be able to take on this responsibility when the time comes.”
Robo firm Emperor Investments launched this week, targeting U.S. retail clients, specifically called “high-earners-not-rich-yet,” who want to invest in equities over ETFs. The Toronto-based robo, founded by University of Guelph economics professor, Dr. Francis Tapon, and his former student, Brenna Casserly, charges a 60 basis-point annual fee and has a $500 minimum to open an account. The firm takes a goals-based approach to investing and focuses on equities that exhibit “uninterrupted dividend payments, ethical management, and low share prices.” “We strongly believe that if you love a company, you need to invest directly in it, not simply in a basket that holds that particular company along with many others, which you may not want exposure to,” said Casserly, who serves as CEO, founded the equity portfolio designer, Investment Portfolio Design Limited, with Dr. Tapon in 2011. “We’re value investors who focus on top dividend-paying names that we select from some of the world’s greatest companies,” added Dr. Tapon, the firm’s CIO. Emperor is partnering with custodian Folio Investments.