Here is your Riskalyze Fintech Five for November, a focused take on what we think are the recent top five stories in wealth management technology.
Our first story comes to you by way of tax planning startup Holistiplan and LPL, the largest independent broker-dealer.
Holistiplan has joined LPL’s Vendor Affinity Program, giving it access to the 20,000 advisors who call LPL home.
As financial planning has increasingly taken center stage for advisors, the sub-skill of tax planning has also been thrust into the spotlight. Holistiplan’s software doesn’t turn advisors into tax pros overnight, but it does make the process of reviewing a tax return and identifying potential advice opportunities that much easier.
For planning-focused LPL advisors who are mindful of additional ways they can add value to their client relationships, this is big news.
In additional software news, advisor marketing platform Snappy Kraken has announced that they’ve expanded their texting platform, Convos, to broker-dealers.
Originally released just for RIAs, Convos allows advisors to send text messages to individual clients or groups of clients as one more way to stay connected and communicate with clients on their own terms.
And I’m not just covering this story as a proud Snappy board member—for independent broker/dealers to approve and add this type of tech is big news. One of the reasons advisors cite for breaking away to the RIA channel is the ability to make their own technology choices. By making cutting-edge technology more readily available, independent broker/dealers are expanding their competitiveness in keeping advisors in the tent.
Next up, fresh off the appointment as Lori Hardwick as board chair, Docupace has announced their new RIA Productivity Suite product line. This toolkit is designed to remove barriers around client onboarding, integrating systems, and lowering the administrative costs RIAs face.
What David Knoch and his team have essentially done is take back-office productivity tools only available to large enterprises and delivered it to advisory firms and the RIA marketplace, in a bundled solution at a much lower price than what it would cost to take on something of this size in-house.
Docuspace has led the way in reducing these clunky operational processes for years now, and this announcement couldn’t be better timed as advisory firms head into the new year.
Another startup, Bento Engine, is tackling a problem that has long confronted advisors: How do you educate your clients’ children and get them engaged in building wealth?
The Children and Wealth Program will use event-based triggers to send appropriate financial content to clients, targeted specifically for the age of their children.
The content in the program was created by Susan Doty, Director of the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy at University of Texas at Tyler, and Mac Gardner, CEO of FinLit Tech, a financial literacy platform.
With somewhere around $70 trillion set to transfer from older to younger generations in the coming decades, the advisors who get ahead and establish themselves as trusted advisors for the whole family are the ones who will best position themselves to win.
And the last story—not just for today but for the year!—is about Savvy Wealth. Savvy is an RIA that has built its own proprietary tech stack, and the firm has now accomplished an unusual feat—raising $11 million in Series A venture capital funding.
It’s not too often that you see RIA firms develop their own tech, or raise venture capital funding, and for good reason: neither are easy paths to go down.
Building unique technology that you vertically integrate and deliver straight to consumers is a powerful path to value creation that has worked for some companies like Amazon, Uber, Doordash but has been a dead-end for others. Is this a powerful new path to expanding the impact of great advice to more people? We can only hope. I’m confident that a rising tide of advice will lift all boats.
So, there you have it. Those are the five big stories in advisor fintech right now.
I hope that you and yours have an absolutely magical holiday season. When you check in on WealthManagement.com again, we’ll be bringing you the first big stories of 2023.