Here were some of the highlights from among the 20 technology demonstrations given at the AdviceTech.LIVE 2022 virtual conference.
The conference, in its third year and run by Asset-Map, brings together advisor technology vendors who demo their products for advisor attendees. For more on the structure of the conference and what it means for the future of virtual events, read my companion column.
In terms of sheer gee-whiz appeal and a smooth, practiced presentation, the most impressive was Lasso, a new prospecting tool presented by President Becca Long, a BlackRock veteran.
The consumer side of the technology is a free mobile application meant to appeal to younger investors looking for an advisor.
Prospective clients start by sharing how much they have saved for retirement and end up adding three other inputs that include how many years until they want to retire, their annual average contribution and what they are invested in.
Its approach uses gamification—plans receive a score from 0 to 100 points and that is shared with a number of advisors who "compete" for the client.
The criteria for how a particular advisor ends up receiving the prospect was not clear from the presentation, but advisors sign up to participate and receive notifications once they receive a potential prospect.
Through the advisors’ side of the application, they can apply their own methodology to build out a simple plan through a series of dropdown menus selecting assets to invest in and an asset allocation and/or other tweaks.
In the end, the advisor who can present the proposal with the highest score, which appears to also have the best chance of success, will stand out and be selected by the prospect.
Lasso described the process as a way to prevent “the noise that often paralyzes people from taking action by offering a simple, social app that helps consumers plan for their financial goals.”
Advisors, through the platform, “get to demonstrate how their expertise might let the consumer achieve their goals more quickly or more cheaply. Both sides get to test-drive the advisor-client relationship before committing to their 'perfect match,' resulting in better leads, better conversations and better outcomes.”
The application does seem a bit simplistic. Regardless, it deserves a look from advisors.
Co-founders Sheryl O’Connor and Phil Lubinski get credit for the practiced and straightforward demonstration of their decumulation-phase retirement income planning tool.
The software uses a time-segmentation methodology developed over many years by Lubinski.
In a nutshell, income later in retirement should be taken from assets that have the strongest likelihood of continuing to grow and short-term income from assets not likely to grow.
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“In the same way you invest differently for short-term goals versus long-term goals on the accumulation side,” Lubinski said during the demo.
The technology helps advisors and clients collaborate to see if they have saved enough, how they can maximize Social Security benefits within the framework of their plan and how they can meet all their current and future healthcare costs and/or leave a legacy for future generations.
I liked the suggestion both by O’Connor and Lubinski during their presentation and Asset-Map CEO Adam Holt in his post-session wrap-up for advisors to run IncomeConductor side by side with generally minimal tools for retirement income generation in their current accumulation-focused financial planning software to see which has the most believable output.
This proactive and predictive events startup that is meant to help advisors launched in 2021.
During his demo, CEO Philipp Hecker launched the company's "Life Events" program, which focuses on two dozen such instances that include getting married, buying a home or moving to a new state, among others.
Earlier this year, it launched the "Life in Numbers" program, which focused on 15 distinct age milestones that matter in clients' and prospects' lives.
Bento’s technology already integrates through APIs with the most common industry customer relationship management applications and platforms used by advisors, including Microsoft Dynamics, Practifi, Redtail, Salesforce (and the Salesforce overlay XLR8) and Wealthbox.
Once set up with an advisor's particular CRM, the Bento Engine seeks out upcoming advice opportunities for clients (for example, a teenager hitting a birthday in their state when they can apply for a credit card or a client that has turned 50 and can allocate additional assets into a retirement plan).
The technology then matches those milestones or planning opportunities with a package of relevant communication resources as an actionable CRM task.
In a June interview with WealthManagement.com, Bento investor and RIA consultant Gavin Spitzner, president of Wealth Consulting Partners, said with the company’s technology, automation of next-best-action for RIAs had really arrived.
“What Bento does, and we haven’t seen this in any other tool built specifically for wealth management, is a mechanism to take known client data, for example date of birth, and financial planning data and having it create automated, quality communications that are client-specific,” he said.
Bento announced an initial seed round of approximately $1 million in June that included, in addition to Spitzner, a who’s who roster from within the RIA, technology and consultancy sectors—from Marty Bicknell and Shannon Eusey, CEOs of Mariner Wealth and Beacon Pointe Advisors, to Anton Honikman, CEO of MyVest, and Kelly Waltrich, former CMO of Orion Advisor Solutions.