Recently, while scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing a friend’s vacation photos and smiling children, I noticed ads that could not have been more perfectly tailored to my consumer tastes. Posts sponsored by direct-to-consumer clothing brands offered me high-quality apparel suited specifically to my style, size and preferences. With a feed so attuned to the things I want, how could I resist buying a few shirts?
Everything I see on Instagram and other social media apps is the result of a deliberate design to encourage greater interaction with the platform. Considering how many things I’ve bought from Instagram ads, it’s clearly a success story. These platforms engage with and validate us as individuals, and it’s a service we’ve come to expect as consumers.
It’s no secret that fintech has historically lagged behind Silicon Valley, but I believe we will not have to wait long to see this experience echoed in the turnkey asset management platforms advisors use to power their businesses. I’m not saying TAMPs will become social networks with photo filters. Rather, we’ll see the technology advance to support a modern approach to investing that treats people like individuals, not risk numbers paired with investment goals.
A curated future
It’s a refrain I’ve heard at conference roundtables from industry leaders: The success of tomorrow’s advisors depends on their ability to serve more clients with fully customized advice across every account in every household. It’s a tall order, especially for several legacy TAMP solutions used today. These limit advisors to static dashboards built for the convenience of the provider, not the goals of the user.
Taking a page from social media platforms, tomorrow’s TAMPs will let advisors curate their dashboards, choosing the metrics that are relevant to their needs. This personalized touch will extend to a client’s preferences, letting the advisor create accommodations for each investor’s tax situation, risk appetite and ESG preferences. Next-generation portals and reporting systems will work in tandem to deliver this service and burnish the advisor’s client experience.
Reaping the benefits
The widespread embrace of social media has changed the game for businesses seeking exposure and success. I think there is something to learn and apply to TAMPs in a way that will help advisors rise to meet the challenges presented by this digital age. Ever since DIY platforms and ETFs entered the market and removed much of the guesswork from investing, advisors have felt pressure to find new ways to demonstrate their value. Rather than fit their clients into select model portfolios, tomorrow’s TAMP provides a personalized experience their clients might not attempt to replicate on their own or through an automated advice platform or so-called robo advisor.
Looking toward the horizon
Just as our social media landscape didn’t spring into being overnight, I expect investment technology will evolve over time. Social media’s intuitive, feature-rich approach to a customized feed is reflective of what investors can expect from the future of TAMPs. Customization capabilities will be the next logical step to modernizing fintech to be more effective, adaptive and capable of delivering the caliber of service advisors and clients demand.
The TAMP marketplace has come a long way since its outset in the early 1990s. This was a time when Silicon Valley democratized internet access with America Online. It’s impossible to predict what new technological advances will change the way we work and live, but we can always learn from them. I’m excited to see the application to TAMPs of the lessons we have learned from the vibrant and personalized social media we use every day.