BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fidelity Institutional, the division of Fidelity Investments® that provides clearing, custody and investment management products to registered investment advisors (RIAs), retirement recordkeepers, broker-dealers, family offices and banks, today announced a new collaboration with LearnVestTM, as well as additional resources to help advisors explore options to digitize their practices. New Fidelity research confirms the need for advisors to begin integrating digital strategies: 55 percent plan to target emerging and mass affluent investors1 in the next five years, 2 a segment of investors who are comfortable transacting online and craving more clarity and simplicity in their finances. This is a shift for many advisors, considering that seven in 10 firms report that investors over the age of 49 or with more than $1 million in assets drive their current strategy. 3
“Advisors are seeking out efficient and scalable solutions to help the next generation of clients get engaged in improving their own financial outcomes,” said Michael Durbin, president, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “LearnVest‘s focus on making financial services broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want aligns with Fidelity’s mission and with the values of the nearly 10,000 advisory firms we serve.”
The relationship with LearnVest will help advisors offer clients access to an educational “financial wellness” microsite, powered by LearnVest’s original content, as well as preferred pricing to LearnVest’s technology-enabled financial planning program. The collaboration will be particularly useful for advisors consulting on workplace retirement plans. It adds to Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services’ collaboration with Betterment Institutional,4 through which RIAs may consider adding a client-facing digital platform to engage growing investor segments, like the emerging affluent, while still delivering the advice for which they are highly valued.
“Fidelity is focused on listening to and delivering against advisors’ most pressing needs, and ‘options to digitize my practice’ has quickly become one of the needs most often cited,” continued Durbin. “As the digital marketplace evolves, we will continue to provide the solutions our clients need to evolve along with it, whether through strategic alliances or on our own.” Click here to hear from Fidelity’s Michael Durbin on the criticality of options for advisors to digitize their practices.
Fidelity is also launching a new report on the digital landscape in addition to the collaborations with LearnVest and Betterment Institutional. The range of solutions and resources aim to help advisors regardless of where they are in their decision to digitize: assessing the digital opportunity, incorporating digital elements or creating their own digital platform solution.
1. Assess the Opportunity
For advisors, digitizing a practice is not one size fits all. Advisors should consider reviewing their franchise front-to-back to ensure that it makes sense for them, and if so, to what extent, asking questions like: Can their brand support this? What are the implications for their current engagement model and scope of services provided? Do they have the talent in place?
Fidelity’s new report, Digging into Digital Advice explores the digital platform landscape and features “readiness checklists” and advisor best practices to help advisors take a practice management approach to integrating digital strategies in order to nurture and engage younger investors and enhance their client engagement model.
2. Incorporate Digital Elements
One option to digitize is to incorporate digital elements, such as online tools, into an existing model, particularly to support a broader segment of mass affluent investors efficiently and with scale. As such, Fidelity Institutional is working with LearnVest to help firms offer clients digital content and LearnVest’s financial wellness program – something particularly useful for advisors consulting with participants in workplace retirement plans. The resources will also be available to independent recordkeeper, broker-dealer and family office clients of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, National Financial® and Fidelity Family Office Services.
3. Create a Digital Model
According to recent Fidelity research, 56 percent of RIA and broker-dealer firm leaders plan to embrace digital platforms by incorporating them into their existing businesses or partnering with one.3 For RIAs looking to supplement their traditional advice model with a digital platform solution, Fidelity is providing introductions to Betterment Institutional. The business-to-business platform can give RIAs the tools they may need to bring advice to the masses, at the same time being more productive, more efficient and providing an engaging client experience.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.0 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of October 31, 2014, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping 23 million people investing their own life savings, 20,000 businesses to manage their employee benefit programs, as well as providing 10,000 advisors and brokers with technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 41,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.
LearnVest is an award-winning financial planning company, which aims to make financial planning affordable, accessible and even delightful. LearnVest, a registered investment adviser, is redefining the traditional financial planning market with a dynamic, technology-enabled service—the LearnVest Program. The Program connects clients across the country with a dedicated LearnVest Planner who provides a comprehensive financial plan. LearnVest's proprietary software provides the tools and resources a client needs to put the Planner's advice into action, helping make progress possible.
Since launch, LearnVest has raised more than $73 million in venture-financing (led by Accel Partners) and been awarded numerous accolades, including one of Time’s ”50 Best Websites” and 3 years running Best of Show awards at FinovateFall 2011, 2012 and 2013. LearnVest’s Board of Advisors includes: Theresia Gouw (Former Partner, Accel Partners), Sameer Gandhi (Partner, Accel Partners) and Ann Kaplan (Former Partner, Goldman Sachs). Formal Advisors include Greg Waldorf (Former CEO, eHarmony), Greg Coleman (President, Buzzfeed), Susan Lyne (Vice Chairman, Gilt Groupe), Ed Mathias (Founding Member, The Carlyle Group), Todd Ruppert (Former CEO & President, T. Rowe Price) and Ann Sardini (Former CFO, Weight Watchers). For more information about LearnVest, please visit www.LearnVest.com.
The content provided herein is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. This information is not individualized and is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your decisions as there may be other factors you should consider.
The third party companies mentioned herein are independent companies, unaffiliated with Fidelity Investments.
Third party marks are the property of their respective owners; all other marks are the property of FMR LLC.
Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services provides brokerage products and services and is a division of Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC. National Financial is a division of National Financial Services LLC through which clearing, custody and other brokerage services may be provided. Both members NYSE, SIPC.
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1 Emerging Affluent investors are ages 21 to 48 with investable assets between $50K and $250K and an annual household income of $100k or more. Mass Affluent investors are ages 21 to 54 with investable assets between $250K and $1M or ages 55 and older with investable assets between $500K and $1M.
2 The 2014 Fidelity Advisor Insights study, part of Fidelity’s Insights on Advice program, is the 8th iteration of the study. This was an online, blind survey (Fidelity not identified) fielded during the period of September 18th through October 6th, 2014. Participants included 933 advisors from across multiple firm types who work primarily with individual investors and manage a minimum of $10M in individual or household investable assets. Firm types included a mix of large and small IBDs, regional broker-dealers, RIAs, insurance companies, wirehouses and banks with findings weighted to reflect industry composition. Bellomy Research, an independent third-party research firm not affiliated with Fidelity Investments, conducted the study.
3 The Fidelity 2014 Executive Forum Poll was conducted May 4-7, 2014. Ninety-two registered investment advisor and correspondent broker-dealer Fidelity clients attending Executive Forum completed questionnaires at the event. The results of this poll may not be representative of all financial advisors meeting the same criteria as those surveyed at the Fidelity 2014 Executive Forum.
4 Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (FBS) has entered into an arrangement with Betterment Securities whereby FBS provides information and education about the Betterment Institutional platform to RIAs interested in an investment-based digital advice solution, and Betterment Securities compensates FBS for such introductions. The amount of compensation FBS receives will vary based on the amount of assets the RIAs transfer to Betterment Securities. FBS’s receipt of this compensation may incent FBS to introduce RIAs to the Betterment Institutional platform. In no event shall FBS’s introduction to Betterment Securities constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or opinion as to the appropriateness of any relationship between RIAs and the Betterment Institutional platform, Betterment Securities, or their agents or affiliates, or as to the suitability of any investment advice provided by the Betterment Institutional platform or its agents or affiliates.