Although I have been working with financial advisers for thirty eight years (almost to the day) and am the first person to support and promote the value they offer, this article is somewhat naive and idealistic.
The simple fact of the matter is that technology has a habit of creeping up behind you and kicking you hard in the backside when you least expect it - just look at Kodak, Blockbuster and others who buried their heads in the sand.
Like it or not, more and more of us spend large proportions of our lives on our mobile devices. On average a typical adult looks at their mobile 264 times a day (IpsosConnect TouchPoints Survey 2015), and tools to help with personal finances increasingly occupy our attention.
It goes without saying that there will always be a high value attached to face-to-face financial advice and planning - the problem is getting the attention of people who want it and who are prepared to pay for it. And when you consider that hardly any financial advice firms in the UK have an Internet/Social Media strategy, they really will struggle getting people's attention. What's more, I can count the number of financial advice firms who have their own smartphone app on the fingers of one hand.
This article is great for those who are curious about better understanding the value that a 'real' adviser gives (and they give a LOT), but let there be no misunderstanding as to the massive impact that DIY technology is going to play in this marketplace. And yes, many many people will use these tools as a substitute for 'the real thing'.
Although it’s true that we’ll see more planning tools and information services, it would be misguided to suggest that these could replace the role of financial advice. In fact, to put too much trust in the technology could put consumers at risk of poor choices, with potentially serious consequences for their retirement.