Why do we do things the way we do? Much of the time, the honest answer is "that's just the way we've always done it."
With the advent of roboadvisors, regulatory changes and fintech advances, we think it's time to channel your inner five-year-old and just keep asking "why?"
"Why do we do things this way?" Does it benefit clients? Is it required by compliance? Does it generate revenue? Surprisingly often, the answer is none of these.
Why rebalance quarterly instead of "whenever it would benefit my client?" Why loss harvest mostly at year end? Why use mutual funds instead of individual equities? Why limit Environmental/Social/Governance criteria screens to only a handful of investors?
If your answer is cost, efficiency, or practicality, you may just be implementing procedures and processes that were developed long ago to get around some cost or technology limitation of the past. These processes can stick around years or decades after the limitations disappear — ghosts of wealth management technology past.
Smartleaf's mission — and that of other technology firms — is to remove these barriers and free advisors to manage wealth the way they want, not in the way old technology limitations forced them. One of the most important things we do is help wealth managers look at the way they manage money and figure out what parts of it reflect their true convictions and what parts are there because they just assumed there's no other way.
Building a great wealth management practice is hard enough without working around imaginary walls. So, channel your inner five-year-old and keep asking "why?"
For more on this topic, check out The Three Types of Wealth Management Firms.