Can I expect more than financial advice from my financial advisor?
Thirty years ago, the term financial advice commonly referred to a limited subset of services, with an emphasis on investment management.
Over the interim years, more advisors expanded to retirement-planning services. And, more recently, demand grew for a more holistic approach to financial advice.
That demand stimulated the growth of an entire industry of advisors, many of whom seek the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. That status means that they may provide fully integrated financial services, including estate, tax and other more sophisticated planning, making them true one-stop shops…at least from a financial perspective.
Yet times are changing…rapidly. Consumers rightly remain focused on their finances, but they are living longer now; they’re working harder and for more hours, particularly as technology requires them to be connected perpetually to their work.
And consumers are more focused than ever on enhancing the depth and quality of their lives, during both their work lives and retirement years. In turn, the advisors many consumers have come to trust the most—their financial advisors—are beginning to rethink their service approach.
Some of the most forward-thinking advisors, while remaining focused on their own areas of expertise, are now creating integrated, extensive networks of third-party service providers who, in collaboration with these financial advisors, bring the term holistic services to a whole new level. These enhanced services focus not only on complete financial wellness but also on physical and emotional wellness and overall lifestyle enhancement.
This means that financial advisors are surrounding themselves with networks of third-party tax professionals, estate-planning attorneys and insurance agents with whom they work collaboratively to best meet their clients’ needs.
In the same spirit, future-minded advisors are also extending basic networks to include providers of nontraditional wellness and life-enrichment services.
In summary, advisors’ networks comprise three categories.
• Cybersecurity and identity-theft auditing, consulting, protection and remediation
• Trustee and fiduciary services
• Divorce and separation mediation and consultation services
• Estate administration
• Cash and debt management
Physical and emotional wellness:
• Healthcare concierge services
• DNA sequencing and precision medical support
• Cognitive therapy, relationship and stress-management resources
• Fitness consulting, tracking and reporting
• Nutritional consulting, tracking and reporting
• Mindfulness and meditation coaching
• Career and lifelong learning pursuits
• Career-transition consulting
• College and graduate school admission consulting
• Leadership coaching
• Philanthropic and legacy coaching
• Family-governance and conflict resolution services
• Art and collectibles consulting
• Travel and entertainment concierge services
• Private aviation- and yacht-management services
• Home-maintenance concierge services
Over a lifetime, a client of such a “future” advisor should expect far more than solutions aimed at financial enrichment. The client should also expect life-enrichment solutions.
Consider, for example, an approach to retirement planning that goes beyond a financial-planning exercise in which retirement and other financial goals are established and a corresponding savings and investment plan is devised and monitored.
Shouldn’t that retirement plan go beyond financial planning? Shouldn’t it also address long-term health, happiness and legacy goals, with a corresponding plan to achieve those specific, nonfinancial goals? Of course it should, and forward-thinking financial advisors will be well positioned to ensure that it does.
For clients, the best financial advice is evolving into truly holistic advice—holistic not simply because it covers the full array of financial services designed to promote financial enrichment, but because it is integrated with broader, and equally important, life-enrichment services.