Finance Meets Fashion: #Wearables in Wealth Management

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11 May 2015


Wearable technology is quickly gaining interest and momentum among consumers and enterprises. Wearables are digital devices that can be worn on the body (i.e., glasses, watches, cameras, clips), can be controlled with minimal manual input, and offer real time access to and the collection of data.

“This data can ultimately be used to influence real world decisions and behavior; wearables have the potential to alter the way we go about our daily lives,” says Ashley Globerman, an analyst with Celent’s Wealth Management practice and author of the report. “Wearables span multiple categories, including, but not limited to health, finance, and lifestyle. Achieving the ‘quantitative self’ has never been easier.”

Wearable technology, particularly in the wealth management industry, is in its infancy, which is not too dissimilar to smartphones and tablets about 10 years ago. Celent estimates that the wearables market will grow at a similar adoption rate as smartphones and tablets, possibly even more quickly. As the functionality and capability of wearables expand, so too will adoption rates among retail investors and wealth managers. Consumers’ expectations have become increasingly complex as a result of the digital revolution both within and outside the financial services industry. Consumer demand for choice, convenience, and customization poses challenges and opportunities to enterprises.

Existing financial apps for wearable devices are mostly focused on PFM/budgeting and banking services; this caters to the millennial and mass affluent customer segments. In this report, Celent explores the role of wearables in wealth management and assesses if wearables have the potential to move beyond the mass affluent and serve the high net worth customers by, for example, integrating with an advisor’s CRM system. Celent provides an overview of the wearables market, examines the drivers for adoption, studies the potential impact of wearables on the retail investor and wealth managers, and concludes with a prospective look at the impact on the wealth management industry.