Using automation to ignite delivery of de-accumulation services
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12 May 2015William Trout
In my latest report, Gold at the End of the Rainbow: Using Automation to Profitably Serve the De-Accumulating Investor, I explore the degree and form to which automated forms of delivery can be used to profitably serve the de accumulation needs of retirement investors. De accumulation, which encompasses downside protection and wealth transfer as well as the drawdown of assets, represents the leeward side of the retirement investments process. It is an area advisors have tended to avoid, in part due to challenges in getting paid. Increasingly, however, the considerations of advisors accustomed to selling annuities and IRAs are shifting under the weight of demographic trends and economic and regulatory imperatives. These advisors and the brokerage, advisory and insurance firms that employ them are starting to explore the automated delivery of advice as a way to rationalize their high cost sales structures. Automated delivery appeals in that it allows firms to touch the client directly and across the entire lifecycle, from prospecting to long term relationship management. It also enables outreach to a vast population of underserved customers, including mass affluent investors and high potential Millennials who would otherwise be uneconomical to service. The challenge, of course, lies in reconciling automated delivery with existing distribution channels and organizational structures. I’ll talk about strategies for deployment—and how these strategies can be tailored to meet the needs of an evolving client base—in a subsequent post on this blog.