Silver linings and green shoots: a client lifecycle approach to financial planning
Now that the world is emerging from the Covid 19 pandemic, people will be making decisions on their lifestyle choices, careers, housing, education and eventual retirement. A year of working from home, for those who are not key workers, has led some individuals to contemplate a new kind of life, with better work-life balance, among other objectives. Pundits have published articles about “the future of work” and related topics. Yet these decisions must be made in the context of holistic financial planning so that the rewards, risks and tradeoffs can be fully understood. The ability to see complex financial scenarios including the “known unknowns” is usually the subject of actuaries and portfolio managers; ordinary people and the financial professionals who advise them need tools to understand their finances quickly and simply.
Tools to manage risk, reward and possibilities: new perspectives for pensions and pre-retirement planning
For British people age 55+ with a defined contribution pension, being able to access the first 25% of your savings tax-free can be liberating. They can control how they spend the remainder with an income drawdown scheme. Annuities are no longer the only option. Regular payments can be taken from a pension fund and taxed as income. It is also possible to take the entire amount as cash and be taxed at the appropriate nominal tax rate. People who have assumed that an employer’s pension scheme or a financial planner will take care of their finances now wish to manage their own money. However, what they really need to do is manage three kinds of risk: market risk, longevity risk and inflation risk. Given the three types of risk that retirees need to manage, how can technology empower people to manage their pension assets in a strategic, systematic and safe way? A financial tool grounded in transparency of assumptions is the way forward.
Davids and Goliaths: The Role of Big Tech in Financial Services
We shouldn’t be surprised that Fintech firms are pioneering the current wave of mass digital adoption. Account management, payments and identity verification are just three areas where digital technology has and continues to augment products. In the past decade, much of the innovation has decoupled from the mainstream. Firms in hubs such as Stockholm and London have been at the forefront of pioneering fresh ideas and translating them into new consumer-centric tools. Now, as the industry matures, mainstream Tech firms are looking to add their heft into the mix: Will they overpower the relative minnows swimming in the Fintech waters, or will their efforts sink without a trace?
Leaning Into the Curve of the Pandemic
Few would have predicted a few months ago that 2020 would prove to be such a seismic event, notwithstanding that it’s US election year. Decisions made now will reverberate for years, if not decades to come. We will stay in our lane here and look at how FinTech can support better outcomes as we come out the other side.