The new year is a natural time to set goals for coming 12 months and to reflect on lessons learned from the previous year. Of course, 2020 had a lot to teach us. In this month’s blog, we share a few thoughts about the past year and trends we expect to see in 2021.
As I reflect on the past year, one of the silver linings for me has been the chance to focus on the present and the people around me. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to be content staying at home and not always being on the go or off to the next meeting. As we start 2021, I want to continue to be intentional with my time by doing the things I really want to do instead of being distracted by all of the things I could do.
As I think about the upcoming year personally, I decided in this stage of life to create 30-day goals instead of having a single overarching goal for the year because this approach seems to be more realistic and achievable. The first of these goals is participating in Dry January!
There are a couple of trends I am particularly interested in watching this year. We saw more breakaway and M&A activity in 2020 despite the uncertainty and change. And I anticipate that we will see another record-breaking year of consolidation. The advisors who will succeed are the ones who want to serve clients at scale by outsourcing their technology, investments, and operations.
The other trend we’re seeing is advisors taking a more holistic approach to advice by offering financial planning and incorporating additional services like insurance into their practice.
I am hopeful on both a personal and professional level that we can take the silver linings from 2020 and roll that into a great 2021!
I learned that not only can I work remotely from home, but my coworkers, our partners, and our clients can deliver the highest quality investment and financial planning services both independently and through collaboration by using the digital tools, platforms, and best practices widely at our disposal today. I am looking forward to a “return to normal” and feeling safe to engage face-to-face. I’m relieved and grateful that we are able to take care of business remotely during this health crisis. It’s a testament to our industry’s professional resolve that we are able to cross the digital divide together with our clients in a time of greatest need. That is to say, LibertyFi’s mission has been tested and proven through this crisis.
The move to breakaway was stronger than ever in 2020, which might be a surprise given all the setbacks the nation had to work through. While we feared the worst for the industry in the depths of the crisis, firms that move boldly forward through collaboration with LibertyFi not only survived but thrived in the face of massive pandemic disruptions.
No doubt, it was a very stressful year. To help clear my mind, I did a lot of fly fishing, quail hunting, and hiking. And you don’t see a whole lot of people, so it’s easy to stay safe while doing something I love.
In 2021, my hope is that we can help more firms find their way to independence, whether they’re:
- part of a larger company and need to break away.
- already established but need help to get the most from their technology to scale and grow.
- getting their feet underneath them as they establish their practice.
My resolution for 2021 is to ensure that we are properly staffed so we can continue to help our clients create better experiences for investors by streamlining operations and automating workflows.
2020 proved how resilient and adaptable the financial industry can be when faced with so much change. It was impressive to see how quickly our team and our clients adjusted to working remotely. We were fortunate to have the technology in place for a smooth transition.
As I served our clients while working from home, I found myself spending more time in the kitchen during breaks and after work. I also enjoyed the flexibility of working from my lake house. It was a nice change of scenery when so many of us felt stuck inside.
I believe we were all ambitious with our goals in 2020, but most stepped on the brakes once the pandemic hit. As I began planning for 2021, I approached it with reasonable and realistic expectations. One of my main goals for the year is to expand my service beyond my professional responsibilities by volunteering at a local nonprofit organization.
Here are a few trends that we saw in 2020 and hope advisors will continue to take advantage of in 2021:
- Using Envestnet’s client portal to give clients a holistic view of their wealth by providing data aggregation.
- Utilizing Envestnet’s co-browsing feature, which allows advisors to screenshare and video conference to help clients navigate the portal with ease.
Whatever 2021 may bring, I look forward to helping our clients manage and streamline their financial technology.
As you make your business plans for 2021, remember that LibertyFi has the experience and expertise to streamline operations by managing and configuring your firm’s wealth management technology.
For more information, contact Alli Jordan.