Wealth Management is Heading Where it Should've Been All Along
Source: FA-IQ, Mar. 22, 2018
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS, SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER, FINANCIAL ADVISOR IQ: Hello, I'm Rita Raagas De Ramos from Financial Advisor IQ. And with me today is Lou Cannataro, founder and partner of Cannataro Park Avenue Financial, which is part of the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Network. Your firm's mission is to provide personal guidance to families and businesses. And I know that you have very strong opinions about the future of wealth management. Where do you think wealth management is heading?
LOUIS CANNATARO, FOUNDER AND PARTNER, CANNATARO PARK AVENUE FINANCIAL (NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL): I think wealth management is going towards a position of where it really should have been from the beginning. And that's focusing on the client's goals and what they're trying to accomplish. I think people in the past might have been offering investment advice, selling product, but really not doing overall financial planning. And I think what is happening now, that those that have been providing that wealth management and overall planning, it's becoming extremely important to the clients. It's not just access to information because technology now has provided that for everyone.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: Good point. How much of this change that you expect is driven by the changes in technology?
LOUIS CANNATARO: Technology is fantastic. From when I first started in the business now, it's almost 26 years. It's come a long way. And all along the way, in our firm, we try to utilize whatever new technology that is available and implement that with working with our clients. It has just made our job that much easier to coordinate all of the clients' planning and put it into deliverable packages, and allows us more time to focus on the clients' goals and their mission in life.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: I'm curious. What's the level of acceptance or rejection to this new technology from your clients? Because not all clients -- especially the ones you've had for a long time -- embrace technology.
LOUIS CANNATARO: Yeah. And you're being nice. You're talking about the older clients, like myself. And yes, the older generation, some are very much into that technology. Some of them just like to know it's there. And every once in a while, if they want to be able to click in on their phone or computer, they can kind of see everything in one space. Our newer and younger clients coming on board are extremely stoked when they see that we have the highest level of technology and availability. I think it's much more important to the younger generations. And for the older generations, reassuring that it's there.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: And how much of these changes are being driven by the needs and demands of the clients themselves?
LOUIS CANNATARO: The technology is being driven, I think, on both ends. As we move deeper and deeper into our clients' life and are handling many different aspects, we need the technology to stay on top of everything and coordinate it. On the client side, it's becoming common where they would love to be able to click in any time and see what their internal rate of return was yesterday versus three years ago, or where their will or trust planning is. And it's being driven on both ends.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: Related to what you said earlier about the number of years you've been an advisor, as well as your opinion of the changes that are yet to come in wealth management, what do you think are the biggest changes? And number one, the challenges that you face in your business and in your industry, and number two, the opportunities that you have?
LOUIS CANNATARO: I think the biggest challenges are the fact that new clients coming on board don't know what to expect from a financial advisor. And I think many of them think it's all about, hey, the financial advisor is going to get me a better return in the marketplace. And so I think the first thing we have to do is dispel that myth of, it's not about, hey, we can outsmart the market. It's about the ability to help you plan, stay on track, and get that possible higher rate of return due to avoiding bad habits and commitments to your goals.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: Thank you, Lou.
LOUIS CANNATARO: Sure. Thank you for having me.