Financial advisors and recordkeepers are increasingly offering financial wellness programs, but they may be behind when it comes to their existing technology, according to a new report.
Most advisors and consultants, as well as more than 90% of recordkeepers, offer some type of financial wellness program, according to a report from Cerulli Associates. The programs address various topics, including budgeting and debt management, investing, college planning, optimizing Social Security and retirement income planning, the research firm says.
But as such programs become more ubiquitous, “enhancements to existing technology and privacy are critical,” Cerulli says.
On the one hand, firms that offer personalized wellness programs must ensure their cybersecurity measures are up to par to protect users’ private information, which can include everything from their Social Security numbers, credit card debt and student loans to their work productivity, satisfaction with their job and even data on their personal relationships, smoking status and how they sleep, according to the report.
Eighty percent of retirement specialist advisors rate cybersecurity as a top issue, putting it at the top of the list when they assess recordkeepers, Cerulli says.
At the same time, better technology should translate to greater customization, according to the report.
Technology “has the potential to standardize recommendations, combat human biases, and at the very least alleviate some of the more time-intensive, computational aspects of portfolio management and financial planning,” Anastasia Krymkowski, associate director at Cerulli, says in a press release.
Krymkowski cites responsive design, mobile apps, account aggregation tools and streamlined navigation as the top areas of continuous technological innovation.
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