12 September 2023 |

How To Bridge The Fintech To Wealth Management Gap


Picture this: Huntington Beach, California, a sunny day, and the buzz of a wealth management conference festival in the air. The scene couldn’t be more picturesque. 

But amid the vibrant discussions and the lure of fintech innovation, there’s a missing piece: The untapped potential of fintech companies as educators, guiding individuals into financial planning and wealth management.

Don’t get me wrong, the financial advice and wealth management space has plenty of work to do to get advisors adopting technology– and the content at Future Proof represents the innovation that needs to happen (like measuring emotional behavior through AI, but we’ll get into that in another newsletter). 

However, I would like to see the larger fintech community unite with the wealth tech community to focus more on promoting financial inclusion and less on making the wealthy even richer. 

Root of the Problem 

As someone who has spent plenty of time at the intersection of fintech and wealth management, known as wealth tech, I’ve seen first-hand the incredible transformation that has taken place within the industry. 

The pandemic ignited a surge of investment account openings in 2020, with more than 10 million new brokerage accounts opened, showing that wealth management has finally become culturally relevant to mainstream audiences. 

This newfound interest also extended to the realms of personal financial education, with 79% of users looking for advice on how to start an emergency fund, improve their credit score, and create a savings habit. 

In response to this, companies like SoFi and Step began leveraging social media to provide educational content through short-form videos, making financial advice accessible to all – regardless of their wealth or level of knowledge. 

This has been well-received, particularly by those traditionally underserved by financial services, and represents an amazing opportunity for fintech companies to bring Millennials and Gen Z – who make up 47% of the US population – into their user bases. 

In short, financial education content has become a valuable asset, revolutionizing the fintech landscape and empowering the next generation of wealth builders.

But there’s a gap: Actually teaching users how to apply all that knowledge to the multitude of fintech applications available. It’s a crucial question, because financial goals are as individualized as the people who have them, and without proper guidance, users are left to navigate this landscape on their own. 

It’s time to bridge this gap and provide the guidance users need to make the most of the technology available to them.

The Trust Factor 

So, how can fintech companies guide those who’ve learned about fintech and personal finance through influencers or social media? First and foremost, they must focus on creating their organic distribution channels and providing free, educational content to build trust with their audience.

Building trust is a gradual process. It requires consistent content creation and, most importantly, education. People need to understand that financial planning isn’t about beating the market; it’s about allocating your funds strategically to achieve your financial goals.

Once the education gap is addressed, convincing customers of the value of financial planning becomes more straightforward. However, this is a long game. Building trust takes time. It cannot be achieved in a year or two, regardless of how much capital a fintech company has. The journey may span four to five years, but it’s about long-term commitment and creating sustainable profitability and trust. 

Some standout leaders in the fintech space are already making strides in this direction. I’m keeping tabs on companies like Aura, led by Kelsey Willock and Courtney Cardin, and Bolder Money, under the leadership of Amy Schultz. These startups are dedicated to creating educational content (amongst other tools) that empowers individuals to take control of their financial futures. 

If you take the initiative to provide free educational content and fill the fintech education gap (personal finance is already being filled by influencers like Tori Dunlap and Vivian Tu), it could be a game changer for the wealth management industry. 

As fintech continues to make waves in the financial sector, it’s more important than ever for fintech leaders to take up the mantle of educator. We need to build the metaphorical ship of fintech, and just as importantly, explain why we’ve built it in this way. 

Now is the perfect time to do so – the world of fintech is evolving quickly and investors need guidance in navigating these uncharted waters. It’s time to become the educators we need to ensure that the fintech revolution is a successful one. 

What specific steps can fintech companies take to become educators and guides in the field of wealth management? 

I created a 3-step, tailored playbook designed just for you:

1. Building Trust through Relatable Content (Your Voice Matters): Begin your journey by creating compelling, relatable content that speaks directly to your audience. Tell your story. Trust is the foundation of any successful financial endeavor, and your unique perspective and voice can help you establish yourself as a trusted source of financial insights and guidance.

2. Scaling through Affordable Financial Planning: As you build trust and cultivate your audience, leverage your growing community to provide cost-effective financial planning services. Imagine assembling a team of financial experts and offering their services at a subsidized rate, thanks to the efficiencies you’ve gained through your fintech platform. This is how you can make financial planning accessible to all.

3. Empower Through Education: Education is the key to transformation. Many individuals mistakenly believe that financial success means outperforming the market through trading. It’s your mission to dispel this misconception. Financial planning is about smartly allocating resources to achieve long-term goals. Empower your audience with this understanding.

The Long-Term Vision

Remember, this isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Consider it a multi-year plan to build trust, educate your audience, and provide cost-effective solutions.

Transforming wealth management through fintech is a journey that’s about building a business and a movement that helps your end user take control of their financial futures.

What happens next? It’s your move.