The investment management industry and its clients have historically been at odds with each other. This is a galling reality that is unique to this industry and no other that readily comes to mind. Unnecessary complexity has been used to oversell, overcharge, and over-complicate a viable path towards prosperity for the average client.
It’s most often the large and more established firms, particularly broker-dealers, that are resistant to change. These models have historically favored the firm, not the client, by emphasizing black boxes and unfair fee structures. But this is changing.
With the Great Recession more than a decade behind us, transparency is now insisted upon by investors and, thankfully, it is readily accessible with technology seeping into all facets of the investment management industry. With investors clamoring for transparency, we think that the asset managers and financial planners that prioritize technology will not only help their clients achieve better outcomes but also foster greater levels of trust with them. It’s a win-win.
Leading the way, we believe, are the smaller and more nimble firms that are carving out a path that is free from the shackles of Wall St. More specifically, we think that independent registered investment advisors, such as SWS Partners, are leading the industry forward. Generally, these are firms that aren’t bound by old processes, legacy products, or antiquated business models that didn’t value the investor.
The smaller and more entrepreneurial firms can adapt their agenda for the benefit of the client much faster than traditional broker-dealers or mutual fund providers. In tandem with investor demands, it is this group that will permanently reshape the customer experience. Surely this will be a permanent destination for the industry to follow under the direction of the investing public and SWS is already in a position for the change.
SWS Partners is committed to creative destruction, as the great German economist Joseph Schumpeter described it, within the investment management industry. At the forefront is the recognition that transparency and technology go hand-in-hand and can help investors improve their chances of financial success.