Shift to Holistic Wealth Planning: Insights from IWI's 2019 Member Profile

Posted by Allison Edmondson, Director of Communications

Aug 12, 2019 3:00:00 PM

Boston, MA/Denver, CO — August 12, 2019  — New findings from a joint survey issued by Investments & Wealth Institute® (formerly IMCA) and Cerulli Associates show that Investments & Wealth Institute member advisors are shifting their services to provide holistic advice.
Institute members are transforming their business models. Ten years ago, fewer than one in five Institute advisors operated in one of the independent advisory channels. Today, 45% of Institute advisor members are independent, either working in an independent RIA firm (23%), in an independent broker/dealer firm (9%), or in a dually registered or hybrid firm (13%). In parallel, members are nearly twice as likely to report operating in a primarily fee-based practice relative to the industry average (62% vs. 38%, respectively). By 2020, members expect brokerage assets to make up just 10% of their client assets.
The survey also found that Institute members place an emphasis on holistic advice, with more than three-quarters (78%) of their clients receiving comprehensive or targeted financial planning advice. This is 10 percentage points higher than other industry advisors and is projected to rise another 7% by 2020.
Institute members are more likely than their peers to provide investment management due diligence. Members are also more likely to offer advanced financial planning services such as intergenerational planning, charitable planning, and trust services.

Due to the advanced education they receive through Institute offerings, member advisors are more confident in offering advanced financial planning and sophisticated investment solutions to their high-net-worth clients. For example, the survey found investment products such as hedge funds, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and real estate investment trusts more likely to be offered to an Institute advisor’s client than the average advisor’s client. Clients served by Institute members benefit from additional diversity in investment choice and performance.

“Advisors come to the Institute to expand their knowledge and skills to better serve existing and future clients,” said Sean R. Walters, CAE, chief executive officer, Investments & Wealth Institute. “Our unique blend of Ivy League-quality education with practical application helps advisors deliver on that value every day.”
This survey was based on data Cerulli Associates collected from members of the Investments & Wealth Institute. Today, the Institute serves more than 12,700 members and certificants, up 20% since 2016. Cerulli found the Institute’s membership is made up of professionals from across the wealth management marketplace who provide investment consulting, financial planning, and wealth management services to retail clients, high-net-worth clients, and institutional clients. Almost 40% of Institute advisors serve a core market of households with more than $2 million in investable assets, and the average assets under management for Institute members is four times greater than the average advisor. 

To access the study or learn more about the Institute, click here.

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