The emergence of COVID-19 turned 2020 into an unprecedented year, leading to significant changes in the way we live and work. As 2021 gets underway, some of those trends are likely to continue, reshaping everything from the way we do business to the financial landscape.
To put some of these trends in perspective, we asked several of our Top 100 Advisors to share their predictions for the year ahead.
“My predictions for the industry in 2021 are that we will continue to see a lot of advisors and RIA's convert to virtual-based businesses and increase their use of email marketing and social media to engage with ideal prospects and clients. I also think that there will be a lot of movement of clients firing old advisors who are not delivering good service and moving more to fee-only or fee-based models where client service is a top priority. And with more and more people left with so much uncertainty with the markets, I think more people will devote time and energy toward their finances by taking personal finance courses, reading books, or hiring a financial planner to help them make smart money decisions in this new world that is emerging.” — Brittney Castro, CEO & Founder of Financially Wise
“Sustainable Responsible Investing (SRI) can mean different things to different stakeholders. Clients recognize that combining goal-based investing with environmental, social, and governance-related (ESG) insights can help them align their investments with their values and priorities. More clients expect transparency, demand accountability and want to understand how their investment decisions affect the most pressing issues, such as climate change, racial injustice, income inequality, etc.” — Marguerita Cheng, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth
“I believe a large RIA will announce they’ve allocated a significant portion ($50-100M) of their book to Bitcoin. I also believe you’ll see the wirehouses announce they are finally allowing their advisors to engage with clients about cryptocurrency. Lastly, I believe in 2021 we will see a Bitcoin ETF.” — Tyrone Ross, CEO of Onramp Invest
“In 2021, we’ll see an increased interest in cryptocurrency-related investments and new options that make investing in digital assets more accessible to the mainstream public. We’re likely to see a strong year for value, small-cap and international stocks. We’ll continue to see consolidation in the RIA space to realize the efficiencies that come with greater scale. And, new and better fintech tools that revolutionize the way we offer financial planning!” — Dana Anspach, Founder and CEO of Sensible Money
“I think we will see more personalization and customization of clients' investment portfolios. The main forces of change will most likely be more widespread advisor adoption of direct indexing and ESG-themed portfolios. If firms choose to ignore what the market is demanding, they do this at their own peril. I also believe there will be strengthened rules for investment oversight consumer protections regarding their personal finance with the new administration.” — Tony Isola, Financial Advisor at Ritholtz Wealth Management
“I think top advisors will see record growth in their business in 2021. Hopefully, America will be recovering from the Coronavirus, and we will see many people seeking expert financial guidance. I also think we will see many advisors continue to work from home; many clients love the convenience of Zoom meetings. Why take the time to drive across town, pay to park, all for something that can be done from the comfort of your own home, or even while you are sitting on a beach somewhere exotic.” — David Rae, President and Founder of DRM Wealth Management