There has been a lot of change in the world of finance over the past few years, particularly since the economic downturn that began in 2008. In the interceding time, the economy has begun to rebound, and the financial industry is embracing an even greater level of digitalization. Freedom Debt Relief reviews some of the most important areas when it comes to finance digitalization and how the industry is tackling these new challenges.
The increased digitalization of the financial market has opened not only an entirely new way of doing business, but there are also new risks, controls, and access issues that must be addressed as well.
The key trait a financial firm needs to embrace is flexibility. If there is one thing that can be relied upon, it is that there will be change.
While there are a lot of facets that Freedom Debt Relief has reviewed related to how to take advantage of the changing environment that finance finds itself in, there are some areas that are more important than others.
Freedom Debt Relief is excited that all sorts of new technologies that lead to great automation by way of artificial intelligence and things like robo-advisors and robotic process automation.
These allow routine, but important tasks to be managed by AI, rather than actual people, freeing up manpower for other tasks. Automation not only helps reduce the need for manpower, but it also helps reduce the prevalence of user error and lower overhead costs in the process.
Robo-advisors allow investors to make one investment deposit and have it automatically divided into the proper amounts to add to each component of their portfolio. The software can periodically examine your accounts based on the investor’s inputted portfolio distribution percentages and automatically rebalance the portfolio by selling overweight investments and buying underweight investments.
The robo-advisor program can also perform automatic tax loss harvesting. The robo-advisor determines any investments that have end-of-year tax losses and sell them to realize the loss. The losses can be subtracted from realized gains thus automatically reducing the investor’s tax liability and increasing long-run after-tax returns.
Human advisors can charge as much as 2% of a portfolio’s value or up to $300 per hour to perform these services for clients. Robo-advisors usually charge less than 0.5% of the value of a portfolio with no time-based charges. Some brokers are starting to provide robo-advisory services for free. Consumers can realize thousands of dollars of savings over the life of the portfolio.
Data, Data, Data
If there is one thing that financial industries must learn to manage, it is a steadily increasing amount of data. As technology improves, one thing that Freedom Debt Relief reviews show is that there is an ever-increasing amount of high-quality user data. This data can be used to create predictive models, for compliance, for strategic planning, and more. This data not only helps guide a financial process, but it can also be organized to provide useful insight for planning and risk management.
Data is no longer limited to the government’s press releases and the reports of a few research institutes. Data mining of direct consumer information gleaned from their browser histories, purchase patterns, and even location data yielded from apps tracking cell phones can now be combed for insights.
There is an increasing reliance and focus on the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies in various sectors, perhaps most notably in finance. Freedom Debt Relief reviews show that there is a dramatic increase in research, funding, and implementation of various forms of AI and machine learning that will make smart, real-time adjustments to financial instruments.
AI-based algorithms originally created for high-frequency trading are now being used to manage large investment funds. Market index funds can be rebalanced using a computerized trading program that checks holdings against investment criteria. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds holding tens of billions of dollars are managed by two or three people. In fact, the same two or three people can manage multiple funds. As a result, investment banks are reducing the size of their staffs and significantly lowering fees charged to investors.
These areas are going to be of increasing importance as the digitalization of the financial industry continues to grow. Being sure to focus efforts on automation using machine learning and AI tools, as well as how to make use of the increasing amounts of high-quality user data available at our fingertips will allow financial advisors to make better decisions and better manage risks in the financial world of the future.