Accenture recently conducted research to help our clients better understand investors’ preferences in managing their wealth. In this study, Canadians showed an openness to hybrid wealth advisement. In addition to a desire for transparency and low fees, four of 10 said they do not “get what they pay for” when using a traditional wealth advisor, leading them to explore other options such as robo-advice self-investing. And seven out of 10 told Accenture they use at least one digital tool or service already when investing.

I think the implications for wealth management firms doing business in Canada are clear: Hybrid advice—combining humans and robots—is the way forward not only to retain current clients, but also to help develop relationships with digital natives just now coming into their own money.

While we gleaned many insights from the survey, a few key points rise to the top:

Digital is changing how investors perceive “advice.” While robo-advice seems to be working for general advisement, investors will still want human advisors for more complex situations. But: 30 percent of investors are open to using non-traditional companies like Google for basic financial advice.

Clients want the flexibility of hybrid advice. Survey participants told us that if a firm does not have the right digital tools, it won’t make their short list. But, when dealing with issues that require a customized approach, investors still indicate they want the human touch. Six in 10 Canadian investors prefer a human as a source for new wealth management ideas.

The hybrid model can deepen client engagement. Investors in the hybrid model are significantly more likely to have sought and received financial planning assistance than investors in any other model. They are also more likely to have talked to their advisor about their children’s financial needs (72 percent versus 53 percent for traditional advisor model).

If your firm sees the need for hybrid but lacks the roadmap to get there, please email me, Kendra Thompson. I’d be happy to have a more in-depth conversation about beginning that journey.

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