SMSF firms told to prepare for intergenerational wealth transfer

While countries like Australia are set to experience the greatest transfer of wealth in history over the next decade, SMSF practitioners have been warned younger generations may replace their services with technology.

Speaking at a conference last week, former Labor MP Bernie Ripoll said in the US the biggest and wealthiest generation in history will transfer around $30 trillion in assets over the next decade, which will mostly be transferred to children who are generation X and Y.

“In Australia, the exact same thing is happening, it’s just a proportionally smaller amount,” said Mr Ripoll.

“It’s great news, but there’s a bit of a catch. There’s been a fair few studies done on this, and the studies are pretty accurate. Most of their children, once they receive this transfer of wealth, the first thing they do is sack the adviser.”

Mr Ripoll said generation X and Y have different ideas on how to approach wealth and are looking at technology such as robo advice, robo super and robo wealth management.

“They need less people, they don’t need that face-to-face interaction and they’ve got almost no reliance on old systems. They don’t have relationships, they don’t have the networks, they’re not part of the system that currently exists today,” he said.

“If that’s not a clue that something needs to change, I’m not sure what is.”

Mr Ripoll said a recent Netwealth AdviceTech research report indicated that while 38 per cent of advisers believe managed accounts and robo advice will have the greatest impact on the sector over the next five years, 62 per cent don’t see it as an issue.

“So despite the status, the efficiencies and the cost savings generated by these technologies as major future disruptors, advisers have barely engaged with them in 2017,” he said.

“Currently 72 per cent of advisers do not use scaled advice technologies for the provision of advice, while 97 per cent of advisers don’t use robo investment technologies for their clients’ super or investment portfolios the report found.”

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