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Holistic Investment Advice: How Retail Advisors can manage these 3 Challenges

The role of investment advisors within retail banking has fundamentally changed in recent years. The growing complexity of financial markets, a constant flood of information, and increasing customer expectations pose new challenges for personal and efficient investment advice. With the following overview I would like to share my personal experiences as a former client advisor.

Before I took on the role of Account Manager at Fincite, I had the privilege of working for ten years in retail banking as an advisor. In this versatile position, I learned how essential modern software and IT infrastructure are for investment advice, to fully commit to the client goals and requirements. Therefore, I personally find it crucial that banks deal with their software and digitalization strategy early on to enable customer-centered advice in the future.

In this article, I want to clarify three core elements that you need for a holistic digitalization of your investment business.

Current Challenges in Retail Investment

Financial markets have become increasingly complex in recent years, and providing tailored investment recommendations to your customers requires deep expertise in all asset classes more than ever. To stay up-to-date and provide sound advice, advisors often have to painstakingly gather information from various sources and manually transfer it into other systems. Another aspect they deal with daily is the significantly increased customer expectations. Nowadays, many investors compare different investment options online, mainly looking for cost-effective offers, such as online brokerage platforms. Advisors should ideally have broad knowledge about various investment products and cater to their customer's individual needs.

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In the retail market, rising regulatory requirements are a significant challenge. Investment advisors must not only have detailed knowledge of regulations like WpHG and MiFID II but also the bank itself must provide these processes in a standardized way so that the advisors can comply. This increases the administrative burden and leaves less time for customer care and advice. Lacking uniform processes can also lead to regulatory errors that must later be corrected.

Unintended Consequences

Due to the heavy workload and increasing complexity of tasks, it is challenging to perceive all sales approaches. In daily work, time often falls short or vital details are lost. This may lead to customers not being offered the full range of investment options, or advisors not having enough time to address individual customer needs. The result: Your customers remain uncertain and turn to online providers.

Another negative consequence is the high turnover of advisors in retail banking. Many advisors withdraw from sales and seek other fields of work, while banks struggle to find qualified professionals to fill new positions. This hinders the building of trust with customers, as high fluctuation prevents a sense of continuity and expertise.

At Fincite, we have repeatedly encountered the following three key points that are the foundation for successful digitalization of investment offerings:

1) Access to Information as a Game Changer

To support advisors in these challenges, banks should provide modern software solutions. The use of specialized applications and tools can facilitate access to information, increase efficiency, and help advisors better analyze and assess various investment options. These solutions also reduce administrative effort and make compliance with regulatory requirements easier.

The beauty is that the positive effect of software can be demonstrated in concrete examples, with 60-80% time savings possible, thanks to a pre-defined digital process and clear UX. It makes it easier to keep up with customers during the advice process and not lose them. In the following section, we'll show you how a MiFID-II compliant process in risk profiling can look playfully easy.

2) Regaining Trust Through Holistic Advice

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Moreover, software enables the advisor and customer to explore and discuss new topics together. Retail investors rarely have a holistic financial planning or overview of all their assets across all asset classes. But the wealthier a customer is or becomes, the more these issues matter. Even in the retail area, alternative assets like crypto or precious metals are increasingly being requested. Especially here, customers can regain their trust with good advice and planning. In the specific case of BCA AG, one of Germany's largest broker-pool companies, advisors were able to nearly double their share-of-wallet using the points outlined.

3) Individual Investment Reporting

Untitled design (13)Another ace in the hole for comprehensive investment advice is extensive ad-hoc reporting, created by both customers and advisors with just one click. The tedious gathering of all information is a thing of the past thanks to modern software tools. Advisors thus gain more free capacity for the essentials of their job: sales. Intuitive dashboards and deep data provide many sales approaches and the basis for strong arguments in the advice. The positive effect won’t take long, with detailed answers to all questions regarding the customer portfolio, the advisors are significantly strengthened in their advisory competence. Deep dives into numerous metrics (e.g., Value at Risk) can be offered as needed.

Untitled design (14)This additional information is the extra mile that many customers will expect from their advisors in the future, as they often inform themselves in advance and bring more knowledge to the advice. The daily life of many private investors is also influenced by social media and financial influencers who vividly package and entertainingly design financial information. To keep up with this trend, especially retail advisors must stay on top of the latest technological developments.


In summary, retail advisors face various challenges. The increasing complexity of financial markets, more demanding customer expectations, high regulatory requirements, and high turnover require banks to make adjustments and provide specific solutions. The trio of efficiency improvement, individual advice, and the use of suitable software solutions help to master these challenges and ensures high-quality investment advice in retail banking.

If you'd like to learn how successful integration of modern investment software tools into a large bank's existing IT infrastructure can be implemented, we'd be happy to discuss it in a personal conversation. Our platform takes into account the needs of both advisors and expected customer needs. Let's shape the future of retail banking together and make digitalization your competitive advantage.

Feel free to contact me for more information or a personal demo. I'd be glad to answer your questions.


Dennis Ritter.

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