The Future of Goals-Based Investing

Thanks to the recent launch of new software applications, goals-based investing has the potential to transform the wealth management industry in the coming years.

Over the past decade, goals-based investing has gained a significant foothold within wealth management. Although goals-based investing hasn’t received the sort of attention lavished on the latest industry fashions such as GenAI or direct indexing, the fact is that some of the most innovative developments in the industry―and potentially some of the most transformative―are happening in the area of goals-based investing. The Datos Insights 2024 Financial Advisor Survey revealed that a critical mass of advisors across all types of wealth managers now employ goals-based investing approaches for more than half of their clients.

This report discusses the industry shift toward holistic advisory models and how major wealth managers have adopted goals-based investing in their advisory models. The report also examines the four major methodologies that advisors utilize to build goals-based portfolios. Finally, the report reviews the goals-based investing applications of six vendors, highlighting their differentiating features and their strengths and weaknesses; the applications profiled are Advisor Engine’s Goals-Based Planning (Core and Dynamic versions), Envestnet’s MoneyGuide Pro, GMO’s Nebo Wealth, MSCI’s WealthBench, Ortec Finance’s OPAL Wealth, and Voyant’s Objective-Based Investing.

This report is based on interviews with 23 executives at a broad range of wealth managers and vendors to the wealth management industry; information gleaned from interviews was supplemented by insights from academic literature, industry white papers, and specialist publications on the topic of goals-based investing.

Clients of Datos Insights’ Wealth Management service can download this report.

This report mentions Bernstein Private Wealth, BNY Mellon, JP Morgan Private Bank, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, Wells Fargo, and Wilmington Trust.

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