Fidelity-owned fintech eMoney Advisor showcased its overhauled financial planning and wellness mobile app, called Incentive, at its annual conference Monday.
The app — named based on the notion that everyone has an incentive to become financially healthy — has been redesigned to motivate the user to change their financial behavior by accessing basic financial plans, spending challenges and relevant financial literacy topics, according to eMoney’s head of product Jess Liberi.
“Incentive helps advisers introduce planning topics at scale and encourages small behavioral changes today — through increased awareness and healthier spending habits,” Liberi said. “While we are focusing our initial efforts on working with advisers who manage workplace investment and wellness plans, we see it reaching much further in the future.”
The app was first introduced in 2019 as Project Avocado and was more simply a retirement budgeting app. Now, users can download the app — via Google Play or Apple iOS — enter their age and income and they will get a target plan to let them know if they’re on track in five areas of planning including retirement, emergency savings, budget, debt and insurance.
A large majority of Millennial and Gen Z users said they’d give their adviser more business if they covered topics on physical health (80%), mental health (77%) and relational health (61%), according to a recent eMoney survey, which queried more than 800 advisers and end clients in August.
As for technology, 73% of Millennial and Gen Z investors are comfortable using a digital assistant like Alexa or Siri to get financial advice. Similarly, 72% are comfortable using a financial adviser avatar powered by AI and big data. By comparison, only 36% of Gen X and Baby Boomers said they’re comfortable using a digital financial adviser powered by AI and 38% said they are comfortable using a digital assistant to get financial advice.
The Incentive tool, slated to launch in January, will identify the user’s spending challenges, help them act with education and nudges about how behavior changes, such as spending less at restaurants or paying more to student loans, can improve long-term financial health.
The ultimate goal is to provide financial planning earlier and graduate to eMoney’s other planning tools in the future.
The app is meant to make it easier for investors to do self-guided planning, similar to the goal behind Envestnet MoneyGuide’s MyBlocks interface. Both Fidelity’s eMoney Advisor and Envestnet’s MoneyGuide are arguably the most prominent financial planning tech firms to date, head of Technology Tools for Today Joel Bruckenstein said during the InvestmentNews Virtual Fintech Summit last Thursday.
Fidelity Investments launched a separate mobile app this summer, Fidelity Spire, with a similar business strategy to establish long-term relationships with prospects and move conversations toward proprietary products and services.
As Millennials and Gen Z continue to take interest in financial advice, advisers need to adjust their business strategies accordingly, said Matt Schulte, eMoney’s head of financial planning. “What’s going to shape the adviser of the future is being open to the idea of a revolution,” he said.
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As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.