It was only a decade or so ago that families on a Saturday night would trundle up to the local Blockbuster Video store and try to find a movie to rent.

Remember those days? There were stand-up arguments in the store, as Dad gravitated toward the action section, Mum had her heart set on a Julia Roberts drama, teenage daughter hankered for Johnny Depp and younger brother wanted Lord of the Rings.

Even after intense diplomatic efforts and the family somehow wrangling a compromise, they would discover the movie was already out. A hasty second choice would then be settled upon, except no-one ended watching it and the late fee kicked in.

These days, each member of the family is on their own devices at home, served movies geared to their own tastes and preferences and on demand. No parking hassles, no queuing, no late fees, no arguments, and all for about $15 a month.

Netflix of Advice

While financial advice is obviously a world away from movie rentals, the fact is technology and consumer demands are changing at such a pace it’s worth asking whether your business will look more like Blockbuster Video or Netflix in future.

The ‘Netflixisation’ of financial advice, long talked about, is now seriously emerging as a prospect in the industry. Indeed, management consultancy McKinsey, in a recent report, named it as one of six major trends likely to shape the industry in the next decade.

While the McKinsey report ‘On the Cusp of Change’, focused on the possible state of the North American wealth management sector by 2030, many of the same forces and influences are already evident in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Number one on the McKinsey list is the Netflix effect. The report predicts up to 80 per cent of new clients by 2030 will want to access advice in the streaming model – in other words data-driven, hyper-personalised, continuous and via subscription.

“For wealth managers, continuous access and automatic hyper-personalisation could change the terms of success,” the report says. “Advisers can embark on the journey now by using data and technology on a more frequent and consistent basis.”

The Fitbit of Advice

The second trend is more in keeping with what is happening with the personal health and fitness sector. In recent years, fitness trackers have taken hold, providing consumers with real-time assessments of their sleep, exercise and diet.

McKinsey predicts that this trend will be manifested in the advice industry through the increasing adoption of granular goal-tracking for clients, spanning not only long-term retirement objectives but shorter-term saving, education and broader wellness goals.

To achieve this, advisers will need to deploy digital monitoring and tracking tools that provide real-time incentives for clients and that aid motivation.