Online platforms have popularized financial planning: Dato Wayne Chen of GoalsMapper

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Money has been a known form of exchange to hold the value of our necessities and belongings, whereas ‘Wealth’ creation is defined by humankind as a primary objective to survive. Money can be held as a designator of our life’s decisions. To bear the vulnerabilities of life’s journey, it is necessary to hold on to money as a safety net. To maintain a proper flow of money to suffice our needs, it is imperative to plan our wealth creation strategy.

Our needs and requirements are largely met as a result of wealth accumulation in the process through structured planning. Planning can be stated as a pathway paved to align our process of financial activities. Financial planning is a core factor related to our survival criteria, which builds our standard of living.   

The new generation has garnered an affinity towards earning for long and short-term goals. The fondness of both spending and saving has emerged as an essential tool, where millennials have indulged in fewer savings and more spendings. Thereby, financial planning can be stated as a tool that acts as a progressive step to attain financial stability.        

Founder and CEO OF GoalsMapper Dato Wayne Chen

We spoke to the Founder and CEO of GoalsMapper Dato Wayne Chen to understand the necessity of financial planning. We learn the role of financial planning platforms in wealth accumulation and asset protection during financial activities.      

How did you survive the Covid-19 pandemic? 

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been massive changes for businesses and the world. For businesses, the change is for the better. Businesses have become more resilient, with technology helping to increase performance and productivity. At this point, because of the pandemic, a lot of companies are being forced to digitize their operations, especially in the financial advisory industry. Hence, in a way, GoalsMapper is in a good position to ride the new wave.

How much percent of growth have you observed in 2021?

We have seen quite a huge growth over the past few years, especially in 2019, where we saw a 70% spike in terms of users signing up for our platform. One of the key reasons that led to this was the engagements that have overturned from physical to online. A lot of our users, financial advisors, and investment agents are turning to use our platform for a more effective and efficient way of delivering the financial advisory experience.

How did you come up with the idea of a financial planning platform?

Traditionally, consumers have a vague idea of achieving a financial goal and largely relied on the knowledge and advice of financial advisors. Today, I think the times have changed, driven by changes in the advancements in technology. People get information faster and from multiple sources. They are also used to a frictionless process through easy-to-use apps from consumer brands. Hence, their expectations of the financial advisory process today have also changed. They want to have a more holistic overview of their finances to make better decisions, they expect a more dynamic engagement, superior customer experience, and more personalized solutions. They demand a tech-enabled digital process. And at GoalsMapper, our financial planning platform does just that, to support the professionals, financial advisors, and financial institutions to help them have a more customer-centric advisory experience.

Have you observed some kind of difference between the Gen Z millennials and the baby boomers, are their expectations and financial goals different?

Today, since we are all experiencing a longer life expectancy rate, and higher cost of living, the whole planning mechanism will change. So I think that’s where the biggest difference is. The fact is that the younger generation needs to plan earlier and better so that they can cater to living a longer life.

As there are a lot of financial consultants coming into the market right now, the competition is getting staggered. What is your view on it?

Competition is always a constant. No matter at which stage you are in, there is always competition. Advisors need to know how they can differentiate themselves to stand out in the industry. Having more financial advisors in the industry is good. Financial advisors help to educate the general public in understanding their finances. Having competition also means financial advisors have to continue to upgrade themselves in terms of skills and expertise, as well as leverage digital tools for greater productivity and professionalism. 

Tell us something about GM Connect, the new CRM that you have come up with?

GoalsMapper is a financial planning platform that supports financial advisors and financial institutions in their end-to-end financial advisory process with our suite of SaaS solutions.

GM Planner is our financial planning tool that supports the collaborative financial planning experience between a financial advisor and client to make better financial decisions with objectivity and clarity through interactive charts and scenarios. 

GM Brand helps financial advisors in their branding offline and online with our easy-to-use digital tools. For example, personal websites can be easily customizable with even financial widgets and lead magnets, for inbound marketing.

GM Connect is our latest addition. It is a customer relationship management platform that transforms customer relationship management processes through Omni-channel communication and automation of time-consuming workflows. For example, customers can be engaged across multiple touchpoints with automated communication, including through WhatsApp. In addition, because it is specially designed for the financial advisory industry, effective targeting and campaigns can be launched with relevant segmentation such as net worth, products held, and even protection gaps. Our platform is now available in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. We will be launching our platform in Indonesia by 2022.

What are the changes in regulation that you are expecting from the government in the coming days related to finance in your business?

Recently, the Singaporean authorities opted for digital signatures instead of physical signatures on all documents. This has increased the accessibility of the products to the consumers and brought more transparency for the consumers. The upcoming structural changes would only prove to be beneficial for the industry. 

Please share some insights for the financial advisors, the service providers, and the clients.

For consumers, I would strongly encourage them to speak to a professional financial advisor During uncertain times such as this, as jobs are lost and finances are affected, a financial advisor can provide advice on the different options available.

A financial advisor can also help consumers to better understand their wealth accumulation and protection needs. Having a forecast and a financial blueprint to work towards the future will help to provide clarity on their financial journey. For financial advisors, we provide professional and holistic personal financial planning to their clients for a sustainable long-term career. They should also differentiate themselves by embracing technology and leveraging it to help them to increase their productivity and position themselves better to stand out.

I’m confident that moving forward, with the help of technology and fintech startups such as GoalsMapper, we can build greater trust between consumers and the industry, through the transparency and objectivity that technology provides.

Excerpts of a Zoom interaction by Ujal Nair. Article by Ramya S

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