Full Practice Management Platform for an Independent Financial Advisor

Eight years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to imagine the incredible impact fintech would have on the financial services industry today. And even now, we’re just scratching the surface of what this industry can become in the future. 

In a change of pace, today’s episode is an introduction to one of our favourite podcasts: Fintech Impact. You’ll hear host Jason Pereira interview Tea Nicola, CEO of Wealthbar, and our own Pawel Brzeminski, CEO of Snap Projections.

The Fintech Impact Podcast is hosted by Jason Pereira who explores the fintech space and interviews its major players — both incumbents and newcomers. Whether they’re trying to make existing finance players more efficient or looking to disrupt the industry altogether, this show explores their impact on consumers and the industry as a whole.

Listen in to hear about Wealthbar’s acquisition of Snap Projections, what that relationship will look like going forward, and Tea and Pawel’s shared vision for how fintech can impact the industry — and the lives of average Canadians.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • Why a partnership between Wealthbar and Snap Projections makes sense (2:05)
  • What the end product looks like for both clients and advisors (6:30)
  • Pawel’s product-building philosophy (16:40)
  • Revealing Tea and Pawel’s wishes for their industry (23:00)
  • The biggest challenges Tea and Pawel have faced in scaling their companies (27:05)
  • What gets these founders out of bed every morning (30:55)

Links and Resources:


Tea Nicola

Snap Projections

Pawel Brzeminski

Fintech Impact

Jason Pereira

 Quotes from the Episode:

“It just made sense to basically own software that is going to eventually become what I want to see, which is a vision for a full practice management platform for an independent financial advisor.” — Tea Nicola 

“This is technology that’s gonna enable you, not threaten you.” — Jason Pereira

“In a lot of cases, it actually takes an advisor to make adjustments. I don’t think we can really have a fully automated tool that can provide the best solution for every single case.” — Pawel Brzeminski

With their shared goal of transforming the financial services industry in Canada and making the lives of both advisors and consumers easier, Tea and Pawel’s recent partnership is a match made in heaven. Today, they’re opening up about what that vision is, how it brought them together, and the impact they hope to have on Canadians.

Below, we’re sharing three key ideas from this episode:

  • A vision for personal finance in Canada
  • Where automation leaves financial advisors
  • Tea’s wish for the average Canadian

For the rest of the episode, find the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or hit the link above.

A vision for personal finance in Canada

Picture a busy mom walking into her home carrying bags of groceries. As she sets them down, she gets a notification on her phone. Maybe her TFSA contribution limit just increased, or RESP season has started.

With one button, she can react to the notification without a second thought. Or, if she wants support making a decision, she can easily get in touch with a real-life advisor who can talk her through next steps.

That’s Tea’s vision for what Wealthbar can be for the average Canadian consumer.

It’s a guided, one-stop-shop for Canadian consumers for everything to do with investing, planning, insurance, mortgages, lines of credit and so on. Most actions can be routine, so users barely even have to think about what they need to do — they can trust that the software’s suggestion makes sense for them. And if they need further support, a human advisor is there to act as their quarterback.

Where automation leaves financial advisors

You might be wondering where exactly this kind of automated system leaves financial advisors. Does it devalue the hard work many have put into their careers? Is it a cheap mimic of the skills advisors and wealth managers have developed over many years?

From Pawel and Tea’s perspective, robo-advisors do just the opposite: they let you manage your time more effectively by taking care of your rote tasks — the administration, much of the research and portfolio management. These tasks, which often take a lot of time, are not the true value-add that an advisor offers clients.

If you’re like one of the many advisors we’ve spoken to and worked with over the years, the part of your job that you love and value the most is the actual relationship with your clients: the advice you can give them when they’re stuck, or making sure their financial plan makes sense not only in terms of the numbers but also in terms of what they seek to get out of life.

This is also doubtlessly what your clients appreciate most about working with you. And if you can spend less time on the dreary routine tasks and more on your clients, think about the impact you can have on their lives.

Luckily, the rote tasks are the exact things that a robo-advisor lets you outsource to automation. It’s just about making more room for you to provide what technology can never replace: the human touch.

For instance, with today’s robo-advisor and planning software, you can generate a pretty solid financial plan and a solid investment strategy. But as Pawel explains, “in a lot of cases, it actually takes an advisor to make adjustments. I don’t really think we can really have a fully automated tool that can provide the best solution for every single case.”

With the time-consuming heavy-lifting out of the way, you can focus on tailoring the plan for your clients to take their plans to the next level. That human aspect — the qualitative details, the behavioural coaching — can’t be replaced by any machine.

As Jason summarizes, “this is technology that’s gonna enable you, not threaten you.”

Tea’s wish for the average Canadian

If Tea had one wish, she would love to see financial literacy among average Canadians increase tenfold.

Currently, Canada scores at about a C-minus for financial literacy. But this is a worldwide problem — sadly, we’re among the most financially literate countries in the world. But as Tea says, “being the best of the worst is still not good.”

For Tea, this lack of financial literacy is not just bad for Canadians — ignorance is actually her biggest competitor. When people don’t know any better, they buy into media sensationalism and fads, believing the hype about the shiny new thing.

If average Canadians knew enough about finance, Tea feels they would realize why they need a product like Wealthbar in their lives. They would see the value of a good financial plan, and they would love to see it better integrated into their lives.

To hear more of Tea and Pawel’s conversation with Jason, and their shared vision for the future of financial services, listen to the full episode right here on this page. You can also find us and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss any episodes. 

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