You might have read or heard about it: 'blockchain' is the financial disruption buzzword of the moment, writes Jakov Agbaba, risk analyst at Rathbones.
Why good advice will be more important than ever
Blockchain can be used to transfer everything from property rights to stocks, shares and currencies, without the transaction needing the intervention of a middle man.
It has the potential to take away some of the time-consuming and costly transactional processes associated with dealing with financial institutions.
What it cannot do, of course, is replace the human dimension of expert financial advice.
Clients will continue to find making the right choice of investments a daunting prospect without professional input, and will continue to need guidance and support navigating their way through financial services.
Even if robo-advice were to become more widespread, it is only ever likely to work effectively for those with straightforward financial needs.
Investors with complex financial planning issues will still require continuing professional input to ensure that, as their lives change and they face new financial challenges, their investments and plans continue to be relevant to their goals.
While online platforms can do a great job in maintaining a client portfolio, they do not offer the comfort and explanation that a human adviser can give. Therefore, in reality, these platforms represent only a small part of the overall client relationship.
All that is likely to change is that the resulting transactions will be dealt with faster and more efficiently, thanks to the application of blockchain technology.
Total funds on list rise from 26 to 58
Bias towards income payers
Challenging time for markets
After a strong 2017, the first half of this year has seen increased volatility in world markets, as monetary policy tightens and political events elicit caution. World growth is expected to remain robust, but with downward revisions for the next two years....
Despite a dismal performance in the first half of 2018 owing to a plethora of setbacks - such as the stronger US dollar, the Turkish crisis, rising trade tensions and policy turbulence - emerging markets have a lot to look forward to in the second half...