At SS&C, we often reflect on what motivates our team to do their best at work each day. For those who support the Black Diamond® Wealth Platform, I believe a primary motivator is to help investment advisors serve their clients' best interests. This concept underscores our belief in the power of advisors to help people make the most of their financial lives, stay on the right track, and avoid bad financial decisions. By partnering with advisors to help them be effective, we are ultimately helping their end clients live better lives.
However, a curious question recently came our way: are we simply in the business of helping rich people get richer? This concern stems from the misconception that working with a financial advisor is the domain of the wealthy. Here is some interesting data, however: of all the client relationships managed on Black Diamond, almost three-quarters have less than $1,000,000 in household assets on the platform. Of course, there are assets and liabilities, a primary home, for example, that are not fully captured on the platform yet, but we have a large enough sample size to draw a few conclusions. Surveys find that most Americans today define "wealthy" as having $2 million or more in net worth. By that measure, roughly 15% of the relationships on our platform have assets greater than $2 million, and much fewer have $4.5 million or higher.
In reality, just 5% of relationships account for 61% of the household assets managed on our platform, so we are helping a small number of very wealthy people sustain and grow their wealth. There is another angle here; we know advisors help preserve legacies, whether that legacy is supporting philanthropic interests, investing in businesses trying to innovate for the future, or putting capital to work responsibly. However, the vast majority of investors served through the platform are not just the top 1%. These investors worked and saved as well, and they sought the help of an advisor to attain their life goals, whether that means buying a home, sending a child to college, or not having to work as hard (or at all) after a certain age.
This brings us back to our original question of why we come to work each day – because we are in a position to help everyone, not just those who already meet the definition of wealthy. We support our advisors' important work, assisting people in aligning their financial resources with their life goals, which makes our work meaningful. Our contribution is to deliver the technology and services that empower advisors to help more people more efficiently and effectively.
The concept of Black Diamond as the "hub" of an advisory business is compelling, and why we deliver tools that enable investors to envision their complete financial life, both now and in the future, and track their progress. In fact, we have invested substantially in digital communication tools that enable advisors and their clients to stay better connected.
Advisors really can make a big difference in making people’s lives better. By helping advisors do that, so can we. That’s a great reason to come to work.