Many advisors watched the growth of cryptocurrencies with caution, even skepticism. Were they a fad? Did such volatile assets belong in a portfolio? How could advisors incorporate them? Many advisors held back, waiting to see whether crypto eventually became more mainstream.
Crypto did go mainstream—faster than people imagined. Consider these eye-popping statistics:
- A record $20+ billion was invested in crypto exchange-traded products through November, 2021.
- 94% of advisors received questions from clients about crypto in 2021.
- 79% of advisors plan to increase recommendations of cryptocurrency investments in the next year if they don’t already recommend them.
Current trends suggest crypto assets will only continue growing in importance as investors look for new ways to store, trade and invest. The S&P 500 is well into correction territory. Inflation already had investors scrambling, and now war is spiking energy prices higher. The Fed has multiple rate hikes up its sleeve, and no one knows how those plans may shift. Most remarkably, some consumers are losing faith in the security and privacy of their mainstream banking, credit card, and payment accounts, seen as increasingly vulnerable to political interference. Young investors in particular are looking for payment, savings, and investment ideas that feel faster, safer, and more transparent.
There are also positive developments driving broader acceptance of crypto among investors. Major institutions are championing crypto and blockchain technology, as regulators start to get their heads around the space. Tokens, now a familiar concept due to the sudden popularity of NFTs, promise to open up illiquid and difficult-to-trade opportunities to a wider swathe of investors. Best of all, more applications are coming onto the market making it easier to integrate crypto into mainstream platforms.
An asset class, not a fad
When crypto first appeared, the industry thought of it as an investment craze, just something to speculate in and play with. Today, advisors view it as a legitimate asset class, as evidenced by industry powerhouses planning to launch their own crypto ETFs. Advisors think crypto should be treated like any other asset, sitting alongside all the other components of a client’s portfolio where it can be held or traded like stocks and bonds.
A powerful gravitational force threatening to pull clients away
Until very recently, advisors had few options to accommodate clients interested in crypto. Big-box custodians did not accept digital assets on their advisor platforms. Cryptocurrencies typically were held away, often directly by investors themselves, leaving advisors unable to open or manage client accounts on a discretionary basis.
That model creates a big problem for advisors. Advisors naturally want to position themselves as the go-to financial resource for their clients. But without access to an increasingly popular asset class, advisors can no longer claim to do it all. As crypto’s appeal broadens, other platforms have started to intrude on the exclusivity of the advisor-client relationship, including apps, wallets, and exchanges as well as large consumer financial institutions.
How crypto can help keep clients in your orbit
Many advisors have concluded: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Thanks to new technologies coming onto the market, advisors are finally able to trade and hold crypto themselves.
But to attract and retain clients, simply transacting and storing crypto aren’t enough. Any exchange can do that. Advisors must differentiate themselves by doing what they do best: provide holistic advice that addresses their clients’ complete financial picture and integrates crypto into their clients’ overall portfolios. That means advisors will need—
- An integrated platform that puts every type of asset at their disposal, giving them the ability to manage stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, alternatives, and crypto in one place
- Access to all industry-leading cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, and Chainlink
- Fast and easy trades at the latest prices with immediate execution
- T+1 settlement with daily reconciliation to blockchain and digital depository
- A birds-eye view of all assets, with cryptocurrencies included in performance summaries for the advisor and for clients at the individual and household levels
Become your client’s crypto resource
If you’re trying to decide the right way to meet the growing demand for access to cryptocurrency, talk to EAS. We are one of the first custodians on the market to fully integrate cryptocurrency capabilities into our custody platform. In fact, we were recently recognized as a finalist in the WealthManagement.com Industry Awards in the Custodians, Alternative Asset category! We are honored to be recognized among industry innovators as we continue to expand our offerings to support advisor success.
 ETFGI. etfgi.com/news/press-releases/2021/12/etfgi-reports-record-us2023-billion-invested-crypto-etfs-and-etps
 Bitwise/ETF Trends 2022 Benchmark Survey of Financial Advisor Attitudes Toward Crypto Assets, yahoo!finance, finance.yahoo.com/news/94-advisors-received-questions-crypto-154800516.html
 IN Research as reported in Wealthmanagement.com www.wealthmanagement.com/alternative-investments/how-advisors-can-integrate-cryptocurrencies-client-portfolios
Custody and Administration Services provided by Equity Trust Company. Equity Advisor Solutions is an affiliate of Equity Trust Company. Equity Trust Company is a directed custodian and does not provide tax, legal or investment advice. Any information communicated by Equity Trust Company is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as tax, legal or investment advice. Whenever making an investment decision, please consult with your tax attorney or financial professional.