Late this afternoon, the websites and Twitter feeds of both mainstream business and niche financial industry publications were blowing up with the news around yet another digital advice/financial planning and information company getting bought up by a more conventional financial services company. LearnVest, the “innovative financial planning platform” launched by uber-Millenial Alexa von Tobel, has agreed to become part of Northwestern Mutual Life’s family.

Score this a win for the “if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em” camp. Just like Fidelity’s takeout of eMoney (adviser tech/software) and Janus’ purchase of Velocity Shares (ETFs), the acquisition of LearnVest by Northwestern Mutual is evidence that older, established financial industry firms are buying their way into the more innovative ends of the business. Why? Because they have to and they recognize it’s better to play catch up than not play at all.