Let's face it, technology plays a huge part in all our lives. We use technology to buy books and music, to find our way home when we're lost and even to keep track of how many calories we've burned during the day.
Financial advisers use technology for even weightier matters, such as managing investment portfolios and recording important data about their clients' financial lives.
The most successful advisers also use technology to enhance their relationships with clients. Video technology, for example, allows advisers to interact with their clients in a virtual setting, without the time and expense of in-person meetings.
Meanwhile, social-media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn allow advisers to stay more connected with clients' daily lives. Increasingly, advisers also are using such platforms to highlight their expertise — thereby attracting new clients to their practices.
Of course, technology — or more precisely, the disruptive forces inextricably tied to technology — also strikes fear in the hearts of many advisers. At the root of that fear is one simple question: Will technology replace me?
The answer is no.
That's because human beings are pack animals. It is in our nature to look beyond ourselves for advice and validation from other members of our pack, especially those we trust and respect.
The challenge for financial advisers, of course, is to establish themselves as a trusted expert in the field of financial advice so clients go to them instead of friends and family.
While technology will never replace financial advisers, it will continue to bring sweeping changes to the way financial advice is delivered and the lives of those delivering it.
For that reason, InvestmentNews has launched a blog dedicated to financial advisers' use of technology to run their practices and enhance their relationships with clients.
Among other things, the blog — known as TechTalk — will provide a forum to discuss specific software applications used by advisers. It also will be a gathering place in which ideas and views about “bigger-picture” issues, such as how financial advisers can, and should, adapt to technological innovation, can be exchanged.
TechTalk will be written by an exclusive panel of financial advisers and industry experts who are both passionate and knowledgeable about the latest developments in adviser technology, and willing to share their thoughts and opinions on a regular basis with InvestmentNews' readers.
Our initial group of panelists includes Gregory H. Friedman, president and chief executive of Private Ocean; Ted Jenkin, co-chief executive of oXYGen Financial Inc.; Michael E. Kitces, director of research at Pinnacle Advisory Group and publisher of The Kitces Report; Alex Murguia, a financial planner and CEO of inStream Solutions; J.P. Nichols, CEO of Clientific; David J. O'Brien, founder of O'Brien Financial Planning; Sheryl L. Rowling, a principal of Rowling & Associates and founder of TRX; Timothy D. Welsh, a principal at wealth management consulting firm Nexus Strategy; and Bill Winterberg, a financial planner and founder of FPPad.
While TechTalk will be written by our panelists, we invite you, our readers, to be active participants on the blog as well. Feel free to agree or disagree with our experts. Share your experiences. Ask questions.
TechTalk is intended to serve as a gathering place — a virtual water cooler, if you will — at which advisers can discuss how technology is affecting their lives and practices.
I encourage you all to bookmark TechTalk at InvestmentNews.com/techtalk, and check it daily.