TechTalk

TechTalkblog

InvestmentNews takes advisers through the developments and innovations in technology that’ll change the way you do business today—and tomorrow.

Jun 27, 2014

To master technology, hire the next gen and listen to them

By Sheryl Rowling

To have a sustainable business, advisers must reach out to younger generations, both as clients and employees. But there is a huge generation gap brought on by the age of technology. Recognizing that gap is the first step in building a bridge. There are too many generational differences to list, so I will point out just a few. We actually know how to spell "see you" and "I don't know." When my son first texted "IDK" in answer to one of my questions, I had no idea what this meant. I thought these were the initials of one of his friends. These days, I just look forward to reading "cu" from him. Younger generations can do amazing things like text with one hand while their phone is in their pocket. I was pretty good with my Blackberry but I can't even come close with my iPhone. While my son can quickly type "need $" with one hand, it takes me two hands to type "ash year feather."(See also: Computers and complexity)We can write in cursive.... Read full post

Jun 25, 2014

How to measure your social media presence and boost results

By Kristen Luke

Measuring the success of your social media marketing campaigns can be difficult. Unless you invest in sophisticated marketing automation software, directly connecting a new client to a social media campaign is a challenge. While the number of leads, prospects, clients, AUM and revenue generated ultimately are the most important metrics, it's wise to monitor other key numbers as well so you can continue to improve your social media presence. After all, a bigger, more engaged social media network expands the possibilities for your business.Before you can identify the social media metrics that will be most helpful for you to monitor, you must first establish your goals. Generally, there are three possible goals for social media:1. Increase awareness2. Generate leads3. Nurture existing client, prospect and center of influence relationshipsAfter you determine your goals, you can select one or more metrics that you can use to monitor your... Read full post

Jun 20, 2014

The new Apple iOS features most relevant to advisers

By Bill Winterberg

Highlights from Apple's announcements at its 2014 World Wide Developers Conference held in San Francisco . The company introduced a ton of new features coming in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite later this fall, but here are the ones that are most relevant to financial advisers.Betterment Introduces Tax Loss Harvesting+ from Betterment.com, and White Paper: Tax Loss Harvesting+. Tax Loss Harvesting+ can reduce your tax exposure better than other automated harvesting tools. Every transaction, both customer and system initiated, is executed in a tax-efficient way.YCharts Dashboard from YCharts.com. The dashboard is all about you: Which companies you want to see. Which indicators you want to follow. Which indices matter to your investing process. Set it up once, and it will be with you for the rest of your investing career.And here are the links to stories that didn't make this week's broadcast:Cybersecurity firm says large hedge fund attacked... Read full post

Jun 16, 2014

Use surveys to build stronger client relationships

By Sheryl Rowling

According to a recent Dimensional Fund Advisors study, advisers who conduct a client survey lost 15% fewer clients and received 20% more referrals (than those who haven't). Would you believe that I read this piece of information just after I coincidentally sent out a client survey for my RIA firm?I wasn't scientific about it. I went straight to Survey Monkey and made up my own questions. What did I want to know?Essentially, I wanted to know if my clients are happy. Of course, there are many permutations to that. How do they feel about my firm's level of service? Are they satisfied with our investment management? Financial planning? Tax preparation? Where can we improve? What are we doing right? Do they have any comments? Do they want us to contact them about the survey? I figured that this feedback would be invaluable. Yet, I was not sure if I would get responses, nor was I convinced I would actually want to see them!More:... Read full post

Jun 3, 2014

How technology affects your firm's value

By Gregory H. Friedman

How much is your firm worth? For advisory firms considering a merger or acquisition, the answer to that question plays a large role in how advisers plan for the future of their businesses. One element that's often overlooked during M&A negotiations is how the technology you use in your firm affects its overall value. The systems and workflows that you've chosen to implement play a large role in bringing firms together and the more organized, complete and automated your business is, the more likely you are to have firmwide adoption. The higher the tech adoption rates in a firm, the more efficient the business. (Related: 7 ways top-performers sustain their growth)When I merged my firm in 2009, we meshed a high-touch, boutique practice with a larger firm focused on academic investment expertise — and grew from seven to 25 employees overnight. Both sides brought significant positive attributes to the table. The firm I merged with... Read full post

Jun 3, 2014

The power of incorporating social media into event planning

By Blane Warrene

If you're using social media in your business, don't overlook the power of incorporating it into event planning and management.Using a structured social backchannel allows for real-time participation and engagement, not to mention encouraging activity by attendees. More compelling is the fact that many who are not attending but remain interested now have a path to staying in touch with the event, serving as de facto brand ambassadors as they extend the backchannel through their own networks.Your backchannel should be an extension of your overall social media strategy. Just as you have coordinated the team, topics and tools for managing social media, this same discussion should occur for each event, live or virtual, where you seek to foster an active social conversation.... Read full post

1:52 pm EST

Working remotely experiment over: Back home in San Diego

By Sheryl Rowling

I arrived home from France the other night. It was a long day — literally — since I chased the sun all the way! Although I am very jet lagged, I’ve had time to evaluate the experiment. Was it really possible to work remotely for a month?(See part one of Sheryl’s story: Can an adviser work remotely for a month?)Ignoring the fact that it wasn’t quite a month (I cut my trip a little short due to my broken foot), I would say “yes.” After spending just three hours in the office Tuesday, my emails are caught up (since I only had a day’s worth to answer) and I have handled all of the mail and paperwork stacked up on my desk. For the most part, I had already seen and taken action on any client-related items thanks to my office manager’s scanning and emailing. The rest was primarily professional reading and administrative items. While away, I was able to return phone calls daily, so there... Read full post

May 21, 2014

9 best practices to implementing new technology

By Stuart DePina

The process of shopping for new technology can be daunting for advisers, not only because there is so much to learn about the software itself, but also because there is a lot to learn about the companies providing this technology, as well. As any adviser who has researched software vendors knows, there simply are a lot of choices out there. What follows is a short primer to help advisers through the process of adopting new technology, focusing on the key issues that should be addressed with prospective vendors.1. Look at your portfolio accounting system firstYour portfolio accounting system generates and maintains the most critical data for your firm, including those used to monitor your client portfolios, make trade decisions, generate reports, billing and more. Many other portfolio and client management software applications are reliant on your portfolio accounting data, so it's essential that your portfolio accounting system will... Read full post

May 19, 2014

Get more out of your press release (yes, press release) with video

By Kristen Luke

Press releases may seem boring and old-fashioned — and really should have no place being discussed in a technology blog. But press releases play an important role in today's digital marketing strategy. In years past, press releases could be sent to local media contacts and perhaps your story would be picked up in a newspaper, magazine or TV news program. Today, press releases are much more multifunctional; they can be great content for your website and social media accounts and can help people find you on the web. If you are using press releases as part of your marketing strategy, you may be missing out on their full impact if you aren't adding in multimedia. Adding a video component to a press release not only makes your news more interesting, it can also increase the reach of your news.(See also: Video isn't just for profiles anymore)WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER USING A VIDEO NEWS RELEASEA video news release allows you to tell your ... Read full post

May 12, 2014

Three tech tricks for functioning smoothly overseas

By Sheryl Rowling

We have completed our first full work week in Paris. Aside from a few technology glitches, the distance issue seems to be going okay. The main issue, it seems, is discipline on my part!(Here's where the story starts: Can an adviser work remotely for a month?)The technology problems have been relatively minor. The challenges faced have been:• Although I could remote in to get my e-mails, when I tried to remote directly into my office computer, it didn't work. Our IT guy had just swapped out my computer for a newer, faster one, so I thought there might be some configuration needed. After contacting him, we discovered the source of the problem — somehow my work computer had been turned off. Another example of the first rule of technology: Make sure it's plugged in.• My VoIP phone was set up on all my devices — laptop, iPad and iPhone. For some reason, when it rang, I could never answer from the device I was on. It... Read full post

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