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

Nov 9, 2015

How automation and integration can turn advisory firms into well-oiled machines

By Leslie D. Thompson

The thoughtful, personalized counsel that advisers bring to their clients can never be replicated by an algorithm or robo-adviser &mdash: but at the same time, the benefits that technology-enabled workflow automation provides for independent wealth management firms cannot be ignored. Those that resist embracing a truly integrated technology platform are missing out on the opportunity to not only generate operational efficiencies, but also transform their practices into well-oiled machines that proactively and collaboratively help clients meet all their wealth management needs. By 2008, we knew that our firm's lack of automation was holding us back, and we began searching for a technology provider. We wanted a unified wealth management platform to support our evolving portfolio- and client- management needs. We also were looking for a single-vendor relationship so that all training, consulting and support related to our technology... Read full post

Oct 8, 2015

4 critical elements of every great adviser website

By Marjorie Wilner

In the age of social media marketing, the corporate website may seem so 15 minutes ago. Nevertheless, few believe their business can get along without one, and certainly, advisory firm managers understand that a website is as necessary as phone service for a functioning practice. A financial advisory firm's website is either the first or second point of contact that prospective clients will have with a firm — almost everyone does a Google search before or after meeting an adviser for the first time. If the experience is anything less than positive, it encourages the prospect to move on, perhaps to a competitor.In contrast, a positive impression can give the prospect a sense of the organization's legitimacy and trustworthiness as a financial partner. Because trust is so crucial to the successful advisory relationship, the firm's website should be doing everything possible to build credibility for the practice and the... Read full post

Sep 8, 2015

Now is the time to evolve your firm's technology

By Deborah Fox

As both a long-time practicing financial adviser and industry consultant, I need to view our industry through two lenses. That has forced me to stay up to date on the changing trends. Over the past decade and a half, I have been an early adopter of new technology for my own advisory firm. My objectives have always been twofold: Leverage technology to provide a high level of service to our clients in a well-organized manner and create a great working environment for my staff and me. We started moving our business into the cloud and working with clients all over the country via online video meetings over a decade ago. To work as efficiently as possible, we also had to standardize and document all of our internal processes and then program them into our customer relationship management system's workflow engine in order to seamlessly deliver excellent service to our clients. Technology played a huge part in implementation. So when... Read full post

Sep 4, 2015

How to talk to your clients about a tech crisis at your firm

By Wes Stillman

It seems almost heretical for an IT expert to say this, but registered investment advisers should accept that business disruptions due to technology failures are inevitable. KPMG has reported that financial services ranks among the industries most affected by IT incidents — only the technology sector and government ranked higher in 2014.All technology is fallible, because of internal failures, security breaches, natural disasters, human error or other causes. And while it is impossible to prevent every technology failure, it is certainly possible to have a communications plan for avoiding a breakdown in client confidence when issues arise. The RIAs that navigate technology downtime most successfully are those with operational back-up plans that include a protocol for client communication. Handled incorrectly, a technology failure can potentially undo the brand goodwill that the RIA had spent years cultivating.When considering... Read full post

Jul 17, 2015

How to make sure your firm's data is secure in the event of an outage

By Gregory H. Friedman

With recent high-profile headlines of outages and technology breaches affecting giant corporations, advisers must remember the importance of business continuity planning. Here are a few best practices to ensure that you have a comprehensive business continuity plan:Regulatory: Ensure your business continuity plan is in line with regulations, is tested at least annually, and is documented in your policies and procedures.Business disruption: Identify potential business interruption issues such as power outages, technology disruption, weather events, etc. Put in place detailed procedures that are documented to provide an action plan in case of these occurrences.Key person risk: Identify the key personnel in your business who directly impact the operations and have a detailed back up plan, cross-training and contingency plans in place in case that key person or team becomes unavailable.Technology: Identify and document back up plans you... Read full post

Jul 2, 2015

6 ways advisers can benefit from the avalanche of technology advancement

By Steve Sanduski

If you take a piece of paper and fold it in half 42 times, you'll have a stack of paper that reaches the moon. That's exponential growth. Today's technology is allowing a select group of high-performing RIAs to grow their business exponentially by 100 to 200% per year. And the good news is, this technology is available to everybody. What is it? And how can you implement it? Let's start with some context.In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made a prediction that computing power would dramatically increase, while relative cost would decrease, at an exponential pace. Known today as “Moore's Law,” it led to dramatic technological breakthroughs.Technologist, author and entrepreneur Peter Diamandis used Moore's Law as a base and developed what he calls the “6 D's of Exponentials.” It's a framework for thinking about exponential growth processes in technology.Based on my recent conversation with Mr. Diamandis, his... Read full post

May 15, 2015

Why high-performing advisers are aggressively adopting technology

By Hal M. Bundrick

With recent rapid advances in technology, clients now have access to investment apps on their phones that are on par with any wirehouse workstation. So, faced with a clientele increasingly comfortable with technology, how do top-performing financial advisers utilize tech compared to low-quintile producers?"They think more strategically about technology than lower-quintile performers," said Joel Bruckenstein, president of Global Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial planning and investment advisory firm located in Miramar, Fla.Advisers are facing a technology tipping point. Nearly 80% of high-net-worth clients under 40 say they would leave a firm that did not integrate technology into customer services, such as online access and mobile apps, according to the 2015 InvestmentNews Adviser Technology Study.And advisers are taking the hint, with 59% saying they are likely to increase their technology spending this year, the study also... Read full post

Apr 30, 2015

3 due diligence steps advisers should take to avoid costly technology mistakes

By Neal Quon

The pace of technology has changed so remarkably in the past decade that even early adopters struggle to stay on top of what's new. This largely, though not exclusively, has resulted from the widespread adoption of consumer technology in business since the launch of the iPhone and iPad starting in 2007.Our preferences of systems and software as business users are being influenced by the personal experience we get on these modern devices and apps. Why can't our professional systems offer us the same ease of use?In many cases, they can. We have seen dramatic changes in financial services technology solutions, like CRM, financial planning, portfolio analysis and more. However, not everything can evolve as quickly due to a much higher burden on developers in our industry to layer in security measures, compliant data storage and robust features for multiple users.(More tech insight: The biggest mistakes advisers make with their... Read full post

Apr 21, 2015

A 3-phase approach to making social media work for you

By Lincoln Ross

Though advisers are increasingly using social media, many continue to tell us that compliance concerns, resource constraints and a lack of familiarity are keeping them on the sidelines. That's understandable, but it's tough to overlook the torrent of industry studies demonstrating that investors, especially the highly affluent, are rapidly embracing social media for vital investment and market information.A 2013 study by Cogent Research found that 53% of affluent investors expect to receive relevant and timely content from social media platforms. Nearly half — 45% — said they would value real-time interaction and conversation with an adviser or other investors, just the kind of connection that social media supports so effectively. Smartphones have enabled our ability to access breaking news at a staggering rate, and investors will demand the same type of real-time contact with advisers. When it comes to addressing the... Read full post

Feb 20, 2015

Having integrated technology can improve RIAs' businesses

By Stuart DePina

Much has been written about how integrated technology can help advisers streamline their practices, position themselves for growth and strengthen client relationships and service. But what does technology integration actually entail?There are different levels of integration, and not all of them make a significant difference in a registered investment adviser firm's operations. For example, the most common and basic is “single sign-on,” which merely saves clicks by sharing login details among multiple software programs. Deeper and more beneficial integration involves essential applications regularly sharing data and working together to automate business processes and improve adviser-client communication. A broad spectrum of simple to complex client and portfolio management business processes can become fully or partially automated if RIA firms' major applications — such as client relationship management, portfolio... Read full post

Older »

All content in the IN Tech blog was created by third-party author who is solely responsible for the content contained therein. Posts in the IN Tech blog do not necessarily reflect the opinion or approval of InvestmentNews.