InvestmentNews takes advisers through the developments and innovations in technology that’ll change the way you do business today—and tomorrow.
Apr 30, 2015
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
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
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
Feb 4, 2015
As advisers renew their focus on cybersecurity, one important area not to overlook are passwords. While choosing the right technology is an important component of reinforcing our security when online, so is correcting some of our bad habits.Passwords have been broken for some time, though they remain a necessary element of securing the systems we use. There are two primary reasons passwords, by themselves, are not optimal as a security gatekeeper.(Related read: Morgan Stanley breach offers universal cybersecurity lessons)One is the availability of very powerful, inexpensive computers. These enable bad actors to perform what are called brute force attacks on systems. In the most basic terms, this is where a hacker seeks to guess passwords and 'guess' a login. Once this is done, the hacker can freely navigate a system using one or more accounts.The second is our sin of convenience. For example, if you use one or two passwords for... Read full post
Jan 30, 2015
I used to live in London, where taxi drivers have to learn The Knowledge, a comprehensive test to gauge their familiarity with London's streets. It means that as a rider, you can guarantee that your black-cab driver knows where he or she is going. While The Knowledge was very valuable in a pre-GPS world, it provides far less of an assurance now. A GPS-enabled service knows the streets just as well as, if not better than, a human driver. But, in addition, a digital navigator knows where there is construction before the driver hits it, knows where a traffic jam is as soon as it happens, and can avoid slower roads as measured by other travelers in real time.EDUCATION? NOT SO PRODUCTIVEFor decades, investment managers have been trying to provide a form of The Knowledge to investors — white papers, books, webinars, lectures, articles, charts and so on. But despite how much information has been put out there for the public to consume,... Read full post
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