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

Jul 25, 2014

6 lessons traditional advisers can learn from robos

By Megan Graf

Many questions have been raised by traditional financial advisers about their robo-peers. Any time a digital investment adviser hits the headlines, somewhere on social media you can be sure someone is wondering aloud about robo-advisors' business models, investment strategies, and ability to personalize their services.Instead of questioning whether robo-advisers serve clients' needs and can even survive, traditional advisers might ask themselves: what can I learn from this new brand of financial service? In a few months at FutureAdvisor, I've absorbed an enormous amount, which I've tried to condense to a few points.1) The great unbundling is here. It happened to newspapers years ago, when each of their sections became a blog, classifieds went to Craigslist and advertising went to the search engines. It's happening to banks as we speak. Institutions that once purveyed a variety of goods and services are seeing each vertical tackled one... Read full post

Jul 18, 2014

5 ways to improve your tech evaluation process

By Nathan Berk

Without careful planning, your technology can become more of a “ball and chain” than a means of growing your practice. Before you know it, you'll have several very different applications, a web of data passing between systems and a list of impressively marketed features you don't really need. You can handle this situation in a more effective, inexpensive way.Having been a former business owner of a technology consulting company to large, fast-growing RIAs, I have insight into the industry that a typical technology manufacturer doesn't. Technology is about solving problems and creating efficiency — not just about bells, whistles and integrations; those are the means to the end. My experience has been that each RIA is unique and has business requirements driven by numerous factors that were developed without consideration for the current technology landscape. The burden of selecting the correct technology for an RIA... Read full post

Jul 11, 2014

Will Junxure Cloud's release prove worth the wait?

By Bill Winterberg

Junxure Announces Wide Release of Junxure Cloud CRM for Financial Advisors from PRNewswire. Junxure CRM, an industry-leading practice improvement firm for financial advisers that integrates CRM technology, consulting and training, announced the general release of Junxure Cloud, its comprehensive, cloud-based CRM/office management solution for financial advisers.ProTracker pulls cloud-based CRM back into beta from InvestmentNews. Eight months after announcing the launch of a cloud-based customer relationship management product for advisers, ProTracker Software Inc. has stopped selling its ProTracker Cloud CRM while the company fixes some kinks in the product.Wealth Access Experiencing Rapid Growth and Momentum in Wealth Management Industry from PRWeb. Wealth Access, an innovative high net worth personal financial management platform for advisers, announced today several milestones that represent fast growth and adoption of its industry... Read full post

Jul 10, 2014

Wanted: Advisers to take tech survey

By Joyce Hanson

Here are a few technology questions for tablet users out there: Do Android-based tablets have any chance this year of overtaking the Apple iPad in popularity among advisers? And what about Microsoft's Surface Pro 3? Is it really “a true laptop killer,” as VentureBeat claims?There's only one way to achieve statistically valid answers to these questions: A large number of advisers must take InvestmentNews' 2014 Tech Trends survey of adviser applications, products and software. All it takes from you is a couple of minutes to click through your tech preferences.Go here to take the survey by end of day, July 14. Last year, more than 1,300 advisers participated in the survey, and we're trailing that number as of today, so consider this blog post my personal plea to you to take the survey. A significant adviser sampling will serve as an excellent snapshot showing where the industry is headed in terms of tech.The survey will... Read full post

Jul 3, 2014

The top apps being embraced by NextGen advisers

By Bill Winterberg

What an Elite Group of Younger Advisers Has to Say from Advisor Perspectives. I recently served as a facilitator for the annual NexGen conference, this year held on the campus of Augustana University in Moline, Ill., where I was able to gain insight into the very different way that the financial planning landscape looks through the eyes of younger advisers just starting their careers — and in many cases, from the bottom end of a planning firm's organizational chart.Adviser Aggravation from Financial Advisor Magazine. In the wake of Morningstar's recent purchase of ByAllAccounts, this seems like a particularly good time to take a look at a firm called Quovo.Journal of Financial Planning July Issue from (*Note: FPA Members only) Marketing experts Kristen Luke and Kristin Harad offer specific marketing tactics for two very different advisory firms — one new, eager to start marketing, but not sure how; and one... Read full post

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

12:21 pm EST

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, 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 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

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