Michael Kitces #FinTech

Wanted: Advisers to take tech survey

Sampling serves as an excellent snapshot of industry technology trends

Jul 10, 2014 @ 11:02 am

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 answer a lot more than the tablet question. We'll also find out how many advisers are using products such as customer relationship management systems, financial planning platforms and portfolio re-balancing tools.

Product users will point out trends with every click. For example, considering that many so-called “robo-advisers” rely on algorithm-driven software to re-balance client portfolios automatically, I'm curious to know how many advisers are using re-balancing tools in 2014. The 2013 IN Tech Trends survey found that a whopping 55% of advisers didn't use portfolio re-balancing tools. Will the same be true this year?

Another good reason to take the survey: It gives advisers an opportunity to express their level of satisfaction with the products they use — and these opinions get attention from the vendors who read the tech survey results. Last year, the survey found that financial advisers are using more technology than ever. But while they said they were pleased with software products and vendors, their satisfaction levels showed there was definite room for improvement.

Bob Curtis, president and chief executive of PIEtech Inc., designer of MoneyGuidePro, said he reads the survey results and pays attention to satisfaction levels, as well as how his software is doing against competitors.

“There's very little good data in our market on market share and market penetration,” Mr. Curtis said. “I'd like to see more participation in the survey so it's a broader response.”

InvestmentNews will also relaunch its product directory on July 28. The directory currently names 203 products in nine categories. If there's a product you'd like us to include, e-mail Denise Southwood at dsouthwood@investmentnews.com or submit your pick by clicking here and scrolling down to "submit your product.".


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