When it comes to successful adoption of technology at advisory firms, financial planning software may be leading the way.
According to a survey by Redtail Technology, which makes client relationship management technology for advisers, financial planning is the most commonly used technology among advisers and their support staff.
Redtail said 79% of firms used a financial planning tool, followed by client portals (57%), risk profiling and analysis (51%), complaince technology (31%) and digital trading (9%). Redtail said 2,300 wealth management professionals participated in the survey.
Redtail CEO Brian McLaughlin wasn't surprised to see financial planning leading the way, but said it was good to see client portals rising in popularity. As for digital trading, he suspects it could just be a misunderstanding in the question. Most advisers probably use digital trading technology without even realizing it, he said.
"A lot of it is just done automatically through automated trading built into things like Orion and tools like it," Mr. McLaughlin said.
Redtail also found older advisers and employees may be more digitally savvy than they get credit for. When it comes to technology adoption across generations, the survey found such a small difference in tech adoption it's essentially equal, Mr. McLaughlin said.
In some categories, baby boomers and Gen-X may even be more progressive. Redtail reported 58% of Gen-X employees at advisory firms use mobile technology to access their CRM, and 52% of baby boomers do the same. Only half of millennials do the same.
"Older advisers are using Surface Pros and other tablet devices, and they live on them," Mr. McLaughlin said. "They've heard the message that technology can't be viewed as optional anymore. They have to embrace it, and … have to keep on par with junior advisers coming up through the ranks."
He added that firms and technology vendors need to realize that advisers and their staff across the board want to use technology, not just the millennials. With each generation on more or less of an equal playing field, the goal now should be increasing technology adoption across the entire industry, Mr. McLaughlin said.