Exciting Times Ahead

By Joel P. Bruckenstein, CFP on Monday, October 11th, 2010

Exciting Times Ahead

In my ten plus years of covering advisor technology, I’ve never been more enthusiastic about the prospect of innovation and productivity gains in the years ahead. As I write this, virtually every sector of advisor technology is experiencing advances that will improve the lives of advisors and clients soon.

When Dave Drucker and I started writing our first book in late 2000, many advisors still feared the Internet. Many were reluctant to communicate with their clients by email. Few were ready to embrace web-based software.

Today, we live in an entirely different world. Even older, less tech savvy advisors are embracing new tools like smartphones, iPads, and social media sites. Custodians and broker/dealers are getting serious about software integration. Account aggregation is finally enjoying wider acceptance.

I think that this is only the beginning of a technology revolution that is sweeping our industry. The next generation of industry leaders is already making a name for themselves in advisory firms around the country. This new breed of advisor is younger and better trained. They are also the first generation to enter the business that grew up with technology. They have been using technology since they were infants, and they are much more comfortable with it than their older peers are. As a result, they will embrace new innovations more quickly than their elders.

So what are some of the innovations on the horizon? Custodians and B/D’s are improving integration and they are finally delivering integrated advisor dashboards that work. Paired with aggregators, these integrated dashboards are making manual data entry a thing of the past.

Financial planning software is doing a better job of conveying difficult concepts to clients and a better job of encouraging them to act more financially responsible. Portfolio management software vendors are all improving their reporting and working to incorporate the new cost basis regulations into their software. CRM software is becoming more comprehensive, while emphasizing ease of use and analytical capabilities.

While adaption rates have been lower than they should be, tools such as document management systems and rebalancing software are finally becoming mandatory for successful practices.

As the co-producer of the Technology Tools for Today Conference* and the publisher of the Technology Tools for Today Newsletter, I am gratified to see that the industry is finally realizing the return on investment that technology provides.

*ByAllAccounts is a sponsor of the 2011 Technology Tools for Today (T3) Conference to be held February 16-19, 2011 in Weston, FL. Register now for special early bird pricing.

Joel P. Bruckenstein, CFP® is an internationally recognized expert on applied technology for financial professionals and Publisher of Technology Tools for Today (formerly Virtual Office News).He is also co-producer of the annual Technology Tools for Today (T3) Conference, the premier technology conference for independent financial advisors. You can find him online at: www.joelbruckenstein.com.

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