An FPA study finds advisors have embraced the Web, but still want real account integration
A new Financial Planning Association survey suggests that advisors have overwhelmingly embraced the Internet, but remain frustrated by their inability to fully harness its power to manage client data. “The number one issue is integration,” says Harry Groom, president of AdvisorCentral LLC, one of the survey’s sponsors. “When the data gets to their desktops, can it be integrated with all of their tools? That’s the $64 million question.”
The survey of some 20,000 FPA members, entitled “Technology and Internet Usage of Financial Professionals,” was conducted in April by Pyramid, a New York-based research firm. Of the 986 people who responded, two-thirds were either registered investment advisors affiliated with broker/dealers or independent RIAs. According to Pyramid President Nanette Cuccia, 65% of the respondents currently have their own Web sites and another 18% plan to launch one, while nearly two-thirds have electronic newsletters. The respondents also are eager visitors to financial information Web sites, with 85% using Morningstar Inc.’s advisor site, advisor.morningstar.com, 72% relying on Yahoo! Finance, and 68% turning to The Wall Street Journal’s Web site. Nearly three-quarters get information from product sponsors, with www.americanfunds.com winning top honors as the favorite vendor Web site.