Electronic tablets, like iPads, are a runaway success among financial advisors, according to an SEI Quick Poll released Thursday. One in four advisors say they already use an electronic tablet for client and prospect meetings, and nearly half say they’re thinking of using one.
Wayne Withrow, executive vice president and SEI Advisor Network business unit leader, noted that advisors are “always quick to adopt new technologies that will help them increase firm profitability.”
Advisors are choosing tablets because they allow them to be more efficient, Withrow told AdvisorOne. They can use them while they’re on the road. “Tablets are an active communication tool,” Withrow (left) said. “They’re not replacing desktops, but they’re portable and have a longer battery life” than laptops. One of the drawbacks, though, is limited functionality. “They can’t print from a tablet, or crunch significant numbers,” making them better suited for communication than actual planning tasks, Withrow said.
Dan Skiles, executive vice president of Shareholders Service Group and a regular contributor to Investment Advisor, concurred, calling tablets "additive technology."
"I don’t believe that they've reached the level where they replace the advisors' primary desktop/laptop computer," Skiles told AdvisorOne. "However, I know a number of advisors who now take their iPad home each night or on a trip versus their laptop. The battery life, ease of using the tablet, presentation quality, overall mobility and quick access to information are just a couple of the benefits."