Financial planner Bill Winterberg says he can understand why many of his peers treat new technology as warily as they would an investment recommendation from someone with no track record. “I think many advisors want to see a proven return on investment, and they want to hear success stories. By and large, the general [advisor] population isn’t necessarily eager to jump on the [technology] bandwagon.”
Winterberg is a special case, though — a certified financial planner with such a passion for technology that his practice has morphed into a tech consultancy for advisors. Driven by people like Winterberg, founder of the FPpad.com website and blog, the tech bandwagon to which he refers is fast gaining passengers and momentum as it hurtles into a new reality where even the most technologically conservative (read: stubborn) advisors are turning to tech tools to gain an edge.
Winterberg, who’s based in Atlanta, caught a glimpse of that reality at a recent conference for financial planners. By his estimation, at least half the advisors there had some kind of tablet computer — in most cases an Apple iPad — in tow.
These days, he says, the competitive landscape is such that technology is crucial to growing a client base and a practice, to working more efficiently, to strengthening client relationships and client satisfaction, and to increasing profitability. Advisors can no longer get by on their strategic expertise, sales acumen, interpersonal skills and product know-how alone. They need tech tools.
But which ones? From cloud-based platforms and mobile apps to hardware, utilities and software systems, some of the advisory community’s leading tech minds share their most indispensable, empowering, intriguing and ROI-generating tech tools for 2012 and beyond. Dip your toe in the technology waters with these three classic tools, then check out the rest of our series: