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Never too old to get ‘techie’ with it

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Wayne Minich is not a techie. He’d be the first to tell you that. He tells me that exact thing when we speak over the phone about advisors thriving in the digital age.

“I am a believer in technology,” Minich says, “but I’m not the person who does the technology.”

Fair enough, I think, at least he’s upfront about it.

Minich, below right, is a 42-year veteran of the financial services industry. A CLU and ChFC, he is the founder of Richfield, Ohio-based Applied Financial Concepts, Inc. and has a realistic view about his application of and approach to new technology.

“We absolutely believe in technology,” Minich says. The “we” he speaks of are his two sons, who have joined him in the firm, and himself. “Sometimes you get people who are far into a career like I am and they don’t want to change. The thing is I really want to change. There are so many neat things going on. But I have to understand I am not techie. It’s my boys who are tech-savvy.”

Minich says his company adopted a process last year where their financial planning utilizes the cloud. In doing so, the client can look at accounts in real time. “We have clients all over the country: If a client in North Carolina looks at an account, we can pull up the account on each of our computers and we’re seeing it in real time as well. It’s really cool.”

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In his decades in the financial business, Minich has seen changes to the digital world take shape. He remembers “in the old days” when he’d send a three-ring binder to the client. By the time the client had the binder in his hands, the data was out of date.

These days, the old binder has been traded in for a 60-inch flat screen TV. In one interesting anecdote, Minich says the size and scope of the TV helped a client notice something missing in his account. For six years, the client had been walked through an annual review via the binder. But as soon as he saw the account on the big screen he said, “That’s missing three different pieces of my family’s assets.”

Many of you more mature advisors may wince at Minich’s next anecdote. He relays the story of how much technology really has changed since April 1971 when he got his start in the business.

“Back then, we carried a rate book. We had to do a 20-page spreadsheet for an account and it took perhaps two-and-a-half hours to complete the rate book—something today that would take less than a minute. Now there’s a technique that went the way of the high button shoe.”

I encourage you to leave a comment below if you’ve incorporated technology into your practice or have question on the topic. Or you can send me an email at [email protected].

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