Technology is so ingrained in our personal lives that it could easily be taken for granted by advisors who are satisfied to know what the cloud is. However, technology affects advisors in ways that go beyond their trading platform or CRM; it’s in their marketing plans, communication strategies and even, in some cases, the competition.
As technology becomes more innovative and integrated, advisors will have to find new ways to adopt it, but may also find new opportunities.
As the tech columnist for Morningstar Advisor and tech contributor to the Financial Planning Association’s Journal of Financial Planning, Bill Winterberg knows his stuff. Asked to identify the main tech issues that advisors now face, he said their primary challenge is distinguishing themselves not only against other FAs, but also against online financial advice platforms.
“You’ve got to be different by focusing on the intangibles of advice, including the emotional factors, the behavioral factors and the aspects of planning that can’t be systematized or automated by a computer program,” he told Investment Advisor.
None of those challenges may matter in the future though. As Winterberg pointed out, the breakneck pace of technological innovation may wipe out current trends in just a few years.
Greg Friedman used to say technology would never replace human connections. Now he’s not so sure. Personal conversations with professionals like advisors or psychiatrists can be done now using video conferencing or mobile chat. That’s a challenge and an opportunity for advisors.