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Top 12 Tech Trends Impacting Advisors: Mary Meeker

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Mary Meeker and other Silicon Valley experts have been outlining the latest tech trends at the industry’s first-ever Code Conference, taking place this week in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

For Meeker, a broker at Merrill Lynch (BAC) and later an Internet analyst at Morgan Stanley, highlighting the biggest IT issues of the day is a key part of her latest role at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Her analysis, watched carefully by tech experts and observers, has earned her the label “Queen of the Net.”

Many of the 160-plus trends Meeker keeps up with have serious implications for the work of financial advisors; they include everything from social media to cybersecurity.

Read on for a look at the 12 most important trends Meeker described in her talk on Wednesday.

Trend 1: Smartphone Use Is Booming

Implications: Clients and prospects will increasingly want to communicate more with financial advisors, and do more business and investing, via smartphone.


Trend 2: Tablet Use Is Skyrocketing

Implications: Clients and prospects will increasingly demand that more of their investment communications, documents and business be handled via tablet.

Trend 3: More (and More) Info on the Go

Implications: As more people access the Web on their phones, tablets and other mobile devices, advisors and their broker-dealers will have to keep up by rolling out appropriate apps, platforms and other technology.


Trend 4: New = Better

Implications: New, powerful devices are proving far more popular than older ones, making it more important than ever for advisors to embrace such technology for strengthening their relationships with clients.

Trend 5: Everyone Wants Mobile Internet Devices

Implications: Advisors and broker-dealers will need to quickly adapt their client communications and business systems. They also will need to educate clients on the best ways to use smartphones and tablets for financial planning and investing so  advisors and clients are in sync with each other when it comes to the latest technology.

Trend 6: YouTube’s Popularity Is Surging

Implications: Advisors and broker-dealers will need to rely on video for more communication with clients and prospects. They also will need to find more ways to embrace sites like YouTube for marketing, education and outreach.


Trend 7: Twitter Is Good for Branding

Implications: Broker-dealers and investment firms with TV campaigns will need to pair these communications with tweets to maximize their impact on investors.


Trend 8: More People Want Info on the Go

Implications: Clients will increasingly demand seamless access to information, accounts and investments on a variety of mobile devices. Advisors and broker-dealers will need to find the fastest, most secure ways possible to communicate 24/7 with clients.


Trend 9: Tech Stocks Are Up, but Not Overvalued

Implications: Advisors and clients may want to keep tech-related equity plays on the table, as some of these firms stand to benefit from the growing use of smartphones, tablets and other popular technology.

Trend 10: Cybersecurity Threats Are on the Rise

Implications: Advisors and their broker-dealers must use the best technology and platforms available to protect client information and investor assets from intrusions and privacy breaches.

Trend 11: Interest in Bitcoin Is Booming

Implications: Advisors and broker-dealers should evaluate what, if any, role these vehicles can have for their clients’ financial activity and for their businesses in the future.


Trend 12: Big Data Is a Threat

Implications: As more investors turn to online sites like Wealthfront, advisors and broker-dealers need to find ways to cut costs and raise service levels in a rapidly changing marketplace.

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