Remember the Goldilocks fable? The infamous invader came across porridge that was too hot, porridge that was too cold, and porridge that was just right.
The same dynamic occurs today among advisors and their financial technology. On one hand, many advisors refuse to adapt and adopt even basic digital infrastructure. This kind of advisor won’t be around for long.
On the other hand, many advisors over-tech their businesses hoping they can coast alongside the robots as they do all the work. This overreliance on technology may be sabotaging client relationships without the advisor even knowing it.
A conversation about overreliance on technology started after Tesla’s Autopilot system caused the unfortunate death of a man in Florida last summer. Joshua Brown was driving on a highway at high speed with the Autopilot system deployed and failed to notice the giant semi-truck careening towards him.
For advisors, an overreliance on tech may not be fatal, but may be dangerous to your client relationships. Assuming your tech can do the work of advising your clients is about as smart as assuming all of your prospects want to connect with you on Snapchat.
But, what about the other side of the equation — when the autopilot works better than the pilot?
Here’s a story about another Joshua. Joshua Neally, a 37-year-old attorney, headed home from work early in his Tesla Model X to celebrate his daughter’s fourth birthday. While on the freeway he suffered a pulmonary embolism, an often fatal obstruction of a blood vessel in his lungs, a feeling he described in an interview for Slate as “a steel pole through my chest.” He doesn’t remember much of the drive after that, but his vehicle successfully got him to the closest emergency room, about 20 minutes away. Neally’s car most likely saved his life.