Putting together Investment Advisor’s inaugural fintech survey of industry leaders was time well spent. Of course, it involved more time and effort than I expected, as most valuable projects do.
The names of some individuals polled are familiar to advisors — Joe Duran, Clara Shih, Ron Carson and Michael Kitces. Others have behind-the-scenes roles at their respective firms. All gave generously of their time and energy to bring the cover story to life and deserve our gratitude.
One idea that prompted this publication’s first fintech survey was the Equifax data breach, which put information on 143 million consumers at risk. As several leaders surveyed for the cover story explain, the scope of this hacking raises important issues. Lon Dolber, head of American Portfolios, asks: should credit bureaus be held to the same standards as broker-dealers? And Kitces criticizes the use of arbitration clauses by firms with access to sensitive financial and other data.
Tech leaders that we surveyed also mention which tools they favor, both on and off the clock. I guess it’s time for me to check out and embrace applications like Mint, Evernote and Tableau (heavy sigh).
As for other new tools, the SEC plans to create a website so investors easily can find the names of barred and suspended brokers. This development is highlighted in this month’s “The Playing Field” column by Melanie Waddell. Like BrokerCheck, this new database likely will include client complaints.