The end of 2016 is just around the corner, and while it could be fun to sit and reflect, we prefer to look toward the future. We can speculate about five or 10 years down the road about what financial services will look like (we’re predicting banks to go cashless by 2027 at the LATEST … you can quote us on that). But there are some trends already occurring that can tell us a lot about what wealth management could look like in the New Year. When it comes to the bottom line, tech is the name of the game. We take a look inside just a few of the results of Financial Planning’s recent Tech Survey to see what 2017 holds in store.
Stop Ignoring CRMs
CRMs have come leaps and bounds in just the last few years. Not only can they track new business leads and changes in customer and lead relationships, now (if configured properly) CRMs can provide invaluable business intelligence and insight on productivity and profitability. However (in our mind for inexplicable reasons), advisor usage of CRMs is not increasing at a pace reflective of tech advancements. We hear it every day, “I build my business through referrals and relationships.” Well we hate to break it to you, but CRMs can be hugely helpful in tracking referrals, relationships and just what your clients need. Not to mention provide insight on the performance of your own business.
Use Tech to Your Advantage
Unfortunately, it’s tough for advisors to go at it alone anymore. With the amount of data that needs to be tracked (thanks DOL rule) and the advancements in the space, advisors who choose to avoid planning software are often putting themselves at a disadvantage. Fortunately, software like MoneyGuidePro and eMoney exist. Financial Planning found that nearly 24 percent of their survey respondents don’t use planning software. We firmly believe that this nearly quarter of advisors would find that the quality of their advice would improve greatly if they signed on for this kind of tech.
Protect Yourself and Your Clients
We’re pleased to say that our favorite topic made its inaugural appearance on the FP survey – cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a massive issue, especially in financial services. Unfortunately, with the aging advisor population, this can mean that advisors and their clients are particularly susceptible to a hack. Investment and education is the key here. Invest in resources, equipment and mandated employee and client training. Interestingly, the survey found that attacks on firms can originate with the hack of a client. Make sure you’re doing all you can to combat this issue.
None of these trends should come as a surprise – over the course of 2016 and even long before, the transformation of wealth management toward being an increasingly digital business has been apparent and increasing. For everyone from one-man shops to leading financial services firms, if you don’t stay current on these trends, it’s without doubt going to be difficult to compete in the space.