How technology can help lead to better business results
We’ve come a long way since high-tech in wealth management meant locally-installed, manually-updated, disparate DOS-based applications. Today in the age of instant information, smartphones, and digital advice, investors are expecting more from their advisors. Unfortunately, there are many advisors who have yet to fully embrace the advantages that technology can bring to their practices; technology that can result in faster growth, enhanced client service and better business results.
A recent survey from Fidelity Investments shined a light on this link between technology and business results, in an age where technology is more important than ever. Succeeding where their non-tech-savvy peers aren’t, advisors have found a key to making technology work for them and are adopting automated and digital capabilities for both client-facing and operational activities.
These advisors, dubbed “eAdvisors”, are helped by technology and are excelling in several quantifiable ways. They have 40 percent higher AUM than their peers, as well as more high-value clients and more Gen X/Y clients. They are expanding their reach, attracting the investors of tomorrow, and building bigger businesses. Not to mention, they’re happier. The findings validate what we’ve all known in our guts – technology helps advisors succeed.
The Profile of eAdvisors
These are exciting findings, suggesting that we’ll continue to see advisory firms that encourage technology use by their advisors, as well as adopt future-ready technology, as firms that can better serve their clients and grow their businesses. Numerous trends support the need to implement digital tools, including investor preferences in their relationship with their advisor; the rise of financial advice delivered online through an engaging interface; and the impending advisor talent shortfall that may necessitate leveraging technology to improve productivity and attract a new generation of advisors to your firm.
For firms that have not yet crossed the digital divide, the tech know-how to fully harness the power of technology may at first seem daunting: where do you even begin? But there is tremendous opportunity for the tech-curious who want to harness the power of technology to enhance their business and their client relationships. Keep in mind that a methodical evaluation and implementation of new capabilities is most effective as you lead your firm through changes that will have a profound positive impact on your business and your clients.
It is equally important to remember that the most innovative technologies may fall far short of expectations if you haven’t analyzed your goals, challenges, and day-to-day tasks, and determined which tools can work best for your firm. No e-solution will add value to your business if it doesn’t meet your unique needs and those of your clients and staff.
Building an eAdvisor Business
Want to look more like these successful eAdvisors? Start by identifying your goals and then implement the solutions that are right for your firm. Here are some steps you can consider.
The ability to use technology to its fullest can have a profound impact on the success of your business, as evidenced by the research into eAdvisors. You have a tremendous opportunity to better help your clients navigate their financial life and achieve their goals. Leveraging technology tools that help provide an outstanding client experience, expand geographic reach, and increase access to the next generation of clients, while increasing employee satisfaction, can help your firm thrive for years to come. The tools are out there, you just have to use them!
 The 2014 Fidelity® Investor Insights Study, part of Fidelity’s Insights on Advice program. This study included a total of 1,064 35-minute online interviews with investors, and was conducted during the period from July 14 through July 28, 2014. Respondents were screened by a minimum in investable assets (excluding retirement assets and primary residence), age, and income levels. The sample was provided by Bellomy Research’s network of online panel partners.
 2014 Fidelity Investor Insights Study
 “The Future of Finance: Part 3,” Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, March 2015
 Cerulli Advisor Metrics Quantitative Update 2015 & Envestnet estimates, Envestnet Compendium of Industry Trends, April 2015
Tricia Haskins is Vice President, Practice Management and Consulting, Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions in Boston. The content provided herein is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions provides clearing, custody, or other brokerage services through National Financial Services LLC or Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Members NYSE, SIPC.
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