The recent conclusion of one of the premier fintech events in the wealth management industry, AdviceTechLive, proved to be a resounding success with hundreds of eager attendees soaking up valuable tips, advice and guidance on technology options from renowned industry experts.
Asset Map took the lead in hosting this pro-bono event in mid-August in support of the Foundation for Financial Planning and attendees were spoilt for choice with an incredible selection of thought leaders to inspire them with deep insights on the industry’s future. If that wasn’t enough to whet their financial appetites, they were treated to tactical 10-minute demos of a variety of brilliant technology options.
It cannot be understated how much was covered in the week-long event. It certainly was jam-packed with value on everything from what’s next in AdviceTech to Democratizing Financial Advice and Financial Wellness – powerful stuff indeed for the 21st-century financial advisor!
I was most excited about these key takeaways:
· The massive effort being made by the industry that benefits both advisors and their clients;
· The human element; and
Let’s jump into the juicy bits!
A Financial Force
It’s abundantly clear that our industry has bent over backwards with a concerted effort to help the masses.
It was evident right from the start of the event that leaders in the wealth & fintech space have recognized what advisors and their clients want. Not only has there been acknowledgment of their needs, but they are also doing their level best to develop innovative solutions for the market – solutions that are being asked for. This is fascinating as you sense that, for once, they are actually listening.
These brilliant solutions are a combination of real money, passion, talent and innovation – a step that’s definitely in the right direction! While these solutions may lead to some inherent problems (I’ll touch on those below), the main thing to consider here is that measures have been put in place to improve the industry faster and more innovatively than ever before – a truly encouraging and exciting development!
The Human Element
With such rapid technological advancement in the wealth space over the past 20 years, it’s quite understandable that fears of human advisors eventually being replaced by robo-advisors were amplified – a terrifying prospect that Adam and I discussed at length in episode 3 of our Rethink podcast. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however, as the pandemic has made us realize that the human element is now more important than ever!
Key elements of the event covered financial wellness, the democratization of advice, and bringing people together amongst others – while using the convenience of technology to make it all happen. I love this HumanTech theme!
On the contrary to most advisors’ fears, great tech provides the perfect foundation for the human element to flourish in the industry. In essence, great tech is an enabler for more human connection as opposed to fears of being replaced. Throughout the event, it was refreshing to hear the amount of focus being placed on the human facet of our work.
While we love technology and the convenience that it brings, we also desire the human connection and the personal touch that comes with the industry. The best tech understands this concept and makes it central to their offering.
Over the years, I have come to realize that many advisors struggle when trying to build their tech stack – more so with understanding which tech is the perfect fit for them and the client experience they want to offer. While we all love the convenience that new technology brings with it, one of the challenges of having such awesome tech vendors building great industry solutions is that we are spoilt for choice – how do we choose correctly when there’s so much on offer?
How does an advisor know which tech they should get? When should they get it? These are typically the questions that advisors ponder when faced with this conundrum. My friends at the event, Craig Iskowitz, Penny Phillips, and Jay Coulter, provided some key takeaways on this subject:
· Go slow – vet one piece of tech at a time and make sure it’s what you really want and need, and discover if it is something that enhances your business and your client experience.
· Consider using specialists – try using specialist firms, like Penny’s that do it all for you. These firms are masters in practice management and can help you to sort through the plethora of tech options and figure out what’s best for you.
· Avoid shiny object syndrome – while some demos make the tech look and work much better than it actually does, advisors will do well not to fall victim to shiny object syndrome. Our industry has an integration problem – things break! With that being said, it’s advisable to pull back some layers of the onion before onboarding new tech.
Craig even went on to publish a great article (3 Tips for Advisors to Choose the Right Technology) to further drive home these points and empower more advisors.
The Future Is Technically Bright
With so many fascinating developments happening in the industry, it’s hard not to be excited. It’s incredible to think that advisors have so many options and so much support to grow and thrive in this brave new world. The main thing to remember is that they need to embrace technology to enhance their human value proposition. The challenge then becomes what is the RightTech for you? Reach out to the industry – we are here to help you.
I, for one, am stoked! So many great people – so many great solutions. My question for you is – How are you using tech to enhance your human value proposition?
Sending positive vibes your way.