The Most Important Investments Advisors Can Make in Their Firm
By H. Adam Holt, Founder and CEO of Asset-Map, CFP®️, ChFC®️
The pace of change in financial services is not slowing down. Financial advisors today have to keep innovating within their own four walls to stay ahead of new competition and keep their current clients happy.
In the midst of that constant need for change and improvement, it can be easy to get distracted. That is especially true when you spend time looking at the latest enhancements or new entrants in financial advisor technology solutions.
So, how do you keep your focus and make investments in your practice that provide real, tangible benefits?
When advisors ask us about the most important technology investments they can make in their practice, we think the two most significant categories of fintech that advisors should focus on are practice management and value-add applications.
In this post, we’ll look at the technology infrastructure updates that advisors can make to keep their practice humming.
Core Technology for Advisors: Practice Management
We first have to acknowledge one fact: There are an incredible amount of fintech choices for the modern advisor. So many, in fact, that the decision to add new tech can be daunting for any size practice.
You would think that all this choice would be a good thing. But with the time constraints already placed on the typical advisor, many advisors shut down before they even begin to look at tech that can improve their firm.
One way that advisors can guard against the time-drain of selecting new technology is by thinking of their technology in the terms I laid out earlier: Practice Management and Value-Add.
First, let’s identify the core of an advisor’s fintech, the Practice Management section. Apps in this core section include your CRM, financial planning software, and portfolio management platform.
Power User Tip: Here’s a short list of which platforms might fit into these core categories for your firm.
- CRM: Redtail, Salesforce, SmartOffice, Wealthbox
- Financial Planning: MoneyGuidePro, eMoney Advisor, Advicent NaviPlan, RightCapital
- Portfolio Management: Orion, Envestnet, BlackDiamond, circleblack
These three types of apps are best when bundled, and they absolutely must integrate well with each other. As an advisor, you don’t have time and attention to micro-manage tasks like making your CRM sync with account balances — you have clients to take care of, after all.
A well-integrated core of practice management solutions will help you streamline your time-consuming back-office tasks so you can maximize time spent focused on clients.
Enhancing Service with Value-Add Software Solutions
In addition to the core solutions, there is one more critical category of software, and those are the Value-Add apps.
Advisors looking to update and innovate the client experience they provide must start by identifying their core value proposition. Once you have that in hand, you can find software that supports your unique value proposition.
Value-Add software enhances an advisor’s ability to present a specific investment strategy, or to create a unique digital or in-person experience for their clients.
For some advisors, their Value-Add may be a focus on tax-loss harvesting, with a solution like LIfeYield. For others, it may be an app like Snappy Kraken that allows them to provide custom content to clients as a way to boost engagement and increase financial literacy on topics that each individual finds interesting.
Other Value-Add approaches might involve explaining the complexity of portfolio risk scores, using a platform like Riskalyze, or in helping families collaboratively organize their estate plans and documents through tools like Everplans.
Or perhaps you’re looking to interact with clients through their preferred medium — whether that’s on paper, through digital presentations, or via remote screen-sharing using Asset-Map’s household visualizations.
Whatever your firm’s specific Value-Add, these secondary tech solutions can help you improve on and create a more well-rounded client experience that ensures consistency, whether client interactions are in-person or digital. Sometimes, your Value-Add software may become so central to your client experience that it becomes elevated as part of your practice management approach — requiring close integration with your core tech stack.
Building an Integrated Tech Stack
Whenever you are selecting technology, you have to consider its integration capabilities.
Choosing integrated technologies means that your Core and Value-Add choices work in tandem to help you a more efficient, tech-enabled experience.
At Asset-Map, we integrate with industry-leading technology partners to bring you a simple way to ensure that your data is up-to-date across the most important applications you use, including ours.
Some of our most-used partners include:
- Orion: A portfolio accounting platform that includes comprehensive solutions for trading, billing, reporting, and client engagement tools like a client portal and mobile app.
- Riskalyze: What began as a risk-analysis platform now provides much more, with tools for analyzing investment risk, delivering 401 plans, and building and implementing investment portfolios
- Redtail: Perennially one of the industry’s most-used technology solutions, Redtail is a CRM built specifically for advisors that also includes additional features like compliant text messaging with clients.
We plan to integrate with many more of the industry’s best. If you’re curious about us integrating with one of your favorite apps, get in touch with our team to check.
Keep to Your Core to Avoid Fintech Distraction
As you refine and grow your firm, keep your focus on what you do best. Simplifying the approach you take with technology used in your firm can help you keep that tight focus.
Often times, we believe that the simple approach is often the best.
At Asset-Map, we live by the idea that a simple approach can be a better way to interact with your clients. Our technology helps you visualize a client’s complete financial landscape on a single page so you can help them better see and understand their finances — and as a result, make better decisions about their financial future.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.