What's next? It's a universal question. But probably no more widely asked than in the context of technological innovation. Indeed, we, as a civilization, are enamored with technology-just think about all the smartphones, e-readers and tablets (particularly Apple iPads) that were on your family's wish list last holiday season.

However, for financial advisors, "What's next?" is becoming a strategically important question as the industry demands greater business efficiency and smarter ways to compete. Many are turning to broker-dealers and custodians for technology answers. And, as Joel Bruckenstein reported in December's issue, those firms appear ready. "Broker-dealers and custodians are realizing that better technology can free up advisors to spend more time attracting new clients and servicing existing ones," Bruckenstein says. "As a result, virtually all firms with custody of advisor assets have technology initiatives designed to help their advisors run more efficient, profitable practices."

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