Welcome to Financial Planning's 2010 Technology Survey. This year marks our fourth anniversary, and there is plenty to be excited about. Thanks to an overwhelming response from our loyal readers, we logged 3,139 responses to this year's survey, more than doubling last year's 1,550 responses. To put things in historical perspective, this year's responses exceeded our inaugural survey by a factor of roughly 13. With our growing sample size and a historical record to draw upon, we think we are better positioned than ever to offer readers an analysis of the state of technology within our industry. As we've done each year, we've tweaked existing questions and added a few new ones to keep you apprised of new technology trends.

When we released last year's survey, both the technology sector and the financial sector were still mired in a slump. What a difference a year makes. One of the lessons advisors learned from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 was that their practices were not nearly as efficient as they thought. As a result, advisors have refocused their attention on becoming more productive, and technology certainly plays a role in that process. In addition, a new product cycle of hardware and software has once again forced advisors to reevaluate their technology needs; this in turn has created significant new technology demands throughout the financial services industry.

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