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The most transformative software for advisors?

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Advisors are inundated with software pitches that promise to help them cut costs, slash time spent on back-office tasks and communicate better with clients. But which tools will gain traction and become genuinely transformative for wealth management?

During a recent visit to Financial Planning, planner and founder of XY Planning Network Michael Kitces named five he expects will become even more prevalent over the next few years. First, however, a caveat.

“I’m excited to see our industry move to the next stage, but we move glacially slow,” said Kitces, who is also an FP contributor. “There are a zillion advisors working with a zillion clients. Transformation is never fast. In our industry it’s almost always more evolutionary than revolutionary.”

With that, let the revolution — no, the evolution — begin. Here are the software tools Kitces sees growing in importance:

  • Business intelligence
  • Tax planning
  • Student loan planning
  • Rebalancing
  • Health care planning

For many more predictions, please see the findings of our annual Tech Survey. What’s the No. 1 financial planning provider? Who do advisors rely on most for portfolio management? Just as importantly, what isn’t changing and why?

“What jumped out at me is how much advisors believe robo advice will shape wealth management, but how little adoption is actually taking place,” says Associate Editor Sean Allocca, who analyzed the data and wrote the story that accompanies the survey findings, “The Robo Effect.”

“As fee compression squeezes margins, advisors will need to differentiate and find new client bases that have historically been underserved. That means adopting new technology to help service clients with less investable assets,” Allocca says.

It doesn’t have to happen overnight. Careful deliberation is healthy. But planners need to take a hard look at their tech stack. The time to do so is now.

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