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Tech is changing the industry — don't get left behind

When is a wealth management firm not a wealth management firm?

When it is a technology firm in disguise. I say that tongue in cheek, but there is an element of truth.

I was recently discussing our industry with some friends and remarked how much technology is transforming financial services entirely.

When I returned to the office the next day, I did a quick inventory of our tech stack and counted more than 23 different software packages we use in our firm of 10 people. We have software for office productivity, client service, client communication, investment planning, trading, compliance and general office management.

All these various technologies require time, money and resources. We need to figure out which ones are right for us, implement them, train our staff (and sometimes, our clients) on how to use them and then maintain them.

To be really successful, we then need to integrate them with one another.

Some of the technology we use is a must-have. Some is used to increase firm efficiency or to improve our ability to work with clients, and some we use as early adopters so that we can stay ahead of the curve.

This isn’t a one-time exercise. To stay on the cutting edge and continue to innovate is a constant process. As we continue to evolve as an industry, technology is going to require more and more of our attention and focus.

In our firm, we try not to be afraid of this transformation. Instead, we choose to embrace it as an opportunity to improve and build our firm. In fact, our next two hires are scheduled to be tech-related.

As we think about consumers’ behavior, many buying decisions are now at least partially shaped by who has the best technology. Would you buy a new car that had manual windows and a cassette tape deck?

My dad started in the business with a rotary phone, a black ledger book for him to track trades by hand and a shared Quotron machine. Today he is 74 years old, uses our contact management software, a password manager and can work remotely.

Don’t be left behind.

This story is part of a 30-30 series on how technology is changing your practice.

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