Staying ahead of new technology is a challenge in any profession, but Los Angeles RIAs have steep hurdles to overcome.
They rely on computers, programs, and apps to communicate with clients, manage client assets, and carry out trading-related activities. Failure to keep up can have serious professional consequences.
Technology is based on what is known as disruptive innovation. This phenomenon caused the market for desktop computers to be ‘disrupted’ by tablets and smartphones and keeps powering advances and upgrades in software for customer relationship management, portfolio management, and financial planning.
The potential threat posed by ‘robo-advisors’ and other tools for online investing is forcing Los Angeles registered investment advisors to keep on top of the innovation curve. Here are the ways that they stay ahead of new technology without losing their focus in the process.
In April 2013, Aite published a study on the impact of integration on RIA productivity and profitability. It found that RIAs who work with an integrated technology platform experience high productivity levels compared to those who have to manage separate systems.
In general, these registered investment advisors enjoy 90% more direct contact with clients and prospects, which translates into 110% faster growth.
Keeping an Open Mind
Technology has a habit of working its way into our personal and professional lives. We use a particular device, application, or software for months or even years. Then, before we know it, that ‘new’ portfolio management application needs an upgrade.
No RIA should adopt the attitude that if the program works, don’t change it. FINRA and the SEC require that close attention be paid to data security, and many of these program updates include security enhancements.
If a new platform appears to be superior to an existing one, change is a good thing. Last summer, Investopedia reported that 75% of all investment advisors intend to incorporate new technology into their practices over the coming year, with software applications and mobile technology topping the list. Cloud-based technology was a favorite at 48%. The message: don’t be future-shocked.
Clients these days want to be able to view their assets and access their money from anywhere. Los Angeles RIAs who use Cloud-based account services make it easier to accomplish all this using a tablet or smartphone.
Video conferencing software such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting allow Los Angeles investment advisors to have remote chats with their clients. It is a portability and convenience that tech-savvy investors now expect from their investment advisors, so staying ahead means taking mobile-friendliness into account during all software purchasing decisions.
The Bottom Line
Staying ahead of new technology means embracing new digital tools and partnering with leading technology providers. Even as Los Angeles RIAs build their client base and improve service, looking ahead has to be a daily undertaking.
How does your company stay on top of new technology? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, Investing in High Net Worth Clients: The LA Investment Advisor's Guide to Using Technology to Manage and Grow Your Firm.