How satisfied are you with the integration
of your various programs?
Neither satisfied nor unsatisfied
Don’t know/no answer
had the most
because for many RIAs, the compliance process is more streamlined.
There are a number of reasons for
LinkedIn’s popularity. First, it is perceived primarily as a business site. It is
designed for networking among professionals, and it can also be used for
prospecting. There are many advisor-focused groups on LinkedIn that readers
can subscribe to. In addition, LinkedIn
can help advisors stay informed about
conferences that may be of interest.
Although many advisors use social
media in some business-related fashion, many do so infrequently. Only
30% use social media at least daily,
while 36% use it once a month or less.
About one-in-three advisors plan to
purchase a tablet soon. It will be interesting to see if 80% stick with the iPad,
or if a meaningful number decide to
give the Windows 8 tablets a try. We
suspect that Windows 8 tablets will
attract a following within the advisor
community, although adoption will
vary greatly depending on the business model.
We also believe that Windows 8 will
have a larger impact on the business
sooner than the survey numbers indicate. Although only 16% of advisors
said they plan to install Windows 8 in
the next year, 47% told us that their
next major technology purchase will
be a PC. That number jumped to 68%
in our CPA subgroup. We expect many
of those new PCs to come with Windows 8 installed.
Most of the focus in the popular press has been on the new Win-
dows8 Start page, which some see as
an impediment to adoption, but there
are many benefits as well. Windows8
is more secure than previous versions, and it boots faster. It is also more
closely tied to the cloud, and plays well
with Windows8 tablets and phones.
We think it is particularly well-suited
to the needs of advisors. Furthermore,
the upcoming version of Microsoft
Office 2013 will not be compatible with
Windows XP or Vista, so many advisors still using old operating systems
will need to upgrade soon.
Although the custodial and B-D satisfaction numbers fall short of where
some in the industry think they should
be, relatively few advisors say they are
“very unsatisfied” with the technology these firms provide. Hopefully for
those advisors and those firms, there
will be an upward trend next year.
The average advisor’s technology is better than it was a few years
ago, but there is still much work to be
done. We sometimes question why
adoption is so low for applications
that are proven to deliver ROI, such
as document management software
and rebalancing software. The only
logical conclusion is that it is a problem of perception. Too many advisors
still view technology spending as an
expense, as opposed to the investment in their business that it is.
Attitudes are changing, but they
are changing slowly. As more advisors
become aware that technology is a necessary investment that provides a good
return over time, they will become more
willing to invest more. Over time, this
will lead to additional productivity gains
and improved profitability. Barring a significant market decline, which tends to
put the brakes on advisor spending, we
expect 2013 to me another bright year
for advisor technology. FP
Joel Bruckenstein is a Financial
Planning editor-at-large and co-creator of the Technology Tools
for Today newsletter and conference series. He is also president of
Global Financial Advisors in Miramar, Fla. For more info, visit