It is evident that over the last few years, Technology has been an active agent of change in our industry. In some ways quite ironic, since Advisors tend to be a progressive bunch and are often seen as early adopters of new consumer technologies. Think of every great new gadget, or smart device, or latest BMW, chances are you know an Advisor that has one. The irony however, lies in the technology that we use in the industry, seems like we’re always behind. I know one firm that is still using Windows 2000 and another which did not roll out internet access to employees until 2007. Its definitely frustrating, on an individual level Advisors are early adopters of new consumer technologies well because they can afford it, they often don’t have the same influence on budgets at the firms they work with.
Well over the last few days two developments caught my attention, the first, an announcement today of a firm building a platform to allow independent Advisors to bill for planning only, AdvicePay is meant to offer a PayPal like solution for Advisors who offer advice or planning only without the custody of assets, compliance requirements etc. Here’s more on that from RIABiz
The second event that caught my attention was a statement from the CEO of Vanguard Tim Buckley, speaking at the Inside ETFs Connference. With some 2400 managers and advisors as his audience his messaging was quite clear, “Adopt to the technological changes and fee compression roiling the investment management industry, or get left behind.” A full read from wealthmanagement.com
If you’re among the Advisors who are scared by these changes or just overwhelmed by it, you my friend need to put some serious thought to what you really bring to the craft. Although technology will continue to radically change the way we do business. Success in any industry requires being able stay passionate and adopt. The Advisors who have clear understanding of where they fit and the value they offer will also see a path use technologyy to their advantage. Which is exactly the story behind the Advisors that have found a niche to service without actually managing assets and being able to get paid via the AdvicePay platform.
Perhaps we all have to pay attention to the niches that are underserved, perhaps we just have to pay attention!