5 Solutions to Your Advisory Firm's Technology Struggles

5 Solutions to Your Advisory Firm's Technology Struggles

5 Problems and 5 Tech Solutions learned at the T3 Tech Tools Conference

Numerous advisory firms are struggling with:

  1. Reducing the workload
  2. Climbing out of the “weeds” of operations
  3. Managing costs
  4. Finding more time to nurture relationships
  5. Managing staff

Although we know that best-used tech can be a very affordable solution to many of these issues, less than .10% of RIA firms attended T3, which is the most tech-heavy conference in the RIA industry. The great thing about T3 was the attendees were there to SOLVE their problems and finish researching solutions so they could IMPLEMENT.

For all those firms that didn’t go, we have summarized the 5 solutions that advisors learned. For those seeking a comprehensive review of T3 and all the tech providers, you can read Kitces article.

Key Lessons Learned at the T3 Tech Tools Conference:

  1. ROBO does not mean a robot is managing the clients’ portfolio. It could mean that the client is emailed a website URL link to paperwork that they can fill out online and e-sign. It could mean that the client is emailed a URL link to a risk questionnaire and once completed, auto-chooses the investments that you already researched and choose. Or it could mean that your client portal contains a few links to questionnaires and paperwork  to complete. ROBO is an automated workflow and it comes in all shapes and sizes.
  2. PFM Personal Financial Management is the tech tool that allows consumers to enter the login and password to their checking, mortage, investment, and other asset and liability accounts. A PFM auto-produces the most current Net Worth Statement.
  3. Appointment schedulers don’t require you to publicize your calendar on your website nor do they require every person be forced to use the URL link to schedule time with you. This tech allows you to provide someone several options for reaching you on the phone or in person. It makes you more accessible.
  4. Client portals aren’t required for clients to use. They are one of the many options you provide to people that want 24/7 access to their financial statements, net worth, estate documents, commentary, and more. And the contents of the portal is important so choose the portal that provides the information that your clients value the most.
  5. Workflows are not scary but rather a necessity. Workflows are just written processes that guide people on what to do, when, and how. So many firms avoid writing out their workflows as they are scared to see what their gut knows – inefficiencies and time wasters. We coached several firms to get over their fear and wipe board the workflow of one problematic area of their business. Just like magic, light bulbs went on. The inefficiencies were so glaring that it was easy to identify tech solutions to reduce the pain.

So where to you go from here? Seeking operational excellence? Drop us a line by connecting HERE

Jennifer Goldman
Operational Excellence
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Jennifer Goldman is founder of My Virtual COO and comes to us with 20 years' experience optimizing the use of tech and people to improve RIA firms' productivity and profitabil ... Click for full bio

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

Written by: Jon Sabes

When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward. 

However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:

  • He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
  • He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
  • When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
  • While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
  • In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.

Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (www.jonsabes.com), is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.

Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.

Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.

His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”

When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”

On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.

“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”

That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing.  Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.

Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”

When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it.  He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.

I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.

GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
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GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio