Written by: Jimmy Moock
Elon Musk once famously likened the rise of artificial intelligence to “summoning the demon.” While the infiltration of technology into the financial advice landscape isn’t being described quite as ominously, the relationship between the two is nothing short of complex.
On one hand, technology is seen as the enemy. We’ve all become familiar with the narrative of how robo advisors are compressing fees and coming for your clients, starting with the millennials. And as their algorithmic sophistication grows, so will their reach.
Obviously, this storyline hasn’t exactly panned out yet, with assets managed by robo advisors still only representing a tiny fraction of the total pie.
On the other hand, technology is seen as an advisor’s knight in shining armor. Certain technology has the power to add value to an advisor’s practice in both the front and back office. Client portals and dashboards have become the norm, offering investors convenience and 24/7 access to their investment performance and portfolio makeup. The time-saving back-office efficiencies gleaned from being able to see all client information in one place, run portfolio performance analysis and seamlessly process fees at the click of a button empower advisors to spend more time coming up with creative and value-adding solutions for their clients.
Depending on which rabbit hole you dive down, technology is either making financial advisors more useful than ever, or marginalizing their existence into complete obsolescence. But the reality of the situation lies somewhere in between. While there’s some truth to both narratives, pinpointing technology’s net impact on the lives of financial advisors is a complicated equation.
It is this dynamic that electrifies the air inside of Joel Bruckenstein’s T3 Advisor Conference , one of the largest advisor technology trade shows, that takes place each February.
It’s impossible to know exactly what the future holds, but there will be some valuable insights shared at the show when it comes to how technology can benefit an advisor’s practice, as well as what advisors need to be aware of to stay ahead of the digital curve.