Advising your clients is a process. Variables change constantly. To help guide your clients to make the right decisions and achieve their financial goals in life, you must have insight into what changes and when.
“Advising” and “technology” are two phrases that weren’t necessarily spoken in the same sentence before 2008. Today? The two go hand in hand. Technology is a critical component of gaining the insight you need to best guide your clients. Perhaps more important, it is a tool through which you’re able to foster strong relationships.
The steps of the financial planning process include:
While there is financial planning technology designed specifically to help with steps one through four, the most important step is executing and tracking the plan. Effectively and seamlessly track changes that require adjustments to a given plan with modern financial technology. This technology fosters greater communication between you and your clients, which strengthens your relationships.
In order to successfully carry out a plan, you must know your clients’ financial standing at all times. The first step is gathering all of their data in one place. This is crucial to the financial planning process and impacts all five steps. To help guide your clients’ decisions, you must pull together all of their financial, investment and insurance accounts. Investment tracking software takes what used to be a tedious and time-consuming process and simplifies it for both you and your clients. No longer do they need to gather data. No longer do you need to input that data.
An investment or portfolio tracker monitors your clients’ progress. Without ongoing monitoring and tracking, creating a financial plan is fruitless. With this modern technology, you’re able to see – at any time – precisely where your clients stand and how close they are to their goals. When variables change and plans need to be adjusted, you have the ability to act quickly, which has a profound impact on your clients’ long-term success.
Beyond the financial planning process itself, technology is critical in another way: building strong client relationships. Next-generation wealth management is about providing an experience; it’s not just a practice in asset management.
Today, your clients are seeking convenience, ease, efficiency and the assurance that their investments are being monitored. The right technology meets all of these requirements. It enables clients to have 24/7 access to financial data and makes evaluating their current financial standing simple and intuitive. If their investments are ever at risk, you and your client are alerted of potential issues.
As much as you need to know your clients’ financial progress in order to keep them on track, they benefit, too, from their ability to monitor their own movement. Even without communicating with you, they are more comfortable knowing that there’s information in their pockets at all times. Whereas investors were once left wondering and stressing about their progress toward their financial goals, they now have the tools to know exactly where they stand at a moment’s notice.
This kind of power – even when you are not needed – strengthens your relationships significantly.
According to Financial Planning’s “Tech Survey 2014: What's New Now?”: “Interactive planning with clients is now the norm, not the exception. All of this means that the time and costs of plan preparation have declined, while the output has improved.”
But, despite the growing use of such technology, many advisors still lag behind, reverting to spreadsheets and manual data entry and missing out on the benefits that go far beyond modern efficiencies. Today, advising clients is as much about trust as it is about financial success. With the right technology, your practice is both more efficient and immensely more personal.
Learn how to leverage technology in financial planning and private wealth management to win over your clients. Click below to discover six essential tips.