In this edition of IFA Magazine we have a special focus on how technology is helping to transform the effectiveness and efficiency of financial planning firms
We’ll start with a warning. If you are a little concerned about the rapid pace in the development of technology within the financial planning profession in recent years, then brace yourself for the idea that it’s only going to get quicker from here on.
Regardless of whether you’re the only adviser within your practice or part of a larger team, now is the time to take technology very seriously indeed. Of course, it’s a moving feast. We can all see the developments have been huge to get where we are today, but opting out at this stage, or even taking your eye off the ball, is a one way street to business failure.
Technology in the spotlight
In our special focus on the use of technology in financial planning, we’re looking at some of the various aspects of the actual business of financial planning.
Of course, a comprehensive assessment of all the different types of technology and how they affect the financial planner, adviser and paraplanner is way beyond the scope of a simple monthly publication such as IFA Magazine. However, we’re keen to share the ideas and experiences of a number of people who are embracing technology within their particular sphere, and using it to the best effect. Indeed, we’re very grateful to the many individuals and organisations who have shared their ideas, experiences, insight and thinking with us in order to generate what we hope is a series of thought-provoking articles to help you to think about your own situation and your own relationship with technology for the future. Our aims are to help your business to thrive, to adapt and to deliver an even better standard of service which will help you exceed your clients’ expectations.
Yes, it’s a people business but…
Technology is driving change in so many ways. Fundamentally, financial planning is a very personal service which is focused on helping people to identify and go on to achieve their goals in life. But, behind the scenes a myriad of different types of technology are available to help bring about a more effective outcome for clients and/or improved efficiency for the business itself. That’s great news of course. But, with it come potential headaches and complications.
The rise of the internet, cloudbased technology and the availability of so many different types of software programmes mean that advisers have more choice than ever as to how they run their businesses. In fact, one of the biggest challenges which busy advisers face today is how they keep on top of all the different options. It’s not just that, but understanding how they work together is a particular problem. Can you really have too much choice? How can you ensure that system A works well with system B?
Know your business
You know your business. You know what you’re trying to achieve. But finding the right technology which not only supports your business strategy but works alongside your existing systems can be daunting.
What about marketing? Technology is making huge changes in this arena. Making the right choices means having clarity around your objectives, what you do and how you do it, so that you avoid costly mistakes – in terms of time and money.
The development of technology has helped more and more advisers, especially those working in small firms, to enjoy economies of scale which could only have been dreamed of by advisers even twenty years ago.
It also means that competition within the financial planning space is growing. We know that IFA Magazine readers like to consider an opinion or two and we hope that you find this month’s special focus of interest – and of use.