5 Essential Tools Financial Managers Need to Go Digital in 2020

In 2019, Financial Planning surveyed RIAs, financial planners and advisors to ask them about their digital financial management tools — what do they use and what technology trends do they think will have the biggest impact on the future of the financial and wealth management industry.

Here’s what they said are the tools they use:

  • 96% financial planning
  • 95% CRM
  • 83% portfolio management
  • 73% risk assessment
  • 60% marketing communications
  • 46% multifunctional platform 

Here’s what they said when asked which trends have the biggest potential to change wealth management: 

  • 42% behavioral finance software (more on that in the next section)
  • 38% digital platforms
  • 34% mobile apps
  • 25% predictive analytics
  • 22% robo advising
  • 21% real-time financial activity reporting
  • 19% automated investment advice
  • 18% artificial intelligence
  • 16% advanced risk profiling software

What is Behavioral Finance? 

Behavioral finance blends psychology with investment decisions. It’s a theory that lets investment managers, advisors and analysts study their clients’ attitudes, behaviors, preferences, and socioeconomic and cultural factors so they can communicate with their clients and make investment decisions on their behalf. 

Behavioral finance allows advisors to build trust with their clients and deepen their relationships; maintaining those relationships and providing client assurance and comfort is ever more important during this coronavirus outbreak. The software that is emerging in this area gathers data from investors from a variety of sources and delivers it to financial managers, so they can incorporate the information in their advice.

It’s an emerging area of fintech that we’ll be watching over the next couple of years. In the meantime, the next section lists financial management tools that firms need to go digital.

Top Digital Tools for Financial Managers

TAMP (multi-function platform)

We’re listing the turnkey asset management platform first, not because it’s one of our core offerings — and yes, we are a little biased but for good reason. We believe in TAMP technology. We know what a game changer it can be:

  • A TAMP frees your advisors from hours of data gathering, crunching numbers and building spreadsheets (that are vulnerable to human error).
  • It streamlines back-office office operations.
  • The out-of-the-box solution allows small to midsize firms to compete with larger firms without pricey web development.
  • It meets customer demand for 24/7, cross-device accessibility to their investments (and you).
  • It reduces operation costs and accelerates time to market.
  • Your financial planning, portfolio accounting, risk management, CRM and whatever else you want to connect are all centralized through one user portal.  

Here’s where we offer a shameless plug to invite you to see a demo of TAMP technology in action: Schedule a no-obligation demo with one of our experts today

And now back to our list of top digital tools for financial managers.

Financial planning and portfolio management

Nearly all surveyed financial firms use financial planning (96%) and portfolio management (83%) tools. They’re using these tools, yes; however, are they optimizing these tools so they’re getting the most value possible? 

It may be time to revisit your legacy software systems if you answer “no” to these questions:

  • Do your financial planning and portfolio management tools boost revenue and lower operation costs?
  • Do they improve decision making for your advisors and managers?
  • Do they help improve the client experience? you attract and retain new clients?
  • Do the platforms or applications provide insights into your clients’ behaviors and preferences?
  • Are you more competitive, thanks to your technology?

CRM

Like a lot of technology solutions, client relationship management technology is shifting away from software-based installations to web-based platform-as-a-service technologies. Ninety-five percent of financial firms are already using a CRM, so we won’t spend a lot of time talking about the benefits — you already know those. 

Does your CRM seamlessly integrate with your other SaaS and PaaS tools? Or, is your CRM data siloed away from your financial planning, portfolio management, risk assessment and other technologies? 

This is where TAMP technology is taking over the industry to become the technology foundation for investment managers. Our TAMP, for example, has its own CRM, but it will also integrate with your existing CRM.

Risk assessment tool

The vast majority (73%) of financial firms that were surveyed said they use some sort of risk assessment technology. How often is the information updated and reviewed, and what are the key drivers and variables that factor into the tools’ algorithms? 

Is this information siloed in its own application, or is it gathered into a centralized portal for the advisor and client? 

Marketing communications

If you aren’t using marketing automation technology, you’re missing out on some of the smartest, savviest technologies that can help you grow your business. Marketing automation applications allow you to segment your subscribers so you can target them with messaging. 

For example, if you have an eBook like we do or any other gated content, you can ask the readers to fill out a form to access the information. If the reader is already a client, then they could go into a separate automation workflow from our established clients. You can automate email messages to try to learn more about the prospect, what their interests are, their pain points, and how you might be able to work together with them. As they interact with your messages and website, the marketing automation tool looks for certain signals and communicates that to your staff. The more they interact with your content, the more likely they are to become a lead for your investment organization.

Other Tools to Consider

Other digital tools that financial firms can benefit range from simple administrative tools to more complex back-end tools. Here are a few:

  • Website optimization tools — these make sure your website is healthy and attracting the right audience. Examples include Google Search Console, Yoast SEO and Page Speed Insights.
  • Digital asset management tools — the cloud-based DAM is the filing cabinet of the 21st century. The best cloud-based DAMs offer military-grade security, collaboration and version control. Examples include Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and Microsoft’s Sharepoint.
  • Scheduling and meeting tools — several web-based tools allow your team to share their calendars with each other and clients, so appointments can be booked online. Some tools will also integrate with web-based conferencing tools that allow you to share your screen, record meetings, and use video for more personal interactions. Calendly is a tool that many companies use because it plugs into Outlook, Google Calendar and many others.
  • Content tools — If you’ve got a website and you publish content on a regular basis (which you should be doing if you want to build your online audience), use your social channels to promote the content. You can schedule them in advance through tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer and a slew of other brands that pop up in this space.
  • Reputation management tools — Speaking of your online presence, do you know what people are saying about you as they talk about your brand? You can set up Google alerts to monitor any keyword, branded or unbranded. For example, we set up alerts to monitor our brand name, Empaxis, as well as our products, such as TAMP1. 

Schedule a Tech Tools Demo

To see how web-based technology works for financial firms, in particular a turnkey asset management platform, contact us to schedule a demo. You’ll see how it works with your existing systems and how it can upgrade your tools to replace clunky legacy software systems.

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