Financial advisors who embrace technology are growing their practices at a faster rate than those who are still shying away from it, says Fidelity Clearing & Custody, a division of Fidelity Investments, in a report released Thursday.
According to the Fidelity 2014 Advisor Insights Study, advisors who embrace technology, who Fidelity calls eAdvisors, have 40 percent more assets under management and are increasing their geographic reach faster than those who do not use technology. They are also better at attracting Gen X and Gen Y investors. Fidelity surveyed 933 advisors for the study.
Seventy-four percent of the eAdvisors believe technology is helping them grow. The study looked at how advisors use all kinds of technology in their businesses and what these eAdvisors do differently from their peers.
Investors increasingly want more of their financial interactions to be digital. At the same time there is a growing shortage of advisors, which will mean advisors have to leverage technology to compete, Fidelity says.
According to the study, using technology allows eAdvisors to serve 55 percent more clients than their peers. By servicing more clients, these advisors had 14 percent more AUM.
“The research shows that technology helps advisors increase assets, attract new clients and grow their geographic footprints. E-Advisors also say they are happier with their jobs,” says Tricia Haskins, vice president, practice management and consulting, Fidelity Clearing & Custody.
“The downside is that only three in 10 advisors in our study were identified as eAdvisors, which means there are many ’tech indifferent’ advisors today who may not be taking advantage of technology to strategically grow their business,” she adds.
Fidelity offered tips for those advisors not taking full advantage of technology: Communicate with clients on social media; automate e-mail alerts; promote practices on social media; and provide updates by text message.
Also, use mobile tools like tablets to view financial information, make transactions, and do videos and online conferencing.
Adopt portfolio management and administrative tools to automate workflows, and employ a platform that allows you to collaborate with clients.