Vol. 108 2024 Issue 3 (may/June)

How Financial Advisors Should Be Thinking About Tech in 2024

How Financial Advisors Should Be Thinking About Tech in 2024

As artificial intelligence, big data and automation expand their reach across finance, many financial institutions and their advisors continue grappling with how to integrate emerging technologies into their service offerings, not only within investment services but throughout the financial institution. With new innovations arriving rapidly, some still view technology as more of a distraction than an advantage. However, by embracing it strategically, institutions and their advisors can utilize technology to deliver greater value in 2024 and strengthen client relationships for the long term.

Deploy Tools That Augment (Not Replace) Human Insights

A common advisor fear is that technology will make their role obsolete. In reality, responsible technology implementation will augment advisors’ skills rather than replace them. AI-powered analytics, for instance, can process vast data sets fast, but advisors add context and counsel based on holistic client knowledge. The key is determining where these tools bring unique strengths to complement advisors’ irreplaceable human capabilities. View solutions as collaborators, not competitors.

Today’s investors, especially younger generations, expect technologically enabled experiences. Advisors should evaluate new tools based on how seamlessly they integrate into their processes and enhance client outcomes. Whether improving portfolio views, automating menial tasks or enabling 24/7 access, technology successes ultimately hinge on enhancing, not just advancing, the client experience.

Focus on Personalization at Scale

Top advisors pride themselves on highly personalized services. Yet manual customization grows challenging as client rosters expand. This is where AI-powered customization engines can help advisors “mass-personalize” by quickly tailoring portfolios, communications and recommendations to individual investors based on data insights. The technology handles the heavy lifting while advisors provide the personal touch.

Especially after the pandemic, virtual advisory models are proving more common and are effective at democratizing financial advice. Digital platforms expand advisors’ reach to serve less affluent clients online. Automated risk-profiling and portfolio rebalancing also allow efficiently delivering robust services to broader audiences. Deploying technology in an inclusive manner presents new growth opportunities and helps to humanize the experience.

Continue to Learn and Set a Technology Vision

Given the pace of change, learning cannot be a one-time event. Financial institutions and their advisors must commit to ongoing education as new technologies emerge. Dedicate time to regularly research innovations and train employees on new solutions. Join industry communities to stay atop trends. View learning as an enjoyable, long-term journey versus a chore. Clients will seek out advisors who engage actively with the latest developments.

Rather than reacting sporadically to piecemeal solutions, create a long-term vision for technology’s role in advancing offerings. Set a technology philosophy and criteria for integrating supportive tools over 3-5 years. Plan for how tech can enhance capabilities and efficiency at each stage of your clients’ financial journeys. This proactive mindset ensures tech integration aligns with your strategic growth plan.

While navigating technology change brings challenges, the institutions and advisors who embrace innovation today will be best positioned to thrive tomorrow. The human touch remains irreplaceable in banking and financial services, but thoughtfully leveraging automation, AI and digital platforms will allow you to take client service to new heights. By welcoming technology as a collaborative asset, you can unlock new pathways for sustained success throughout 2024 and beyond.

Nick Graham has more than 25 years of experience in product development, consulting services and business development across a variety of markets, including the financial services industry. He is a member of the Fairfield Economic Development Association Board of Directors and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Clemson University.

Email Nick at

Cambridge Investment Research Inc. is an associate member of the Indiana Bankers Association.

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