Technology and the RIA: Very, Very Cool
It’s been a whirlwind three days in The Windy City. Between demos, breakout sessions and keynotes, we’ve had some great conversations with advisors and fund managers about how technology is helping them do their jobs. The answer to that question: many RIAs just aren’t sure.
Financial advisors and fund managers have so much intelligence behind their decision making. Access to data, combined with smart thinking, is paramount for every advisor. So technologies that provide strong data are, of course, important. But data is all about inputs. Increasingly, RIAs have to also think about outputs: how is technology giving them a better way to analyze, report on, and share their intelligence with clients?
Why are outputs more important than ever? Because investors represent a more diverse, active and informed group than ever before. The democratization of information through the Internet means that investors have access to more information than ever. And in their personal and professional lives, they use smartphones, WiFi and other technologies that ensure they can be “always on,” anywhere.
All of this adds up to a new demand on the investment advisor: providing access to portfolio performance analytics in a way that is faster, more up to the minute and more transparent than ever. Risk measurement is a huge factor in this move to an always-on investment strategy as well: investors are happy to know how their portfolio performed last year, but what if they could see an instant heatmap of investment exposure today based on last month’s performance? And what if a crash like what followed Lehman happened again, an investor might ask — how would my individual portfolio react?
The need to provide answers to questions like these — not just during a quarterly review, but on the phone during the morning commute or while a client tunes into Power Lunch — is more and more acute. And the only way that advisors can accurately answer them is through the kind of always-on technologies that accurately communicate the intelligent investment decisions they make for their client every day. Which is exactly what StatPro Revolution does.
There are some tired faces at the end of an intense three days in Chicago, but we’re more energized than ever about the opportunity that is before us. Judging from the response we’ve had from attendees at Morningstar, we’d say the excitement is shared. In fact, CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen summed up Revolution this way: “very, very cool.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.