The technology you use for your financial advisory firm can make or break the client experience. A slow website, complicated financial planning software, irrelevant emails—these can all leave a sour taste in your clients’ mouths and leave them searching for someone else.
But the right technology has the opposite effect. It empowers your clients to take control of their financial lives. It makes them excited to get in touch with you. It keeps a steady stream of relevant content in their inboxes so you always stay top-of-mind.
Interested in learning more? Here are 7 financial advisor technology tools you should be using in 2020.
1. Website: FMG Suite, Twenty Over Ten, or WordPress
Your website is at the core of your business, your branding, and your marketing strategy. Having a fast, secure, and mobile-responsive website is essential for growing your firm. There are a handful of popular website options for financial advisors, so it all boils down to your personal preference.
If I were an advisor, I would build my site in WordPress. It’s one of the best technology platforms out there and gives you complete control over your site. Instead of being limited by a company’s website templates and their customer service department, you have free reign to build your site exactly how you want. Plus, you only pay for your hosting each month (which is usually $10 to $15 a month).
On the downside, WordPress isn’t that intuitive and you have to work with your own website developer to update your site.
If that sounds like too much trouble, two other good options are FMG Suite and Twenty Over Ten. Both companies exclusively serve financial advisors and come with FINRA-reviewed content for your site.
The downside is that they’re more expensive than WordPress. They may have some technical and design limitations, and you’ll have to go through customer service to make changes.
If you want to dive deep into the Best Website Options for Financial Advisors, check out my webinar on the subject here.
2. CRM: Wealthbox or Redtail
Strong client relationships are at the top of every financial advisor’s list—and choosing the right customer relationship management (CRM) system is a powerful way to stay one step ahead of the game.
The right CRM saves you time and keeps your business organized. It closes leads, manages existing client relationships, and tracks your prospects for you.
Redtail is one of the best CRMs for financial advisors. It’s feature-rich and integrates with other financial advisor technology tools such as Riskalyze, FMG Suite, eMoney, and more.
Next up is Wealthbox. Its easy-to-use interface requires zero training. You can use this platform to do everything from interacting with clients on social media and scheduling calls to managing projects and running in-depth reports.
3. Financial Planning Software: eMoney or MoneyGuidePro
Over 80% of advisors use financial planning software, according to a survey by Financial Planning. Of all the financial planning software available, 31% use MoneyGuidePro and 21% use eMoney. Both are excellent choices. The key here is to use something you’re comfortable with that supports your financial planning process.
eMoney is one of the coolest financial planning software I’ve ever seen. It has eye-catching illustrations that help you communicate complex financial topics to your clients. You can run what-if scenarios to see how certain financial decisions will impact your clients down the road. Plus, it has a secure vault that lets your clients upload and store sensitive documents.
MoneyGuidePro is another heavy player in the financial planning software space. It’s not quite as sophisticated as eMoney, but I know many advisors who use it and love it.
4. Secure Password Storage: LastPass or 1Password
Michael Kitces often writes that he’ll pay $100 for a technology that saves at least one minute per day. This means that he’ll save 20 minutes per month, which equals half a workday per year.
You may not realize how much time you spend logging into your various online accounts—both personal and professional—but secure password storage that automatically logs you in saves hours each month. It also makes you more apt to quickly complete small tasks without a lot of friction, which makes you more productive and successful overall.
Two of the most popular password storage vaults are LastPass and 1Password. Both generate and store passwords and require you to remember only one master password. But I recommend LastPass to my clients because it’s more streamlined and it’s easier to safely share passwords with other team members.
5. Online Calendar Scheduler: Calendly, ScheduleOnce, or TimeTrade
If you don’t have an online appointment scheduler yet, you’re missing out on leads and wasting a lot of time. Online schedulers make life easy for your clients, your team, and prospects who may want to schedule a 15-minute phone call at 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night.
The key here is to check with your compliance department to choose the right tool. I really like the simplicity of Calendly, but our clients have also had success with ScheduleOnce and TimeTrade.
6. Email Marketing Engine: MailChimp
My rule of thumb for email marketing is to keep it simple. Tech-savvy advisors will often come to us using ActiveCampaign or Infusionsoft, which are both expensive and complicated. But the reality is that in an industry where each lead has a high value, there’s no need to use complicated systems to segment your prospects. You or someone on your team should follow up with everyone who shows an interest in working with your firm.
I recommend keeping your email automations as simple as possible. For example, you can use your best-performing content in a welcome automation for everyone who joins your email list.
Here’s a sample automation:
- Why I Created My Firm
- What We Do & Who We Serve
- Our Webinar: What it’s Like to Work With Us
- Schedule Your Free Q&A Phone Call Now
- Questions About Your Financial Situation? Ask Away
After that automation, every email contact should go on your main email list, where you share valuable and relevant content at least once a month. Topics might include:
- Join Us for Our Upcoming Event
- What Do the Election Results Mean for Your Portfolio?
- What We Are Thankful For in 2020
- Meet Our New Client Coordinator!
Keeping your email automations as simple as possible means you have more time to focus on increasing conversion rates. Plus, it lowers the chance of anyone getting too many emails or finding themselves in the wrong “funnel.”
MailChimp’s automation features are easy to use and the pricing is reasonable, which is why it’s our favorite email marketing system.
7. Virtual Meeting Software: GoToMeeting or Zoom
Keeping up with face-to-face connections in a digital world is challenging—especially when your clients have moved across the country, are no longer mobile, or are traveling.
An easy-to-use virtual meeting software is critical because it cuts down on traveling time and eliminates potential technical problems. It’s important to have a good webcam and audio set up so you can easily video-chat with your clients, but also quickly share your screen or see their screen when needed.
GoToMeeting and Zoom are two of our favorite virtual meeting platforms. They’re simple, user-friendly, and have all the features you need to quickly and efficiently meet with clients.
How to Choose the Best Financial Advisor Technology Tools
My advice when choosing technologies for your firm is to keep it simple. By using one of the most popular, proven tools, you’re more likely to have a positive experience. You’ll be able to use the tool for a long time without worrying about the company going out of business or suspending updates to their platform (which happens more often than you think).
Remember, technology is supposed to make your life easier, not harder. Resist the urge to choose a tool with more capabilities than you’ll ever use. It will only overwhelm you as you struggle to learn a new platform.
If you feel comfortable using a software to its fullest potential, you’ll be happier, more confident, and more apt to use it on a regular basis.
Wondering how to choose the best financial advisor technology for your firm? Check out my top tips here.