Can financial advisers adapt to match robo-advisers’ tech advantage?

From using an app on a smartphone to reserving a table for dinner and working out the quickest route from A to B, people have come to rely on technology to instantly give them the help and answers they need.

Can financial advisers adapt to match robo-advisers’ tech advantage

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These expectations are increasingly being carried over into the financial arena, with investors now tech-savvy and eager for their financial advisers to be similarly technology focussed. This is according to the CEO and founder of Sawtooth Solutions, Brad Pries, whose company designs technology platforms to assist advisers with account management.

The world has become fast paced, with financial clients in particular no longer prepared to wait for specific responses. To thrive within the industry, advisers must adapt to the latest advancements in technology and pass the benefits on to investors and other stakeholders.

There are a range of tools now available to allow investors to simplify the financial landscape, including:


Social media, email, video conferencing and text messaging have taken over as the most popular methods of communicating. Care must be taken not to cross the line between the right amount of communication and too much; beyond a certain point, it becomes junk and worthless. Too much communication can also potentially lead to important messages being missed altogether.


Automated software programs can prove significantly cheaper than human advisers; however, the advice they provide tends to be quite basic. The answer is to incorporate technology into a service, providing both personalised human interaction and some carefully chosen automation; for example, back office systems for IFAs from providers such as can help with effective client account management.

Electronic paperwork

Heavy loads of paperwork continue to drive the financial industry, a large proportion of which is the result of strict regulation and requirements from organisations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Security and Exchange Commission. Whilst many advisers are still using the pen and paper method to complete applications, there has been a shift towards the use of electronic paperwork, which the industry has accepted positively.

Financial advisers who understand the role technology now plays in the modern world will have the means to provide a faster, more accurate and more efficient service to their clients.

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