Shawn Bosman is an account executive at Advicent, the financial planning technology provider of choice for nearly 100,000 financial professionals.
Many of my meetings with planners and advisors are folks branching out and starting their own practice or in the early stages of their careers. You can think of the current state of the market kind of like a barbell: heavier on the enterprise side, a light middle ground, and then heavy on the independent side - those folks who I mentioned branching out on their own.
While it is always exciting starting your own venture from the bottom up, it can be a daunting task and many planners just do not know where to start. The tech space can seem like a bit of a red ocean with so many choices and tools. I have collected a few thoughts and put together a list of essential tech that a first-year financial advisor will need to start up and then scale as you build your book of business.
First-year advisors are going to want to build out their "tech stack," or the series of tools and programs they will use to operate. From managing client relationships with a CRM to compliance archiving software, the tech space in our industry can be, at times, crowded and a bit of a red ocean.
The first stop would be a Customer Relationship Management software or CRM. This is where advisors will house the contact information and communication cadences with those contacts. Tracking them through your prospecting and client management workflows, a CRM gives advisors a simple way to answer the question “who am I reaching out to, what am I doing to convert them from a lead to a meeting, and what are my next steps with them? ”
Financial planning software
Once a CRM is in place and you know who you are reaching out to and why, you are going to want to evaluate financial planning software . This is probably the most important step in the tech-sourcing process; proving your value as a capable and knowledgeable planner is the best way to foster relationships and ensure you stand out in a crowded field.
That's where NaviPlan comes in. With a modular approach to planning, you can choose what facets of the planning process are pertinent to the client or prospect in front of you. Other tools tend to define what they think the planning process should be, and you are stuck with trying to fit the plan to the process, often creating workarounds or continually passing over non relevant facets.
NaviPlan flips that around and enables the planner to designate which steps are relevant now, and that is all you need to work through. As the plan grows or your clients mature through the planning lifecycle, you are able to add modules into the plan when the time is right, not skip over or work around them.
By leveraging FinTech innovations, advisors can do far more, with far less.
The NaviPlan client portal gives your clients an overview of their financial situation and the goals they are planning to cover. It also features account aggregation, so there is minimal heavy lifting on your end of things or the client's end either. The portal will pull in the relevant information to the planning tool, and you are off and ready to plan!
Once that plan is put together, you are able to review it against the client's status quo, build a recommended plan, and a few others to cover variables and unique situations the client may encounter over their financial lifecycle. Build a report to illustrate your plan's value and publish it to the portal so the client can check in on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.
From here a few next stops on the tech tour would be performance reporting software, trading and rebalancing software, payment processing software and compliance archiving software.
Once these have been evaluated and implemented, your first year as a financial advisor will be ready to lift off! Putting financial planning at the center of your workflow, value proposition, and tech stack.
For more information on how NaviPlan financial planning software is built to meet your firm's planning strategy, click here>