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What will financial advice look like in 2029?


Ahead of her session at Wealth/Stack this September, we caught up with Teri Shepherd, COO, Carson Group to find out her predictions for the future of advice, how tech will impact advisors and what she'll be bringing to Arizona.

How important is the role of technology for today's financial advisor?

Technology is ever evolving and changing the way advisors deliver advice to their clients. In an attempt to just stay informed about the options available,  advisors are spending more and more of their time reviewing & making decisions on which tech vendors to partner with and less time running their practices. 

Technology is very important to the lives of today’s advisor, but only when it helps drive efficiencies or enhance productivity.

What are the three most important technological areas that RIAs should be thinking about when building their tech stack and why?

  1. Delivering a unique, holistic and simple client experience – understand how, why and when clients want and need to interact with their advisor. The competition for your clients time is not just between different financial tools, but more importantly how quickly and easily can I get the information I need from my advisor.
  2. Clean and firm owned data – it’s not enough to just have the data today, it’s what you can do with it that makes it powerful. The more clean data a firm has on adoption and usage of their tools the better decisions they can make about future investments.
  3. Advisor and team tools that improve back office efficiencies – office workflows, approval processes, account maintenance, etc. These back office efficiencies rarely make headlines, but always improve the lives of the people who make advisors offices run smoothly, leading to enhanced productivity and more time to do the things they love.
  4. Bonus Answer:  Cybersecurity is essential!!

Fast-forward to 2029, what does the state of financial advice look like?

Financial Advice is a relationship business, I don’t think that will change in the next 10 years. But what is changing and will continue to evolve is the methods through which we deliver that advice. 

Quick and actionable advice delivered to clients when they are in a position to take action on those items is how we see technology providing advisors the tools to do their jobs more efficiently.  

Proactive advice for clients is up and coming to help them to know what steps should be taken to get where they want/need to be.

What are the biggest risks advisors should think about when it comes to technology, if any?

Advisors and technology providers who do not understand the importance of data and owning your own data are risking their ability to adapt and change as the technology around them evolves. Data has and will continue to be very important especially as more automation and enhanced analytics come into our industry.

Don’t lose the personal touch – digitizing should increase it, not replace it.

What can we expect to hear and learn from you at Wealth/Stack?

As a member of the panel, I plan to give high level insight into what considerations go into making technological decisions at Carson and reiterate the importance of having the right people on your team.