The Benefits of Integrated Technology for Financial Advisors

The evolution of technology has made it possible for independent financial advisors to compete with large houses, but no matter the size of your operation, you’ll need to keep up with technology to improve. Understanding the benefits of the technology available will help you embrace innovation whether you’re an independent broker-dealer or part of a larger house. “If you don’t adapt, you’re gone,” says Jason Lara, director of sales and strategy at Ebix. Here are some of the benefits of having centralized, integrated technology at your organization. Improved Communication Whether it’s inside the office or directly with clients, communication can improve remarkably with integrated technology. “Intra-office communication is a big piece,” Lara says. “The ability for advisors, assistants and managers to access data on the fly and communicate wherever and whenever you need keeps everyone on the same page.” Integrated technology makes it possible for everyone to stay in touch …

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10 Ways to Get Your Employees to Embrace New Technology

You have spent months, maybe even years, researching, determining and introducing a new technology or software into your business. New technology and tools can increase productivity, boost sales, and help you make better, faster decisions for your organisation. While you are probably aware of the many benefits bringing a new technology into the company, you may not be aware of the challenge that often lies ahead: getting your employees on board. It’s no secret that people like routine. It’s comfortable, gives people direction and requires minimal thought. This can make it challenging to get employees to embrace new technology, but it doesn’t have to be. As well, there is currently a huge focus on user experience and intuitive interfaces. While this may be common among everyday apps and simple software, enterprise software is often complex because of the detailed functions it is required to perform. It is not uncommon for …

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How Big Broker-Dealers Are Buying Small Broker-Dealers, and What That Means for the Advisor

The past few years have been a whirl for advisors at smaller broker-dealers. Consolidation in the industry is rampant — last year’s 138 mergers and acquisitions were a record, according to Echelon Partners, and were a 10 percent increase compared with 2015, which had also been a record year. “For owners of smaller broker-dealers, it provides a great opportunity to sell a business and earn an exit payout,” says Evan Tarver, investments editor at FitSmallBusiness.com, a New York City-based business service that provides advice to small businesses. “For the advisers employed by these broker-dealers, it might be negative as they may be losing their jobs.” Here’s the latest on M&As among broker-dealers. What’s Inspiring These Acquisitions? In many cases, the U.S. Labor Department’s proposed fiduciary rule and the corresponding increased cost of doing business has been inspiring smaller and independent broker-dealers to look for other options, experts say. While parts …

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U.S. Life and Health Direct Premiums Expected to Decline for First Time in 4 Years

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence’s U.S. Insurance Market Report: Life and Health, a variety of forces are expected to lead to a 1.2 percent decline in combined U.S. life, annuity, and accident and health direct premiums this year. Experts say uncertainty in the market is the main driver: As companies scramble to outmaneuver each other in the face of changing regulations, direct premiums are dropping. “Competition for market share between life insurance carriers is highly competitive at the moment,” says Anthony Martin, owner of Choice Mutual, a burial insurance agency based in Citrus Heights, California. “That’s caused a number of carriers to continue to reduce premiums, primarily on their term life insurance portfolios.” Here’s what you need to know. Life Insurance: Competition Drives Down Costs Life insurance rates are decreasing for three main reasons, Martin says: First, people are living longer, largely due to advances in health technology. Secondly, …

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How to Make a CRM Work for You

Common CRM Implementation Failures to Avoid The uptake of CRM software is growing at a steady rate of approximately 13% each year over the last few years according to reports from Gartner (2014; 2015). And with good reason – CRM software enables companies to grow loyal relationships with their customers by allowing a better understanding, segmentation and tiering of their customer base, improved targeting of promotions and cross selling, and the implementation of alerts that signal a customer is about to depart. CRMs are a complex software that can deliver what many refer to as a ‘360 degree view’ of their customers. Unfortunately, some firms view CRM systems as a Customer Relationship strategy rather than a tool for facilitating successful Customer Relationship strategies. We’ve put together a list of the most common CRM failures, as well as solutions that can take this sophisticated software to its full potential. 1. Thinking …

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