3 Key Components of an RIA Tech Stack
Is your Tech Stack ready for 2023?
A comprehensive financial technology (fintech) stack is integral to running an efficient advisory firm. Aside from being the primary platform that enables your fee-for-service business model, your tech stack – when built and integrated correctly – enables growth and improves profit margins through myriad efficiencies. These include automating previously time-intensive tasks like client billing, as well as providing additional client experience features and benefits that allow advisors to continue charging a planning and management fee despite chatter around impending fee-compression.
Over the past decade, the technology landscape has exploded with new, powerful solutions. Advisors benefit from this incredible selection of tools and platforms that now serve nearly every component of financial planning and investment management, but evaluating and selecting from that assortment can be overwhelming. Even with all this choice, there are still a few foundational rules that remain relevant.
Today, your tech stack can be as robust and custom as you need it to be. Building the best solution for your firm requires consideration of the features that support your service model, how to offer the best solutions to your clients, and how to ensure proper training throughout your advisory team. It’s also important to evaluate the support available to you as a client because, like with all technology, there will be times you need a human to answer a question or assist with integrations.
No matter how you approach it, your most effective tech stack will have three core areas. These are your portfolio management solution, your customer relationship manager (CRM), and your financial planning software.
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
This is the hub for most of your interactions and will deliver about 70% of the technology you need in one solution. It includes features like billing, performance reporting, risk management, and the client portal. That’s why nailing this element is critical to the entire tech stack’s success. Without a powerful portfolio management solution, your tech stack’s foundation can crumble, hamstringing growth and profitability with broken integrations, platform outages, and missed portfolio optimization opportunities.
Our flagship portfolio management and reporting platform, Pulse, offers advisors an intuitively designed solution with lightning-fast speed and best-in-class monitoring and reporting components. The ability to set up integrations with other existing fintech solutions makes this a great option for advisors seeking a seamless lift and shift of their tech stack.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER (CRM)
At its most basic level, a CRM organizes client information for purposes such as outreach, marketing messages, populating proposals, and can trigger automation around key dates or milestones. It’s the central element of your tech stack, but it can quickly become overly complex if advisors don’t maintain the health of this data.
Selecting the right CRM tool will require a hands-on trial to ensure the workflows make sense for your firm. Too complicated, and the system won’t get used. Too simple, and you’ll miss opportunities to improve client communications and client experience.
AssetBook’s Pulse Platform features an open API that enables integrations with leading fintech CRMs. Pulse makes connecting the CRM that works best for your business seamless, your CRM and portfolio management platform are communicating and updating in real-time.
FINANCIAL PLANNING SOFTWARE
Delivering comprehensive financial plans requires an underlying solution that addresses financial, tax, estate, insurance and investment goals in alignment with your firm’s philosophies. Niche advisors may even have additional criteria for evaluating their planning solution.
Historically, advisors had to choose their software primarily around their planning philosophy, as most providers offer either a goals-based option or a cash-flow-based option. Today, most solutions will allow either approach. While integrations are fairly common, keep in mind that broker-dealers may also offer up their own custom version of these solutions.
For advisors seeking the best possible tech stack, the right fit will vary by personal preference, niche considerations, and your unique needs as an advisor. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for selecting a tech stack, but there are solutions that make more sense than others. For independent advisors, there are even more options, which can be both freeing and intimidating at the same time. Reaching out to an expert technology consultant can help you cut through the noise and identify a long-term tech solution that will grow along with your firm.
For those interested in learning more about AssetBook’s comprehensive, integrated solutions, click here to set up a demo.