Month: April 2018

Problem solvers are the cogs that fuel innovation. Throughout history, they’ve come and gone, solving some of life’s greatest mysteries. Someone sees something that they don’t like and try to fix it. Take land travel for example. As far as historians can tell, horse riding became popular around 800 B.C. Nearly a century later, the steam engine was created to carry passengers across vast distances.

Fast forward to modern day.

We have much faster trains. We have cars. We have jet planes that can fly 800 miles per hour. Point is, things change. Technology evolves and if used correctly, it can really enhance the way the way we do things. As a financial advisor, there are an increasing number of tools at your fingertips. The question is, are you using them and, if so, are you using them right?

Finding a CRM for Your Practice

More than ever managing client relationships is at the epicenter of a good advisor value proposition; and while you might not call it a CRM, every advisor has a tool that they use to manage client relationships. It may be a rolodex, a stack of index cards, or notes in Outlook. To say that these are tools is true. The problem with these methods is that they aren’t great for securely storing or organizing sensitive personal information.

A true fiduciary looks out for their clients’ best interests, especially when it comes to private data. This can also help save time and keep your firm compliant.


Speaking of data, it’s one of the main drivers behind the increasing power of technology. The more useful data that is available to you, the more value you can deliver to clients and their financial plan. CRMs can be great tools to capture and analyze useful data. One of the best things that you can do as an advisor (or advisor admin) is ensure that your CRM has relevant and updated information about your client relationships.


Cross platform integration is one of the most beneficial changes that has recently impacted consumer technology. In the past few years, we have seen the trends of integration start to take off in the fintech space as well.

If you can use your CRM as a source for entry and deliver client data to other platforms through integration you might see an uptick in both efficiency and ROI. If you aren’t leveraging integrations currently, you should be. If your CRM doesn’t offer integration options, start looking for a different service.


If you have your data and are leveraging your integrations, there’s still more bandwidth you can get out of your CRMs. The reality is that relying on humans can be risky. We are unreliable, and we forget things. Using CRM workflow capabilities allows you and your team to offload minor client relationship tasks, allowing you to focus on the more important responsibilities.

Closing Thoughts

Technology should drive efficiency. As you assess your practice, are you using technology to improve your business process? Is your use of technology adding value? If these things are not happening, you need different technology, or you need to use it differently. If that feels like a stretch, take it one step at a time.

If you’re not already doing so, a software-based CRM is a great start. If you already have a CRM, start exploring some of the additional features. Set up an integration with your financial planning software or implement a Client Onboarding Workflow. Now more than ever, technology is essential to being successful as a financial advisor. CRMs are a great way to start organizing client data, integrating with other tools, and driving workflows while you spend more time building client relationships.

Video Transcription

Hi. My name is Ned Van Riper. I’m the Director of Advisor Recruiting with Independent Financial Partners. We’re an SEC registered RIA, and as the breakaway advisor movement continues to gain traction, I wanted to talk about the term independence, perhaps squash a few misperceptions about what independence is and is not.

Independent But Not Alone

Breakaway advisors, captive advisors, they hear the term independence, and they think that they are going to be alone or they think they’re going to be without support and service. Who do they turn to for the normal questions they have on a daily basis? And they’re so used to their current branch environment that they had their branch manager compliance team, ops team, right down the hallway. They can turn to questions and answers at any given time. And they’re surrounded by a dozen or more advisors they can bounce ideas off at any given time.

As a former wirehouse advisor myself for several years, I would make the argument that there’s more support and more service within the independent space, especially if you’re partnered with the right firm. What independence is is control and it’s ownership. And yes, economics are stronger, too. But advisors break away to form their own business that they have the ownership of. They control the branding and they control the message and the value they provide to their clients. And they’re not told how they do it. It’s how they want to do it.

Concierge Service for Clients

The ability to serve the clients really resonates with advisors because that’s a different model than what they’ve been used to on the captive side. There’s no firm requirements, and again, they have, with the right firm, more support, more service, and more specialists that they can pick the brain of and get support and help from all day long.

I hope that gives a little insight into what independence is and is not, and I appreciate you watching.