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Billion-Dollar Broker Workstation Vs. $5000 DIY Financial Advisor MacBook Platform

By newadmin / Published on Monday, 29 Jan 2018 18:52 PM / No Comments / 9 views


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Independent financial advisors are using technology to provide their clients with services that rival major brokerages’ at a fraction of the cost. In 2005, Merrill Lynch spent about $1 billion on a platform for its brokers/financial advisors and it is expected to spend about the same over five years to outsource the workstation technology to Thomson Reuters.

Photo by Tom Groenfeldt

The new mobile-ready office of a financial planner

Sophia Bera figures she spent $5,000 to set up her new financial advisor business, Gen Y Planning, in Minnesota and will spend another $5,000 the first year in subscriptions and fees. Other independent advisors are finding that technology and services from firms like Morningstar, Vanguard and TD Ameritrade give them tools that rival what the the big brokerage houses can offer.

“… the cost of what it takes to operate an advisory firm today compared to 20 years ago has been reduced tremendously, due to technology,” Michael Kitces partner, director of wealth management at Pinnacle Advisory Group, wrote in his highly regarded Nerd’s Eye View blog.

In a guest appearance on his blog, Bera explained how her business got started.

“In April 2013 I quit my job at a start-up and launch my own RIA, Gen Y Planning…Now, I have a dozen clients across the country that are in their 20s and 30s.”

She runs it on a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 5 and a DoxieGo portable scanner with wifi. She uses Skype for meetings with distant clients, Dropbox for shared folders and PreciseFP to send clients a link to a secure questionnaire. She finds existing financial planning to be more suitable for Baby Boomers than Gen Y.

“I did have a friend build me a one-page retirement projection in Excel (I paid him $75).&nbsp; I write my 5-page financial plans in plain English in&nbsp;Pages and then print it to Adobe.&nbsp; I’ve found that nobody wants 50 pages of charts and graphs that they don’t understand.”

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Independent financial advisors are using technology to provide their clients with services that rival major brokerages’ at a fraction of the cost. In 2005, Merrill Lynch spent about $1 billion on a platform for its brokers/financial advisors and it is expected to spend about the same over five years to outsource the workstation technology to Thomson Reuters.

Photo by Tom Groenfeldt

The new mobile-ready office of a financial planner

Sophia Bera figures she spent $5,000 to set up her new financial advisor business, Gen Y Planning, in Minnesota and will spend another $5,000 the first year in subscriptions and fees. Other independent advisors are finding that technology and services from firms like Morningstar, Vanguard and TD Ameritrade give them tools that rival what the the big brokerage houses can offer.

“… the cost of what it takes to operate an advisory firm today compared to 20 years ago has been reduced tremendously, due to technology,” Michael Kitces partner, director of wealth management at Pinnacle Advisory Group, wrote in his highly regarded Nerd’s Eye View blog.

In a guest appearance on his blog, Bera explained how her business got started.

“In April 2013 I quit my job at a start-up and launch my own RIA, Gen Y Planning…Now, I have a dozen clients across the country that are in their 20s and 30s.”

She runs it on a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 5 and a DoxieGo portable scanner with wifi. She uses Skype for meetings with distant clients, Dropbox for shared folders and PreciseFP to send clients a link to a secure questionnaire. She finds existing financial planning to be more suitable for Baby Boomers than Gen Y.

“I did have a friend build me a one-page retirement projection in Excel (I paid him $75).  I write my 5-page financial plans in plain English in Pages and then print it to Adobe.  I’ve found that nobody wants 50 pages of charts and graphs that they don’t understand.”

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