Software is Eating Financial Advice

If an adult from 1990 were dropped into 2023, they would be stunned by how technology has changed the world. We might not have flying cars, but we do have electric ones. We have computers in our pockets that are more powerful than the ones that sent us to the moon. You can see the view from basically any street in the world. Artificial intelligence is real. Commercials are a choice.

The explosion in tech has invaded every area of our lives, financial advice included. Financial advisors have access to world-class relationship management software, client portals, trading platforms, and so much more that have made our lives easier and improved the client experience. Software is indeed eating the world.

At my day job at Ritholtz Wealth Management, we see a lot of pitches from companies trying to service the RIA, from compliance to performance reporting and everything in between. After hundreds of pitches, we’ve gotten pretty good at seeing where the puck is going. We were one of the first users of Riskalyze (now Nitrogen) and one of the first and largest users of Canvas by O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (purchased by Franklin Templeton).

Building an audience has helped give us a front-row seat to the latest innovations happening in financial services. We started with blogs and then expanded our content delivery to include podcasts. Our audio/video shows are like Mexican food in the sense that the ingredients are mostly the same (markets, personal finance, economy), but it can be ingested however you like it (Animal Spirits, What Are Your Thoughts? Ask the Compound, The Compound & Friends).

We want to add a different flavor to the menu that highlights some of the stuff we do on a day-to-day basis. On The Smoke Show, we’re going to be looking at companies that work with financial advisors. We’re still working on the format, but the basic idea is that we’re going to have a company demo their product. We’re going to ask questions and give our feedback along the way as if it were an actual pitch without an audience tuning in.

We shot the pilot episode last week with Josh Smith of VRGL Wealth. Full disclosure, yes, we are investors, and no, not every show will feature a company we invested in. This show is only for registered financial advisors and not for the general public.

On the second episode, which is live on November 29th at 2 EST, we will have Ben Cruikshank from Flourish. His company helps your clients earn more on their cash, which is one of the biggest themes of the year. With rates at 5%, it makes no sense to have money lying around in your checking account earning next to nothing. The nice thing about Flourish is that they make it really easy to manage the process from start to finish. I don’t want to step on the show, so you’re going to have to watch it to learn more.

This will be the final Smoke Show episode of the year. We will work through some of the kinks and ensure that by January, we’re fully ready to roll. The plan is to have two episodes a month throughout 2024 We’re excited to showcase some of the most exciting technology companies in the advisor space. See you on Wednesday!


The Smoke Show, Episode 2

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