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Tech Trends Series #2 – Transcript

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Tech Trends Series

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, people, data, technology, advisors, advice, trends, work, absolutely, reviews, tech, website, firms, industry, business, money, bit, trust, fantastic, google

SPEAKERS

Hayley Pearse, Cara Graham, Fraser Jack, Patrick Flynn, Matt Heine, James Sutherland

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to the XY advisor podcast. I’m Fraser Jack and today we are at Episode Two in our series on technology and innovation. We’re talking about tech trends, all sorts of things from you know the the concept around a lot of millennials these days were brought up as digital natives knowing it nothing else. we tackle a few conversations around the use of data and structuring data. We also look at things like you know the what’s at the center of your business strategy and how the client experiences become a term that we just instantly go to these days. So let’s dive into this episode. Please welcome our panel of guests. welcome back to this episode. Patrick.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Great to be back.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thank you for coming along. We’re talking about tech trends and all sorts of things. Let’s Let’s kick off the conversation with the concept around the trend of the being the digital native or understanding that some humans these days have never grown up in analog world.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Yeah, it’s interesting. I’m I want to describe with my particular generation. So I am 37. And I am old enough to have actually used the Dewey Decimal System. So you know, but still, I spent all of my years word processing through school and communicating online and stuff like that. So maybe we’re in a little bit of a sweet spot with the divide. Maybe some of the younger people listening might just think, no, you’re already too old. You’re already entertainment.

 

Fraser Jack 

Those people who don’t have the Dewey Decimal System is it was pre Google, I guess, is a good way of putting it.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, you had to like look up stuff, and then you’d get there. And the result that you’re after just wasn’t there. It was really exciting to us. Yep. Fantastic. But look on that. On that point, though. The it’s not just technology that’s changed. It’s how things have been democratized along the way. So you know, the, there’s technology and yes, sure, everybody’s expecting things to be tech friendly, and tech savvy. And there’s an old Stanford study that we refer to all the time in our websites business, in terms of the impact having a good website has on trust, and how much of the what we see online is really built around trust. And it’s a really important thing when we’re thinking about tech trends or how to engage with people, because we’ve got to think about who they trust. And it typically they already trust their industry super fund, where, you know, they, they signed up to their first job, probably got put in an industry super fund, the money’s already there, it hasn’t apparently been stolen in the you know, first 10 years of my working life, I probably already trust them to be maybe not necessarily do best by me, but not to rip me off. The other people that they trust are, you know, large institutions like Google, we all will not all of us, but most of us trust Google pretty implicitly. You might not trust it enough to put a microphone in your home when you really think about it. But you’ve also probably got a microphone in your pocket most of the time and you trusted enough to do that or you trust enough to let it know where you are a lot of the time and well you might not be Google might be apple or might be Amazon or whomever but there’s a lot of trust that goes into that. So for them to build on that is pretty easy for us to build on that as financial advisors as a comparison can be pretty hard. And that’s where that’s where something I think is really shifted with the third party being there is going to be on the company’s into the influences. And I mean, that’s just a fancy name. But there’s been influencers in you know, people who have been writing editorials for many years, or who are authors or books before you can become an influencer. Perhaps much more quickly than you used to, but the concepts are the same. And that’s a real shift, because people will trust those influences more than they’ll trust, a financial adviser, for example, especially post Royal Commission, you know, there’s, you know, which did a lot of damage along the way, you know, there’s just so many opportunities for people to go and source stuff digitally. And there’s so many other opportunities for people to trust groups that aren’t a, you know, trusted advisor, who works at the strip mall, that’s three blocks away, which may have been the case a long time ago. But that’s not the case anymore.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. And that you’d like to mention that the trust and website the trust in that, how that will look and feel and the value they get out of that website, which is often as you as you said, previously, quite simple. But also around that, you know, time over time, I sort of feel that that trust comes in, in when it come on, when I’m thinking of technology trends, for anybody who’s there, as you mentioned, is interest interesting to be fun, they’ve been there for 20 years, and nothing went wrong, therefore, I trust and same could be said for websites and technology. If it’s if it’s used in it’s not, the links aren’t breaking, and it’s worked, it feels like I can trust it already. If I’m, if I’m clicking around in the in the pages work, or, or if I can spend some time on the website and watch some of the videos.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Yeah, or if it just on obviously been around for several years, or, you know, we’re where we often do this work, when we’re working on websites in particular, is to really try and encourage practices to build the bridge from the digital to the analog. So when you are using the website, and people are clicking around, hopefully you’ve got some very human faces on there that aren’t from stock photo libraries, but that are actually of you and your team, and a meeting with hopefully real people that are real clients. And then that helps to take that digital trust and turn it into sort of analog trust, so to speak. And that’s something that we can do that, that those bigger institutions or influencers or whatever can’t.

 

Fraser Jack 

Absolutely now, I want to talk about this because you do a lot of work with websites, the concept or the newish concept of doing reviews, are they all Google review, or they used to be called the testimonial, I’m not sure I like that name too much, because it just implies that it’s going to say nice things. Whereas the view has a possibility of being a bad review. Tell us about how reviews being used these days as sort of a trend.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Well, they’re now getting easy to use, which is why people are using them. They’ve been around for quite a while now. And a little bit like so many things, you know, you don’t need to believe in Google reviews for Google reviews to believe in you. And you can be rated whether or not you’ve registered your business in Google reviews, somebody can just go in and say, You know what, ABC financial planning is here, I’m gonna put a pin, I’m gonna say it’s here, and they suck, and one star and here’s all the reasons why we can’t stand them. So you can absolutely get negatively reviewed. One thing that I find really interesting in this space, if you’re a little bit cautious about going into that, at last I checked, the most trusted review value is not five stars across the board, it’s 4.2. So if you get a couple of fours in there, or even the very occasional one star, that’s actually good, because it makes you look more legitimate, then 55 star reviews. But it look it’s a very strong trend. And it’s really good for search engine optimization. But it’s even better for building trust. And you hear me talk about trust a lot. And the the element that’s in there is, you know what, I know that as you say, it could be bad. I know those people are real. One thing when, if you integrate these review systems properly, whether it’s done through Facebook, or Google or something else. We do a lot with Google reviews in particular. And that’s what I typically recommend. And the tool that we have automatically imports the name from what they’ve said that they’re happy for Google to share their profile pic, if they’ve uploaded a profile pic to Google, and cheekily as also filter out the five star reviews, you can still give a soft filter in only five star reviews, I should say. So somebody may still give you a one star review that will still change the overall rating. And there’s nothing that can be done about that. But we don’t necessarily showcase anything under five stars on the website. But regardless of how you’re doing it, you should absolutely be capturing Google reviews. And then when you’ve got them, you should be showcasing them on your website in particular. And any other places you really can. You know, I was watching spaceforce a few months ago, and when they couldn’t find a plumber for ces spaceforce they end up starting to interview people based on their Google reviews. And you know when you start seeing those things just akin to pop culture, I’m not saying it’s an authority, but like pop culture are, you know, really making fun of how people just make decisions based off five star Google reviews. And it’s when we were in In a trust based business like ours, it’s too important to pass up.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I love the I love the words you use there that day. You don’t have to believe in Google reviews, but Google has to believe in you. But that’s a really, really, really good. Now, tell us about structuring data. Because I think this has been a big trend over the last few years, the idea of we had all this unstructured data and filing cabinets and in words and file notes and things. And then we’ve seen this trend towards having structured data, how important is that,

 

Patrick Flynn 

it’ll become increasingly important, but I think that many of our listeners may be in a similar boat to where they’ve heard a lot of stuff about data, but they don’t really see what it actually means to them. And it is one of those things where you’re sure it might well change the world and big data probably has changed the world. Literally, if you think about elections and whatnot, it has, but hasn’t changed our financial planning world, especially for those of us who are in smaller practices, then, you know, maybe not. So there’s, there’s still a lot to come, I think, but it really starts needing to get down to that level. And this is where things with, like AI will come along over time where it can say, you know, what, just give me your data, don’t even ask me anything, just give me your data. And I’m just going to infer what I can. And here’s some inferences I’ve got, which just don’t require a huge amount of investment, a huge amount of diligence in terms of making sure your data is useful. it’ll eventually when they get to that point, but we’re a long way away from that, where, where data can be helpful is certainly at the licensee level, where you know, they are looking at larger groups, they’ve got larger sources of data. So it can be very helpful for for them at their level of scale. And, you know, they’re trying to manage things like compliance, as opposed to informing better business decisions. The other thing that can start to happen is when you’ve got a good tool that’s got good data in it, you can start to build rule sets. So for example, not as a as a group, I specialize in making it really easy to build rule sets, to streamline your advice generation. I think that’s really cool. And it’s something I wish I had when I was a power planner. And was not at all I used to often with my clients at the moment, you know, that kind of thinking is something that you can enable, if you’ve got good data. So is there value in data absolutely, is the value of data just from a business management perspective, or being able to build rule sets in your business as you start implementing, you know, simple programming options, and that’s, there’s a tool term for this called no code solutions, then you can start to say, hey, if this do that, and you can do that, when you’ve got that up there, the sorts of wins, I’m saying now, we do a lot of this, we do a lot of coding at our end. And we’ve been doing a lot of that stuff for us where if we’ve got good data, we can automate output. And we can build that based on on what we know. So to give you an example, we might have a marketing document that we generate from your CRM, because we’ve used code in it. And we know what type of category the client is, what gender they are, what age they are, what their marital status is, we tailor the output based on those four factors. So that the imagery that we use speaks to those people or the terminology that we have speaks to those people, I’m seeing those sorts of wins in the short term. And I think there’s more to come. But we’re a fair way away from seeing, you know, big data, hitting financial planning.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And but before we go, I just want to get your ideas on the the future of sort of face to face versus online meetings as a as a trend.

 

Patrick Flynn 

I think they’re just going to become ambivalent, you know, you’ll just have meetings, and you won’t really think about whether they’re one type or another. I mean, that’s how that’s how I’ve been running for the last couple of years. And you know, I started up a business not long before COVID hit, maybe not the best. But you know, that’s just how things are. So once, you know, I think most business, I think most businesses would already be at the point where they’re very comfortable doing either. Not all clients are at the point where they’re very comfortable doing either, but that will come with time. I know that, you know, I use a couple of my fairly tech savvy friends. And my wife is not particularly tech savvy. And yeah, she was saying, I’ve got to zoom use zoom all the time. I don’t know how to do this thing. You know, can you send me thought I’m like, you do not need me to step you through it. Just Just go and try. And by all means, call me if you have a problem. And she was like, oh, that wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. And as that happens with wider and wider sections of the population where they’re just forced to, yeah, we’ll just stop caring. The things that will start changing perhaps will be Some of the tools that we use for those people who have, you know, installed big screens in their practices 10 years ago, so that they could present things via PowerPoint or via PDF on the screen or something like that, that’ll change. Also, for those groups, there won’t be a lot of change. Because also there’ll be a different physical layout, the process won’t change much for the advisors that have never had a big screen in their office, they’ve always been printing stuff out. And speaking to the printouts, that’ll feel a little bit different. And some of the tools that used to work well printed, maybe don’t work well. So well digitally. For example, well, my typical recommendation for an soI is to actually print it out in landscape, if you’ve got a design that can work with that, because in part, it presents better on a screen. There’s lots of other reasons. And you know, other things present better in landscape, but you can present a better on a screen. And when 50% of your meetings or whatever the clients feel like will be on zoom. You’ve got to start making some of those decisions, or you know, the PowerPoints that you might have had the word Well, for some things might need to be adapted more for, you know, that context.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. some great tips there. Patrick, thanks so much for coming onto this episode. We look forward to catching you in the next one.

 

Patrick Flynn 

Until next time.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back, Haley.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Thanks for having me.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thank you for being here. Now, today, we’re talking about technology trends. And obviously, this is, um, this is well, you know, I think you guys are leading the way, certainly when it comes to a lot of the trends when it comes to, you know, especially that communication space, in the idea that in the idea, and obviously you’ve mentioned in the previous episode that some of your some of your clients are, you know, post only or may have communication challenges. But talk to us about how you’ve found, you know, the the idea now that a lot of people are so used to technology, they’ve now moved from being post only towards technology.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Yeah, look, it’s been a huge benefit to our business being that we have so many clients, it’s, it makes it easier for both sides when they do engage with using technology throughout our advice process. That being said, when when we face challenges with product providers in the space of technology, clients do get a little frustrated, because they’re on top of tech, they know they can do a digital signature, or they know that they can do two factor authentication. So when, you know a beneficiary nomination form gets knocked back for some basic reason. They think it’s ludicrous. So I think it’s it’s, it’s great that we’ve got people so advanced now, and I feel as an industry, we probably feel we’ve come a long way in the last couple of years. But we’ve really innovated things that are just they’re old concepts, you know, the concept of the signature being a secure way to identify someone, it’s it’s known that that’s it’s just not a legitimate way to, to identify it. Anyone can call a signature, I would suggest that in this world of technology where people know they can confirm who they are via a selfie on their phone. Why? Why are we as an industry innovating that way in new ways to confirm someone’s identity?

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s interesting, isn’t it? Because the trend, the trend is is you know, you’re right. And I think I think I’ve actually heard Peter say this more than any other and more than any other industry, surely financial services, you know, with with the money it has behind it should be able to get its act together in the space.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Absolutely. Having said that, we’ve got a lot of clients that aren’t fully there yet. They’re not you know, they’ve got an iPad, but they don’t know really what to do with it, they’ve got an email address, but they never check it. We’ve really use this as an opportunity to educate people because it does benefit us. And it does benefit the client. So we found some great resources that actually provided by the Australian Government, there’s one called be connected, highly encouraged advisors to share this with their clients. It provides some great resources and help for elderly Australians or anyone that struggles with technology on how to use it. We ran a webinar on this and noticed a huge improvement with clients that weren’t engaging via technology had started to and it’s a journey you can’t expect people that have done things one way to just completely change overnight but if you show them that this is the only way we will communicate with you they will come to the party they’ve got the time if they’re retired or don’t have much else going on so it’s it’s of a benefit to both of us.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it’s interesting isn’t because I’m you often hear that, well one of my clients prefer you know, paper or prefer the old way or prefer the handshake but like you said, you know if that’s if that’s the way you do it, and you show them that way, I think I think there’s a little bit you know, there’s obviously a bit of fear around that the first time you do anything.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Understandably, I can appreciate for some people that aren’t. If that technology is new to them, you would be afraid of it. In our latest webinar, we spoke about cybersecurity and we encouraged people to set up password managers. For a lot of our clients. They’ve never heard of that that is a thing before whereas us in business We know it’s our only way to protect our passwords. So sharing something basic like that helps clients gain that confidence and area that they can be quite uncertain.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Now Now, you mentioned the webinar there. And the you know, obviously, I think it’s a bit of a technology trend as well, you know, you’re running a webinar for your existing clients. Is

 

Hayley Pearse 

that right? Yeah, absolutely. So we have caboodle question time. We run it every, I think it’s every two months now. We were doing it quarterly. But we just had, we really did have great engagement with it. So we found that not just covering off on financial stuff made a difference as well, as I said, talking about cyber security, things like that. It made a difference. And we had really great engagement in through lockdown, we ran trivia nights for our clients. And that was fantastic. It really for the team, it lifted the mood because we were so surprised that clients would want to do a trivia night with their financial advisor, but it really build a connection between us and our clients and people that you wouldn’t expect to sign on to a webinar. They did.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, amazing. Now, speaking of trends, you guys have been working remotely for quite some time, any work with clients all around the country, you know, I think Gone are the days when advisors or planets have to work with a with a local group of clients that live near them.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Yeah, absolutely. And when a new portfolio comes on, we do, there’s probably 2% of clients that have that hesitancy. And I will happily say to them, if this doesn’t suit you, I can point you in the direction of 10 advisors that will look after you. But our onboarding processes is quite engaging for people and encourages them to really lean into the process. And they see that the technology is just as good as and it also shows them that they have more engagement with us. If I don’t have to travel two hours to see you, I can see you more often. I often have people video call me to chat about stuff as opposed to phone call me. And they’ll have a piece of paper in front of them and they flip the camera around which bit to assign perfect, I’ve just confirmed the form I’m getting back is now going to be correct, I don’t have to send it back 14 times with a sign here and all that sort of thing. So it definitely makes the process much easier. I think there’s such an opportunity for product providers in this space. as advisors, we work alongside them. But I really think they’ve got the money to step up the the administration side of things. We for beneficiary nomination forms, we put together a video that really just walks clients through how to complete a form, because we constantly got knockbacks from product providers of a tiny little things was so frustrating. So we just literally a walkthrough video filling here complete this make sure this doesn’t say that. And now we don’t get any issues with abandon forms. I honestly think the product providers have an opportunity to work a QR code at the top right hand side of the form that does that exact same thing. You know, I’m spending my time preparing a video that obviously it benefits me but it massively benefits the product provider. You can’t tell me that them doing something like that wouldn’t benefit them as a company but also just their wasted and what not wasting their time. So there’s I think there’s there’s heaps of tech that us as advisors are leading into with the product providers could do more of that as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

You mentioned QR code, which is obviously one of those things that I think I think you guys talk about that everybody in the country now knows how to use a QR code. And those short little, you know, educational to touch tutorial. I got the wrong wrong word tutorial videos just explained stuff. I mean, it’s a fantastic idea. Yeah, yeah. But that leads in probably to the client experience being you know, the focus on client experience being you know, such a big trend these days, as in it kind of needs to be a no brainer instead of just doing stuff that’s functional when it needs to be pleasant from the clients point of view.

 

Hayley Pearse 

Absolutely. And I think the next stage of innovation for advisors is in the SLA space, the onboarding, the the nurturing, I think we’ve got that there’s heaps of tools out there that really enhance that process. It’s it’s the part now that advisors are under the microscope for the advice and, you know, the legislation states so that advice needs to be clear, concise and effective. I question that any advice Doc’s that are out there are doing that. There are tools like Quila that that would be able to present a statement of advice in a way that is clear, concise and effective. I just don’t think a 45 page document that is filled with detail that doesn’t have much education in there is is meeting that requirement. This is where innovation can really change things for advisors and this burden that we’re feeling around making sure the client has informed consent, making sure they understand the advice. It’s not putting more effort into the language of the SLA is putting the effort into how it’s delivered. Now there are advisors that are using PowerPoint presentations. And that’s that’s definitely a step. But I think there’s there’s more to that, I think, using tools like Quila. And for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s basically a website that is personalized per person. So you could create an SLA, that is a website and you can dump in videos, links to articles, tables, graphs, and you can check the analytics of where that per the viewer was up to on that website. Now, you can’t tell me that’s not the best way to see informed consent, we tested this and we, we haven’t really launched too much of it, because I’m not sure if it’s something that we can do. We started putting in funny sentences in some parts of our SLA. So like, if you’ve read up to here, send me this SMS, because we were getting people to sending back signed essays. And that’s, that’s great for for time saving, but I have no way of confirming that client understood that advice. And just because they signed it, legislation states that that doesn’t mean they did. So I think there’s more we can do as advisors to make sure they’re understanding the advice, and therefore making the process much more engaging.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s interesting is that the elder acknowledging the terms of the agreement, you know, like, tick the box of opera singers on the bottom, without completely understanding, and it’s certainly an interesting and interesting thing we’re gonna have to solve over the next next few years. That’s for sure. Hey, Haley, thanks so much for coming and telling us about tech trends. We look forward to catching you in the next episode. Thanks, Fraser. welcome back to this episode, James. Thanks, man. Good to be good to have you back. Now, we’re talking about tech trends. And this particular episode, all sorts of things from you know, the the concept of the new generation of digital natives that that know nothing else. And let’s I guess, let’s start with the fact that we’ve actually come a long way, haven’t we into the technology space? We’ve sort of, you know, I’ve been, you know, geeking out about it for the last few years, a number of years. But, but, you know, the last 13 years, I come a long way. Absolutely. You

 

James Sutherland 

know, even though I was talking to a young, provisional advisor the other day who was born in, when was he born in 2002? I think he said, was that right?

 

Fraser Jack 

Because now, it’s entirely possible, maybe some people don’t realize oh, yeah. And, and growing up with the internet is always in technology. And, you know, the whole paper based or analog world is just is just, you know, weird to them.

 

James Sutherland 

That’s right. And one of the advisory firms I work with, they actually actively pursue academic advisors. So we’ve got, they’ve got four I think, at the moment, and they’re great on the, on the tech, and the sponge on all their all the advice area,

 

Fraser Jack 

absolutely. In the internal tunnel, learn how to deliver conversations, tell us about tell us about technology in this trending space, tell us about how important technology has been to the evolution of advice.

 

James Sutherland 

Well, theoretically, was supposed to be able to make advice easy and simple as to deliver. And I think it’s taken a long time, and we’re still good way to go. The firms that I’ve got that are entrenched, to be able to deliver advice, have spent significant significant dollars in this space. And obviously there are firms that are saying that they have this more to go, you know, the veros, who are purchasing advice firms looking at intelliflo coming to Australia or kind of are in Australia. And I’ve spent a lot of money.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Tell us about the importance of technology and data, specifically to the future of businesses,

 

James Sutherland 

or text, the easy one, data is a is a bit more of a harder subject. We deal with data first, I don’t think any advice firm or, or even dare I say licensee still has a grasp on the value of the data that they have. And that’s going to take a while before they realize that they do have the data, the data sets they that they’re collecting could be worthwhile and running all sorts of rulesets through their practices, and all their the firm’s have their licensing. This seems to be some people that have started to work on that, you know, if you look at people like zepo, for example. They’re good at being able to automate process and also to gather data. Power BI is a great is a great tool that you can start to create your own dashboards if you wanted to. Those sorts of texts, although they’re not client facing, helping advance advice firms know what their metrics are.

 

Fraser Jack 

And I guess that’s pretty important for a firm point of view, but also a compliance point of view.

 

James Sutherland 

Absolutely. Yeah. You know, What is happening at each stage, the advice be it, you know, if SGS FDS is ongoing service agreements, or that now rolls into UNGA, FTS, is now rolling through ongoing service agreements, to know where they’re up to each part of that. So that, you know, I think to try and run those sorts of things manually these days, can open up to compliance issues.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, absolutely. And in Dallas, such an important page, you mentioned before, I think the the value of a business these days is going to be valued on their ability to create structured data more so than than their existing revenue. And all the old the old ways that businesses you know, used to be valued on multiples of income and those sorts of things. Yeah.

 

James Sutherland 

And efficiency develop to create efficiencies within the practice, which in itself, will give a better EBIT anyway, so that so they do want to sell, there’s an opportunity to be able to see that the businesses run in an efficient way.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Yep. Now, one of the trends we’ve seen over the last few years is that the idea of this client experience, you know, the focus on there is easy, and, you know, flawless client experience where the client doesn’t have to, you know, put up with a lot of friction, because obviously, there was a lot of friction in the advice process. And how do you say, where are we at on this particular take train that, you know, the focus on client experience, and where we got to go?

 

James Sutherland 

Not very far, is my is my feelings about it. I think we’re still got a long way to go. Yeah, trying to try to COVID help us regards to having online meetings. So that’s, that’s allowed the, the the ability to be able to connect quickly, obviously, having things like PowerPoints now, that a bit more, that can be integrated into those online meetings. And sometimes we’re using Canva, to be able to create templates in that areas. Well, subject close to I know, close to your heart is video presentations, which I think that’s if any, if any space is going to grow, that’s going to be a space that’s going to grow, been able to deliver that advice in a succinct way that people can can see what’s happening, have questions and refer back to it in a very easy way instead of thumbing through, you know, 100 pages, oh,

 

Fraser Jack 

II? Yep. I couldn’t agree more. How do you see things like QR codes coming into, you know, in using using, like, I guess, their their, their analogy is that now everybody in Australia knows how to use a QR code. Whereas, you know, two years ago, we didn’t talk to us about how that might, you know, be a trend that practices could take on?

 

James Sutherland 

Yeah, I’m not sure that’s true. When you’re standing behind somebody is trying to open their hand and you’re trying to get in the door when they tried to do a QR code on the way in. What does it lead, follow or get out of the way? Yeah, well, I’ve seen advice terms. I think in the last podcast that I referred back to PDS has been inserted into so as one hermanos, using the QR codes in those SLI so that if they had got the hard copy the soI, they can, they can scan the QR code and go straight to the PDS on that part of it. Yep. That also done away with having business cards for their 30 plus employees and created a a business card that has a QR code on it. So when you when you’re present, when you go to the QR code, it goes to the whole practice page, and the the client or the person can can scroll through the page and get the details of the person they’re looking for.

 

Fraser Jack 

Probably a little bit easier when you when you get starting over and you can just update the page rather than having to create new accounts. That’s right. And how do you see the future of face to face versus online? Or

 

James Sutherland 

for somebody who thinks that for a long time believe that face to face wasn’t necessary? I think I’ve also learned being bunkered away inside a house and not been able to get out when you want to that that there is that base wise base does have a role. You know, it simply does the nuances. You know, people like you and I’ve learned to be able to catch nuances of people’s expressions where somebody who hasn’t done that and I have been in the advice industry it’s very hard for them because video personal video meetings are very, very much different to a personal face to face meeting. And I think it’s a learned thing to be able to fight to be able to get as much out of a video meeting as you do with a personal but I think personal still has its place. Will it be will it be as predominant as it was last time? Probably not.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think I think you’re right you know, there there is something to be said if you can meet somebody in person. And then the secondary of if you’re catching up with them in online meeting, it’s it’s still it’s, you know, once you’ve met them, it’s okay. Yeah, just doing that. Same thing. It’s right. It’s difficult, and it takes time. Absolutely. James, thanks so much for coming on to this particular episode. We look forward to catching up with you in the next one.

 

James Sutherland 

Thank you, Joe.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to the conversation, Kara.

 

Cara Graham 

Hey, thanks for having me.

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic to have you here. We’re talking about tech trends for all sorts of things from you know, different millennials now being digital natives all the way through to some of the technology, the trending technology being used. Let’s start with the concept of digital digital natives, people who have been brought up on the concept of we’re now in the process or, you know, we’re now in a space where we just used to using technology. No, absolutely.

 

Cara Graham 

And I think, you know, what Pope is really shown us is that where we’re all have to be accepting of technology, so much more than we ever have had before. From there, and that’s that, I guess, has made us think, as a business, you know, if we kind of got a bit wrong in the sense that we thought that our clients didn’t want to use technology side before COVID. And now we’re saying, Well, actually, lots of people do and then even, you know, surprisingly, a lot of older people do as well, it makes us think, well, what else did we get wrong? You know, what else can we look at as a business? And, and, you know, make some changes? And think about where else? Can we fit technology in or? Or just, you know, ultimately, I think, as a business, we all need to make things less manual wherever possible. And so, you know, we’re just constantly looking, looking at different opportunities wherever we can,

 

Fraser Jack 

it makes me think of the Mythbusters episodes of that, you know, like to be able to say, we really, is this, is this true, this thing that we believe to be true for so long? And you’re right, you know, there’s so many times I’ve heard many times I’ve heard, you know, well, what am I older clients who want bla bla bla, assuming that they’re not digital savvy?

 

Cara Graham 

Yeah. Well, I mean, we work with such a wide variety of clients as well, you know, you just can’t, you can’t buy people into one group. Because, you know, there’s just that much diversity in today’s day and age. And, you know, I think that there still is, I guess, technology, skepticism, you know, both from younger, younger and older people, like, you know, I guess, you know, and there’s that many scams and things that come through, sometimes you do need to be really cautious about what you’re signing up for who you’re giving your data to, you know, and what, what some would get an email on what’s happening that somebody you know, might be fishing or something along those lines. From there.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, there is, and that that’s a really big part of it. Actually, the security, we sort of touched on security in the last episode, but really, security is a is a huge piece of this some, this moving jigsaw puzzle, that is all the technology that we use the idea of, you know, clients sending wrong or sending or responding to email that they think from you, or that you, you know, advisors responding to emails, or they think, from clients. You know, I think emails not a very secure thing. But yeah, security is a huge for, you know, a huge trend, I think that we might be at the beginning of that might be getting bigger and bigger.

 

Cara Graham 

Hmm, you’re absolutely right. And, you know, I think we do still rely on email a lot. I think that that kind of really is the easiest way to disseminate information from there. But you know, again, you can share documents through the client portal, we’ve always got that that access. You know, and I think it’s always good that wherever possible, and certainly we encourage our technology technology providers to make sure that they’ve got two factor authentication for any logins, if they’re there as well, you know, just making things more and more, more secure. Certainly, we’ve had to look from our business in terms of the receiving end, you know, what is coming in from emails, and always just making sure that that’s aligning with the conversations we’ve had from clients, you know, from there, you know, if they’re, you know, is anything coming, coming through making sure that we just, you know, jump on the phone, and just speak to the client, make sure it’s in line with any conversations that, you know, or any actions that that we’ve had, you know, I don’t think less have to do for perspective. We did actually issue with a fair few years ago now, where we did receive a scam email from a client will from a, you know, from the clients email, you know, and we ultimately had to make good on that, that withdrawal. So, you know, we’re just certainly very conscious of never, never making that mistake again. And I think that sort of fundamentally changed the way that we ought to do things in the business. You know, we’ve learnt from that mistake, that’s for sure.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it’s everywhere, isn’t it? The email for those that aren’t following along at home email is very unsecure and continually be hacked. And even you know, lawyers and professional services are certainly in the in, you know, in that area where one of the most I submitted to me today one of the most profitable business models in the world is hacking to steal data at the moment, it seems to me like it’s a very profitable business for people. So it is certainly talk to me about Bob, we’re on security told me about what that what you’re doing in the practice with regards to teaching your staff and making sure all of your, your, your, your processes, and any systems are secure.

 

Cara Graham 

I mean, obviously from like an IP perspective, you know, we engage with an IT professional to do a bit of an audit from time to time, you know, make sure that, you know, we’ve got the highest level security, we can, I think it’s also just a matter of making sure that you’re working with really credible providers include operators, we introduced LastPass, the password manager website into our business a couple of years ago, and I think that’s been a great addition, for anybody that hasn’t come across LastPass before you know, it’s an online website, you we pay for, sort of group subscription, so that we can sort of have all the management and controls there. And then essentially, you really only need to have one really strong password. And then you can use literally, often when I’m designing a password, I just mash my keyboard randomly, so that certainly nothing I would ever be able to remember or retain again, and they can sort of auto generate passwords as well. So you know, I think, as a business, we have something like 120 passwords in our shared sort of main folder. And and what we can do from there as well is like I’m one of the administrators in the group, so I can set it so that you know, only certain people can actually ever even see the password, and then you know, most of the staff, then they will just automatically follow through when they can log in, but they can’t, you know, view it, they can’t copy and paste it, they can’t save it. And again, then it’s great, you know, if we’ve had new people join, we just add the mean, if we’ve had anybody leave, and we just take them straight out. So it’s been great, just, you know, really making that that password process that much more secure. And clearly by the fact that we have 120 shows that we work with a lot of different providers, you know, everyone obviously wants a password and a login and something. So you know, it’s not going away anytime soon. I can only imagine what that number will be in a few more years.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think that’s great advice, pay pay for the better version, where you do have those management controls, because like any type of software, the free version doesn’t necessarily do everything you’re supposed to

 

Cara Graham 

do, Oh, absolutely, I use it in my personal life as well, like me and my wife have a have a shared account on there now and you know, for anything, personally, you know, we can just make sure that’s in place, I actually even just thinking about this, I think that’s great from a succession point of view, you know, if something happened to me, then you know how people, you know, important, people are going to be able to access, you know, my online banking, my trading accounts and things along those lines, you know, much more secure than having a piece of paper in a notebook in a drawer at home, or

 

Fraser Jack 

you see somebody to throw out don’t realize what it was. Tell me about Donna and the idea of structuring data. And you mentioned before that you use Power BI. And in depoe, talk to me about the how important structured data is to your business.

 

Cara Graham 

I mean, it’s incredibly important, I think it’s just becoming more important because, you know, as a business, I guess you just constantly need to be assisting? Are we doing things in the most effective way? And are we getting a return on actions? You know, and things like like Power BI, where you really can create what you want to see, you know, you have that much control over, over, I guess the reports, you know, you can design them to be exactly what you want in terms of Okay, do I want to track output? Do I want to track meetings? Do I want to track attendance? Do I want to track conversion? You know, you can sort of really make it make it wherever you want. And again, you know, one of the things we’ve been doing is just looking at that and saying, okay, where are we getting our best? return? You know, what should we be focusing our energy and our attention on? Because as you know, as things go on, I think it wouldn’t be any surprise to a lot of, you know, advisors and practice managers out there, that it’s getting expensive to deliver the same outcome to clients, you know, compliance burden is going up costs are going up. And you know, we need to look at ways where we can really make sure that, you know, we can manage that we don’t have to just pass it on to clients. So, you know, looking at, you know, looking at the best outcomes, certainly always incredibly important. And yeah, I’ll be I’ve been been great. And we’ve got you know, a pretty kind of hands on relationship there. You know, and we’re just building on it as well getting more reports more, you know, more sort of data coming through.

 

Fraser Jack 

Wonderful. Tell me about the idea of the client experience has been a lot of focus on client journey on experience, as we’ve implemented software often will implement things that just work and they provide a system but they might not be very nice for the client. How’s that? Has that overlay been in your business?

 

Cara Graham 

I think at the end of the day, we need to continuously be building on the client experience, you know, if if the clients not enjoying the outcome, and they’re not getting value from it, well, they’re not going to be very happy. So I think echnology is there to just build enhance that. And, you know, certainly say the use of zoom, I think has been a great addition, you know, one, we don’t have to only work with clients in Perth, we can have much better relationships with people all over the country, you know, hence, having an advisor over in Sydney now as well, you know, it makes it that much easier to have a broad team, you know, we need to make sure that we’re using technology in such a way that we don’t lose what makes us special, you know, and I think, where we really try to sit at Tw days to have a really high level of service, and a really high level of value that we provide to our clients. You know, I think certain meetings within our process, work that meetings work better face to face, and certain actually work better over zoom, because we use documents, and we use screens quite a lot. I’ve had a, what I what we call a strategy meeting with the clients this morning, where we’re going through the morning, we’re going through an educating them around different concepts. And I generally suggest to clients that, you know, if they’re comfortable, and you know, when they’re sort of, you know, technology savvy that we do this one over zoom, you know, one, it gets them nice and comfortable. And it’s just easier to have it nice and big in your control, been looking at the numbers playing around with some of the variables there on the screen, it’s, it’s just sort of makes things flow that much easier. And then, you know, obviously, there’s certain meetings that are that much better to do face to face, where you do have to do a lot of physical signing. But you know, that said, more and more can be signed digitally these days. And, you know, I think more of the CEU funds and insurance companies. So don’t get online with this more and more in the future as well. I certainly don’t think we’re there yet. But you know, times are changing pretty quick. So we’ll just have to see how that rolls out. And then we can, you know, get DocuSign more involved. You know, currently we review everything internal. But, you know, certainly people are more accepting of it. And we want to want to roll that out as much as possible.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Thanks for coming on and chatting to us about tech trends. I love what you’re saying there. I love the fact that we might be moving towards the summit some great things with technology coming up. Look forward to catching you very soon. All right, thanks. welcome back to this episode. net. Thanks, Roger, looking forward to it. Fantastic. We are talking tech trends, all different things around trending. And obviously you’ve done a lot of stuff. And we sort of touched on some of the reports and surveys you’ve done previously, what what trends have you seen,

 

Matt Heine 

or the first thing about trends is we can always look backwards. And we’ve got all sorts of fantastic stats and insights on what’s happening, or what has happened. As far as looking forward. As you know, it’s crystal balling, so some of it will be right, some of it will be wrong. But look, I think there’s some really interesting things happening in the market at the moment. And we touched on it in the first episode just around some of the key mega trends that are driving significant change across our industry, but also all industries. And it might just be worth recapping on them really quickly. The first is just COVID and the acceleration of tech adoption. And the fact that tech adoption really has fast forward if you like somewhere between five and 10 years. And that is the use of technology by business and the use of technology by consumers. And that’s driving major change and changing behaviors. The second is the emerging affluent or the millennials with money and the fact that they are now a segment for advisors that simply cannot be ignored. And I’d love to chat more about that. And also just that digital wealth services have gone mainstream. So society has gone cashless or largely cashless, all age groups are now paying online, we’re using PayPal, we’re using afterpay. We’re tapping our phones instead of handing over money. And so people are becoming far more comfortable with managing their money online. And we’re seeing a lot higher usage of even our own mobile app, where millennials and older clients are logging in once or twice a month to have a look at their balances and to have a look around at what’s happening within their portfolio. So a big shift online. When it comes to actual advice technology, though, which is how do we support these changes in consumer behavior. One of the really big and I think really exciting trends at the moment is data. So how firms, licensees and also practices are starting to understand the power of data within their businesses. So data probably is one of the biggest assets we all have. And our industry is particularly lucky just with the amount of data that we start with. So given the fact finding process, we really do know a lot about our clients, in fact, more than most industries, by maybe the medical industry. And that’s a really good starting place. But there’s a lot more that we can do. So there’s data that we don’t initially collect at the moment around website visit health and they’re communicating with us health and they’re calling us and how we can augment that data with property feeds and bank feeds, as well as feeds from other enterprise solutions. So when we chatting to advisors, and the research that we’re getting back is that data is becoming a really sort of critical component of certainly better advice firms. And interestingly, through advice, tech research, if we look at the advice tech stars, so it’s a term that I’ve probably referred to a few times now, these are advice firms that are adopting technology within their businesses at a higher rate than you sort of industry average. But they’re seeing real business outcomes as a result. So they’ve got higher EBITDA margins, they’ve got higher revenue growth, they’ve got better client satisfaction, so they’re using technology really effectively. And if we think that data, currently 38% of advice, tech stars are using some sort of data integration tool, but importantly, 38%, another 38%, are intending to use it in the next 24 months. So you’ve got nearly 90% of these advice, tech stars, focused on data and looking at how they can really leverage the power of data. And there’s two key areas that they’re using data. And the first is whole of wealth reporting. So making sure that internally, they can collect as much data about their clients in an automated fashion. So it’s things like insurance data, off platform assets, clearly on platform assets, pulling data from the SMSF software. So class and VTL, giving the bank feeds. So I touched on before, but also seeing if they can tap into services like mortgage and loan information. So being able to pull that information in almost like a live balance sheet, if you like. So internally, that allows them to start to think about being proactive from advice rather than reactive. But equally, it also allows them to start to deliver great customer experiences, because customers can leverage that data and for the first time, so their whole picture, not just a subset of it. So holy broth reporting. It’s a big focus. For us. It’s a major strategic initiative. But we’re seeing across the industry, there’s a real demand for it. The second area that we’re seeing data being used and being leveraged in advice firms, is through client analytics. So this is really the practice management stuff. And trying to understand in a lot of detail in real time, what’s actually happening across the practice. So understanding what is my revenue per age bracket. So if I’ve got a disproportionate amount in post retirement versus the emerging affluent as an example, how much are these family groups actually earning me? What’s my exposure to a different asset class or to my, what’s my exposure to a platform, so there’s so many different data points that you can get these days to really start to manage financial planning businesses, like big businesses with real time dashboards and insights. And so that’s really exciting. And when you boil it down, all of that stuff, allows you to effectively come back to proactive advice and generating what we call actionable insights in the future. So getting the data governance, right, starting to build out your data capability, and then taking it to the next level in the future.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, so so. So just on that, there’s a lot of things I want to unpack that because there’s a lot of things but, but just that data conversation, you know, we saw unbundling of products many, many years ago from you know, some some some risk and some some investment there we saw on bundling of advice, and, you know, the gambling advice and product, you know, separating those two, and now we’re seeing this data and software unbundling so you know, you I’ve heard you to talk about the, you know, mandating the idea of where you can store your data, but then, you know, to use different software to then pull that data. So instead of having that as one package to be able to unbundle there.

 

Matt Heine 

Yeah, and you’re absolutely right. So we’ve got an internal sort of mantra, if you like, which is mandate data, not software. And really, what that means is that the average advice tech advice for is using somewhere between 14 and 17 different bits of technology, you know, the better firms using 17, which is really interesting, but it’s a lower percentage of their total revenue, because they’re using efficiently, whereas the industry averages around 14 bits of tech in their tech stack. And that hasn’t changed a lot year on year. What that does, though, is it creates a whole raft of issues. And in particular, the issue that we’re seeing is that data is being caught in silos. So you might have all of this really rich financial planning information in your planning software, but it can’t be extracted or used in your CRM, or in your marketing tools, or in your content delivery platform. So it’s about how do you actually free the data, put it into a common database, so that you can actually then share it across the various systems, but in an efficient way. And that’s really where that that data integration technology becomes critical. And not surprisingly, you know, that was a driving force behind our decision to invest into Zippo, which is a a data analytics platform and CRM that we bought 25% of about eight months ago, and will no doubt increase our shareholding. We just see that as being a critical bit of tech. And it’s a critical bit of tech that fits into the infrastructure, and in many ways should actually shoot is the foundational piece of everything else. Yeah, fantastic.

 

Fraser Jack 

So just just to be clear, there’s a database, meaning structured data stored in a particular way, different slightly different from CRM, which is a cloud Relationship Management System which is, which is something that you can use to to, to use the data and to store other information. So database different CRM,

 

Matt Heine 

Correct, yeah. So CRM, so the database, probably not doing it justice, but that data warehouse, data, Lake, whatever you want to call it, it’s a separate repository for your data. And that could be structured data. Or it could be unstructured data, which is things like website visits, traffic, social media posts, and some of those things. But the idea is to pull it out of the software, and then choose which software you push that data into knowing that you’ve got a consistent data set across all different technology part.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, and that, that database data like the center depository, where we call it becomes the source of truth.

 

Matt Heine 

Absolutely. And that means you’re hypothetically, if you’re not happy with your CRM, or you’re not happy with your financial planning software, you simply remove it and put the new software in place, but knowing that you’ve still got the history and the data to support it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. That’s a great way of explaining it now. Well, we pretty much covered the the COVID ticket option, then you’re absolutely right, the five to 10 year leap, and in that or some good color, just five to 10 year catch up. That’s sort of the way I sort of read we’re finally caught up. You mentioned cashless, it’s an interesting point, too, because obviously, we saw talk about things like videos, and my kids don’t know what videos are they like, what’s a video. But, you know, the, the whole idea of cash flow might even change to to money flow, because we’re not actually seeing cash anymore.

 

Matt Heine 

Yeah, it’s, it’s, I mean, the trends fascinating. And it really peaked. I think, recently, when we saw squares being bought, I saw a square buying afterpay for $39 billion. And that really was, you know, an incredible deal and the largest deal in Australian history. But that was all around the millennial market. But it was all very much about the move to online and the importance of online payments in the future. So it’s certainly here and it’s not going away. It’s speaking of your kids, one of the things that concerns me greatly, is that money has largely gone invisible. And so back in the day, when you and I used to earn pocket money, we used to get cash, you do a job, and you’ve got cash, and it was tangible. So you could understand the value of the money. In this day and age where the kids simply order dinner on the phone by pressing a button, you can order it Uber and pay for it via phone. There’s no real concept of of money. So how do we actually start to teach our kids really good money habits? And it’s I think it’s a challenge for all of us. And it’s a really important one that we need to grapple as an industry. Yeah, there’s

 

Fraser Jack 

absolutely no, just oh, we’re on these trends before we move to the next episode, Millennials with money. To give us a quick overview of that, that sector that trend,

 

Matt Heine 

yes, Millennials with money, Millennials have grown up. Millennials are now actually sort of quite old, if 37 to 40 years old. They’re highly educated, they’re typically in senior management positions, or executive roles, they’ve accumulated a lot of wealth. So they’ve got a house worth more than a million dollars, they’ve got superannuation of around $250,000, they’ve got another investment portfolio of somewhere in the vicinity of $250 million 250 $250,000. So they’re really good financial planning clients in their own right. But what’s really important is that they are digital natives. So they’ve always grown up with technology and have expectations of how they want to be serviced. But they’ve also more engaged with their finances, and more financially literate and more financially capable than any other generation. So you’ve got this, what we think is around one and a half million, sort of people that are looking for a coaching relationship, or an advice relationship, that are really well informed and wanting to improve themselves and become better investors and improve their general lifestyle. So this is a segment that we think is critical that you can’t ignore for the future, they will be your financial planning clients today or tomorrow. But we also think that they’re going to be the main benefactors of the intergenerational wealth transfer that we’ve been talking about now for probably five to 10 years. So if anyone does start to think about, you know, what does my client look like in the future, that has to involve Digital Service, you have to have things like a client portal, you have to be able to talk to them across multiple channels, and communicate and live where they live, not where we’ve traditionally lived or communicated.

 

Fraser Jack 

You’re absolutely right there, they may even have some cryptocurrency in their portfolio as well,

 

Matt Heine 

there’s a very good chance of that, and there’s a very good chance that they will talk to you in lingo that you don’t understand. So I think what’s really interesting is if you look at the likes of Reddit, and some of the trading boards on Robin Hood, etc, they’ve created this whole lexicon, things like and emojis and memes that support their trading. Now, I know that the regulator is having a bit of a conniption around how to actually monitor and manage this, because there’s influencers and people like Elon Musk, for example, that are driving the price of bitcoin sky high with a single tweet. But some of my favorite that I’ve read recently, so you’ve got rockets, which are pretty straightforward. So I’m going to stop taking you off. We’re about to go through the stratosphere. You’ve got someone that they call a diamond hand which is an investor that’s happy to hold an asset. Even if it’s making a loss, you’ve got Wales and so it goes on. But it’s an interesting market. It’s changing rapidly. But again, it’s not something we can ignore.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Thank you Matt for coming on this particular episode and sharing your ideas on tech trends we look forward to catching you in the next episode. Likewise, expecting

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