September 2, 2022

AdviceTech Podcast #2 – Plutosoft – Transcript

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Peita Diamantidis
Hello, and welcome to the X Y advice tech Podcast. I’m Peita Diamantidis. And joining me here today to deep dive into the Pluto soft software is an ex Clayton Utes lawyer, a financial planner, a fellow and a NASA nerd, and a software development survivor Would you believe thank you so much for joining me on the show. Vincent Holland. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.

Vincent Holland
Thanks, Peita, it’s great to be with you to talk about advice tech, which is a subject I’m very passionate about,

Peita Diamantidis
well, it sounds like it. You actually went out there and started your own, which I’m really keen to dive into. But to just sort of, you know, learn a bit more about you. And even you as a user of TIG, as opposed to just a provider of it. What’s your most used emoji? Do you reckon? Do you use emojis?

Vincent Holland
I use them somewhat sparingly.

Peita Diamantidis
Okay. Is there one in particular that you use a lot?

Vincent Holland
The one with the smiley face?

Peita Diamantidis
So the straight up smiley face? You’re a fan?

Vincent Holland
Most of the time?

Peita Diamantidis
Well, you go, what more? Could you watch? I love it. And how about well, we all live in our smartphones? Don’t we? I mean, find out how to how do we survive without them? If you had to get rid of all the apps on your smartphone? And we’re just left with three? What would what were the ones you’d keep?

Vincent Holland
Definitely the XY advisor, one would be top of the list.

Peita Diamantidis
do we need to hear the other two that stick? Oh, folks looks like you’re gonna have to go and get the the X Y up and put it on the phone because that’s the one to have on your smartphone. Thank you for sharing. Well, with that in mind, let’s dive into Pluto soft shell a great name. I love the name of the software. And I’m sort of just going to approach this as a fishing exercise for me. You know, we haven’t I have an advice practice, I have a financial advisor. So I’m really, really keen to understand more about the tool. So for some context, where does Pluto sit in the advice tech space, you know, what’s it sort of category that it sort of slots into

Vincent Holland
your paper. So it would be it’s an end to end solution. So it covers the full advice process beginning to end everything from capturing data about the client, your your strategy, modeling the data integrations with with investment platforms. And then of course, the advice production client portal. So very much sits within within the technology world as a true end to end solution if I can put that as a category. Okay,

Peita Diamantidis
so that’s sort of cool. Does does most be

Vincent Holland
corrected the core, the key principle with our system is that you don’t want to enter data twice. So if you can run the core advice process on one system, that’s going to help drive a lot of a lot of efficiency. So that call advice process your SLA ROA, review FDS production, all of that is done in fluid or soft.

Peita Diamantidis
Okay. And I’m betting so that sort of approach and only wanting to enter the data once could be part of what what sort of drove you to develop the software. Is that fair? Is it it’s one of those things you just went? We need to get this resolved. We’re going to we’re going to build our own. Yeah, but it will or

Vincent Holland
many of your Ian’s may be familiar with the with the polluter soft stories. So it’s it’s an organic grassroots story put us off was originally built in an advice practice in in our advice practice. In fact it was my mum who built the initial prototype of the system. She’s a smart lady, CFP and a software developer. So she came from a software engineering background unfortunate times with Vice very interesting and unique skill set. The advantage was we had that capability in the business and the the number one pain point we wanted to solve in building the system was to cut down the time involved in producing advice in our practice, in our experience, it was just taking too long to get the advice out of the door. That’s new clients, and particularly ongoing clients as well to review documentation, the hours and hours spent trying to get advice delivered. And so that’s something we really wanted to solve. We looked far and wide in the market, it would have been amazing if there’s a solution out there that could have solved that pain point. In our view, we couldn’t find one. So we went down the path of custom building from scratch. So we now run as a standalone software company, we service firms all around Australia, we’ve got a scaled up development team. But that’s you know, that’s that’s originally here how the software started and tentatively,

Peita Diamantidis
okay, fantastic. And so therefore the as opposed to a primary user being an individual role, it sounds like the primary user is a practice in as a whole, it’s sort of not that sort of thing you have one person using it’s designed to be used across the practice. Is that Is that correct?

Vincent Holland
That’s correct. So it’s the it’s a piece of software, everyone in the firm, ideally wouldn’t be wouldn’t be using advisors, Client Services, managers support team members. Everyone not the whole idea is to have everyone in the practice working on one one system. Okay.

Peita Diamantidis
And so in terms of then, I’m imagining then that you’re probably over time needed to add in a sort of licensee angle as well, is that something that you’ve had to sort of factor into the tool?

Vincent Holland
Yes, indeed. So that was something we brought out in more so in recent times of Licensee Portal, which which does in a dealer group context, will give a dealer group central visibility, the ability to to claim templates across different practice groups, configure settings. So it does have that dealer group management, originally, the software was built, first and foremost for advisory firms. So for advisors on the ground, that’s, you know, that was our bread and butter, that was the problem we wanted to solve. And then as we as we grow, and as we expand it, we then brought out that capability as

Peita Diamantidis
well. Okay. And I think that’s coming from the US sort of practice first. And then licensee, I think what I like about that is, is it’s not pushing down as much as delivering up. So it’s, it’s sort of core at the, you know, the advisor and their relationship with the client. And then if there’s, you know, some either consistency required, whether that’s documentation or even data required to be fed up, then that’s great. Whereas I think it can be a challenge kind of with systems when well, we have these licensee requirements, but actually, it doesn’t deliver anything to the adviser from those requirements, you know, so that can be a bit of a conflict in terms of, you know, features and, and elements that get rolled in and rolled out in some of these systems. And I guess you’ve probably, over time as you deal with different dealer groups, you’ve probably had to adjust, I’m betting based on what they need or what they’re willing to have roll out to practices. Is that been the case?

Vincent Holland
Yeah, that’s correct. And look, doing doing software development. We’ve been doing this for quite a long time. Now, you’re always having to expand and adapt your product to suit the industry. So many things change, we’re in a very dynamic environment, you know, compliance changes, if the s requirements change. You know, all your Centrelink parameters changed. You know, there’s this so much that change is safe. You’re you have to keep enhancing and improving your your product.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, I’m with you. And it’s going to be perpetual, right. I mean, I don’t think the change is going to stop. I think it’s going to move in different directions.

Vincent Holland
You’re absolutely correct. This is not the sort of area where you can build it and then sit still. It’s an area where you’re constantly having to evolve. And I think you’re absolutely correct. That that will that will continue to be that way. Yeah, for sure.

Peita Diamantidis
All right. So let’s think about the practices you have been clearly you guys would have used it for your own business and that sort of way your stock came from but you’ve now rolled it out to a number of quite a large number of practices. Then, across that what type of practice or advice I guess does it work really well from for, you know, who does it harm for? And are there any types we like? Or they really struggle to either implement the tool or take full advantage of it?

Vincent Holland
Yeah, that’s a really good question. So our software works for a number of different types of firms, different size firms, firms with different client demographics, whether that’s focusing more on retirement planning, or wealth accumulation, or clients who look after firms who service clients with more complex affairs trusts company structures. So it is quite varied in terms of who our advice, who our system is, is catered for, and it will cater for a wide range of firms. The key is for the firm wanting to embrace and implement the software, well, I think if the if it’s more of a mindset thing, if a firm has the right mindset wants to embrace it, that that comes from the top and it’s driven through the through the firm, because there’s change management involved when when you’re implementing a new system. I think that is the key thing, having having the right mindset, we’ve got a very good onboarding process, which you know, we’ve, we’ve been doing this for for a while. So we’ve we’ve rolled out a really good onboarding process, but I think it’s really having firms who have the mindset to want to do things differently, wanting wanting to improve,

Peita Diamantidis
and are there any blockages you see that people to that point need to break through like is their things, maybe its expectations, or its, or its limiting beliefs that you find they’ve just got to cut through to be able to shift into that sort of more innovative or embracive mindset.

Vincent Holland
When you’re working in a firm environment, you know, generally the team is very, that they’re all there, everyone’s an individual. So everyone’s got a different a different role, a different function within within the business. And it’s really about how can we bring everyone on board to to embrace the change, you know, you’re implementing a new system. So it’s, if you’re coming from another system, it’s going to be different to that other system you’re coming from. But that’s, you know, that’s why you’re changing systems, because it’s going to be different, it’s not going to be the same, you wouldn’t be changing. I think change management is something we’ve put a lot of emphasis into, is really having an onboarding process that can fast track that change, and, and can really get everyone on board within the practice. But there’s no doubt that if there’s the right leadership, wanting to drive it, to make it happen, that makes for a successful implementation.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, and I think that’s a that’s some really important insight there. Because I think in our industry, it’s very easy to look for a magic wand, you know, and we’re like, Oh, can I just wave this thing over my business, and it’ll instantly be fixed. And of course, you could build the Ferrari of financial advice software. And if we don’t implement it well, and lead that change in the business, it’s never going to deliver the value that it or its potential, you know, so. So no matter genius, fruit buyer assistance developer, can ever you know, sort of compete with resistance internally, or lack of direction, or training or even leadership in terms of the the maybe it’s the practice manager, or the owner sort of stepping into and owning their own challenges with change management, right, our own inability to adjust the way we do things, sticking to the old way. So I have to admit, we’ve learned that the hard way a few times. And so really, it’s great to hear that from a group that, that you sort of understand that, that it’s this sort of human factor. That’s actually the hard part, sometimes with advice tech, as opposed to the tech itself. We humans get in the way all the time, don’t we? For the practices considering a tool, like Pluto, soft, then what something what are some things they should be doing even before moving? You know, what, what’s some stuff they could do within the practice or individually that that would really set themselves up for success in that sense?

Vincent Holland
I think the key there is to start the process early. So So when when talking to a practice, do we in the early stages of evaluating their technology options, generally, what we do is we do a presentation on take them through the software so they can see exactly what it looks like. We also run a trial of the software. So firms have that opportunity to really get a feel for how the how the software works, and how that might fit within their firm. So we go through a process of, of just guiding firms through that whole journey. So I think the sooner you start that process, it really helps to it helps you just to understand what else is out there, what the capabilities and then you can turn that around your business needs. So you know, having gone through that, this is great. Do you know when from a business perspective is the best time to do it. But I think if you do allow yourself plenty of time, you can, you can really set yourself up for success.

Peita Diamantidis
And timing is interesting isn’t it, I’ve, it’s so easy to accidentally make these decisions just before I don’t know, in the financial year, and then realize you’ve got everybody trying to learn a new system and adjust it for a massive workload. So even timing it in terms of the peaks and troughs of efforts within the practice is important. Because sure, a new system should all do all that maybe more effectively or efficiently. But that’s going to take time for people to learn that. So it’s probably going to get a bit clunky before it gets better. As people sort of learn the new way, and even as just you transition through, you know, templates and workflows, and all sorts of other things. So being conscious of the rollout shedule, then, and what little hurdles, you know, the practice itself might deliver. And that is probably really worth considering when we’re doing it. Because this is a major project. This is not a plug and play app we’re talking about here. This is a significant, you know, player in your practice. It’s almost like a new hire this type of software, you know, it’s a core. So it’s really worth thinking about timing and how you’re going to roll that out. And I was excited as I did some digging, before we chatted today that there is a whole lot of focus fee for you guys on client engagement. And and I understand there’s some client portal work you’ve done, do you want to talk me through what that looks

Vincent Holland
like? Yeah, so the client portal, we see as a key part of the efficiency solution going forward. So we’ve got, we call our client hub portal, so that so the adviser controls that portal, but they decide which clients get access to the portal. So that’s controlled by the adviser. And then what it does is it gives you that really nice front end, so the client can interact with the information on the portal, they can have the well snapshot did the modeling, you can publish really nice digital modeling scenarios onto the portal their their portfolio data, so it becomes their documents, that becomes a real hub for the client in terms of that front end. So it just gives you that as a firm that really polished. Look, it’s got all the branding on it. And then probably for me, the most valuable part of the portal is it allows you to automate the whole data capture before a meeting, whether that’s a new clients are seeing a client for the very first time, or your review clients actually having your clients update that information on the portal, before they come into the meeting. It’s quite friendly. So it’s easy for them to do that. And what that means is that updates your data in the system automatically. So you come to that meeting, prepared, you’re not going to waste your time, you know, read going through everything at a meeting, having a meeting to then have another meeting, you know, just cuts that down. So you can spend your time, use it wisely and focus on the things that add the most value for the tribe.

Peita Diamantidis
Fantastic. And so is it intended that then also the clients they would message via the portal? Like is it gone that far, where it’s it’s the channel to really ask questions or give feedback or anything like that is that the intention

Vincent Holland
is it’s there is an option to make workflow available to the client. So through our workflow system, you can configure it so that a client can initiate a workflow, because we know the importance of busy busy people have full time jobs, they might not get to attend to that sort of thing during the workday. So they might want to log in outside of hours, maybe it’s just a meeting, they want to request with their advisor, maybe they want to log a request, draw money from their pension account. So you can actually configure different workflow steps on the portal and the client can initiate it and then monitor the progress on that on that step. So that’s sort of the angle we’ve we’ve come from, with the with the portal.

Peita Diamantidis
Fantastic. I mean, certainly something we’ve come to realize, and you mentioned that the initial driver was that time slash cost to produce advice was sort of where you guys started, and you just really want to work on that. And I have, which I agree with, but what I’m starting to see sort of been the last couple of years, I guess, but primarily 12 months is the cost of admin is starting to ratchet up, you know, and that’s, that’s starting to almost outweigh the cost of advice. And so things that can help streamline the follow ups to the client or the you know, their requests, like that sort of stuff, when we’re finding is sucking up a lot of the admin team members time and, and so you know, I think over time, the way we utilize these portals will make a massive difference to how clunky our back offices as opposed to the, you know, advice and power of planning and analysis. The other stuff too, which probably doesn’t get the attention it should. Historically I think we’re probably all going to start focusing on that as well. So we don’t all need, you know, 20 support staff to every advisor going forward because it’s it’s pretty horribilis with the lines of legislation, and all of the paperwork you know, it can get, it can get super clunky. So I’ll be interested to see where you take the portal in that sense. Yeah. And looking

Vincent Holland
advice, rightly or wrongly is a very compliance driven industry. So you’re constantly battling against costs to service clients, you know, the time it takes to reduce foot produce advice. So you really want your technology to be saving you a huge amount of time on all of those aspects. If you can do that, then you can build a scalable, profitable firm, but without the right structure. Without the right processes, it can be a very difficult business to run, and I think firms who are successful have that have that structure. And then when you’ve got the structure, you know, then you can get the most out of your system. So you know, that the inextricably linked the structure of the systems and the technology technology is one part of it. Yeah. But as you said before, you know, you could have a Rolls Royce technology system. But you know, it’s of no use to you unless you actually drive it and use it to its potential.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, absolutely. That Tell me more, though, you were mentioning that there’s some modeling that you can push through to the portal? Is that sort of like it’s a hey, here’s the outcome, you can see there. Is there a dynamic element to that? How does that work? Exactly? Yeah, so

Vincent Holland
we believe very strongly in in modeling, being able to showcase different scenarios, different options for clients, interactive charts. In my own experience, advising clients, I’ve always found that to be so helpful for clients, because there’s a lot of jargon, they have to get the head across investment markets, diversification, you know, whether the RBA is going to raise interest rates, five basis points or 20 basis points. There’s a lot that clients are confronted with. Whereas if you can show them in a really nice model, that they’re going to be on track that they’re going to be okay that they’ve got different options, different trade offs, I think that makes it very clear and visual for the client. And that was an idea Sam wasn’t so we built to be a presentation tool, you could bring into client meetings and be able to showcase that to them, whether that’s on a zoom call, or in the office. But then we thought well, wouldn’t it then also be nice to have that available on the client portal, so the client can log in at their own time, and, and have a look at the portal, have a look at the model. Now they can’t change the model, they can interact with it, it’s got that dynamic aspect to it. If if they want to change anything, you know, then the idea is that something you might bring into your review process, so that that becomes a discussion, they need to do that with their advisor, as part of the review.

Peita Diamantidis
Perfect, perfect. And now I don’t believe these things exist yet. But something that I’ve always been curious about or thought could be beneficial is often the modeling like we do in an appointment time, and we look forward. And it’s the Hey, good, bad, or, or indifferent sort of, really is thumb up thumbs down. But one of the things that I think can be interesting over time is once you’ve initially done that, for a client is is almost over time being able to check in on where they’re progressing against that intention, you know, how are you tracking? And how things working so that they can get some context? Because often, for example, and we’ve all been experiencing some interesting markets, and, you know, the natural clients, you know, the fear is in the press, and the markets are doing their thing, you know, but then a given context like, oh, wait a minute, I’m still ahead of where I thought I would be, you know, so. So that sort of context is important, but time series of data isn’t easy. And I know it’s a challenge in in systems to sort of have that almost hard line of the future and then have the reality measure against it is that something you guys have ever looked at or considered?

Vincent Holland
You will, that’s a key part of what our portal and our modeling system does. So, you know, traditionally, the model was something you did when a client first engaged with you something that was relegated to the back of the SOA, and it looked a bit like, like a spreadsheet that the client might not actually read. Whereas we thought, Well, hey, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of value in this for the client, let’s try and make it more visual and something that you don’t just do as a once you have that something that you regularly come back to that it’s something that’s part of your review process, you can actually incorporate that into the process, look at the original model that you set for the clients, you can actually lock that in our system you can then with the data being updated from a portal, you can then have that updated automatically in the system at review time and then run a new model overlay different models to see where the clients at because I think it’s all about context, you know, the markets falling 15% Well, that sounds that sounds dismal. But if you actually put it into a bigger context, well, you know, you still projected to have a you’re not going to run out of money we’re unlikely to run out of money either helps reassure the client.

Peita Diamantidis
Absolutely. And you know what happened in the prior years? You know, where you’re so far ahead from the pro is that this is almost a little bit of a correction. And they’ll see that themselves, you know, there’ll be able to provide that context without us having to give it to them. They can just Oh, I see. That makes sense. We’re vaguely near the law. And we were hoping to be me, that’s exciting, because it’s not something like you say we do. And we do all this hard work. We give some pathway, you know, and of course, it can’t be locked in, I get that, you know, we can’t just say it’s going to be exactly this. But that can give people a direction, some guardrails, and to be able to then measure how they’re going against the guardrails is exciting to be honest, it’s I think, a really, really valuable, I probably more valuable than a whole lot of the other things we might do it review is helping them get a sense of where they’re at, against what they hoped they would be,

Vincent Holland
and you know, constantly gone every lives the situation. They change employment, they have new dependents, new grandchildren, markets, there’s so many things that change. And that’s, you know, that’s the value an advisor brings is that ongoing relationship, holding clients accountable, being able to easily re simulate different scenarios and to show the client, you know, what are the options? What are the what are the trade offs? Yeah,

Peita Diamantidis
perfect. So let’s talk integration. So I mean, you’ve, the tool does a lot. So, so in terms of needing to integrate, what if any, one of the things you Pluto soft actually integrates with other tools.

Vincent Holland
So we became part of our development roadmap is to constantly expand the, the applications we integrate with. So we’ve, that that’s always been a key philosophy is to make life easier, not harder for for advisors, a key one, and it’s really focusing on the ones that are most crucial for for advisors. So the one that comes to mind is investment platforms. You know, having having good data feeds with, with the investment platforms, so that, you know, common review time, you don’t have to enter data. And again, you’ve got all the data connected up to date, all the transactions over that time, automatically into the planning software. So that’s a big job to get, you know, platforms integrated and into the system. So that’s been a key thing we want to build out. So we integrate with, you know, we’ve built out a lot of integrations with different investment platforms, whether that’s net wells, 24, you know, a whole range of different different platforms there. So that’s sort of the bread and butter. You know, you’ve got other things there, like your your outlook, which are day to day tools that advisors are using all the time, you know, research tools. So yes, I mean, there’s a whole bunch of stuff we integrate with and continue to expand on that footprint.

Peita Diamantidis
Perfect. And is there anything that you’re seeing practices in the way they use the tool, or the way they’ve implemented it that just really blows your socks off? Like, have you had any surprises, and I mean, you know, wonderful surprises of what they’ve done or the way they’ve rolled it out, or what they’ve done with clients when they’ve taken on polluter soft into the practice,

Vincent Holland
I think the most pleasing thing for us is when a when a practice implements the software well, and you come back to them after they’ve had an implemented in their practice for a period of time, and when they just talk to you about the results, that they’ve got efficiency benefits, you know, Vice efficiency is, is such a headache for firms. So to be able to help firms solve that problem, you know, makes an enormous difference to their practice. And that, you know, that that’s really what motivates us is to actually know that you making a difference that you making advice practices, you making their lives easier, more profitable, it’s really get a kick out of that.

Peita Diamantidis
Cool. And what about there must be some features, though, or, or a particular feature that, that you just surprise, people don’t take up more that you think has real value? Is there any one of those that is a bit quiet, you know, and people sort of don’t get there? And you just like, oh, you should be checking out this. It’s fabulous. You know, why haven’t you rolled that out yet?

Vincent Holland
Yeah, it’s, it’s tricky. Because that system does have a lot of functionality, there are a lot of different things that it does. And then every firm will have a slightly different pain point or a variation of the pain points that I might claim to certain functionality more than others. Some firms, our workflow system is, you know, that’s the key thing they come to when they first onboard. Other firms. It’s more than modeling and the advice production. And then And then, you know, a year later, you have a chat and you say, Well, you know, have you thought of workflow. Yeah, you know, I want to get to that, but we just just haven’t got to it yet. And it’s also having the time to to do these things. So it can vary practice by practice, since we released a new client portal. I think that’s that’s a key thing that we’re encouraging firms to get onto is, is the client portal how much efficiency that can that can save again, you know, as you know, running a practice, one of the hardest things of running a practice is on top of all the database stuff, you have to get to all the client demands everything you have to do to then, you know, actually take time out to work on the business to work on your systems and processes. And I think that’s, you know, that’s always, that’s always the challenge is making time to invest.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, it is, it’s, and it’s what we find. So I’m, we’ve been at the whole Tech game for quite some time, probably longer than most. And you know, it’s a bit of a think clearly something that I’m interested in. And the challenge, just as a heads up for listeners, when you actually lean into this type of thing is, you’ll start to get to the point where you can’t keep up with your team’s interest, and you can’t keep up with their suggestions on improving processes. And you know, like, like, it’ll be hard initially. So that change management we were talking about, that’ll be hard. And then I spent half my time just trying to keep up with the ideas my team have, you know, it’s one or the other, you know, hey, we’re good. Let’s leave it alone for six months. Nope. Nope. It’s always iterating and tweaking and improving. So I guess that’s a good thing, though. I think that’s probably, if I was to say anything about the industry historically, is we probably weren’t on that sort of constant state of adjustment early enough. You know, we probably weren’t revisiting how we do things and just constantly improving. Whereas I think now, you know, if you don’t view your practice that way, it’s going to be hard to keep up, isn’t it?

Vincent Holland
Yeah. And I think the interesting thing about the industry is that it’s changed so much in such a short space of time. You know, if I look only a few years ago, the banks control most of the most of the industry. So yeah, it was very much an institutionally focused industry. And that’s all changed. Now. You’ve had the Royal Commission, and so they, so banks have left, you’ve seen changing education standards and seeing it advisor numbers drop. So there’s so much change. That’s, that’s happening in the in, in the industry. And I think that is actually, in some ways, it is an exciting time. And I know, it’s not without its challenges. But I think, you know, there’s much more innovation, there’s much more choice that advisors have now than they didn’t previously have sought. I think, as an advisor, you know, there’s no shortage of demand for high quality advice. So I think if you structure your firm Well, you know, there’s there’s plenty of opportunity into the future.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, you I mean, you’re absolutely right, when I think about where the dollars get spent away, let’s call it the development gets spent, when you think back with with where the advisors were, and therefore, who was directing those development dollars, you’re right, when they, you know, predominantly large institutions, then the systems that get worked on are the ones that suit the large institutions, you know, so which is natural, that’s, that’s not a judgment call, that’s just natural. But clearly what’s been happening, and it’s at the, you can see it, because of the rapid rate of lots of little solutions for specific things that have come up recently, too, that never used to happen. And part of the reason was, because a large institution won’t take up something that’s just a, you know, a core piece for one thing. So you can see that the rapid rate of new concepts, even even tools like Pluto, soft, that would have been much harder, even prior to when you guys started doing it, you know, because the the gap just wasn’t there. Beyond the institutions. So I think you’re right, it’s, it’s exciting, because it means there’s more potential for us to choose something that’s really going to suit us, you know, our business and our clients. That’s exciting, you know, to really personalize it, that’s when the experience can really, really ratchet it up. Now talk to me about development going forward, what’s on the radar for Pluto, soft into the future,

Vincent Holland
we discussed before how you can never sit still, because everything constantly changes. So our roadmap is really excited. So it’s exciting. So we’ve got big ticket items that we’re focusing on. And then you’ve got your your incremental improvements that you’re constantly making. So we’ve got some really exciting things planned on what we call bulk automation. And that’s just being able to do reporting on a bulk basis. So, you know, you might be you want to make changes to a client’s portfolio that that that is common across multiple client groups within the practice, you know, just being able to click a button and have that whole process automated automatically available on the client portal to view to consent to at the click of a button. That level of automation is really what we’re our teams working on a big project on on that at the moment, things like your portfolio Performance Reporting, which you know, we get a lot of data into our system. And just being able to make that automated and available in a bulk basis, I think will be very valuable for for firms. So that’s the bulk automation. Then there’s some exciting things we’ve got planned on open banking with new open banking changes that have come in and as that finds its feet in the with the some things we’ve got planned on open banking, having fun I bank in line balances and that sort of thing available via the open banking framework. So those are probably the two big projects that we’re working on at the moment, in addition to everything else were we keeping on top of?

Peita Diamantidis
Well, that’s the bulk automation. And even just thinking in that perspective, one thing I’d say is to the listener is, is as they start coming out, invariably, what you’re going to realize, and we’ve realized this in the past is, is perhaps the data or your data fields aren’t quite up to scratch, they’re not quite as clean as they could be. Some people have been updating one field, some people leave it empty, you know, that sort of thing. So, so as these sorts of tools become available, and I really applaud that as a concept, you’re going to need to do some sanitation of your data, it’s going to end even some retraining of your teams, because everybody needs to be consistently using the fields or the tags, or whatever the elements in each client’s records, say, in a consistent manner. Otherwise, trying to then do something with that data becomes very difficult. So even the way you you know, the names and the first of all, all sorts of things that you do in the system, start to have sort of almost like a glossary for your practice. And this is how we do this. And then I mean, so exciting, what you can then do, once that data is clean and tidy. So I really look forward to seeing that actually, as it comes out. That’s, you know, automation. But you know, over and above workflow, that sort of automation, where you can really have some bulk impact. And even just get messaging out there that, you know, consistent taking advantage of that data is really, really exciting. What’s the is there anything else that sort of a way into the future, which thing that you’d love to be able to get to at any point,

Vincent Holland
I think the fortune would have been, we’d have been doing this for quite a time. So we have there been a lot of things actually, quite recently that we’ve, we’ve released that that have been, you know, key things that we’ve, we’ve been getting to where we redesigned our workflow interface where you can build workflows using visual diagrams and enhancements that we’ve made just recently, the two projects have highlighted there, those are pretty significant upgrade. So there’s, there’s lots of, there’s lots of work there for the team to do. Yeah. So probably not going to put too much more in front of them really get focused on getting that done. But but there are of course, you know, sort of smaller things that we’re we’re constantly working on, we get a lot of feedback, a lot of the things we develop is driven by use of user feedback. So we constantly do regular releases to keep our system up to date. And a lot of that is driven by user feedback firms have a great idea where they have their own wish list, I might have my wish list. Advisors might have their own wish list. And then we constantly go through that to make sure that we’re making the product as good as it can be,

Peita Diamantidis
which is so important. And I guess what I’d say to anybody listening to this out there, start to look at any app or tool you use and what you loved or disliked about it. It doesn’t have to be financial, it doesn’t have to be about money or advice. If you interact with something and you think that would be fabulous to be able to do something similar for clients, then please feed it back to people like Vinson, because, you know, our world is actually quite small, you know, and we can only get so many ideas within the world of financial advice. But you know, out there are all sorts of clever people doing wonderful things, particularly with client experience and user experience. So, you know, open your eyes a little and just take notes of things that you thought were fantastic that were wow moments. And I’m sure she’ll mention and I’ll add them, add them to his list into the future. And if he gets asked enough, we can then prioritize it. So I’ve just dropped you in and I’m so sorry.

My sincere apologies. Anything else we’ve missed that you that you want to mention or cover? Look,

Vincent Holland
I think I think we’ve covered pretty pretty comprehensively giving your audience a good a good understanding of what we do and our insights on what we’ve seen on the ground in practices across Australia.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, perfect. I mean, all right, advice, explorers. If you think you’d like to find out more about Pluto soft, then the website link is in the episode show notes. And Vincent did say to me that you can just register for a demo straight off the website. So you know, don’t be shy of doing that. I’m sure they’d love to take a moment to show you what’s what and sort of really give you a good sense of how the system works. And we’ll also share Vincent’s LinkedIn details. So feel free to then nudge him with any other things that you’d love to do in the future. And he can curse me in the future about all the things I’ve got you to suggest. Thank you so much for joining us, Vincent on the show. I’m really sort of looking forward to you know, witnessing the next stage of your adventure into software development, because, I mean, it’s already been a pretty big adventure, so I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future? Excellent, Clayton, thanks

so much for having me. So another story of somebody, you know, an advisor or practice, starting up their own system, we’ve got a bit of a theme in the last couple of episodes. So I’d love to know, you know, are you a current user of Pluto soft? Do you know, do you agree or maybe disagree with our discussion, you know, on the tool, please share your insights on the x y community platform, as you know, I’d love to hear your take. And I’m sure you know, you filler advisors in the community would love any tips you have or suggestions or great insights, even things you loved, or love about the system. And you know, in terms of sort of my thoughts or suggestions, what I would say is, when you are considering moving from a core financial planning system you have now and then looking at others out there, often, you know, we come across something that really covers a huge number of functions. And what I want you to be aware of when you do that is be very, very wary of scope creep. Now, generally, if you know we’re looking at other tools, it’s because there’s a particular function we believe we need filled, right, that’s generally the trigger is okay, we’re using this thing now. But there’s something we need our core system to do. And we currently don’t have that. Maybe it’s a particular process to get more efficient. Or maybe it’s a client experience, you know, that you want to enhance all of this is great, right? This is exactly what we should be doing, as we adjust and improve our offer over time. However, as we sort of start looking around at the alternatives out there, right, the alternative software solutions out there, then we can find all sorts of other things that they do, right super cool things, exciting things that we sort of latch on to right. And suddenly the specific improvement we wanted to make, has expanded into a complete business changing life altering, transcendent decision. That is called scope creep. And the danger is that by getting distracted by all the other bells and whistles, we actually don’t solve the problem that initially brought us to this point. So you know, my suggestion to combat scope creep, then just get before you really start looking hard. Just get the team together and brainstorm those you know, your biggest bugbears with the system you are considering considering moving from right whatever you using now. And it could be a combination of systems. But what are those bugbears? What really gets in the way? What are the Oh, right that drive everybody nuts, I call those pirate problems are right the frustration, least all of your bug base pirate problems down and even prioritize them as a team. And then you know, take an opportunity perhaps to add to the list with nice to haves. But they’re clearly nice to haves not things that gee, we need to fix these problems. And make that the scope against which you measure every system you take a look at, right so you don’t get distracted, distracted too much by the nice to haves without knowing that you get the bug bears fixed. And in fact, if you really want to make this work, anybody looking within the team who’s looking at alternative systems has to report back to the team as a group on how each alternative stacks up. This actually can keep you really honest, because they’ll call you out if you get a bit distracted by the shiny things. So scope, narrowing it down, really working out what you want, and consistently measuring things back against that will save you from, to be honest, the mistakes I’ve made in the past where I got distracted by something that was fabulous, but didn’t solve the problem I needed to solve. Something else to keep in mind with the type of tool you know, implementing something like Pluto soft is that whenever you do shift to a system like this, then invariably, you’re going to have to template your documents up in the new system. So that’ll be whether it’s statements of advice or any other advice, documentation, letters, all sorts of things, right any any documents, you’re going to need to get templated up in the new system, I’d suggest you therefore, take advantage of the fact that you’re going to do this and take a bit of a moment to really rethink the language, the stall even the layout of all of your client related materials. You know, be bold, get to be creative, maybe even consider getting a copywriter to help with the language, right? Yes, it needs to be technically correct. It needs to be compliant, but it also needs to resonate with the client. So take the opportunity of the templating process you Gonna go through to lift the quality of the comps generated by the system. Now, for those of you that have listened before, then as we’ve discussed, there’s only really one skill you are going to need to become bionic advisors to become the best of both human and technology. And that’s simply avid curiosity. And to help you build that habit, today’s curiosity corner app that really caught my eye, particularly given what we’ve just been talking about is called Path space. You can find it at pot space.com. And this is actually an online collaborative brainstorming tool that supercharged by AI. Now the tool offers a step by step process to generate ideas as a group, then categorize them and group them together, then vote on the ideas anonymously. And ultimately make a decision as a team of which ideas you might proceed with. And to be honest, this type of tool pass base could be a perfect tool to come up with the scope of what you’re looking for, if you’re considering, you know, going out and replacing your core current financial advice system. I think it’d be fabulous for working out that our list and the nice to haves. So I’d encourage you to check it out. You know, we have so much to learn from these tools outside of the financial advice industry. And I honestly can’t wait to see what you know, the combo of creativity and some innovation does to the evolution of financial advice. And ultimately, you know, really impacts the breadth of who we can help and make the lives better of. Well, that’s, that’s all we’ve got for this week. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. So you’ll get your advice tech fix automatically sent to you each Friday. And if you’d like a speaker at your next event to brief your audience on how they too can become bionic advisors, then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Forward slash Peter N D that’s PEITAMD. Otherwise, I’ll look forward to turning up in your earbuds next week. And remember advice explores Stay curious

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