Tools and Apps Financial Advisers Can’t Live Without

It goes without saying that we’re all now more dependent on digital technologies than ever. The lockdown has forced us into a tech zone that some people might have been in already, while others might just have been tentatively exploring.

As a funky freelance consultant, I’ve been working like this for years; my team is remote and my clients are UK wide. So I’ve been particularly interested to find out how advisers are adapting in this environment too.

Simply seeing the time – and money – saved by using Zoom for example, has inspired many to think of other potential ways they can streamline.

And for the first time ever, client behaviour is evolving at the same pace. This means that firms are able to invite their clients to adopt these efficiencies along with them and embed them more quickly.

As a result, businesses are changing at unusual speed. So let’s find out how:

Alan Smith, Capital Asset Management

I’m using an app called Way of Life every day. It’s based on the concept written about by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits and aims to gamify daily positive habits and embed them into our routines.

Rather than set big goals that often fail to be achieved, it’s better to build systems and daily habits that when done consistently will lead to bigger goals over time.

Jason Betteridge, Sutherland Independent

The lockdown has given us the chance to revolutionise the way we’re doing things. We wanted to communicate more securely and provide clients with the ability to organise their financial life online. 

This led to us using Moneyinfo, which in turn led to us using DocuSign in a new way with its capability to combine both security and speed. Something that would’ve taken weeks is now taking 3 or 4 minutes and is more convenient and safe for the client.

Tom Skinner, Barnaby Cecil

For us it would be WhatsApp. We send huge amounts of info back and forth each day. Also, for speed, we use it to record short messages which avoids long emails. All of this is encrypted, so it’s extremely safe. 

We’ve just had a demo with Filehaven which was really cool. Think Messenger-style format for sharing documents and information with clients. Very user friendly and it looks great. 

Lee Robertson, Octomembers

I’ve been using Otter, which is such a time saver. It transcribes conversations with tremendous accuracy even with multiple participants, allows for audio readback, transcribes live Zoom calls and is cheap as chips!

I find it allows me to concentrate on conversations and engaging with people as opposed to writing notes at the same time. I am all for increased productivity and time saving during the working day as it just helps me to be more productive.

Jon Elkins, Smarter Financial Planning

I’ve taken the opportunity to finally tackle the client experience side of compliant onboarding by introducing AdviceFront. It enables me to generate documents, accept agreements and answer questions quickly and securely.

The pandemic also forced me to change the way I communicate with clients, and I don’t honestly know how I would have managed without the newsletter handling capability of Mailchimp.

Shaun Doherty, Kennedy Financial Planning

Before the lockdown we weren’t using our back office system to its full potential.

Now we’re using it in conjunction with DocuSign which has transformed things for us. Now the client agreement is emailed, signed and back within 10 minutes as opposed to 2 or 3 weeks.

And me?

I’m personally enjoying using Calendly for meeting scheduling, Loom for screen recordings, and Speechnotes for taking dictation – this will help me write that novel in the blink of an eye…