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15 questions financial advisors need to consider when choosing wealth management software

These days, financial advisors have options - new technologies that provide competitive advantages.

Tools that enable online, automated investment management services that are key to attracting the next generation of investors. 

Smart advisors realize this paradigm change in the wealth management industry. An industry traditionally operated through face-to-face interactions - now quickly shifting toward digital tools where real-time algorithms provide customers with financial advice and manage investment portfolios.

When launching a successful digital strategy from the ground up, there are many things you must consider. By aligning your team and focusing on the client experience, you can maximize your chances of success. If you are considering a digital offering strategy, here are some ideas that you can take and implement into your financial advisory practice:

The “why” behind digital wealth management software?

  • Manage small balance accounts
  • Create an experience that clients want to navigate on their own
  • Give clients a low-impact or low-risk way to interact and build trust with you

What is the dream behind your offering? Your clients don’t care about the reasons for launching a new digital tool - they care about how it affects them, their bottom line and how it can best help them achieve their goals.

In order to launch a successful digital strategy as part of your advisory firm’s offering, you need to build a roadmap, answer questions and put a plan together.

These questions can help you think through your digital tools and communicate it in a way that resonates with prospects and helps add value. Ideally, these questions are best answered with your whole team. 

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15 questions to help with your digital strategy:

  1. What is YOUR “why”  behind your desire for a new digital wealth management software?
    Do you want to have an offering that allows clients to start building trust with you? Are your clients asking for a better way to work with you?

  2. Who is this tool for? 
    This can be one specific persona or a group. Think about your current smaller balance accounts, or those you want to start building a working relationship with (family and friends of clients, high earning millennials that aren’t ready for a higher touch service.)

  3. Who is your tool NOT for? 
    Think ideal wealth management clients, higher net-worth clients who you want a higher quality service.

  4. What are the specific services that you want to provide clients? 
    No additional services, account setup, a financial plan, monthly market updates, monthly office hours call, access to an advisor for an additional charge?

  5. What are the services you do NOT want to provide clients that might start with your digital tool? 
    It’s important to know the difference between what you do and do not want to offer - based on your fee and pricing structures.

  6. What outcomes will your clients/prospects expect? 
    Do they want an automated money management solution run by advisors? Or a platform with access to advisors? Or a human relationship and access with a less expensive offering?

  7. What are the pain points that your clients experience now that would lead to them wanting a solution?
    If they don’t have any issues they are trying to overcome, they aren’t going to be likely to want your solution so you might need to focus on educating them or helping them understand how important your solution is.)

  8. What are the 3 key points you want to communicate to your prospects to get them to understand the importance of your digital strategy?

  9. How will your prospects engage?
    Will it be advisor-led? Or client-led? Will they sign up and fund accounts on their own without a plan?

  10. How will you market this tool? 
    Where is your prospect’s attention? Are they on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, reading publications, reading hobby/interest publications, etc? Where is the best place to market your new digital strategy?

  11. How will you create curiosity and garner attention?
    Create advertisements, write blog posts, send emails, send flyers, do joint marketing with key partners, etc.

  12. How will you measure success as a financial advisor?
    Do you want a set number goal of how many new clients you hope to retain over the next 12 months? Or set an AUM goal?

  13. How will you get your first 10 clients using this new tool? 
    What will you do to strike their attention? Have them create an account and start funding it? What sales and operations activities need to be in place to help with this process? What is stopping you from doing those activities today?

  14. List 3 important steps to accomplish to launch and get your first 10 clients? 
    Break down these steps and assign them into actionable item lists. Assign ownership and schedule those tasks on your calendars.

  15. How will you celebrate success?
    Set a plan to celebrate your successes. Too often we forget to celebrate small wins, we only celebrate really big things. Celebrating your progress is crucial for long-term success.

Next steps

These questions should serve as a guide to create a strategy and launch a successful new digital tool. As I have learned over the years through working with advisors, one thing resonates; teamwork is key. Ensure that your entire team is on the same page as you tackle your digital strategy together. 

Your messaging, both internal and external, should be clearly articulated. If the message is not clear, clients and prospects won’t understand why they should use your services.

If you are ready to create a successful digital offering, let us help you navigate the pathway to an online, automated investment management service.

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This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Opinions and forecasts discussed are those of the author, do not necessarily reflect the views of AdvisorEngine and are subject to change without notice. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.

Carly de Diego

Carly de Diego

Carly works with financial advisory firms to drive growth and execute at scale. As the first employee hired at AdvisorEngine, she possesses in-depth knowledge of all our products and services. Carly has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry leading training, product development and client success teams. Prior to joining AdvisorEngine, Carly worked as a business analyst at TD Ameritrade and was part of the Managed Account Advisors team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she garnered years of valuable experience working with custodians, managed accounts, clearing, and middle and back office functions. Carly holds a degree in Business Administration from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.


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