Fintech

How new technologies are empowering financial advisers

From artificial intelligence to analytics advances, fintech is changing the wealth management industry. Pexels

Today's technologies have changed the wealth management industry by providing innovative tools to help empower clients and may allow a more productive and beneficial working relationship between financial advisers and their clients. Whether someone is saving for retirement, college, a new business, or travel, I have found that with new technologies, I am better able to communicate with my clients and help them meet their holistic investment goals.

It is an exciting time for wealth management. The industry is on the cutting edge of creating and adopting new technologies and innovations to empower financial advisers to engage and manage our clients' assets. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and risk analytics can provide financial advisers with a more complete picture of their clients' financial lives, which in turn helps us monitor progress and adjust course as needed.

Clients want a trusted adviser to guide them in meeting their financial goals, and now I am able to implement new technologies that help me provide a higher level of service. Using new platforms, I am able to provide real-time information and advice to my clients. I can use this technology to tailor information to their specific investments, how the market is affecting them, and determine what moves to recommend to help them get them closer to their financial goals.

With recent volatility in the market, having immediate, real-time information helps me to change direction within a client's portfolio if needed, and has been a true blessing. The risk analytics platform enables me to identify financial risks that my clients may be exposed to and allows us to quickly change course if necessary. It's a powerful way to engage. Communicating expeditiously and efficiently is important with all clients including those that have large, diversified portfolios.

Lastly, as some clients mature in age, I have begun working with them and their adult children. Together, we use technology applications to monitor the portfolio's progress to meeting the client's goals. The technological tools available within the wealth management industry have become a beneficial way to conduct business with these younger generations, especially Millennials.

As the world continues to incorporate additional technologies into all facets of life, the new tools available to wealth managers can be impactful. We can improve our relationships with clients, provide dependable information, and help guide their decisions so they may achieve their goals in life.

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Margo Geddie is senior vice president and financial adviser with the wealth management division of Morgan Stanley in Houston.

The Bayou City knows energy. Silicon Valley knows tech. But each can't only invest in what they know. Getty Images

There's an adage in investing that you should only invest in what you know. Generally speaking, this is a good rule — if you do not understand a company product or have no experience with its industry, then investing in a specific company could be risky. Yet, there are times when it's necessary to get out of your comfort zone and try something new and adventurous. The challenge is determining how to do that.

We are financial advisors from Houston and San Francisco, and we frequently do just that — encourage our clients to explore investments out of their comfort zones.

In Houston, we understand energy. As of 2017, Texas accounted for 37 percent of the nation's crude oil production and 24 percent of its natural gas production. And as of January 2018, Texan oil refineries accounted for 31 percent of the nation's refining capacity — and that is just oil. In 2017, Texas lead the country in wind-generated electricity and generated a quarter of all wind power in the US. It is safe to say, we feel comfortable talking the language and investing in the energy industry. Whether it is machinery fabrication for upstream, construction of pipes for midstream, or refining downstream, some Texans are comfortable investing in these areas.

In San Francisco, we understand tech, whether it involves social media, silicon, or apps. We have five of the top 10 most prominent tech companies in the world. In 2018, the technology industry accounted for around 62 percent of all office leasing activity in San Francisco. The Bay Area also dominates venture capital investment, accounting for 45 percent of all capital investment in the U.S, in large part because of tech startups in the area.

Naturally, we see that some investors in our hometowns feel comfortable investing extensively in these two industries. Sometimes, these investments take the form of venture capital, other times they are individual stocks.

For Houstonians, allocating all of their investments to the energy industry carries too much risk should the energy industry falter. The same is true for San Francisco with venture capital and technology.

Therefore, we encourage investors to diversify their portfolios by placing funds in multiple vehicles and equities with the knowledge that different industries will react differently to market ups and downs. While there is never a guarantee of the outcome, diversification is one of many factors critical to long-term investment success.

For Houstonians and San Franciscans, there are other industries we understand in which we can invest. For example, Houston boasts the largest medical center in the world with roughly 361,000 people employed in the healthcare industry. While San Francisco employs roughly 277,500 in tourism. If you're looking to diversify your portfolio, look around to see the opportunities in which other people are investing. You may be surprised about what you learn, and ultimately how comfortable you can become investing in industries you may be unfamiliar.

We do not recommend ever investing in a product or industry that you have no understanding of at all. However, if you have excitement about an investment opportunity and feel there is potential for growth to your portfolio, your investment may prove fruitful in the future. Still, please seek out a financial advisor to help.

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Joseph Radzwill is senior vice president and financial adviser with the Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Houston. Victoria Bailey is a financial adviser with the Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in San Francisco.