5 Signals That Your RIA Firm Needs Better Software

Jul 21, 2023 | Blog Posts

These days, RIA firms are experiencing unusual pressures. What that means, on a day to day basis, is that you may be seeing an increase in questions or concerns from clients. So if you feel like your workload is getting heavier, know that you’re not alone. Even before the pandemic, 71% of financial advisors reported that they experience moderate or high negative stress, according to a survey from the Financial Planning Association and Investopedia

When your services are in high demand and you’re in the weeds of serving your clients, it can be challenging to come up for air and focus on initiatives outside of your  ordinary course of business. However, a higher-level operational mindset is what’s necessary to free up more time in your business. This catch-22 can be challenging to navigate. While the right software will help you carve out more time in the day, you need time to select the right software. So how do you determine whether it makes sense to put in the effort, when you already have so much going on?

The following signals can help you identify when it makes sense to put in the time to evaluate new technologies for your practice.

1. Clients are calling or texting you a lot

It’s understandable that your clients expect frequent communication regarding their investments. It’s also understandable that as an advisor, you don’t have enough hours in the day to communicate with clients as often as may be necessary to feel confident about their portfolios.

A self-service client portal may be helpful. Rather than calling, emailing, and texting you, clients can simply log into a platform to get the information that they need. As a dedicated advisor, you can also use this portal to send personalized performance reports and articles to your clients. This proactive communication can help keep discussions more manageable.

2. You’re performing a lot of repetitive tasks

If you find yourself with an endless to-do list of the same task over and over again, you can likely use software to automate your efforts. One low-hanging example here is client billing. For instance, using CircleBlack, you can collect fees by using automatically-generated billing files to major custodian platforms. You can also simplify the process of invoice generation for easier sharing with your clients. In addition to utilizing software, you can also outsource these tasks to an administrative professional.

3. You’re switching between software applications frequently

Context-switching is tough on the human brain, according to psychology research. While it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re being more productive by focusing on different tasks at once, you may be inadvertently exacerbating mental fatigue. With this mental fatigue, you risk becoming less productive and putting yourself at risk for burnout.

A simple way to prevent this context-switching is through software integrations with streamlined data flows. With multiple applications working together, you can access the information you need from one platform instead of jumping between applications.

4. You’re paying for software features that are going unused

One of the biggest ways that RIAs lose money in their business is by paying for software subscriptions that they don’t need. It’s important to continually evaluate your software expenses, so that you are using the services for which you are paying.

In a business, every dollar matters. Dollars that you’re paying for unused software features could be used for marketing, hiring an administrative professional, or taking an enriching course. 

It’s helpful, from time to time, to take an audit of what you’re using and what you aren’t. From there, you can choose the right software for your needs.

5. Your software is difficult to use or has a steep learning curve

In times past, it was common for software to be difficult to use or require extensive training. But the technology sector has since evolved. Now, best practices in the industry focus on ease of use, particularly through a streamlined user experience.

The right software will easily fit into your workflows rather than feeling like extra work. So if your technology is time consuming to use, it may not be the best option for your business needs.

Final thoughts

Software has the potential to be a time saver and strategic value driver in your business. If you’re feeling too strapped for time to evaluate options, one step you can take is to break down your due diligence process into smaller, bite-sized steps. Take 30 minutes every day to research solutions. Book 1 demo a week. Give yourself a schedule to follow over the course of 3-6 months, so that you are not feeling overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities. It shouldn’t need to feel like a lot of work, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.


About CircleBlack

CircleBlack is an all-in-one technology platform for relationship-focused financial advisors. To learn how our software can help you build, manage, and grow your wealth management practice, get in touch to request a demo.

This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal, or tax advice.

December Reading Round-up

The end of the year is upon us, and folks are looking ahead to what’s happening in 2024. It will be an exciting year for financial advisors, with potential rate cuts leading to economic growth and a national election on the horizon.  Here are some of the top stories...

Charlie Munger – In His Own Words

Somebody once asked Warren Buffet what he considered his best investment decision. His reply - “Recruiting Charlie.” The sixty-year-long friendship and later partnership between Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet turned a New England textile company into one of the...

Financial Advisor Reading List: November 2023

Thanksgiving is almost here! As we all look forward to taking some time off, visiting family, and eating way too much, here are some must-read content and ideas your clients will thank you for sharing. Something to keep us company while traveling and/or taking up...

Ready to try CircleBlack?

See how we can help you simplify your daily tasks, delight your customers, and grow your practice.