- Technology has brought tremendous change and convenience to our lives, but it can also be overwhelming and potentially dangerous when misused.
- Financial advisors can use technology to simplify your financial statements, trust documents and personal financial road map.
- You’re probably not using many of the great features of your smartphone, tablet or personal computer. Our October 9 Technology Open House can help.
Back in 18th-century France, the Physiocrats led a movement arguing that land (i.e., agriculture) was the only true source of wealth. That philosophy was diametrically opposed to the emerging Industrial Revolution in which manufacturing products, rather than working the land, was believed to be the path to prosperity. Today we have the same fears about technology. I remember Black Monday (October 19, 1987), when the stock market crashed 22 percent in a single day, primarily as a result of program trading. We all started to worry about computers taking over more and more of the world.
Remember the 1983 movie “War Games” starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy? There was a massive computer called Joshua that simulated a nuclear war between the United States and Russia. While fictional, that movie caused new fears about technology and computers.
What has technology done for us?
About the time of the 1987 market crash, we started seeing folks put together trust documents. When you referred to trust documents back then, people said, “Oh, that’s for the wealthy people.” But thanks to the personal computer, we can now prepare trust documents quickly and inexpensively, making basic trust planning available for the masses.
Money management also started to benefit from technology in the 1980s. Delivering wealth management services used to incur a 3 percent cost of doing business. That’s now down to 1 percent, thanks to technology.
As some of you are aware, adult education is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. Why? Because we have to keep up with all this technological change taking place. Think about the impact of the microchip. It’s significantly changed lives and entire industries. Things move much faster than they used to, resulting in good changes as well as lots of confusion.
Look at the impact of smartphones, social media, thousands of channels and Netflix. We now have so many ways to send and receive information. It’s very powerful but often a lot more confusing.
On the plus side, we’re able to prepare a single-page statement for clients who have many accounts so they can see things very simply. We have a one-page overview of everything in a person’s estate called the Mind Map. Mind Maps now have graphics and color and make complex concepts very simple, with pictures to help us understand investments.
Helping clients deal with the changes and confusion caused by technology is one reason we created our annual Technology Open House. This year we’re holding the event on October 9 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., right here in our building. We’re going to have 20-minute sessions on the areas that you’ve told us are the most important to you, such as using technology to connect family and finances, protecting yourself from identity theft, simplifying social media, video conferencing, accessing websites for custodians and using technology to improve your health.
Bring your iPad and your iPhone, and we’ll help you use those devices more effectively. Register online or call Karyn at 847-441-5644 to reserve your spot. We hope to see you there.
Until next time, enjoy. Gary
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