Last week’s T3 conference in Las Vegas filled attendees pockets with new insights and fresh perspectives on the ever-evolving landscape of FinTech. The team from 3xEquity were there preparing the next episode of The FA Show (our collab with AdvisorHub) and as we strolled away from the exhibit hall towards the lights of the strip, here were 3 of our takeaways.
The Report Remains “The Thing”: T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey
The true star of the conference is undoubtedly the T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey (available for free download at www.BobVeres.com and www.T3TechnologyHub.com). This year’s release gathered data and perspectives from nearly 3000 respondents. Notable increases were seen in the adoption of estate planning technologies, reflecting a 28.37% jump over the past two years. Tax planning adoption followed suit at 13.5%, showcasing the industry’s readiness for more comprehensive analysis.
Quoting the report’s authors Joel Bruckenstein of T3 and Bob Veres of Inside Information , “Advisors are starting to plan for the day when the estate tax exemption reverts back to much lower levels, and high-level estate tax planning becomes relevant again for a larger percentage of advisor clients.
Interestingly, the survey revealed a decline in digital marketing. Adoption and/or use of digital marketing lead capture solutions was down 5.86% over the last two years, and digital marketing – content was down 6%, with satisfaction numbers equally as listless.
The AI Revolution Is Coming (Also, Sorry You Missed It Already)
The last few wealth management conferences we’ve attended have been filled with the promise of AI and how it will change the very nature of the industry. In many ways that promise is yet to be truly fulfilled. We are seeing plenty of nibbles around the edges, with some very slick solutions designed to streamline processes for intake and on-boarding (we’ll post links to our interviews with Zocks and Powder shortly).
The lack of clear direction when it comes to regulation has thwarted large-scale adoption and investments beyond the basics and time will tell when that gets cleared up. When it does, assume a flood of new solutions vying for attention and implementation.
Oddly enough one theme that arose from walking around the show floor was how some vendors were already eyeing the next generation of AI tools. These “Generative” tools promise incredible benefits as the AI will deliver results with uncanny accuracy and smoother integration. Imagine pressing a button to produce a financial plan that not only match your preferred strategies but also mirror the way you speak and communicate with clients already. The lines between human and machine will become increasingly thin, making adoption a matter of editing or even less in some cases.
Those who will be best poised to take advantage of generative AI are likely those who have already begun to adopt earlier versions of AI, which rises the conundrum that it may already be too late in terms of staying on the front end of technology that has yet to ship.
Money in Motion: Custodial Platforms and the Winds of Change
The custodial platforms category is meticulously examined by advisors who are curious how green the grass is on the other side. This year’s results reveal that size doesn’t always guarantee satisfaction. While Schwab dominates in market share, nearly 20% of their affiliated advisors are contemplating a change. Altruist and Fidelity emerge as potential alternatives, signaling a potential shift in the custodial landscape.
Bonus Insight: How’s Your Podcast?
The back pages of the survey offered some quirkier insights, with the percentage of advisors using podcasts as a tool nearly doubling from 2023 to 2024. Of the nearly 3000 respondents to the survey, almost ¼ had some sort of podcast.
With so many in the pool, it will be interesting to see whose content rises to the top and what becomes best practice for advisors looking to leverage this tool to differentiate their offerings.
All in all, T3 provided a snapshot of an industry with significant positive momentum, where the desire to streamline and stand out continues to fuel innovation and investment. In fact it is exactly that potential for big paydays that will continue to draw some of the best tech minds to the industry – meaning the future should be filled with good things.
What did you see at the show that drew your attention? What do you hope to implement sooner than later? What areas still need to be addressed?