Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.
In the complex realm of finance, technology has emerged as a guiding light, illuminating new paths to efficiency, accuracy, and innovation. From instant access to global market data to insightful predictive analytics, the infusion of technology has transformed the landscape of the financial sector. Yet, this evolution has sparked a heated debate – has the integration of technology depersonalized the art of wealth management?
For Greg Fortier, a seasoned financial advisor at Centinel Financial Group, the answer is far from binary. Having spent over a decade providing tailor-made wealth management and retirement planning strategies to individuals and families, Fortier views technology not as an isolating force but as a potent tool for enhancing connection, understanding, and service in his field.
The heart of Fortier’s belief lies in the power of balance. As a vocal proponent of the use of technology, he recognizes the invaluable assistance of digital tools in boosting the efficacy of financial advising. “Digital tools have undeniably made wealth management more efficient. They have allowed us to serve more clients and solve for more complex cases more efficiently.”
Fortier does recognize the unique value of human connection in his practice. He argues that the digitalization of wealth management doesn’t necessarily subtract from the human element—instead, it has the potential to amplify it. “We now have more information more easily accessible at scale than ever before. This allows us to provide our clients with customized, relevant, and timely services.”
This stance is reflected in how Fortier approaches work while leveraging various advanced technologies to enhance his advisory services. He utilizes various analytics tools to gain a deeper understanding of market trends, risk and tax efficiencies that together improve outcomes for clients.”
“We’ve seen technology compliment the advisor-client relationship allowing us to do more than ever before,” Fortier says. “For instance, complex financial modeling, tax management strategies, and portfolio management techniques would be out of reach for many American families. This is why high minimum investment thresholds exist. Now, the industry is able to help more people.”
Fortier also emphasizes that in the finance sector, time is money – often literally. Managing it effectively is vital. A central part of this process revolves around report generation – a previously labor-intensive task that has been significantly transformed by technology.
He explains that advisors can now leverage automated systems to generate detailed reports on client portfolios with just a few clicks. This streamlines processes, saves valuable time, and promotes transparency and regularity in client communication, meaning clients don’t have to wait for scheduled meetings or check-ins to gain insights into their investments.
Still, for all its transformative potential, Fortier is keenly aware that technology is only as effective as its user. As he explains, “While technology provides the data and trends, it’s our job as financial advisors to interpret this information in a way that aligns with our clients’ unique goals and circumstances. Financial planning is very emotional as well! I don’t see empathy and emotional understanding being achieved through a computer generated report.”
In essence, Fortier’s vision of wealth management reflects a harmonious blend of technological innovation and human perspective. This innovative fusion enables financial advisors to provide an elevated level of service, reinforcing the irreplaceable value of human connection.
“Technology has revolutionized how we manage wealth, but it doesn’t negate our human essence,” Fortier says. “In fact, it empowers us to be better advisors. It allows us to understand our clients more deeply, respond more swiftly, and provide insightful and accurate advice. That’s the true power of technology in wealth management.”
Disclosure: Securities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. 160 Gould Street, Suite 212, Needham Heights, MA 02494. (781) 446-5000.