Although robo technology tools are getting a lot of attention, they're not the biggest technology expense advisors face. Cybersecurity is. More than half of the respondents in the survey said that cybersecurity will be their top tech investment in 2016. "You don't want to be the advisor who gets hacked, TD's Oligino pointed out.
The Securities and Exchange Commission's recent guidance on cybersecurity for RIAs has spurred them to action. A cybersecurity plan is something that the SEC is checking on now. "We just went through an SEC audit, and it was a big topic," said Fariba Ronnasi, president of Elite Wealth Management.
On the issue of succession planning, things don't look as rosy, however. Seventeen percent of advisors have no formal succession plan, though that's an improvement over years past, said Oligino at TD. "Of course, we'd like to see 100 percent of advisors with a succession plan," she added. "But a few years ago, there were fewer firms that had documented succession plans than they have today."