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New Scottrade® Advisor Services Research Shows RIAs’ Challenges and Dependence on Technology

The current economic environment has caused many businesses to look for opportunities to work more efficiently through technology. Registered investment advisors (RIAs) are no exception.

"RIAs are continuously looking for products and services to not only help serve their business needs ...

"RIAs are continuously looking for products and services to not only help serve their business needs, but also improve their bottom line," said Brian Davis, director of Scottrade(R) Advisor Services. "An advisor can take control over what back-end resources and technology they select, often easing the effects of the other business challenges." (Photo: Business Wire)

The 2012 Scottrade® Advisor Services RIA Study shows advisors rank acquiring the right back-end resources and technology as a top business challenge. The business challenge is only topped by client acquisition, reacting to new regulations and market volatility.

“RIAs are continuously looking for products and services to not only help serve their business needs, but also improve their bottom line,” said Brian Davis, director of Scottrade® Advisor Services. “Regulations and market volatility are ongoing challenges advisors have to react to, and earning new business is paramount in growing a business. An advisor can take control over what back-end resources and technology they select, often easing the effects of the other business challenges.”

The market volatility has left many investors with more questions than answers, particularly for younger investors. Despite having the most time until retirement and the highest tolerance for risk, the study shows RIAs report the majority of Generation X (ages 29-44) and half of Generation Y (ages 18-28) clients are maintaining their investment risk profile. The study revealed two-thirds of advisors are telling Gen X clients and three-fourths of advisors are telling Gen Y clients they will need at least $2 million saved in order to retire.

Nearly half of the advisors polled in the survey said the economy has impacted the way they have managed their business in the past year. Of those, 52 percent have invested in new software, and nearly one-third have invested in new hardware for their business.

Bryan Trochessett, of Chandeleur Investment Consulting, LLC, is one of those advisors. The six-year-old firm based in Tallahassee, Fla., recently purchased MoneyGuideProTM through Scottrade® Advisor Services. The Internet-based financial planning software helps financial advisors motivate clients to create, implement and maintain an investment strategy that best meets their financial goals.

“Technology is becoming more important as Chandeleur continues to grow,” Trochessett said. “It’s not just about creating efficiencies for me, but also having the ability to produce easy-to-read reports that my clients can understand and put into action to help prepare them for retirement.”

Planning tools for advisors are one of the most important custodial offerings for a RIA business, only behind rebalancing tools and integrated fee management, the study shows.

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are becoming more commonplace in an advisor’s toolkit. While on a recent road trip, Trochessett received a call from one of his clients who had a question about his retirement account. Trochessett was able to use his smartphone to log into the client’s account, set up a personalized link to MoneyGuidePro™, e-mail the link to the client and go over the questions he had while the client was able to immediately login and get questions about his account answered.

As connectivity becomes an expectation, the technology landscape has become cluttered with a growing number of new options available. Nearly one-third of respondents said researching and selecting the right technology for their business is one of the biggest obstacles they faced when they first became an advisor.

“Technology is getting less expensive, but better,” Trochessett said. “There is a lot of commitment – both in time and money – in selecting hardware and software. You don’t want to turn around and have to buy something new every year, having to learn a new system again.”

Advisor feedback has helped Scottrade® Advisor Services expand its product availability and develop new features to meet RIAs’ needs. The business unit offers strategic resource partners – ranging from financial planning software to compliance services – to help advisors grow their business, with many offered at a discount.

“As we focus on providing engaging experiences, evolving solutions and exceptional value to our clients, Scottrade® Advisor Services has grown to be a reliable partner for more than 1,100 RIAs,” Davis said. “As a partner, advisors gain the freedom to access the tools and customer service they need to better service their clients.”

About the Scottrade 2012 Registered Investment Advisor Study

The 2012 Registered Investment Advisor Study commissioned by Scottrade® Advisor Services polled 304 registered investment advisors in a proprietary online survey from May 17-30, 2012. The national sample was selected from the Meridian IQ database, and respondents were asked to confirm current employment as a Registered Investment Advisor in order to be eligible to participate. The margin of error was +/– 5.6 percent at 95 percent confidence. The survey asked questions about a wide range of topics related to individual RIAs’ experiences over the past year in terms of client base changes and behaviors to changes to their business practices.

About Scottrade® Advisor Services

Scottrade® Advisor Services is a business unit of Scottrade, Inc., dedicated to supporting the needs of independent registered investment advisors. Scottrade® Advisors Services’ low commissions coupled with personalized customer service through dedicated relationship teams, makes Scottrade® Advisor Services an exceptional value for advisors looking to grow their practices. With no advisor enrollment fee and no minimum asset requirement, Scottrade® Advisor Services has the account management tools for advisor practices of any size. For more information, visit https://advisor.scottrade.com.

About Scottrade, Inc.

Investors who enjoy online stock trading will find value and personalized customer service at online investing firm Scottrade, Inc. Founded in 1980, Scottrade enables clients to learn about online trading tools, stock market research and how to buy stocks online, many at just $7 per trade. With more than 500 nationwide branch offices, Scottrade has the largest branch network among online brokerage firms. To learn more about one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” visit about.scottrade.com or www.scottrade.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Scottrade® and the Scottrade® logo are the registered trademarks of Scottrade, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Opinions expressed by an advisor are their own and should not be attributed to Scottrade.

Scottrade, Inc. and MoneyGuidePro™ are not affiliated. Scottrade is not responsible for statements, offers or products issued by MoneyGuidePro™. Please research any product or service carefully before making a purchase.

All products and services are offered by Scottrade, Inc.

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