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Financial planners go online

Financial planners have made some significant leaps in technology in the past two years.

Tuesday, June 30th 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Financial planners have made some significant leaps in technology in the past two years according to a survey done by the Association of Investment Advisers and Financial Planners.
The survey, conducted in the association's northern region, shows that nine out of 10 planners are using email as a mode of communication and three quarters of them have upgraded their computer's hardware and RAM in the past 18 months.
Survey co-ordinator Greg Long says planners have put a much greater emphasis on technology since he conducted the survey in 1996.

Amongst the survey's key points;

  • More than 82% of planners have increased their understanding of technology issues since 1996
  • 89% of planners use email as a mode of communication
  • A third of planners use email to communicate with their clients
  • Masterfund technology is the prime administration service
  • A third of planners have their own websites
  • Good Returns is the most widely read home page on investment information
A similar survey of planners in the United States late last year showed that many of them are flocking to the Internet in an effort to stay ahead of their clients.
There the number of planners with online access jumped from 57 per cent a year ago to 90 per cent this year, according to the US International Association for Financial Planning and computer networking company Amicus.
That survey said that in the space of a few years using the Internet had gone from being a luxury, to being an essential business tool.
The majority of planners, it said, are using the Internet for research, including the latest news, stock quotes and securities filing information. Some of this information is available freely other pieces are by subscription.
Long says in New Zealand there is anecdotal evidence to suggest this trend is beginning to kick in in New Zealand.
"It's starting to happen here," he says. "Planners realise it is important to upskill and have access to things such as the Internet."
Nearly half of the survey's respondents (47 per cent) felt the Internet was either crucial or an important in providing information for use in their business.
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