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Do You Need an iPad?

Even though there are technological hurdles to clear before tablets can become fully integrated into advisors' professional lives, there is little doubt the devices are here to stay.

Allyson Lewis, 06/23/2011

In October 2001, the technology world began to shift, like huge tectonic plates under the ocean.  The changes seemed subtle at first; with the introduction of the first iPod and the creation of iTunes, a few early adopters began to understand the significance of what would soon become available.

The iPod was really a tiny external hard drive with the incredible capacity to change the way we listen to music. Then, in June 2007, the iPhone was launched, and this has so radically changed the way we communicate that even my 77-year-old mother has an iPhone 4, which she uses to send and receive e-mail, send text messages, and connect to FaceTime.

I was reserved and uncertain when the original iPad was launched. It seemed like a bigger version of the iPhone, and I just wasn't sure it would be a useful tool for my life or my work. I am a 50-year-old woman. Without regular trips to my hairstylist, my hair is mostly gray. I have worked in the financial-services industry since 1982, when we shared tiny green electronic boxes that would pull up one stock quote at a time. I bought my first PC in 1987 with 10 megabytes of memory, and in 1995 we started using e-mail.

Times are changing, and I am more aware than ever that as a person in business, I must choose to remain ahead of the curve when it involves technology. Of course, I am confident there are plenty of reasons you have told yourself why you don't really need an iPad. But here are 10 reasons why you may want to consider this investment:

1. There are currently more than 25 million iPad users. You don't want to be left behind. It has major cool factor!

2. The "App" store opened on iTunes in July 2008. There are over 500,000 iPad applications, and as of this summer, more than 10 billion applications have been downloaded. There is an app for almost anything

3. More than 200,000 books are available in the iBook online book store. You can also download books from many local libraries at no cost. (Electronic books are convenient and save space.)

4. You can read online versions of most of your favorite newspapers, magazines, and journals (some for free and some for a small subscription fee) while still being completely green with the environment.

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