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4 Reasons Advisors Should Pay Attention to AI

Artificial intelligence was on full display at T3 Technology Conference.

Illustration of AI robot eye depicted by side-by-side of a human eye and a camera lens

Discussions around artificial intelligence were front and center at this year’s T3 Technology Conference. Held in Las Vegas in January and celebrating 20 years, the conference was a spectacular gathering of advisors, vendors, and technology leaders offering insights into the latest trends and innovations shaping the financial industry. AI was the star.

Every advisor needs to stay abreast of the latest technology solutions or risk falling behind peers. As clients are demanding higher levels of service, new technology is critical to enhancing practice efficiency, client service, and overall success.

With that in mind, here are the key takeaways from T3:

AI Will Be Crucial to Financial Advisory Operations

While AI won’t replace human advisors, it can be a powerful tool for increasing efficiency. AI can automate tasks such as financial planning, appointment scheduling, portfolio construction, and more. By freeing up time, advisors can focus more on client interaction and strategic work.

AI Will Help Advisors in New and Innovative Ways

In addition to helping with advisory tasks, harnessing the power of big data and AI’s advanced analytics allows advisors to identify patterns, detect market trends, and anticipate client needs with greater precision. As a result, clients can receive more-personalized advice and recommendations. In other words, the power of AI enables advisors to deliver personalized service at scale.

My cover article in the upcoming second-quarter issue of Morningstar magazine will go into greater detail on how AI will improve the way advisors run their practices. To subscribe, click here. It’s free!

Integration Is a Big Deal

Another common T3 theme was the importance of financial technology integration. By integrating various technologies, such as customer-relationship platforms, portfolio management systems, and financial planning software, advisors can enhance client engagement and produce better outcomes. The rise of open architecture ecosystems enables the integration of best-of-breed solutions tailored to a firm’s specific needs.

The T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey Is a Valuable Resource for Advisors

In addition to ranking software brands and satisfaction scores, insights in the current software survey are:

  • Authors Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres believe that many firms are “missing out on one or more tools that would be truly useful, because they were either not aware of them or were too busy to research this broad and extensive marketplace.”
  • Advisors are increasingly adding technologies in new areas such as estate planning, retirement planning, and tax planning.
  • Advisors’ interest in AI is growing.
  • Advisors continue to rate their most important technology, in order, as CRM, financial planning, and portfolio accounting.
  • Video conferencing has been adopted by almost all advisory firms.
  • Most firms are embracing two-factor authentication.
  • The number of advisors using podcasts as a tool nearly doubled from 2023 to 2024; almost one fourth had some sort of podcast.

T3 Award Winners

Three T3 technology awards were presented. The T3 Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation in Wealth Technology was given to Eric Clarke, founder and current board member of Orion. Says Bruckenstein, “Eric Clarke has been an innovator and a thought leader in the wealth-tech space. Eric and his team grew Orion from a small, unknown provider of portfolio management software into a leading, diversified leader in the wealthtech space. Throughout a quarter century, Eric has been an advocate for advisors and a leader in the industry.”

The T3 Emerging Technology Award was presented to two companies: Sora Finance and Syntax Data. Sora Finance, an AI technology that enables advisors to provide debt services, was chosen for “excellence in an overlooked area in most financial planning practices and in most software.” Syntax Data was awarded for bringing “a unique perspective to investment management analytics and processes.”

To stay on top of the latest trends in technology, consider adding the T3 conference to your 2025 (and future) calendars. According to Michael Kitces, “The T3 Technology Conference is a technology conference designed for independent and hybrid financial advisors, and also includes an Enterprise Track for financial services executives. The primary benefit of attending the conference is the opportunity to simply see ‘everything’ that the advisor technology landscape has to offer, in one efficient trip. This makes the T3 conference especially appealing to independent advisors who are ‘shopping’ for new technology solutions in a particular category or simply those that want to see what the latest-and-greatest is.”

The author or authors do not own shares in any securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

The opinions expressed here are the author’s. Morningstar values diversity of thought and publishes a broad range of viewpoints.

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