The confluence of market turbulence and inflation has magnified the anxieties of retirees and near-retirees worried about running out of money. Sound Income Group, a diversified financial services company, is focused on alleviating those fears through portfolio investments that generate income during retirement years. And the firm is using technology to leverage its guidance.
Whether its electronic communication through account dashboards, videos or even artificial intelligence, Sound Income Group is employing many channels to help its advisors and clients reach their goals.
Digital Wealth News recently spoke with David Scranton, Founder and CEO of Sound Income Group about how his firm is managing the intersection of technology and retirement planning.
DWN: Sound Income Group recently moved into a new headquarters that features a state-of-the-art broadcast studio, with three different sets. How does video production fit into the financial services industry?
David Scranton: Time is an extremely valuable commodity these days as there are more demands for everyone’s attention. That’s why it’s important to establish personal connections with advisors and their clients. Our broadcast studio allows our advisors to create that connection and visibility, especially in a post-pandemic world when in-person meetings have declined. Advisors can create thought leadership videos, record podcasts and host programs to share their expertise with clients.
DWN: What technology do you see advisors and clients using these days in retirement planning? And what is critical to ensuring clients have the tools necessary to build income in their later years?
Scranton: Clients have become savvy with tech-enabled communication tools, and they are adopting more of them every year. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the only way to connect was either by phone or in person. Now communication is possible any time of day through text messaging, emails, apps or video conferencing. It’s important to provide the right information along with 24-hour accessibility to provide full transparency. Investors want to understand the choices suggested by their financial advisors and see the results of their advice.
DWN: Can there be too much technology?
Scranton: Absolutely, There is always the risk of information overload which can yield two results – fatigue or compulsion. The former has clients tuning out or avoiding important decisions while the latter can have client obsessing over every dollar and cent. The key is to strike the right balance and provide the tools that will be helpful when needed without overloading the client.
DWN: Does AI have a role in financial planning? If so, how?
Scranton: Artificial intelligence has had a role in the financial services industry for a while and the prevalence is increasing as technology evolves. We see AI-enabled digital assistants, what some may call sophisticated chatbots, acting as virtual associates to help with mundane data-collection tasks. That frees up an advisor’s time to focus on the client relationship and financial planning. Our marketing department at Sound Income Group is leveraging the OpenAI chatGPT program to create website and marketing content. The results are impressive as our engagement and lead generation has increased. Will AI take over the industry? No. Financial planning and retirement income require a human empathetic element that extends beyond looking at numbers and performance.