PIEtech's CTO Tony Leal believes protecting client data is crucial for financial advisors. That’s a core reason he pushed MoneyGuidePro to scrub much of its personal data— from street addresses to the Social Security numbers of investors. To Leal, it’s about mitigating risk by limiting the data to steal.
“More and more, what we’ve done, is remove proprietary information from our system. I’m making [MoneyGuidePro] as unattractive as possible, because then [hackers] get very little reward if they set their sights on me. I don’t even have a client’s last name. Part of where this industry is going is to mitigate your risk. Having your last name on a plan is not going to mitigate your ability to retire. But if you go to Starbucks, sit down with your plan, with your full name visible, if someone sees it, that can be impactful.
Obviously we put all our safeguards in place. But I also don’t have client’s account numbers [in Money Guide Pro]. We’re contemplating removing the date of birth and just using a client’s age. The only reason we haven't gotten rid of an investor’s date of birth yet, is an advisor may need to know the year you’re turning 65 for planning reasons. But some of our clients are willing to, let’s say, overlook that level of accuracy for what it brings them back.
I have one firm that doesn’t want a first name used either which I thought would be quite unique. They want me to give them a report, and then [the firm] will attach the cover page. So even I won’t know who the client is.”