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Jason Pereira Michael Kitces Hot Ones Photo by Ledd Lens LLC

WealthStack Live Blog: All About AI

Updates from throughout WealthStack concerning AI, automation and digital marketing.

Marketing Is Not Sales, But an Investment To Be Tracked

Firms need to understand that marketing is not sales. Instead, it’s a long-term investment that needs to be tracked, said Crystal Mathis, chief marketing officer at SignatureFD.

Mathis, along with Terra McBride, chief marketing officer at Prime Capital Investment Advisors, Michelle Panzera, director of marketing at Evensky & Katz/Foldes, and Angela Giombetti, chief marketing officer at Wealthspire Advisors, discussed how marketing drives organic growth for advisory firms.

McBride said Prime Capital allows its advisors to experiment with marketing strategies and track how well each does. 

“Data is not important,” she said. “Start connecting your data so you have more information and can start leveling up.”

CTOs Using Technology To Increase Advisors’ Time With Clients

Vib Arya, Shufro Rose’s chief operating officer, said he centers the company’s technology stack around the idea that automation removes friction.

“We’ve got multi-generational relationships, which are so precious to us,” he said. "We want advisors to spend as much time as possible with clients.”

Arya, along with Leslie Dentinger, deputy CTO of Dynasty Financial Partners; and Jon Meyer, CTO of CapTrust, discussed how technology impacts advisors and advisory firms at WealthStack.

Dentinger said because this is a relationship business, they consider the technology a selling point. And because Dynasty is a network of firms, this means something different for each RIA based on which channel they are in.

“We try to create a technology stack that flexes to those different needs,” she said.

Meet Your Clients Where They’re At

Before Cary Carbonaro, senior vice president and director of women and wealth at Advisor Capital Management, answered how she best communicated with clients, she asked if any compliance workers were in the audience.

When no hands went up, she said she would meet clients anywhere they want, be it via Instagram direct messages, Facebook messages or anywhere else.

Carbonaro, along with Matt Halloran, co-founder and chief relationship manager of ProudMouth; Domenick D'Andrea, co-founder and financial advisor with Dandarah Wealth Management; and Homer Smith, a private wealth advisor with Konvergent Wealth Partners, discussed communications and "the client experience" during their panel discussion.

“Marketing has fundamentally changed,” said Halloran. “You have to communicate in the medium they prefer with your voice.”

Pereira vs. Kitces: It's a Hot One

The hit YouTube show, Hot Ones promises “hot questions and even hotter wings.” Host Sean Evans poses questions to celebrities as they struggle through a gauntlet of 10 ever-spicier condiments. The pointed queries mixed with the interviewees’ reactions are the secret sauce to the show’s success. The WealthStack version, featuring Jason Pereira, senior partner and financial planner at Woodgate Financial, and financial expert Michael Kitces, lived up to its namesake.

“There’s been nothing prepped,” Kitces said before the session began. “Whatever you see here is authentic. This is the first time I had to sign a waiver before appearing on the stage.”

After pointing out that an EMT was at the ready in case things got too heated for the pair, Pereira began serving the wings and the topics. Pereira started the session by asking about the relative merits of AI in the wealth management industry. Kitces said this technology was in its infancy and had a long way to go before it was more than a tool for advisors instead of a replacement.

“It’s a really good golf caddy right now, but it ain’t swinging the clubs,” said Pereira.

As more than a gallon of milk and nearly two dozen wings were consumed by the two, the discussion turned to the effect of private equity and venture capital on the industry. Kitces said the upside is that it can provide the capital needed to grow. However, the downside can devastate founders who don’t meet the sky-high growth targets.

“Founders can get written down to zero because you didn’t hit the ginormous numbers the venture capital firm requires,” he said.

Jump Wins Best In Show

After reviewing the 11 contestants in Tuesday’s WealthStack Demos, the judges honored Jump with the Best In Show award.

Shannon Rosic, director of WealthStack content and solutions at Informa Connect, announced the results during Wednesday’s opening remarks.

Rosic said judges Devon Drew, CEO of Asset Link; Tim Welsh, president, CEO and founder of Nexus Strategy; and Dana Wilson, CEO of CHIP (Changing How Individuals Prosper), nearly called it a tie between Jump and Nebo Wealth. However, the panel ultimately selected Jump as the winner.

Jump is an AI assistant for advisors that records client conversations and produces task lists, notes and compliance records. Jump has Zoom, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, Redtail and Wealthbox integrations.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Concrete Examples Of How AI Can Be Used By Advisors Right Now

Wealth Management EDGE WealthStack Jason Pereira Woodgate

Blog posts, emails and videos are numerous ways generative AI has entered advisors' lives over the past 18 months, said Jason Pereira, senior partner and financial planner at Woodgate Financial.

Pereira started by showing a video of how he asked ChatGPT to create the code for a PowerPoint presentation on the topic he was presenting. Within seconds, the chatbot spit back slide after slide featuring titles, bullet points and speaker notes. He then copied and pasted the code into PowerPoint. After executing the script, he suddenly had six slides of text.

He then pointedly sat on stage while a video from a company called HeyGen played. It appeared to be a video of Pereira speaking but was an entirely artificial deepfake. He then played the video again, this time in Mandarin.

On the more practical side, Pereira showed the results of a query on the AI chatbot Perplexity. He then pasted it into an email enabled with the AI writing assistant GrammarlyGO. The AI began to correct the grammar of the other AI.

“Two AIs may get into a fight,” he said.

Piecing Together ‘Micro Apps’ Like A LEGO Set

Wealth Management EDGE Oleg WealthStack

The fragmented nature of advisor tech stacks led Oleg Tishkevich, founder and CEO of, to develop what he calls a “super app.” debuted the Invent Village at Wealth Management EDGE this year, featuring demo stations showcasing the integrations these companies are building using the tech platform. 

Tishkevish said these partners have built “micro apps” that users can pick and choose to “assemble it just like a LEGO set.”

Turn Off the Comments

Myles Blechner, managing director at ACA Group, advised financial advisors to turn off the comments function if they are using posts on social media for their business.

“When it comes to social media, it’s unmoderated. It’s the Wild West. I generally advise my clients to ignore comments, even if you want that SEO. You do not want to open that Pandora’s box.”

Not being able to comment might turn off some people, but far more potential clients would be turned off by bad comments or spam, Blechner said.

Also, he recommended adapting a zero tolerance policy on emojis in communications as they show up as red lines in archives and you might have to explain what each one was to the SEC. 

—Eliane Misonzhnik

AI Is Not Going To Take Your Job, But Someone Using AI Will

Davis Janowski, senior technology editor of, did not waste time with the hard-hitting questions for John Froese, director and head of banking and wealth management at Google Cloud.

Plainly put, Janowski wanted to know if Google's eventual goal was to replace financial advisors—referencing a column he wrote a year before about startup Range receiving $12 million in Series A venture capital funding led by Google’s AI-focused venture fund.

Froese clearly said no, adding Google's VC fund, Gradient Ventures, was one of several of the company's venture capital arms, and these investments were geared toward personalization for clients.

“When you think about the scale our treasury team has to manage from a cash perspective … we have to invest it somewhere, he said. “AI companies are going to get our attention and interest. Anything that democratizes information or ability to do things yourself. We are not a financial services company. We do not want to create financial services products. We will work with others that make it easier for the user.”

In terms of advisors themselves, Froese said Google aimed to streamline workflows.

“AI is not going to take your job,” he said. “Someone using AI will take your job.”

TAGS: Technology
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