Happy Friday!

I’m writing you before I board my flight back to Charleston after wrapping up our Forging the Future event with Daniel Crosby, Ph.D., and Tim Maurer here in Atlanta this week.

The event was a lot of fun and an excellent opportunity to highlight the evolution of behavioral psychology into a pragmatic client experience and an integrated technology stack.

Future of Wealth Management meet up in Atlanta with @JudMackrill, @danielcrosby, @CharlotteGelet1, @KyleVanPelt and more. 💯

— Dan Bolton (@Daniel_Bolton)
Aug 16, 2023


Thanks to all who attended. Here is this week’s Connected.

  1. Is Your Tech Stack Actually Just a Tech Mess?
  2. The Evolution of Insurance and Wealth Management – Heather Kelly 🎧
  3. What Fitness Apps Are Teaching Us About the Future of Finance Apps
  4. Is AUM Growth at RIA’s Dead?
  5. Podcasting with Canada’s Top Fintech Host – Fintech Impact | E289

Let’s get into it.

Wires, Widgets and Wealth Management – Is Your Tech Stack Actually Just a Tech Mess?

My Eero wifi system tells a crazy story of the technology I have in my home.

When you first set it up, you have the essentials on it.

TV, Laptops, phones.

Quickly, you look at it, and it explodes with various devices.

When I spend time with the partners of wealth management firms, their business has much in common with this scenario.

Instead of getting more streamlined, we add more wires, widgets, and solutions, often creating more complexity vs. less.

Maybe you don’t have an Eero, but I bet you have a box inside your home or office that holds your indispensable cords, connectors, and related items.

Instead of cords, your firms collect all sorts of software for solutions.

Note the Resemblance.
Credit to Michael Kitces whose Monthly Map is an Indispensable part of the Industry.

This isn’t a big deal if you are the only advisor and the main person in your firm.

You want a new app? You get a new app.

Most firms, though, are a lot more complex.

Less than Simple

When people ask what sorts of advisors I work with, I often describe them as “less than simple” advisory firms.

Less than simple in that you probably have a box of cords. But so do your colleagues.

You may have an IT department or head of operations that would like you only to use their box of cords. (Aka the Official Box of Cords.)

Managing all the cords, all the apps, and all the solutions takes up a lot of time. It often accumulates into costs that may or may not be ROI positive—subscriptions, seats, and contracts that may not align with your actual needs.

As you try to bring everything to one experience for you, your team, and your clients, you are often stuck trying to become your own form or an electrician.

“Can I connect these two, and will it work?”

Going back to the example of Eero. The beauty of it is that despite all the variability with your underlying technology, you have one place that connects you and helps you begin to align your solutions.

My Actual Eero App

As we embark on the future technology choices we need for our firms, the new set of cords we need to have in our arsenal is for AI-ready, data-on-demand technologies. Technology allows you to harvest information subjectively, create automation and transform your primary experience.

This need is a primary reason why we started Milemarker. There are promising technologies that make your business more scalable, but the firms continually working to improve and modernize their work generally feel dissatisfied with what they are getting out of their technology because it is inherently limited.

So where does this leave our box of cords?

I believe that firms need to take time and start inventorying their technology. I’m sure you have some list somewhere at your firm.

Is it available across your advisors, helping you collectively curate your sentiment and utilization?

If you want to go deeper on this topic, I put together this guide a while back that may be useful as you look at your technology inventory, prioritization and how you can start to align your technology.

In addition, we are booking our Fall schedule for engagements and would love to lock in a few more firms that really want to get clear on their path forward. If this connects with you, shoot me an email at jud@milemarker.co.

Highways and Byways. Quick Takes on Industry News & Relevant Content.

What Fitness Apps Are Teaching Us About the Future of Finance Apps

I’ve used the iOS app Gyroscope for 4-5 years. The Gyroscope app does a great job of tracking a growing amount of elements around your unique life.

The Gyroscope is beautifully designed and comprehensive. With the latest additions of third-party trainers and coaching, Gyroscope feels increasingly relevant to where technology needs to go with advisors.

Check out the video below and get a glimpse for how this experience is becoming more relevant for how financial services will come alongside clients/users in the future.

Gyroscope V6 · Watch the Video

Better living with AI is now here. Introducing Gyroscope V6! Meet the new health coaches for your mind and body…

Is AUM Growth at RIA’s Dead?

It’s only natural for advisors to feel a sense of accomplishment when they see their AUM rising. For a long time, AUM was the end-all-be-all in terms of indication of growth in RIAs.

It’s an enticing image—a steady climb in AUM leading to increased fee income.

But the reality is a little more nuanced than this.

With the average AUM decline going from 9% to 4% from 2017 to 2022, advisors are facing new headwinds that are leading to serious questions about growth strategies.

Advisors who suffer from ‘AUM illusion’ feel its impact on organic growth

Part of the reason organic growth is so modest is that many advisors haven’t created a systematic business development program.

Fintech Impact | E289

This last week, I joined Jason Pereira on his podcast, Fintech Impact, for a second time.

Our discussion centers around the challenges related to data and data management in the industry and how the team at Milemarker is working to provide efficient and scalable solutions

Milemarker & Mammoth with Jud Mackrill | E289 — JasonPereira.ca

On this episode, Jason talks to Jud Mackrill, co-founder of Milemarker & Mammoth, who has been on the show before.


The episode is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Enjoy your weekend!

Written by Jud Mackrill

Edited by Amy Simpson