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Category Archives: Finance

Beyond Bitcoin: How Developers are Helping Traditional Banks Modernize

This article was originally published by Index Code

 

Bitcoin and blockchain tend to grab headlines in the world of banking. Cryptocurrency is the poster child of “disruptive technology” in the traditionally slow-moving finance industry. But, there are other areas where developers and software engineers must update business-as-usual in banking in order to survive.

 

According to one survey, 80% of bankers agreed that their institution “needs to complete an assessment over the next three years, but only 15% expected that to lead to a modernization effort.” Security threats, the demand for mobile banking, and outdated core banking systems are all driving banks to consider massive overhauls to their IT systems. These are the biggest modernization challenges facing financial institutions – areas where developers and remote software teams can play a significant role in keeping banks competitive.  Read more of this post

5 Trends in Fintech Developers Need to Know

This article was originally published at indexcode.io.

5 Trends in Fintech Developers Need to Know

Emily Heaslip

Fintech has become globally mainstream, with 64% of consumers adopting some sort of behavior that fuses technology with financial services. As the market becomes more mature, so do the challenges facing fintech institutions. This year has brought new trends in improving security, big innovations in mobile banking, and the widespread adoption of 5G internet.

For developers, fintech is a lucrative job market. “It’s a candidate’s market out there,” writes Silicon Republic. “The big fintech giants are crying out for talent.” Forbes estimated that there were over 1000 fintech companies valued at $867 billion in 2016; that number has only skyrocketed in recent years. Companies in the financial technology sector are well-funded and hungry for talented developers. It’s an exciting space to work in, combining security challenges, innovative services, and refining the user experience through thoughtful design and solid infrastructure. Here are the big trends in fintech developers need to know for 2020.

Read more of this post

Building a Financial Advisor Marketing Plan That Works

This article was originally published at ModelFA.com.

financial advisor marketing, Building a Financial Advisor Marketing Plan That Works

Still think that a financial advisor marketing plan is just for the big firms? Think again!

Running a financial advisory firm is hard. In the early years, it’s a hustle to find clients and pay the bills. Five to seven years into the practice, there are workflows to optimize, staff to hire and train, and a full book of business to manage. Life gets busy.

Which is why so few advisors go the extra mile and create a marketing strategy. According to Pershing, only 30% of all advisors have a formal marketing plan.

The remaining 70% must believe that “hustling” is their marketing plan.

That is a big mistake. Those who fail to invest in an advisor marketing plan might save some time on the front end — but they hurt their practices in the long run. There’s the stress of not knowing where your next client will come from. There are periods of “feast or famine”, when the office is either dead — or swamped with urgent work. Finally, without an overarching plan, it’s impossible to be sure that your professional practice will be intentional and ideal for you as the advisor.

Why don’t more advisors have a marketing strategy? Many of them find the task daunting. Some don’t know where to start.

Here’s a simple blueprint that will demystify the process and put you back in the driver’s seat.  Read more of this post

Facebook for Financial Advisors: 3 Myths, Debunked

This article was originally published at ModelFA.com.

Facebook for financial advisors, Facebook for Financial Advisors: 3 Myths, Debunked

Don’t let common advisor Facebook marketing mistakes burn through your budget!

Every year, the world seems to get ever more anchored in technology and social media. The pressure is ramping up, and advisors are making an effort to become more “digitally available” to their prospects and clients. And yes, that includes trying to crack the code on “Facebook for financial advisors”.

This has created an interesting shift in our industry. Online marketing topics have become the mainstays of advisor conferences. Many compliance departments have no idea what to do with this trend.

And, of course, there’s conflicting advice online.

I dug into this topic recently after a conversation with a fellow advisor. Let’s call him James. James shared his disappointment with online marketing. He had tried Facebook marketing hoping to reach more prospects. He started a company page and shared a bunch of articles. That didn’t work. He then invested several thousands of dollars in Facebook ads and promoted posts. Still, crickets.

And so, James asked me over a beer, is this social media marketing just a fad? Does it actually generate results for any advisors out there? What are those advisors doing, exactly, to make it work? And, finally, does it have to cost a fortune?

Those are all fair questions. Here’s what I know from pouring over industry research and investing over $100K into building Facebook marketing campaigns for financial advisors.  Read more of this post

Email Marketing for Financial Advisors: Best Practices for 2019

This article was originally published at ModelFA.com

Email Marketing for Financial Advisors: Best Practices for 2019

email marketing for financial advisors, Email Marketing for Financial Advisors: Best Practices for 2019

Summary:  Email may not have the cutting edge, high-tech appeal of some of the other marketing tactics. However, when done right, email marketing for financial advisors can be remarkably effective. In order to build a productive email campaign, advisors should begin by examining the needs of their audience. A broad-based “spray and pray” approach is the quickest way to burn through your hard-earned email list. On the other hand, highly targeted value-add communications will help you build trust, drive referrals, and stay connected to your prospects and clients. Read on for best practices (by email type) and some common email marketing mistakes to avoid.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to participate in a lively discussion with a thought leadership group comprised of forwarding thinking, young marketers. The topic eventually turned to the effectiveness of email marketing for financial advisors. Although opinions differed greatly on the types of campaigns financial advisors should leverage, there was one thing we could all agree on:  Email marketing, when done correctly, is widely effective.

But what does that mean for financial advisor email marketing, now that we are in 2019?

Read more of this post

The Unexpected Costs of Chasing Your Dreams [Infographic]

Many hopeful freelancers start their business adventure so they can take control over their time and finances. As a self-employed freelancer, you get to set your own hours and decide how much you make based on how hard you work. You can decide to pursue projects that interest you the most, and ultimately do your best work. The appeal of starting off on your own is the reason why a third of Americans are currently freelance.

If you’ve ever considered quitting your day job in favor for self-employment, you’ve also probably had a few reservations as well. While the work is more flexible, so is the income. There’s less security when it comes to benefits and salary, which can land you in hot water if you don’t have a solid savings. In addition, finding and pitching your own clients can be incredibly intimidating. The fact of the matter is that starting your own venture, whether as a freelancer or entrepreneur can a difficult process.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. With a solid plan for how you’ll make the transition financially, you can make the leap. To get you started on planning for unexpected self-employment expenses, Turbo created this helpful infographic. By making a few easy cuts, you can make your dream of quitting your day job a reality. Check it out below:

Via turbo.intuit.com: Read more of this post

How to Grow Your Business With Calculated Risk-Taking [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of Valpak.

Any major business move requires taking a risk. Whether you leave your corporate job to pursue a passion project, launch a new product, or partner with a new company, it can be daunting to make a drastic change. Thankfully, there’s a helpful strategy to weigh the potential outcome before taking the leap.

Calculated risk-taking involves carefully considering the pros and cons of a decision, with a thoughtful plan behind it. There are helpful steps, tools, and tactics you can use break down the outcome into smaller digestible steps. Make a list of everything that could go south if you move forward with the decision, whether it’s related to your business finances, relationships, self-care, or time. Schedule regular check-ins as you work towards a goal to see what kind of progress you’re making. The more you understand all potential costs to that risk, the better you can improve its outcome.

For a helpful breakdown on calculated risks, view the visual from Valpak below. It covers steps to follow so you can anticipate red flags and successful company who have used this method. Read more of this post

How to Price a Product or Service [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of Fundera.

In a dense market, it can be difficult for your business to acquire the capital it needs and stay afloat. Between branding, sales, and everyday operations, the cash that comes in can quickly flow out. That’s why it’s essential to select a pricing strategy that works for your business. The right strategy will not only help you stay afloat, but establish your branding within a market, and differentiate you from competition. To do this, you must conduct a thorough analysis of your company and the market.

First, if you’re not already aware of your costs, take time to account for these. Add up your expenses and overhead to get a finite number you’ll need to break even. Then set a ballpark number in profit that you’d like to achieve to determine a good price point for your product or service. This will give you a good idea about how much revenue you’ll need, as well as keeping you motivated to reach your goals.

Next, get to know your market. Take a look at the pricing strategies of your competitors, as well as how they’re marketing themselves to their audience. Look at the website, social media, and blogs to determine how they’re positioning themselves and what you can offer that they can’t. Knowing what your audience expects will go a long way towards help you compete.

With a thorough understanding of your market and profit goals, you will be better able to select  a pricing strategy that drives success for your business. For more on which pricing strategy is right for you, check out this infographic below by Fundera: Read more of this post

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