Crowdsourcing has been popular for years, though many may not have known it by that name. The term was first used in 2006 by flickr to describe the collective effort to manage their forum, but the model goes back to the first man or woman to ask for help in managing a task. The idea is that where a particular job might be daunting for one person, several people can handle the same task with ease. Alternatively, if one person is brainstorming ideas, they will inherently be limited. Traditionally the solution is to include more co-workers, friends or relatives in the discussion to get more ideas. With Social Media taking off as it has over the past several years this expanded into asking for help and ideas from strangers online, a concept adopted by the tech industry very early in the internet era through the use of forums. This has even expanded into the increasing popular idea of crowdfunding on sites such as Kickstarter where anyone can post a project and try to raise the funds to get the project off the ground.
This concept of reaching out to strangers for help and ideas has most recently expanded more fully into the financial planning space through FPA’s efforts with FPA Connect. The FPA has always promoted connecting with other professionals to advance the profession through shared learning, but the addition of an online forum has finally taken this concept into the digital age. I have seen simple questions come up such as “What software do other sole practitioners use?” and I have seen extremely complex questions such as “My client has an S-Corp and is being sued, how can we mitigate losses and protect assets?” FPA Connect launched last summer and has been picking up momentum with roughly 25% of the new questions being posted in the last month alone.
If you have not yet taken a look at the forums, blogs and other content on FPA Connect please do so. This is yet another avenue to help you provide the best advice to your client and access a good library of content to learn about all sorts of topics facing planners today.
Product News: TOTAL Online Status Update and Pricing Information
TOTAL Online is coming along very nicely, thanks in large part to the help of our wonderful Beta Testers! We currently have just shy of 100 customers actively using the new system and helping us find and fix any issues. Money Tree’s development team is hard at work finishing the integrations we plan to include with the launch of TOTAL Online.
Read more for information on the status and pricing of TOTAL Online.
2013 In-Depth Workshops: Join Us for a Half-Day Silver Financial Planner Training in Denver June 7th
Spend a afternoon learning and interacting with the creator of Silver Financial Planner, Money Tree’s President Mark Snodgrass. This half-day, in-depth training is dedicated to Silver Financial Planner and Silver Online, held in downtown Denver on Friday, June 7th.
Tech Tip: Silver Online Customer Access
Customer access allows planners the ability to provide your clients a convenient and secure plan data review. Planners may also allow customers may make changes to the plan data and/or view planning reports. Learn how to setup customer access in four simple steps and view of what your client sees in customer access.