The Digital Well

Intersection of Compliance and Technology

Data Security in Financial Planning

I had the pleasure of joining XY Planning Network Co-Founder Alan Moore on the network’s podcast this month talking cybersecurity and financial advisors. Data security in financial planning has never been more critical to tackle. For those in financial services, it grows more complicated to keep pace with technology for efficiency and customer service. Not only does your business have standards and preferences to solve for, but also the added layer of regulatory requirements at the state and federal level to satisfy. When it comes to technology security, this is not something you just want to “get the passing grade” on.

Data security is about more than just the data. It is about behavior, setting good policy standards in your business and thinking of all aspects of how you and your team touch, access and create data. A big part of security is understanding how we work – both when at our desks and using a work computer, versus when we are on the move or at home after hours. Everywhere and each device we use has an impact on the overall success or failure of your data security efforts.

In the podcast we cover a lot of ground.

  • What do financial advisors need to be archiving?
  • How to determine what technology you need for archiving
  • What about backups? We discuss thinking through how you back up data (not to mention testing restoring it to insure it is working!)
  • We also explore security thinking about disk encryption
  • How to handle securing your Internet usage in and out of the office
  • What about other practices – like two-factor authentication to help strengthen your use of passwords for online accounts
  • Is the cloud a viable option in your security strategy?

Tune in to XYPN Radio and be sure to ask any additional questions you may have – I am happy to cover those in The Digital Well podcast!

LinkedIn networking is a big, broad topic. It is also critical in your networking recipe as business has forever been transformed by new communication channels incorporating social media. David J.P. Fisher joins The Digital Well podcast in this episode (see below) and explores just how it works with LinkedIn – and more importantly how this social channel weaves into your traditional networking offline as well as pairing up with other digital networking and marketing efforts.

LinkedIn Networking Advice Live at Morningstar

I was able to see this in action, not only through David’s latest book, Networking in the 21st Century on LinkedIn, but also as he joined me in the Social Media Center at the Morningstar Investment Conference in in June 2015. David was advising asset managers and financial advisors dropping in for guidance on being digital in financial services.

David has been laying the groundwork on networking for some time. What appeals to me is his focus on getting you to take the principles and skills cultivated in analog (offline) marketing – and apply them to how we engage online. He noted this in an article last year:

[quote]How can you compete if you can’t set yourself apart by your access to information? You get back to basics: You build your business the traditional way…you build relationships. You become not only a trusted advisor, but a valuable one – an advisor that helps your clients make the best decisions possible. You work to understand their specific needs so well that you become indispensable. You know what they need more than they do…and then you let them know that you know more than they do (in a nice way). Ironically, one of the best ways to do that is by using the same technology that leavened the playing field… social media. Tools like LinkedIn, blogs, and your website become the platforms where you can share your unique perspective. It’s where you demonstrate your brand – who you help and how you help them.[/quote]

We consider how this works in the real world right from the exhibit hall floor at the conference. Don’t forget if you have questions you’d like answered on the podcast you can submit them here.



There are a multitude of ways to use Twitter and plenty of examples of both good and bad uses. There is plenty of evidence that 140 characters is plenty of room for engaging with your peers, clients and the brands you do business with. While we grow tired of the irresponsible yelling from time to time – the good examples do clearly illustrate how effective this channel really is for efficient and real time interactions.

I came across this from Bill Winterberg in my morning reading and thought it was an ideal illustration of both customer and provider. Especially that AWeber (and I am not a user of their platform – I use, ahem, the solution that gives me banana breaks) was prompt and communicative in responding and reminded everyone, not just Bill, that they have a AWeber live status dashboard for checking on performance and issues.

Twitter and Customer Service

Twitter Working Properly on

Streamed live on Jul 22, 2015

Join +Blane Warrene and +Jay Palter on Between Sessions. Jay came up with a great name to represent the discussions and topics that come up so often at events and meetings in “between sessions” of this agendas. At the core Between Sessions is an exploration of the digital business model in financial services. We consider the technology, marketing, compliance and more in investigating how our industry is evolving in this new digital era.

Today’s Between Sessions Rundown

Today’s (abbreviated) conversation stems from the concept of being digital in financial services. That is a moniker I bring to the episodes from The Digital Well podcast – whose tagline is “being digital in financial services means many things to many people and I explore that”.
[quote]By abbreviated we mean that Jay was faced with a serious tornado warning at the outset of the episode and had to drop – so I sought to bring some of his perspective on the shortened edition.[/quote]

Blane’s Elevator Pitch Rant

We kickoff today with a mild rant from me – as part of research I was immersed in last week – I reviewed 150 technology provider web sites to identify (above the fold) if I could determine in a sentence or two what they do. This was successful on 23 of 150 web sites. The remainder I had to click around a few pages to get to a block of text (again – only looking for 25 words or less) that said – “this is what we do and who we do that for”.

Bad news – that widgets and parallax and cute icons have become so prolific that apparently some marketing departments have forgotten the audience they serve is busy. Have at least one sentence above the fold that states that.

Being Digital in Financial Services

McKinsey in a timely manner released a brief on that same topic of being digital this week and we explore it.…

Jay notes that it starts from your perspective and thinking about your business before you implement the first change or new technology.

I bring in the thought that while it may start on the perimeter with marketing and communications (or even HR) – that the core of your business, operations and service delivery, also need to embrace digital and what that means.

Paywalls (and millennials)

Finally we wrapped with a discussion on paywalls (see…) and how they may not work all the time (that is me being somewhat optimistic).
I find that a paywall for the WSJ or New York Times works as I value and need that news – but I cannot continue paying paywall after paywall for everything I need online.

In Jay’s voice – that is where real world curation comes in – and why it is worth paying for. Finding the 10-20 important things for you or your clients that add value out of the thousands of pieces coming out every week.