ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Note: This article is courtesy of

By Jay Gragnani, Dorsey, Wright & Associates, a Nasdaq Company

In The Martian, Matt Damon’s character leveraged science, technology, and every single resource he had to survive. From growing his own food and creating water, to building his own tools, to figuring out how to communicate with NASA to get home alive, his ability to adapt to constant change saved his life.

While it may feel dramatic to compare a lost astronaut’s circumstances to the current environment in financial services, it may feel just as threatening to advisors facing the recent onslaught of new regulations and emerging technologies. Perhaps the best example of this perceived threat is the industry’s reaction to robo-advisor platforms.

Instead of seeing this advancement as a powerful resource and taking advantage of the opportunity, many advisors are paralyzed by fear. Today’s industry headlines continue to call out robo-advisors as a major threat to advisory practices. But are they? Or are they simply the next step in the evolution of financial services?

Related: Why a Roboadvisor is Like Getting Financial Advice at a McDonald’s Drive Through

In my 10+ years at Dorsey, Wright & Associates, a Nasdaq Company, I’ve seen how technology can change things for the better. In truth, if we hadn’t adopted technology to support our business, it would look nothing like it does today. In the early days of Dorsey Wright, Point & Figure charts were calculated and updated by the analysts – by hand. Hundreds of stocks every single day were updated in this manner.

In the mid-90’s, with the launch of the website, the Point & Figure charts were able to be updated and calculated by computers.  The capacity went from hundreds of charts to thousands of charts to be updated and maintained every night. Then cloud-based technology came to the rescue. The rooms full of mainframe computers vanished (remember those?!), and we were able to escalate our efforts at a rapid pace.

Related: Where Did Robo-Advisor Wealthfront’s Rapid Growth Go?

Using this new technology, we have been able to exponentially increase the capacity for relative strength chart calculations as well as increase the speed at which these updates are completed.   On the DWA Global Technical Research Platform we’re now able to automate Point & Figure charts and rankings for more than 7 million securities and instruments on a daily basis.

In 40 sectors. In 77 countries worldwide. And because of our use of the DWA Platform, our team now has more resources without adding many more  people. Talk about change! As an ETF strategist and an index provider, we have used technology to help advisors stay on top of change, not lag behind it, and to leverage it to their full advantage.