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How to get more in tune with technology

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By Joel Dresang

Throughout the pandemic, Jason Scuglik has been helping investment advisors stay connected with clients. Becoming familiar with videoconferencing and interacting with financial professionals remotely might make some more curious about ways technology can enrich them. Jason has tips for how to learn more about devices and applications.

Get over the awkwardness of seeking help. “It can be difficult for many people to ask for help. It can make people feel ignorant or helpless if they can’t solve their own problem,” Jason says. There’s no shame in asking advice from somebody who knows more than you about something. Just as you shouldn’t expect yourself to know plumbing or medicine, Jason says, you shouldn’t expect yourself to know technology.

Turn to someone you trust (who you think knows what they’re doing). “Because technology touches so many of our lives, there is a huge range in the knowledge and competence of people who are willing to help,” Jason says. “Many times, having conversations with your peers may help you overcome small problems or discover something new.” If you need more help than anyone you know can offer, seek reliable personal recommendations of where else to turn.

Being open to technological enrichment

Have some idea of what you want to accomplish. Just as in a doctor’s office, it helps the person helping you if you can articulate why you’re there. “I would prefer that someone have a goal in mind,” Jason says. For instance: “I want to check my portfolio online,” or “I want to securely exchange documents online with my advisor.”

Listen closely. Take notes. Ask more questions. “Seek clarification,” Jason says. “It is often said, but there are no stupid questions. We all have different life experience and education. Just because someone else doesn’t need to ask that question, doesn’t make you stupid or unable to understand the concept.”

Understand that there may be more than one solution. “I think one of the most frustrating things for many people is that there isn’t always one right way to accomplish your goal,” Jason says. “I still need to research problems or features that I have not experienced before. I often will seek out multiple answers to my questions and look at the similarities between them to help me to find my solution.”

Be creative. “Out-of-the-box thinking can certainly lead one to finding solutions that others haven’t,” Jason says. “Again, with technology, there is often more than one correct way to accomplish a task or goal.” Part of being creative is being brave. When Jason got his mother her first iPad, she was reluctant to use it for fear she might damage it. “With a little prodding along,” he says, “I have been able to help her feel more comfortable using her device and even trying new things and solving some of her own problems.”

Of course, we need to be extra careful when dealing with financial information online. Jason has a series of Money Talk Videos suggesting precautions to take.

“By following security best practices, working with reputable companies and having someone you trust to help out, you can minimize your risk,” Jason says, “while allowing you to stay on top of your investments.”

Joel Dresang is vice president-communications at Landaas & Company.

Jason Scuglik is information systems administrator at Landaas & Company.

Learn more
Privacy, Identity & Online Security, from the Federal Trade Commission
Tools and Calculators, from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
How to Avoid Fraud, from the Securities and Exchange Commission
Fraud and Your Investment Accounts During COVID-19 Pandemic, from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
6 ways to get more from virtual appointments, by Joel Dresang
(initially posted October 2, 2020)

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