Will Y2K Be a Practice Nightmare? Or Just a Scare?

Most, Bruce W.
June 1998
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun98, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p46
Academic Journal
This article presents the author's opinion on the Millennium Bug problem, sometimes called the Year 2000 issue or Y2K. Y2K is really simple and well known. To save limited and expensive memory, programmers over the years shortened four-year dates of two digits. Computers and software operating on those two-digit dates will not function properly by the year 2000. What is not simple and clear is how big a mess this problem will create by 2000. One thing that is clear about the Y2K problem is that it is proved to be bigger than people realized. Overall, the financial services industry has gotten relatively high marks for its Y2K efforts. For financial planners, the Y2K issue involves four main areas which include their own shop, upstream vendors, the economy and financial markets and legal issues. Another vulnerable area for planners is that many have created their own programs, typically from spreadsheet software. Many financial planners are electronically linked upstream to service providers, from brokers and dealers and custodians, to mutual funds and clearing houses. In turn, those vendors are connected to their own set of vendors, and on and on. Beyond the territory of planners and their vendors lies a much larger and more mysterious land.


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