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FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 22

On today’s broadcast, LPL Financial unveils new back-office technology for its representatives. Will the tools set a new bar for advisor productivity? Laser App continues to expand its library of fillable forms. Can you guess how many paper forms have avoided the shredder? And, did you know you can now build a “robo shield” for your business? Find out what steps you should be taking right now to differentiate yourself from the online advisor competition.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

This week’s episode of Bits and Bytes is brought to you by Total Rebalance Expert, the industry’s largest, privately owned portfolio rebalancing software provider.

Total Rebalance Expert

Now available as a part of the Orion Advisor Services platform, TRX features tax-efficient rebalancing, an easy to use interface, and more, all at an affordable price. Learn how you can gain a half a million dollar return on your technology investment by downloading their latest white paper at fppad.com/trx

Here are the links to this week’s top stories:

LPL Financial Unveils Next Generation ClientWorks Platform for Advisors at focus14 Annual Conference from Marketwatch, and

LPL Financial Announces Expansion of CRM Offering for Advisors at focus14 Annual Conference Through New Relationship With Redtail Technology from PRNewswire

[This week’s top story comes from LPL Financial, the nation’s largest broker-dealer with over 13,000 representatives, who held it’s annual Focus conference in San Diego last week. On the technology front, LPL unveiled ClientWorks(SM), a completely new technology solution that should offer expanded functionality and more seamless integrations.

Victor Fetter, chief information officer at LPL Financial, told attendees that ClientWorks is designed to work on any device, including phones and tablets, will feature streamlined workflows for account opening and trading, and will offer business analytics to increase advisor productivity. The first phase of ClientWorks, including a Resource Center library, will release later this fall, with the full ClientWorks suite anticipated sometime in the Spring of 2015.

Also making news at the Focus event was the announcement of new relationship between LPL Financial and Redtail, the leading web-based CRM for financial advisors. Beginning in October, LPL representatives will be able to subscribe to Redtail for $50 per month for each 15-user database, and the CRM will likely feature a tighter integration with LPL data once ClientWorks rolls out next year.] LPL Financial LLC, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer*, an RIA custodian, and a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. LPLA, +0.80% today unveiled ClientWorksSM, a next-generation technology solution for advisors and institutions that will seamlessly integrate and expand its offerings.

Laser App Software Sees Continued Growth With New Custodian and Broker-Dealer Clients from Marketwired

[Another event held in San Diego last week was the Laser App 2014 Conference. If you haven’t seen them already, I filmed five videos on site providing highlights of the educational sessions as well as the networking events, which included some pretty epic surfing attempts by attendees, including yours truly.

While the company did not make any specific new product announcements, Laser App did provide an update on how widely the solution is being used across the financial services industry. There are now over 32,000 forms in the Laser App library accessed by over 115,000 users, and the company estimates that documents in its library have been processed in some way, shape or form over 45 million times. Clearly a lot of business is being streamlined with the Laser App solution.] From its 2014 Financial Services Conference, Laser App Software is pleased to announce it has added 40 new customers so far in 2014. The forms-filling and automation management software provider sites the growing need for advisor efficiency as a key driver of broker-dealer and advisor adoption of its solutions.

 Fox Financial Planning Network Announces New Industry Whitepaper: “How to Build a Robo-Shield™ for Your Financial Advisory Firm: 20 Effective Tactics to Marginalize the Rise of Robo-Advisers” from Marketwatch

Use this link to download the white paper.

[And finally, while at the Laser App conference last week, Deborah Fox of the Fox Financial Planning Network took the opportunity to introduce a new white paper to financial advisors. Titled “How to build a robo-shield™ for your financial advisory firm,” the nearly 40-page white paper offers 20 tactics you can implement right now to differentiate your business from the online software-based investment services.

Fox recommends strategies like focusing on a specific client niche or specialty, building service teams of two advisors and one admin, defining and then automating workflows in your business, and much more.] Fox Financial Planning Network (FFPN) announced today the availability of a new industry white paper that identifies ways advisors and institutions will need to enhance their business model and service offering to counteract the threat from online investment advice platforms known as ‘Robo-Advisers.’

Here are stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

The Power of Marketing Videos for Financial Advisors from GuideVine

With high consumer demand, it’s clear that creating personable, tailored marketing videos can offer an efficient and powerful way to attract new clients.

External IT puts Junxure on its virtual desktops from InvestmentNews

External IT has added the office-management software offered by Junxure to the applications it can include within the cloud-based virtual desktops it creates for advisers.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 22, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 22, 2014

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Laser App 2014 Conference highlights: Day Two and recap

Fox Financial Planning Network publishes new “robo shield” white paper, ActiFi’s Spenser Segal on technology adoption, and more

The Laser App 2014 Conference in San Diego wrapped up last week, offering over 200 attendees insights on ways technology can streamline the client service experience. A variety of vendors with CRM, document management, electronic signature, practice management solutions, and more delivered valuable takeaways centered around efficient form creation and processing, which the Laser App platform aims to simplify.

Watch the day two highlight video below, which is followed by a conference recap video with feedback from conference attendees about the benefits of attending the Laser App 2014 conference. (or watch the Laser App 2014 Conference YouTube playlist)

Day two highlights

In the opening session on day two, Deborah Fox, CEO & Founder at Fox Financial Planning Network, unveiled a new white paper fresh off the company’s electronic publishing platform.

The white paper, titled How To Build A Robo-Shield™ For Your Financial Advisory Firm: 20 Effective Tactics To Marginalize The Rise Of Robo-Advisers, can be downloaded for free from the company’s website. In nearly 40 pages, the Robo-Shield white paper details tactics to differentiate an advisory business from the online-based investment advisor services, including specific niche development, Tier 2 service models, automated workflows, and more.

Laser App 2014 conference recap

As you can see from the video coverage, Laser App hosts one of the hidden gems among industry conferences. Quite a number of influential vendors and product providers attended the event, and many company presidents and CEOs took the stage.

Laser App 2014 conference attendees learned how to leverage their existing Laser App relationship and also identified new solution providers and integrations that can extend the benefits of Laser App into different areas of their business. All in all, I enjoyed my time at the conference, which offered a great combination of education, networking, and socializing, all in sunny San Diego.

WaveHouse networking event

In addition to the education and exhibit hall opportunities, attendees had several opportunities to let loose, kick back, and network with like-minded peers.

So for an added bonus, here is a video from the first networking event held at the WaveHouse San Diego.

Laser App 2014 Conference Badge

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Laser App 2014 Conference highlights: Day One

Laser App adds 40 new relationships in 2014, offers over 32,000 forms in its library

I’m attending the Laser App 2014 Conference in San Diego this week, and I’m trying some new things with content distribution. Check out the video below that recaps the company’s announcements about its new relationships in 2014, form library growth, and total number of forms processed by all of its users. (click here to watch on YouTube)

32,000 forms and growing

Ed Beggs, Laser App founder and CEO, told an audience of over 200 advisors, vendors, and other technology players that the company brought on 40 new relationships so far in 2014, which includes 38 broker-dealers and two custodians.

The Laser App form library now offers over 32,000 unique documents to facilitate transactions of all kinds, and now has over 115,000 users worldwide.

45 million served

To date, over 15 million forms have been downloaded through the Laser App platform. The average form gets processed three times by users, meaning over 45 million unique forms have been processed through Laser App software.

Conference preview

To set up the Day One footage, I filmed a shot conference preview with my rig to test the real-time editing and publishing through the conference facility’s Internet connection. This has been a fun learning experience, so look for more same-day coverage of events around the financial services technology landscape. (click to watch on YouTube)

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 8

On today’s broadcast, online investment advisors are coming to an RIA new you. Find out who the latest company is to enter this growing market. JemStep is another provider that’s white-labeling its technology to RIAs. Learn how one RIA is using the platform to serve its emerging clients. And Joel Bruckenstein is concerned about the future of advisor technology. Find out what issues keep this technology expert up at night.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by ITEGRIA, providers of complete outsourced technology support, security, infrastructure and IT solutions exclusively for RIAs.

itegria - providing a 360-degree, comprehensive approach to financial advisor IT needs

To learn how you can keep your data safe from attackers, download a free copy of their latest white paper on social engineering attacks by visiting fppad.com/itegria.

Here are the links to this week’s top stories:

Upside Raises $1.1M To Help Investment Advisers Compete Against Wealthfront, Betterment And Co. from TechCrunch

[This week’s top story comes from Upside Advisor, the latest startup to join the class of online investment advice providers. But unlike the direct-to-consumer startups like Wealthfront and FutureAdvisor, Upside Advisor is specifically targeting financial advisors who can white label Upside Advisor’s platform to provide a low-cost managed account solution to their emerging clients.

Upside’s platform offers paperless account opening using a DocuSign integration, automated trading and rebalancing, a client portal, and more, and just raised $1.1 million in new funding to continue to enhance its features for advisors. Upside comes on the heels of the introduction of Guide Financial, a similar advisor-focused solution I highlighted back in March in episode 124, giving you one more solution to offer a low-cost, high-tech automated solution to compete with the algorithm-based competition.] Upside, which today announced that it has raised a $1.1 million funding round led by Cultivation Capital, gives financial advisers a white label solution that’s very similar to what other robo-advisers offer.

Upside Advisor video

Traditional advisory firm hammers out deal with robo-adviser from InvestmentNews

[Now another online investment provider also dipping its toe into the RIA waters is JemStep, which just recently announced a partnership with Redhawk Wealth Advisors based in Minneapolis. Under the agreement, the RIA is able to white label the JemStep platform as Redhawk Online Advisor, where investors can sign up online, connect their financial accounts, and receive investment recommendations for a fee ranging from $17 to $69 dollars a month based on the amount of assets under advisement.

It’s important note that while JemStep offers investment recommendations, it does not automatically execute trades on behalf of its users. Actually following through on JemStep’s recommendations is the responsibility of either the advisor or the end-user, which could pose an implementation challenge as the platform gains momentum with RIAs.] Redhawk Wealth Advisors, a registered investment adviser with a wealth management practice, and Jemstep Inc., also an RIA but with an algorithm-driven account aggregation and investment advice platform, have become partners, bringing online advice to help Redhawk’s retail clients manage their investments, including funds held in their 401(k) accounts.

Things That Keep Me Up At Night from Financial Advisor Magazine

[And finally, all this news about competition from online investment advice providers might give you cause for concern, and it’s also one of the topics that keeps technology consultant Joel Bruckenstein up at night, too. In his latest column for Financial Advisor Magazine, Bruckenstein expresses his anxiety over the state of affairs in financial advisor technology.

He highlights complacency, insufficient integrations, and competition from automated online advisors as significant threats to the growth and success of the independent advisory industry. Fortunately, Bruckenstein cites vendors like Envestnet|Tamarac, Orion Advisor Services, Ornaj, Advyzon, and more who can equip independent advisors with technology solutions that not only rival those of the competition, but can also live up to the increased expectations from today’s tech-savvy clients and prospects.] Over the last several months, I’ve traveled thousands of miles, met hundreds of advisors and spoken with numerous representatives of custodians, broker-dealers and software vendors. Although I’m generally rather upbeat about the future of this industry, there are some things that concern me about current affairs.

Here are the stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

Advent’s Black Diamond Platform Surpasses 500-Client Milestone from Advent

Advent Software, Inc., a leading provider of software and services for the global investment management industry, today announced that Black Diamond, an independent business group of Advent, has surpassed 540 clients and exceeded $245 billion in assets on its portfolio management, reporting, and rebalancing platform.

Wealth Managers Enlist Spy Tools to Map Portfolios from the New York Times

Some of the engineers who used to help the Central Intelligence Agency solve problems have moved on to another challenge: determining the value of every conceivable investment in the world.

Vestorly Partners With Advisor Websites to Enhance Client Engagement and Lead Generation from PRWeb

Vestorly, a leading client engagement and lead generation platform, and Advisor Websites, a leading provider of websites to advisors, announced today a joint venture to develop highly engaging websites that build advisors’ brands with investors, as well as generate qualified leads for marketing purposes.

Announcing our new release from Guide Financial

At Guide Financial, our core mission is to help America’s next generation achieve a secure financial future. We are excited to roll out a new release that underscores our commitment to advisors serving the next generation. The new release is now available to currently subscribed advisors and will become more broadly available in the coming weeks.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 8, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 8, 2014

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 11

On today’s broadcast, Junxure Cloud has officially arrived after several years of delays. Will the features in version one make it worth the wait? Wealth Access continues its growth as a personal financial dashboard for high net worth clients. Does it have what it takes to get advisors to stop using Mint.com? And consulting firm QuonWarrene announces a new technology audit service. Find out how their service can help move your firm’s technology in the right direction.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by ITEGRIA, providers of complete outsourced technology support, security, infrastructure and IT solutions exclusively for RIAs.

itegria - providing a 360-degree, comprehensive approach to financial advisor IT needs

To learn how you can keep your data safe from attackers, download a free copy of their latest white paper on social engineering attacks by visiting fppad.com/itegria.

Here are the links to this week’s top stories:

Junxure Announces Wide Release of Junxure Cloud CRM for Financial Advisors from PRNewswire

[This week’s top story covers two CRM providers in financial services. First up is Junxure, which issued a press release announcing the general release of its long-awaited Junxure Cloud product after what seems like an eternity in development.

The Junxure Desktop product has always been a top contender among CRMs for advisors, but as firms became more comfortable with software in the cloud, Junxure lacked a completely web-based version of its CRM. With Junxure Cloud, the company finally has an answer.] Junxure CRM, an industry-leading practice improvement firm for financial advisors that integrates CRM technology, consulting, and training, today announced the general release of Junxure Cloud™, its comprehensive, cloud-based CRM/office management solution for financial advisors.

ProTracker pulls cloud-based CRM back into beta from InvestmentNews

[But another CRM provider with a web-based solution has actually pulled its software out of general release and put it back into beta testing.

The CRM is ProTracker Cloud, which is built on top of open-source software called SugarCRM. Warren Mackensen, president of ProTracker Software, said he suspended product sales earlier this year, citing dissatisfaction with its look and feel and feedback from customers. Mackenson did not offer insight as to when ProTracker Cloud will once again be available for purchase, but as soon as I know, I’ll be sure to share the update with you.] Eight months after announcing the launch of a cloud-based customer relationship management product for advisers, ProTracker Software Inc. has stopped selling its ProTracker Cloud CRM while the company fixes some kinks in the product.

Wealth Access Experiencing Rapid Growth and Momentum in Wealth Management Industry from PRWeb

[Next is an update from Wealth Access, a high net worth personal financial management platform I originally covered for Morningstar Advisor back in September 2012. The company has come a long way in two years, as it now aggregates $7 billion in assets and has a grown from a team of two people to over 17 today.

Wealth Access works a lot like Mint.com and eMoney Advisor, but caters to high net worth clients that typically own real estate, hard assets, and collectibles that can’t be updated with simple account aggregation.

In addition, clients have granular control over who can see their account information. For example, CPAs might be able to view just the accounts that generate taxable income, while wealth managers have permission to see all of the client’s investable assets. So if you want to offer something like Mint.com to your clients, but with more sophisticated account management, then Wealth Access may be worth exploring for your business.] Wealth Access, an innovative high net worth personal financial management platform for advisors, announced today several milestones that represent fast growth and adoption of its industry leading technology. In only its third year, Wealth Access now reports on $7 billion, adding an additional $600 million per month, up from $250 million per month in 2013.

QuonWarrene Announces Spot-Audit Service from QuonWarrene.com

[And finally, many of you come away with great technology ideas from my Bits and Bytes broadcasts, but you’re still looking for some guidance on where you should focus your efforts. In addition to the consulting services I provide to advisors, there’s a new service available from Quon Warrene, an advisor consulting firm, called the Spot Audit™.

The QuonWarrene Spot Audit is an efficient way to address the technology challenges you face in your business. Start by completing a questionnaire about your existing technology, then participate on a collaborative conference call, and then receive an assessment report score card with recommendations on what you should tackle first. So if I don’t have immediate availability for technology consulting, QuonWarrene now gives you another option to identify where you can make improvements in technology.] QuonWarrene today announced an expansion to its services tailored for financial advisors and institutions, introducing the Spot-Audit.

Here are the stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

Amazon Zocalo from Amazon.com

Amazon Zocalo is a fully managed, secure enterprise storage and sharing service with strong administrative controls and feedback capabilities that improve user productivity. 

Pershing Announces the Next Generation of its Block Trading and Rebalancing Tool for Advisor-Directed Programs from MarketWatch.com

Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today announced the next generation of its block trading and rebalancing tool—delivered through its technology platform NetX360®—which offers a series of new capabilities for advisors.

Be a robo-adviser, the human way from InvestmentNews

It’s not hard to see why robo-advisers are generating so much buzz: They purport to use powerful technology to deliver what they call tailored investment recommendations at a fraction of the cost of traditional investment managers. That’s a pretty compelling proposition, especially for newbie investors.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 11, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 11, 2014

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 3

On today’s broadcast, a group of NexGen financial planners reveal their top technology apps. Are you using any of these popular tools in your business? A startup named Quovo aims to streamline account aggregation. Will they be able to solve frustrations with managing held-away accounts? And, this month’s Journal of Financial Planning is packed with great content. Find out which contributions can help you boost your firm’s technology.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by the 2014 T3 Enterprise Conference, exclusively designed for the technology needs of broker-dealers and financial enterprises.

T3EClogo600

If you’re looking for the best place to monitor trends in broker-dealer technology, you need to come to Atlanta November 11th through 13th. Reserve your spot today by visiting t3enterpriseconference.com

Here are the links to this week’s top stories:

What an Elite Group of Younger Advisors Has to Say from Advisor Perspectives

[This week’s top story comes from Bob Veres, the savant of the financial planning profession, who provided an introspection of the FPA NexGen gathering he recently attended in Moline, IL. FPA NexGen is a community of over 2,000 FPA members age 36 and under, representing the future of the industry as they succeed today’s advisors who are entering retirement.

While Veres presents several thought-provoking discussions from the event, you’ll find his recap of technology tools and apps mentioned at the NexGen gathering to be of particular interest. Some of the top apps include ScheduleOnce, and online calendar clients can use to automatically book meetings, Evernote, an omnipresent note-taking app, Pay Simple, an online billing and payment service, and many more.] I recently served as a facilitator for the annual NexGen conference, this year held on the campus of Augustana University in Moline, IL., … [where] I was able to gain insight into the very different way that the financial planning landscape looks through the eyes of younger advisors just starting their careers — and in many cases, from the bottom end of a planning firm’s organizational chart.

Advisor Aggravation from Financial Advisor Magazine

[Next up is a column from technology consultant Joel Bruckenstein. In his latest update for Financial Advisor magazine, Bruckenstein highlights a start up in the account aggregation space called Quovo.

For the longest time, reconciliation-ready account aggregation was available from just a handful of providers. First is ByAllAccounts, which was just purchased by Morningstar back in April for $28 million, then CashEdge, which was acquired by Fiserv for $465 million in 2011, and Aqumulate, formerly known as Advisor Exchange.

New to the scene is Quovo, which claims to aggregate data from over 18,000 financial institutions to provide detailed performance reports, asset allocation reviews, and even simulated market stress testing. Bruckenstein wrote that “Quovo has great potential in the advisory space,” so it’s worth adding the company to your technology radar, especially if you’re looking to improve your ability to work with clients’ held-away accounts.] In the wake of Morningstar’s recent purchase of ByAllAccounts, this seems like a particularly good time to take a look at a firm called Quovo.

Journal of Financial Planning July Issue from OneFPA.org

[And finally, the July 2014 edition of the Journal of Financial Planning is now available, and it’s a very good one with respect to technology. You’ll definitely want to check out the cover story that features two case studies on how to effectively market a financial planning business, then read a column from past FPA President Dan Moisand on why robo-advisors are a problem for the profession, and also read my own contribution on the seven most important tips you need to follow to enhance the videos you upload online.

You need to be an FPA member to access the digital edition of the magazine, but I think it’s worth it given the value you’ll receive from the Journal as well as the other member benefits offered by the FPA.] Marketing experts Kristen Luke and Kristin Harad, CFP®, offer specific marketing tactics for two very different advisory firms—one new, eager to start marketing, but not sure how; and one established, wishing to better attract high net worth clients.

Here are the stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

MoneyGuidePro® Announces Enhanced Integration with Morningstar Office from BusinessWire

MoneyGuidePro®, a leader in goal-focused financial planning, and Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced greatly enhanced integration between MoneyGuidePro and Morningstar OfficeSM, the practice and portfolio management system for independent financial advisors.

Rebalancing Made Easy from Financial Advisor Magazine

Portfolio rebalancing can be a time consuming and largely inefficient task if attempted manually. That is why portfolio management software and rebalancing solutions have become so popular.

Morgan Stanley lets advisers write what they tweet from InvestmentNews

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has given financial advisers the go-ahead to write their own Twitter content.

ProTracker pulls cloud-based CRM back into beta from InvestmentNews

Eight months after announcing the launch of a cloud-based customer relationship management product for advisers, ProTracker Software Inc. has stopped selling its ProTracker Cloud CRM while the company fixes some kinks in the product.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 3, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 3, 2014

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It’s a privilege to be named an InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Honoree

I truly appreciate the opportunity to connect with you, the community of financial professionals here at FPPad, to help keep you informed and up to date on technology innovation in financial services.

And when someone recognizes my contributions to the industry, I feel that it further validates the passion I have to help financial professionals build better businesses with technology.

InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Honoree

Investment News 40 under 40Yesterday, InvestmentNews released its inaugural 40 Under 40 project to recognize the talent, influence, and contributions of young professionals in the industry, and it is an honor to be one of the individuals on the list.

For more about the progression of my career since founding FPPad in 2008, I put together a short video to reflect on the last six years and to envision what’s ahead in the future of the financial advice industry.

Enjoy, and thank you so much for helping contribute to the success of FPPad!

InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs: (l to r: Kristen Luke, Jason Van Duyn, and Bill Winterberg)

InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs: (left to right: Kristen Luke, Jason Van Duyn, and Bill Winterberg)

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 20

On today’s broadcast, Apple previews new features in its mobile and desktop operating systems. Will they be enough to wean advisors away from Microsoft? Betterment launches a new tax loss harvesting algorithm. How much potential additional return can this service add to client portfolios? And, if you just can’t get enough of real-time stock and economic data, then you need to check out the new Dashboard from YCharts.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM. Don’t waste another warm summer evening reading your CRM’s user manual.

Wealthbox CRM

Instead, turn on simplicity, tune in to Wealthbox, and drop out of CRM school with Wealthbox’s outrageously simple CRM. Get a free trial today by visiting fppad.com/wealthbox

Here are the links to this week’s top stories:

Preview iOS 8 from Apple, and

Preview OS X Yosemite from Apple

[This week’s top story highlights Apple’s announcements at its 2014 World Wide Developers Conference held in San Francisco. The company introduced a ton of new features coming in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite later this fall, but here are ones that are most relevant to financial advisors.

First, iCloud Drive was introduced as Apple’s answer to popular cloud document synchronization services like Dropbox, Box, and ShareFile. You’ll soon be able to synchronize all kinds of files, not just Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents, to the iCloud service, but iCloud Drive’s sharing features are not as robust as other providers. While you can share individual files from iCloud using a unique URL, you can’t sync entire folders of documents with other iCloud users.

Second, an update to the iOS keyboard includes predictive text that will suggest contextually appropriate words and phrases to significantly speed up your replies while responding on your device. Hopefully this will put an end to your pithy text message lingo!

Third, security gets a boost as data stored in the Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and Messages apps first requires a passcode for access any time the phone is rebooted.

And fourth, iOS 8 will allow you to mirror your device’s screen directly to an Apple TV without joining a WiFi network. This peer-to-peer AirPlay connection is perfect for the times you want to mirror your iPad screen to a TV, but don’t have access to a WiFi network at a client’s home or at a conference hotel. Try doing that with a Chromecast! 

On the OS X Yosemite side, advisors should enjoy the flexibility to make and receive phone calls from your computer using your iPhone, a supercharged Spotlight app that offers search results from Wikipedia, Bing, Maps, and more, and a clever Handoff feature to synchronize your work in progress between your Mac and your iOS devices.]

Betterment Introduces Tax Loss Harvesting+™ from Betterment.com, and

White Paper: Tax Loss Harvesting+™

[Next up is news from Betterment, the online algorithm-powered investment service, which just announced the introduction of Tax Loss Harvesting Plus™.

In a very detailed white paper, Betterment identified how its Tax Loss Harvesting Plus service would have generated an additional 0.77 percent annualized after-tax return over 13 years of backtested data. But as I read through the discussion of navigating wash sale rules and Betterment’s Parallel Position Management strategy, I couldn’t help but think that managing such nuances of tax loss harvesting can potentially turn in to a full-time job for advisors, especially those who employ active strategies with individual equities and ETFs.

I reached out to Jon Stein, Betterment founder and CEO, and he confirmed that the Tax Loss Harvesting Plus™ service will be available in the Betterment Institutional platform that will be introduced to financial advisors in the near future. So now you’re faced with a yet another decision: will you continue to manage time-consuming tax loss harvesting strategies with in-house technology, or outsource this service once Betterment’s Institutional offering becomes available?] Tax Loss Harvesting+ can reduce your tax exposure better than other automated harvesting tools. Every transaction, both customer and system initiated, is executed in a tax-efficient way.

YCharts Dashboard from YCharts.com

[And wrapping up this week’s broadcast is news from YCharts, a research and charting provider to a variety of financial institutions. In response to overwhelming feedback, YCharts introduced a new Dashboard application that allows users to build their own customs screens with all sorts of analytical tools.

If you live and breathe charts, watch lists, and economic indicators but don’t want to pay the high price for a Bloomberg terminal, YCharts lets you view data on US and Canadian equites, ETFs, ADRs and over 400,000 economic indicators. Shawn Carpenter, YCharts co-founder and CEO, also told me that the next wave of data updates to YCharts will include mutual funds.] The Dashboard is all about you: Which companies you want to see. Which indicators you want to follow. Which indices matter to your investing process. Set it up once, and it will be with you for the rest of your investing career.

Here are the links to stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

Cybersecurity firm says large hedge fund attacked from CNBC.com

In an audacious and sophisticated attack, cybercriminals acting in late 2013 installed a malicious computer program on the servers of a large hedge fund, crippling its high-speed trading strategy and sending information about its trades to unknown offsite computers, CNBC has learned.

RegEd Launches Enterprise Risk Control Center

RegEd, a leading provider of technology solutions for compliance and risk management for the financial services industry, announced today the launch of RegEd SCORE™ Risk Control Center, the industry’s first analytics-driven solution that brings together critical compliance and business data to enable Broker-Dealers to identify and manage behavioral and sales practice risk among their registered population.

A Guide to RIA CRM Software for Investment Adviser Firms of all Sizes from RIAinaBox.com

Using data from our recent 2014 RIA Systems and Operations Survey along with other industry observations, we wanted to provide some guidance when it comes to selecting the right CRM software tool for your advisory firm.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 20, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 20, 2014

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 30

On today’s broadcast, Microsoft introduces the Surface Pro 3 line of tablets. Will the third time be the charm to win adoption from advisors? Cybersecurity remains a hot topic in financial services. Read what one compliance attorney says are the worst security practices he’s ever seen. And, advisor matchmaking websites are popping up everywhere. Will any of them reach critical mass to successfully match prospects with the right advisor?

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by ITEGRIA, providers of complete outsourced technology support, security, infrastructure and IT solutions exclusively for RIAs.

itegria - providing a 360-degree, comprehensive approach to financial advisor IT needs

To learn how you can keep your data safe from attackers, download a free copy of their latest white paper on social engineering attacks by visiting fppad.com/itegria.

Here are the links to this week’s top stories:

Fly Or Die: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 from TechCrunch

[This week’s top story comes from Microsoft, as the company recently introduced its third generation of Surface Pro tablets due out by mid to late June. The entry level Surface Pro 3 comes with the Core i3 processor and 64GB of storage, starting at $799, but a fully loaded Core i7 version with 512 GB of storage will set you back almost $2,000 and it doesn’t include the detachable Type Cover, which runs an additional $129.

Microsoft is using its Surface Pro 3 to take aim at the Apple MacBook Air line of popular ultra-thin laptops. While the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than the 13” MacBook air, offers a touch display, and has a removable keyboard, the fully-loaded version runs nearly $300 more than the top of the line MacBook Air.

Still, the latest Surface runs Windows 8 natively, supports Microsoft Office, and poses fewer compatibility issues with proprietary broker-dealer or custodial software that often requires Internet Explorer.

But at 18% taller and 22% wider than the iPad Air, to me the Surface really isn’t a tablet as much as it is a touchscreen laptop with a detachable keyboard. It remains to be seen whether the Surface Pro 3 will gain adoption from advisors, or languish when compared with the more traditional Windows laptops from manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, and others.] Forget everything you thought you knew about the Microsoft Surface tablet, as the latest generation of the Windows-powered Surface Pro is a clear step up from the Microsoft slates of yore.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review: A legitimate work PC in tablet clothing from PCWorld

Through every iteration, Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet has edged closer to becoming a true laptop replacement. Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 3 takes several small steps in that direction—along with one giant, game-changing leap.

Experts: Financial Advisers Lax on Cybersecurity from WSJ.com

[Next up is a timely article on poor cybersecurity practices among financial advisors. In a Wall Street Journal column, Brian Hamburger, compliance attorney and chief executive of MarketCounsel, identified several dangerous issues he’s seen when visiting advisory firms.

The innocent, but dangerous, practices include things like writing down passwords on sticky notes, failing to reset passwords when an employee leaves the firm, and not encrypting laptop hard drives.

Couple that with the dramatic increase in client spoofing, where hackers break in to client email accounts to request fraudulent money transfers, and you have a recipe for some substantial financial losses as well as the loss of client trust.

Regarding passwords, my advice is to treat them like a pair of boxer shorts. Yes, boxer shorts: Keep them a mystery, don’t share them, don’t leave them lying around, and please, change them often!] When consultant Brian Hamburger visits financial advisory firms he often sees a practice as innocent as it is dangerous: Passwords posted on computers to help advisers remember them.

‘Match.com’ for advisers and clients expands to San Francisco from InvestmentNews

[And finally, there are a number of new websites that have recently launched to match consumers seeking financial advice with financial advisors. You may already be familiar with services like Paladin Registry or WiserAdvisor.com, and to a lesser extent, the advisor search features from the FPA and NAPFA.

But recently, InvestmentNews highlighted the latest entrant into the field called GuideVine. The service follows a similar theme to existing advisor matchmaking websites, but GuideVine offers embedded video introductions along with standard written biographies to help consumers get a feel of each advisor’s unique characteristics.

Now I support any and all websites that have the objective of connecting clients with advisors that are right for them, but I think advisors would be wise to invest time and energy building their own online resources, which include a blog, active social media profiles, and even a YouTube channel.

I feel it’s key to be visible in the places where your potential clients are active every day, and to me, the advisor matchmaking sites just don’t have the large audiences that are found on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and more.] GuideVine, a technology startup that wants to connect advisers with consumers seeking financial advice, started operations on Thursday in San Francisco after a successful New York launch in March.

And here are stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

Voices: Katie Stokes, on Getting Rid of the Quarterly Report from WSJ.com (free preview)

With real-time market and investment available online to every client, the quarterly report is an obsolete mode of data delivery.

Riskalyze and United Planners Launch Partnership from Yahoo Finance

United Planners Financial Services (UP), a national RIA and independent broker-dealer partnership with more than 350 advisors nationwide, and Riskalyze, the creator of the Risk Number™, today announced a partnership to equip every UP advisor with industry-leading Client Risk Profile technology to pinpoint client risk tolerance.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 30, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 30, 2014

 

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 16

On today’s broadcast, two financial technology startups raise new rounds of capital. Find out how their solutions have the potential to enhance your business. A popular online document storage provider adds new features. Will they be enough to wean advisors off of consumer services like Dropbox? And this month I say farewell in my final column for Morningstar Advisor, but not before I leave readers with a glimpse of disruptive advisor technology coming in the near future.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

This week’s episode is brought to you by Wealth Management Marketing, providers of complete outsourced marketing services for Registered Investment Advisers.

Wealth Management Marketing

Learn how outsourcing your marketing can result in successful custom marketing campaigns that grow your business by visiting fppad.com/wmm.

Here are this week’s top stories:

Motif Investing partners with financial advisors to introduce flat-fee trading and rebalancing platform from Motif Investments

[Leading off this week’s broadcast is news on two financial technology startups, Motif Investing and Addepar, which both announced new rounds of financing this week. Motif Investing, fresh off its second Best of Show award from Finovate, raised $35 million in funding from new investors, bringing its total to $86 million in venture capital.

During its Finovate Spring 2014 demo, Motif unveiled the Motif Advisor Platform, a solution that allows financial advisors to build, manage and rebalance their own motifs on behalf of clients. Motifs can include a combination of up to 30 stocks and ETFs, but instead of paying a commission to trade each individual security, motifs can be traded for one flat fee of just $9.95. Combining your model portfolios into motifs has the potential to save you time when trading, and it undoubtedly saves your clients in transaction fees that can add up quickly.] Motif Investing’s Advisor Platform, which was recently awarded “Best of Show” at the FinovateSpring conference, streamlines how advisors can build, monitor, and rebalance model portfolios.

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Addepar Raises $50M in Series C Financing from BusinessWire.com

[And moving on to Addepar, the company announced a round of Series C financing to the tune of $50 million dollars, bringing its investment total to $66 million. Addepar’s technology is designed to bring better transparency to the world of complex investments, which includes private equity, committed capital, non-traded alternatives, and more. If you need a refresher on Addepar’s technology and its potential to serve the RIA market, you can watch my interview with Addepar’s former president and chief strategy officer Mike Paulus.] Addepar, a leading financial technology platform for the $120 trillion investment management industry, announced that it has raised $50 million in its Series C financing.

Citrix ShareFile Secures Files for Today’s Mobile Workspaces from Citrix.com

[Next is an update on ShareFile, the web-based document storage service now owned by Citrix. At its annual conference in southern California last week, Citrix announced several enhancements to the document storage service popular among financial advisors. First is a new Software Development Kit, or SDK, that enables support for more third-party integrations with the ShareFile service.

Second, a ShareFile Personal Cloud Connector was introduced to facilitate the migration of files stored in other online services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s OneDrive and consolidate everything in ShareFile. Third, the company announced the upcoming redesign of the ShareFile app for iPhone that will offer a simplified and easier-to-use interface. And finally, all ShareFile users can now review and edit Microsoft Office documents or annotate PDF files on a mobile device, which are features that were once only available to enterprise subscribers.] Today at Citrix Synergy™, Citrix announced new Citrix ShareFile® features that deliver the broadest storage access for users and the most choice for IT.

The Big Trends in Financial Services Technology from Morningstar Advisor

[And finally, if you’re want to stay up to date on the big trends in financial services technology, you should read my farewell column at Morningstar Advisor this month. Yes, after four years of monthly columns, I have decided to hang up my hat, but not before leaving loyal readers with a glimpse of what I feel will be the most significant technology trends to affect the advisory profession. A preview of those trends includes big data and social collaboration in your CRM, first offered by Redtail and Wealthbox respectively, modern on-demand portfolio reports from companies like Blueleaf, Quovo, and Guide Financial, and the disruptive potential of tech-heavy online investment providers like Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, and more.] In a farewell report, MorningstarAdvisor.com technology columnist Bill Winterberg reflects on the advancements and evolutions in cloud-based and mobile technology, CRM, portfolio management, rebalancing software, and online advice over the last four years.

Here are stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

Advisor Websites & Salesforce – The integration you’ve been waiting for from Advisor Websites

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 16, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 16, 2014

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