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Reactions as the 2016 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC Conference closes

Several integrated solution providers in the Veo® Village share the technology themes that emerged during their conversations with advisors at the 2016 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC Conference.

Our coverage from TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM. Sign up for a free trial today at wealthbox.com

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360º tour of the Veo® Village at TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC 2016

What does it take to build a technology ecosystem for independent RIAs? It takes a village.

Quite literally, a Veo® Village.

Join me as Chris Valleley gives me a one-on-one tour of the Veo® Village assembled at the 2016 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC conference.

This is a 360º video tour, so it is best viewed on your mobile device using the YouTube app.

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When will TD Ameritrade Institutional release Veo One to advisors?

Several advisors have asked about updates on Veo One, the technology dashboard from TD Ameritrade Institutional announced to much fanfare during the company’s 2015 conference (watch Veo One details from the TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC 2015 Conference).

I met once again with Technology Solutions executives Chris Valleley and Jon Patullo to set expectations on when advisors can expect the official rollout of Veo One (hint: it will be an iterative rollout planned for the fall of 2016).

Our coverage from TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM. Sign up for a free trial today at wealthbox.com

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What to expect from TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC 2016

We are covering the 2016 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC Conference in Orlando where we are working to capture the technology news and announcements made at the event.

Watch the two-minute video above to preview what you can expect from our coverage of the conference.

Our coverage from TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM. Sign up for a free trial today at wealthbox.com

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 29

On today’s broadcast, Betterment launches 401k plans for business, Morningstar updates its iPad app for advisors, Vestorly raises a new venture capital, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Betterment for Business Officially Launches and Announces Advisory Board from PRNewswire.com

[This week’s top story features Betterment, as the automated investment service announced the official launch of Betterment for Business, the company’s 401(k) plan for employers.

Earlier this month, Betterment for Business received a very strong endorsement from the founder of a start-up called Estimize, saying the plan was so easy to set up that it could potentially crush the 401(k) industry.

With plan fees ranging from 60 basis points all the way down to 10 basis points for billion-dollar plans, and an interface built for ease of use, Betterment’s offering might actually be one that you recommend to your small business-owner clients, and you might even consider it for your own company’s 401(k) needs.

Among large 401(k) plans, established providers like Vanguard, Fidelity, and Financial Engines have a sizable advantage, but underserved companies establishing their first 401(k) plan should see Betterment as a very attractive solution.

This reminds me of how Betterment targeted young underserved investors back in 2010… huh.] Betterment, the largest automated investing service, today announced the official launch of Betterment for Business. The new 401(k) platform, which uses smarter technology and includes personalized investment advice for all plan participants, is now live for a charter group of plan sponsors and participants.


Preview Morningstar’s new iPad app dashboard for advisors from Morningstar

Sigma Prime leads Series A round for Vestorly from PEHub.com

Vestorly, Inc. the leading content marketing platform in financial services headquartered in New York City, today announced a Series A round of funding of $4.1 million.

New cloud storage options for Office mobile and Office Online from Office.com

Today, we’re making Office even easier for customers to use with cloud storage providers by adding real-time co-authoring with Office Online for documents stored in partner cloud services, extending our Office for iOS integration to all partners in the CSPP, and enabling integration between Outlook.com and cloud storage providers Dropbox and Box.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 29, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 29, 2016

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 15

On today’s broadcast, Jemstep gets acquired by Invesco, rumors fly about a Snapchat robo advisor, FutureAdvisor links up with its first bank, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Invesco acquires Jemstep, a market-leading provider of advisor-focused digital solutions from PRNewswire

[This week’s top story comes from Jemstep, as the B2B online investment platform was acquired by Invesco, the $800 billion dollar asset manager based a stone’s throw away from my studio right here in Atlanta.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, Jemstep’s leadership will stay onboard to run the Invesco subsidiary, and for now, the company says there won’t be any changes to existing partnerships, custodians, or asset availability in model portfolios.

Ignoring B2C acquisitions of FutureAdvisor and LearnVest, the last twelve months have seen John Hancock acquire Guide Financial and Envestnet acquire Upside.

So who are the independent B2B providers left? I see Autopilot, Trizic, Oranj, Vanare, Betterment Institutional, Motif Investing, and to some extent, the roll-your-own open source platform from Wealthbot.] Invesco Ltd. has acquired Jemstep, a market-leading provider of advisor-focused digital solutions.

Social media firms make ETF push from Reuters

[But hold on! Sending shockwaves in the retail robo space is Snapchat, as rumors were flying this week that the ephemeral chat app might introduce it’s own investment service to its 100 million active daily users.

Uh, let me explain my thoughts in a brief demonstration… Get it, jump the shark?] Snapchat is understood to be at the front of a queue of tech firms developing Robo-Advisory technology – which uses algorithms to help users develop and implement customized investment strategies for retirement planning.

BBVA Compass Teams Up With Robo FutureAdvisor from Forbes

[But wait, there’s more! In its first move after being acquired by BlackRock, FutureAdvisor announced it is partnering with BBVA Compass to roll out the automated investment tools to the bank’s nearly 700 branches in the US.

Bank customers will get access to FutureAdvisors’ digital investment management for the standard fee of 50 basis points, and you can probably bet that new accounts opened up with be held with BBVA’s broker-dealer affiliate, which is how the bank capitalizes on the partnership.] BBVA Compass, the Sunbelt subsidiary of the Spanish banking giant, has announced it will partner with FutureAdvisor to offer its customers digital investment management, popularly known as Robo Advisors. It is the first major bank to sign on with FutureAdvisor since the advisory firm combined forces with BlackRock, the giant asset management company, last year.

Robo Adviser Wealthfront Begins to Offer Free Portfolio Reviews from WSJ.com

[And if you’re not sick of robos by now, let me add news from Wealthfront who this week released a free Portfolio Review service to show investors how bad their current portfolios are and urge them to save a boat load of money by switching to Wealthfront. Whoops, did I say that out loud?

This concept is nothing new, as Personal Capital has offered a similar portfolio analyzer since 2011, and FeeX has been doing it since 2012, but here’s the deal. These VC-backed companies are spending tons of money to target your clients and prospects to get them to try out this tool, and of course, they’re going to tell clients they have suboptimal allocations and are paying high fees to their advisor.

So, expect clients to bring up fees, allocations, and performance in your next meeting, and you need to have a strong answer in the form of your value proposition, which is all the added advice, guidance, and behavior management you deliver that the automated services are incapable of providing.] In a bid to attract more assets, Wealthfront Inc. is joining other robo advisers in providing free advice to investors about their accounts at other financial institutions.

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

New Laserfiche Release Aims to Improve ECM from CMSWire

Laserfiche just released version 10 of its enterprise content management system (ECM). Speaking at the Laserfiche Empower 2016 Conference in Long Beach, Calif., Laserfiche President Karl Chan said the new version is designed to supercharge content-driven business processes, enabling enterprises to redesign the flow of information throughout the enterprise.

LastPass Revamps Its Interface, Adds Emergency Access and Better Sharing from Lifehacker

LastPass is one of the best password managers around. Today it gets a bit better with an improved interface and a handful of new features.

Dashlane 4 Makes Changing Passwords on Hacked Sites Easier, Adds a New Interface, and More from Lifehacker

Dashlane is one of our favorite password managers, and today the service updated with a new, consistent interface across all devices, an updated “password changer” that lets you change passwords on a site without even visiting it, new languages, and more.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 15, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 15, 2016

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Will 2016 bring a “run on the robos?”

How well are the online investment services prepared for a run on the bank type scenario?

How well are the online investment services prepared for a run on the bank type scenario?

Edit January 6, 2016: Added details that Personal Capital Advisors uses the custody services of Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC. Removed this tweet from a user of Personal Capital’s free dashboard, replaced with the Wealthfront tweet seen below.

I’m posting this today, as I’m genuinely concerned about what will happen when online investment services get flooded with redemption/account close requests.

“You STINK”

For example, take this tweet (note to readers in the future: if the embedded tweets below get deleted, I captured screenshots that I can post for posterity):

I stumbled across this tweet, as this person is upset about their portfolio performance.

So this got me thinking:

What happens when online investment services get flooded with redemption requests and account closures?

Run on the Robos

If an online investment service isn’t responsive to requests and complaints in a public forum (Twitter), how well will they respond once they are deluged with irate customers who are fed up and want out quickly?

“Sorry, we have a big backlog right now, but no worries, your money is still safe?”

¯_(ツ)_/¯

I don’t ever want to see businesses fail. I don’t ever want to see investors get into difficult situations regarding their investments.

But I fear that if a trickle of dissatisfaction with online investment services quickly becomes a flood, online services will get crushed.

Not picking on Personal Capital

Before you go, don’t assume that I’m picking on Personal Capital.

Yes, tweets above that are related to their company trigged my question of what happens when account closure rates skyrocket, but Personal Capital uses the custody services of Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC (it’s on page 5 of their Form ADV Part 2A Appendix 1).

Look, Pershing is a very large financial institution with nearly $1.5 trillion in global assets under administration and 75 years of experience.

200 account closures a day probably doesn’t make them sweat. 1,000 a week? That might be an average week. ACH, DTC, ACAT, they don’t bat an eye.

But for the startups that manage their own proprietary systems on top of Apex Clearing? Have they been tested?

I suppose I can contact them and ask, but what answer do you think I’m going to receive?

“Oh, Bill, thank you for bringing this to our attention, and as a result we found bottlenecks in our processes and have improved our ability to efficiently and accurately process account redemptions and closures.”

I don’t think so.

I’ve heard this before: “Once you go robo, you don’t go back.”

That, and I wanted the first Internet timestamp for “run on the robos.”

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FPPad’s best moments (i.e. outtakes) of 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to thank you for spending a few minutes each week watching my videos.

I hope that you feel informed about the constant change in financial advisor technology, you’ve made a few decisions to implement technology in your business, and that you have laughed a time or two.

I take what I do seriously and try to deliver the best technology news and information for you, but I don’t take myself so seriously.

I love what I do, and I know that my passion for what you do (giving sound financial advice to your clients) comes through in each video I make.

Special thanks go to my Executive Producer Steve Biermann, who has been my right-hand man in content production throughout 2015. Something special happens when the two of us put our heads together, and again, I think that shows in the content we create.

So here’s to 2015; we did a ton of work.

2016, you are officially on notice!

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Between Sessions with FolioDynamix at T3 Enterprise 2015

I met with Joseph Mrak, Chairman & CEO of FolioDynamix, between sessions at T3 Enterprise 2015 to dive into the details of what he discussed during his general session presentation at the conference.

Over 80,000 advisors use the FolioDynamix platform which includes functionality for prospecting, account opening and ongoing account maintenance.

FolioDynamix also offers Fix SingleSight, an all in one platform for advisor and home office investment management.

Mrak used his presentation time to address the threats and opportunities posed by robo advisors in the wealth management industry.

“I’ve got nothing against robos,” Mrak said, “I just don’t find them all that novel,” and added that he was closely following the growth of such servives, citing this Economist article on disappointing growth at the largest automated investment services today.

 

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Between Sessions with Vanare at T3 Enterprise 2015

I met with Lex Sokolin, COO of Vanare, between sessions at T3 Enterprise 2015 to dive into the details of what he discussed during his general session presentation at the conference.

Sokolin asked the audience at T3 Enterprise to suspend disbelief and consider the emerging trends that have the potential to reinvent the wealth management industry.

Sokolin mentioned wearable computing, image recognition, natural language processing, digitization of money and securities (and the emergence of the blockchain), crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, and open-source software.

“But at the end of the day,” Sokolin advised, “you still need a real connection between an advisor and a client to yield meaningful change.”

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