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FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 19

On today’s broadcast, developers from the top technology providers assemble for a hackathon in Utah. Find out which innovations have the potential to work their way into your business. Advent announces a number of updates at its AdventConnect conference. Which one will help make your portfolio management more efficient? And, the SEC wants to see your cybersecurity policy. Find out which provider is offering a customized plan specific to 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.

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Time is running out to register and book your hotel room if you want to be in the best place to monitor trends in broker-dealer technology. Reserve your spot today by visiting t3enterpriseconference.com

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

Announcing the Fuse 2014 award winners from FPPad.com

[This week’s top story comes from Orion Advisor Services, which assembled one of the industry's first “hackahon” events in Park City, Utah last week called Fuse 2014. Building on a developer retreat originally conceived by Redtail Technology’s Brian McLaughlin a few years ago, Orion assembled over 50 developers and industry heavyweights from fifteen of the top advisor technology providers.

So what’s the purpose of this Fuse hackathon event? Gather talented developers together in the same room, tell them about advisor frustrations, and let them build solutions in less than 48 hours.

Top awards presented at the end of Fuse 2014 event include Gladstone’s business intelligence and valuation tool, AdvisoryWorld’s analytics integration directly into Orion’s client portal, and Orion Advisor Services’ latest mobile app for use by both clients and financial advisors.] Here is the complete list of Fuse 2014 award winners. More details are available on Twitter under the #FuseUtah hashtag and the FPPad YouTube channel.

Advent Announces Next Generation of the Black Diamond Wealth Management Platform: Designed to Elevate the Investor Experience and Enhance Firm Level Productivity from MarketWired, and

Peter Hess delivers Advent Direct specifics at Advent Connect as Dave Welling wows with Black Diamond’s cloud advance from RIABiz

[Next up is a review of AdventConnect 2014, Advent Software’s annual client conference held in Las Vegas last week. The company made a number of announcements at its event, so here are the ones most relevant to financial advisor technology.

First, Advent’s Black Diamond platform continues to mature, as the next generation, which some are calling Black Diamond 4.0, received new enhancements to its data mining capabilities, which advisors can now use to generate business intelligence reports on how their business is performing.

Also, Black Diamond is delivering a brand new experience to investors through a completely redesigned, mobile responsive, online portal. The updated portal can be customized for each client, will include a secure document vault, and offers a secure messaging system for investor and advisor collaboration. Black Diamond said the new investor portal will be available sometime in early 2015.

And Advent provided an update of its Advent Direct® Community, which I covered last year in episode 107. The community now features over 10,000 registered users who have used the platform to discuss over 700 topics posted by advisors, asset managers, hedge fund managers, and more. It’s kind of reminds me of a private LinkedIn Group on steroids.

But if you want to see an example of the latest updates to Black Diamond, you’re going to have to head over to Advent Software’s website and give up your email address to view a product demo.] Advent Software, Inc. today at its annual client conference in Las Vegas, NV shared a preview of the next generation of its Black Diamond wealth management platform, which marks a major step in its evolution from a pioneer of cloud-based portfolio management and reporting technology to a full-featured wealth management platform.

SEC’s Cybersecurity Initiative: Technology and Policies Must Line Up from PRNewswire

[And finally, this week’s episode ends with yet another discussion of cybersecurity and the importance of keeping sensitive data from being leaked on the Internet. You can’t get enough of that video, can you? So to boost advisors’ cybersecurity defenses, Right Size Solutions, a hosted technology service provider, teamed up with Stark & Stark, a law firm and legal consultant to RIAs, to create a written Cybersecurity Policy that can be customized for advisors who use the technology offered by Right Size Solutions.

The written policy and procedures detail what the RIA is prepared to do in the event a cybersecurity attack is encountered, and the document also contains information on security policies and standard practices established by Right Size Solutions.

Whether you use Right Size Solutions or any other hosted technology provider for your business, you need to maintain this kind of information, periodically test it, and demonstrate what you do when the SEC comes to examine your firm.] Registered Investment Advisors who fail to produce a written cybersecurity policy may find themselves with a deficiency noted during their routine examination process based on new review guidelines from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE).

Here are the stories that didn’t make the broadcast:

Redtail Technology and Morningstar Work Together to Simplify Advisor Practice through Redtail’s Enhanced CRM User Interface from Morningstar.com

Redtail Technology, a leading provider of client relationship management (CRM) software, and Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, are working together to simplify an advisor’s practice by providing seamless access to Morningstar’s proprietary research and analytics directly within a new Redtail user interface that will launch in the fourth quarter.

Finance Logix Widgets Now Available in Redtail CRM from PRWeb

Finance Logix, a leading financial planning and client engagement platform, and Redtail Technology, an industry leading CRM for advisors, announced today the integration of Finance Logix’s innovative Widgets into the core Redtail CRM system.

Junxure Announces Several Major Initiatives at Sold Out Advisor Conference from PRNewswire

Junxure, the RIA industry’s leading CRM and office management technology platform, will announce today at its second annual Advisor Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, several major initiatives and results that show a growing momentum in the financial advisory industry.

Cyber breaches rare among U.S. state-registered investment advisers -study from Reuters

Cyber security breaches are rare among investment advisory firms registered with U.S. states, but improvements to technology and procedures could still bolster protection of client information, state securities regulators said on Wednesday.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 19, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 19, 2014

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Announcing the Fuse 2014 award winners

Fuse 2014

I’ve had a busy weekend attending the inaugural Fuse 2014 event in Park City, Utah, also known as one of the first organized hackathon events for advisor-facing technology providers.

In the interest of time, here is the complete list of Fuse 2014 award winners. More details are available on Twitter under the #FuseUtah hashtag and the FPPad YouTube channel.

Best use of the Orion API: Advisory World

Best custodian integration: Cleverdome

Best use of portfolio accounting data: FinanceLogix

Best end-client experience: Orion Advisor Services

Best financial planning integration: FinanceLogix

Best research and analytics integration: AdvisoryWorld

Best document storage integration: Cleverdome

Best workflow application: Orion Discover / Riskalyze / Laser App Software

Best efficiency integration: Sagacious / Orchestrate

Best use of CRM data: ActiFi

Best application of business intelligence: Gladstone

 

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FileThis launches document and client portal for financial professionals

FileThis enhances document fetch capabilities with a client portal for financial professionals. Image courtesy of FileThis, Inc.

FileThis enhances document fetch capabilities with a client portal for financial professionals. Image courtesy of FileThis, Inc.

FileThis automates the collection and archiving of clients’ important records

FileThis, a startup based near Silicon Valley, released a version of its electronic document retrieval and storage service for financial professionals.

In a broadcast last year (watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 16), I highlighted FileThis Fetch, a service that connects to users’ financial accounts to capture electronic statements and PDF files, routing them to the user’s storage service of choice, including Evernote, Dropbox, Personal, and Google Drive.

FileThis Client Portal

Aimed at reducing lost or undelivered documents by clients, the FileThis Document and Client Portal uses the company’s same Fetch process to capture files from a variety of financial institutions including banks, credit card companies, investment accounts, and more.

The new Document and Client Portal adds on administrative features financial advisers should find very useful. Advisers can invitations to use the FileThis platform from the dashboard.

Once clients activate their accounts, they can begin to link financial accounts to FileThis so the platform can fetch related documents and statements.

Automatic Organization

FileThis attempts to automatically identify and categorize documents fetched by the platform to sort them into meaningful categories.

Documents can be stored in cabinets that correspond to high-level categories such as education, financial, and vital records.

Documents are also identified by accounts using vendor names like AT&T and Bank of America. Finally, individual documents are tagged with metadata to identify the content of the document, including bills, statements, invoices, and more.

Security

Any service that retrieves and stores sensitive financial information must have high security protections in place.

FileThis follows bank-level security procedures to ensure the safety and security of the information it stores.

Data to and from FileThis is sent using 256-bit SSL, and account credentials are encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption. Much more information on the FileThis security features can be found on this page: https://filethis.com/security/

Pricing

With the launch of FileThis Documents and Client Portal, FileThis is offering introductory pricing for new users.

The starter plan is $49 per month for one admin, and the admin account permits up to 50 login accounts for end users, i.e. clients.

Firms that need more accounts for clients should consider the $99 per month plan with two admin accounts and support for up to 400 client logins.

Pricing information for more than 400 client logins can be viewed at the bottom of this page: https://filethis.com/pro/

 

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 5

On today’s broadcast, custodians are battling for your business with their technology solutions. Which one is coming out on top? Hacked celebrity photos have been posted all over the Internet. How are you protecting your cloud data so you don’t embarrass yourself in front of clients? And Box is thinking outside of the cloud file storage, uh, box. Find out which new initiatives offer the best efficiency gains for financial advisors.

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:

Tech Update: What the Big Custodians Now Offer from Financial Planning

[This week’s top story comes from Joel Bruckenstein and his article in Financial Planning magazine. This month, Bruckenstein covered technology updates that the four major custodians have introduced, or are planning to introduce shortly, to financial advisors.
First on the list is Pershing Advisor Solutions, which most recently unveiled a new client portal called NetXInvestor, designed to be the single resource clients can access to view their portfolio holdings, access documents stored in the online vault, and in the near future, collaborate with their advisor through a secure messaging system.

Next is TD Ameritrade Institutional and its rollout of the Veo Open Access dashboard, which Bruckenstein said is poised to have the “most far-reaching impact” for advisors. The dashboard aims to unify your experience when using CRM, portfolio management, document management and other technologies. So instead of bouncing around from window to window, the dashboard leverages deep integrations with over 75 vendor integrations including Redtail CRM, Orion Advisor Services, and MoneyGuidePro to review, edit, and update data without leaving the Open Access dashboard.

Third up is Schwab Advisor Services, as Bruckenstein highlighted incremental updates to its esignature support, streamlined trade uploads from the Tamarac rebalancing soft are, and the integration of Morningstar Office to Schwab’ OpenView Gateway. Of particular interest is Schwab’s upcoming PM squared portfolio management platform, a completely new online solution that, according to Schwab’s Neesha Hathi, should be in limited beta testing as we speak.

And finally, updates on Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services rounded out the review, as the company’s WealthCentral platform will soon offer account-opening integration with Redtail and Skience for Salesforce, single sign on and trade order imports from Tamarac, portfolio imports into Naviplan and MoneyGuidePro, and other enhancements.] Over the last several years, the four major custodians have done a good job of enhancing their technology platforms. While there are some clear differences across the industry, it is fair to say that today’s platforms are far superior to what was being offered a few years ago.

You’re Reacting to Celebgate Wrong from Yahoo! Tech

Download my free Defend against hacking, phishing, and spoofing attacks handout

[Next up is news on cloud security, as I’m sure you might have heard that compromising photos of celebrities were leaked, apparently accessed from mobile device backups in the cloud. The Internet blew up, saying “Apple was hacked” and “iCloud has a security flaw.” Well, maybe not.

Yes, many of the private photos were obtained from the cloud, including Apple iCloud, but the method by which they were obtained is pretty old fashioned. Hackers used brute force attacks to successfully crack passwords and then correctly answered security questions that were far too basic, and the rest is history. So what can you do to prevent the sensitive data you manage from falling into the wrong hands?

Use long passwords, use a unique password for each website, and obfuscate answers to security questions. Instead of answering using Honda Civic as the make and model of your first car, use the word green, which might have been the color of your first car.

I have a lot more tips on keeping your data safe in a free handout you can downloaded, which is linked along with this week’s top stories.] Ever since somebody released nude photos of female movie stars this week, the wild overreactions have been clogging the Interwebs. Most of the hysteria runs along one of a few lines, and a lot of it is plain wrong.

Box’s Next Act: Box for Industries, Introducing Box Workflow, and BoxWorks 2014: New Ways to Collaborate in the Cloud from Box

[And finally, the online cloud file storage market is getting very crowded, so some of the top players are looking to set themselves apart from the competition. Case in point is Box, who this week announced several new initiatives, including Box for Industries, Box Workflow, and Box for Office 365.

Box for Industries expands on the Box OneCloud application marketplace and now highlights integrated solutions for verticals such as health care, education, and more, but notable absent is financial services. Box Workflow adds business process capabilities to firms by leveraging automation and document metadata. And Box for Office 356 better integrates Box with Microsoft’s online office suite which, if you’re not satisfied with OneDrive, opens up another cloud storage alternative.] Today… we’re announcing Box for Industries, a new initiative to accelerate business transformation in every business by combining tailored solutions leveraging Box’s metadata, workflow, compliance, and platform capabilities; industry-specific applications from curated third-party developers and partners; and world-class implementation services from Box and key system integrator partners.

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

Worth The Wait from Financial Advisor Magazine

It has taken much longer than anticipated, but Junxure CRM (www.junxure.com), a firm that integrates CRM technology, consulting and training for financial advisors, has finally announced the general release of “Junxure Cloud,” its comprehensive, cloud-based suite of CRM/office management products for financial advisors. After trying the application out for a few days, I’m happy to report that it was well worth waiting for.

Riskalyze announces Compliance Cloud to pinpoint risky portfolios from FPPad

Riskalyze Compliance Cloud aims to single out portfolios that drift outside a client’s risk tolerance

Online Adviser’s New Target: Investors With $1 Million or More from the Wall Street Journal

One of those online firms, sometimes dubbed “robo advisers,” is edging into the business of providing wealth-management services to people with $1 million or more.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 5, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 5, 2014

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Riskalyze announces Compliance Cloud to pinpoint risky portfolios

Riskalyze announces the launch of Compliance Cloud for broker-dealers and large RIAs

Riskalyze announces the launch of Compliance Cloud for broker-dealers and large RIAs

Riskalyze Compliance Cloud aims to single out portfolios that drift outside a client’s risk tolerance

In a press release today, Riskalyze, the provider of client risk tolerance quantification tools, announced the anticipated launch of Compliance Cloud, a utility that identifies portfolios that are outside their risk tolerance ranges established for individual investors.

Compliance Cloud was first announced by Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein at the Laser App 2014 conference last month in San Diego. Today’s press release sheds additional light on the benefits Compliance Cloud offers to its institutional users.

Pinpoint Risk

Compliance Cloud aims to reduce the number of unsuitable portfolio allocations applied to client accounts by automatically screening allocations advisors establish for clients and compares the amount of risk in each portfolio with each client’s risk score (likely the Risk Number™ generated by a Riskalyze assessment).

“Fortunately, with Compliance Cloud, the era of the ‘random account spot-check’ is officially over.” Aaron Klein, Riskalyze CEO

“Fortunately, with Compliance Cloud, the era of the ‘random account spot-check’ is officially over.” Aaron Klein, Riskalyze CEO

Any portfolios found to significantly exceed the client’s risk tolerance (or be significantly below) will be flagged by Compliance Cloud for further review. Not only is this automated risk scanning useful to individual advisers and broker-dealer representatives, Compliance Cloud will be a welcome feature for any institutional compliance officer responsible for oversight on thousands of the institution’s representatives.

‘Big Data’ for broker-dealers and institutions

Compliance Cloud is intended for use by broker-dealers and large registered investment advisory firms. Once again, these institutions typically have oversight over thousands, and potentially millions, of investor accounts, and manually identifying risk characteristics of investor portfolios is costly and inefficient.

Riskalyze takes advantage of the general adoption of “big data,” where useful insight and information is extracted by processing large volumes of disparate data spread across multiple systems. In Compliance Cloud, Riskalyze uses risk analytics obtained from millions of individual client portfolios and compares the data with risk tolerance data identified during the client data gathering and on-boarding process.

Historically, financial institutions and compliance officers lacked the tools to programmatically assess millions of holdings each day. Instead, client portfolios were selected at random and then spot-checked against the client’s (often incomplete or outdated) risk tolerance information.

Orion Advisor Services Integration

According to the Klein, Compliance Cloud has been in beta testing for several months with the general release of the product anticipated in October this year.  In addition, Orion Advisor Services, the nation’s largest privately held portfolio accounting service bureau, was identified by Riskalyze as “the premier launch partner” of the Compliance Cloud solution.

Compliance Cloud will be made available directly to Orion Advisor Services’ RIA clients where advisers can take advantage of the integration of reconciled portfolio accounting data, avoiding duplicate or manual entry of client holding information into Compliance Cloud.

Pricing for Compliance Cloud was not disclosed in the company press release, so check back in here at FPPad for more updates as this product enters the market.

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 29

On today’s broadcast, Google ups the ante among office mobile app providers. Will the enhancements be enough for you to leave Office 365? Dropbox and Amazon want your cloud file storage business. Find out who has the features and pricing that are right for your firm. And, creating time-lapse videos just became a whole lot easier. Learn how you can use a new iPhone app for an interesting twist on your website’s contact page.

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.

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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 this week’s stories of interest: Google bolsters iOS productivity suite with Slides, updates to Docs and Sheets from Apple Insider

[This week’s top story comes from Google, as the Internet search giant released a new app for iOS devices called Slides. Originally contained inside the Google Drive app, Slides is now the latest stand-alone app from Google to round out its mobile office productivity suite, which includes the previously-released Google Docs and Google Sheets apps.

This now rounds out Google’s mobile office toolkit, matching, at least in basic functionality, the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps from Apple, and the Office 365 apps of Word, Excel and PowerPoint most advisors know, and may or may not love.

The apps are free to use if you have a Google account and are included in Google Apps for Business subscriptions, priced at $50 per year per user. So if you don’t need any of the complex features in the Microsoft Office apps, the Google office apps may be everything you need to manage your business on the go at an affordable price.] Google on Monday released presentation app Slides alongside updates to existing iOS apps Docs and Sheets, offering a free Web-connected alternative to similar productivity suites from Microsoft and Apple.

Introducing a more powerful Dropbox Pro from Dropbox, Amazon Opens Up Its Enterprise Cloud Storage Service Zocalo To All from Techcrunch, and Cloud Storage Showdown: Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and More Compared from Gizmodo

[Next up is news on two cloud file storage services, Dropbox and Amazon Zocalo. First up is Dropbox, which announced this week that the company is upgrading it’s Pro plan to offer better security controls when sharing files and folders with others. Also new is an improved remote wipe feature. Before this update, any files synchronized to a device that later became unlinked from a Dropbox account would still stay on the device. Now with the updated remote wipe feature, that’s no longer the case.

And the storage space of the Dropbox Pro plan was increased to one terabyte with pricing remaining at $9.99 per month.

But a new service competing directly against Dropbox Pro users is Amazon’s Zocalo, which is now available for the general public after being in a limited preview for a few months. Designed with enterprise users in mind, Zocalo can integrate with Microsoft’s Active Directory services for user permissions and administration. Pricing for Zocalo starts at $5 per month per user for 200 gigabytes of data, and with all these options now for cloud file storage, it’s hard even for me to keep everything straight. But if you head over to fppad.com/138, I’ve linked to a handy chart from Gizmodo with the details of many of the top cloud file storage providers.] We first launched Dropbox to help you simplify your life. Since then, you’ve told us that Dropbox does more than just that — it enables anyone with an idea, project, or passion to create amazing things.

Hyperlapse: Instagram’s First Standalone App You’ll Actually Want to Use from Mashable

Download Hyperlapse from Instagram from iTunes

[And finally, my last story will give you something to do to add some creativity to your weekend. Earlier this week, Instagram released a new app for iOS called Hyperlapse. The Hyperlapse app allows you to record several minutes of video on your iPhone and condense down to a quick time-lapse video with some added video stabilization. So why is this relevant to you as an advisor?

Here’s one idea on how you can use the Hyperlapse app in your business. The next time you drive to your office, mount your phone to your dashboard and record the route you take to get there. The hold your phone while you walk into your building and go to your office, and then create a Hyperlapse video from that footage. Post that Hyperlapse video next to your address on your website’s contact page. That way, anyone who is going to visit your office for the very first time can actually see where they should park and what door to enter, all in cool Hyperlapse video.] Instagram’s latest standalone, Hyperlapse, is simple, elegant and actually really useful. The app, which rolled out Tuesday, allows users to quickly and easily create on-the-go time-lapse videos— something that hasn’t been easily and effectively accomplished on mobile, until now.

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

The Freewheeling Life of the Virtual Advisor from ThinkAdvisor

Financial planner Alan Moore is at the forefront of a trend that is extending the reach of traditional advisors onto digital platforms.

Every Time You Buy Something, This App Invests a Few Pennies on Wall Street from WIRED

Now, a startup called Acorns wants to solve these problems with a new smartphone app, hoping it can help millennials outgrow the piggy bank. 

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 29, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 29, 2014

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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.

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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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