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FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 29

On today’s broadcast, Redtail is the beneficiary of two announcements, MoneyGuidePro releases G4, and see the latest audio and video solutions to enhance your online content

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kaleido, introducing their new flexible marketing services that turn your marketing plan into action.

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Learn how Kaleido can help you implement the marketing projects you’ve been putting off by visiting fppad.com/kaleido.

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

Morningstar and Redtail Technology Announce Expanded Agreement, Adding Redtail’s Robust CRM Functionality to Morningstar Office for Financial Advisors from PRNewswire, and

Zapier integration with Redtail CRM is now available from Redtail Technology

[This week’s top story is a two-for-one about Redtail Technology, as the CRM provider was first mentioned by Morningstar as the company is further expanding its integration with the popular CRM for advisors. Two years ago, Redtail users started accessing Morningstar research and analytics directly in the CRM, and with the latest integration, users of both solutions can transfer data between the two systems, reducing the amount of manual data entry as well as synchronizing client and account data viewed in Redtail CRM.

The second story from Redtail is the announcement of a new integration with Zapier, a popular web automation application. The connection with Zapier means that Redtail users can use triggers in Redtail, such as a new activity or a new contact in the CRM, to create an action in another program, which includes over 500 popular services like Slack, Google Docs, MailChimp and many more.

Other providers, including Wealthbox CRM, have been hinting at soon-to-be-released integrations with Zapier and others for several months now.
So if you’ve been frustrated with the lack of direct integrations within your CRM, you’ll soon be able to build your own custom trigger and action workflows using apps like Zapier.] Redtail CRM is now available publicly in Zapier’s App Directory in beta version.

PIEtech, Inc. Releases 4th Generation of MoneyGuidePro – Helping Firms Deliver Higher Quality Plans in a Scalable Manner from PRWeb

[Next up is news from MoneyGuidePro, as the financial planning software provider officially released the fourth generation of its software, aptly named G4. Advisors will definitely notice an updated look and feel to the user interface, but G4 largely retains many of the core features present in the prior version, G3, such as the Play Zone, Social Security Maximization, and the What Are You Afraid Of? modules.

One of the more significant changes is the addition of five pre-built workflows called “conversations” which are used to streamline the creation of an initial financial plan. Advisors can complete the conversation data entry alone or together with clients in a meeting, or decide to grant clients access to an online portal where they enter data completely on their own.

The pre-built workflows limit the amount of data needed to create a plan so that the entire process isn’t overly tedious. With a preliminary plan created, advisors can then drill down into more specific areas of the plan.] PIEtech’s vision, “Everyone needs and deserves a quality financial plan,” has never been truer – for both advisors and clients. Today, PIEtech released the fourth generation of MoneyGuidePro® to help financial advisors develop and deliver quality financial plans on an unprecedented scale.

Watch the G4 video tutorial on the MoneyGuidePro website.

FPPad Coverage from the 2016 NAB Show on YouTube

[And finally, I want to wrap up this week’s broadcast with a heads up about the videos Steve and I made at the NAB Show last week. We featured the top video, audio, and technology gadgets, as well as whatever that thing is, from over 1,800 exhibitors that you can use to start making your own online content. You’ll learn about 360º cameras, wireless microphones, lighting, production resources and more that are all affordable and easy for you to use.]

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

Quovo and Vanare Partner to Help Financial Firms Provide Better Client Experience from PRNewswire

Advisors striving to improve the client experience by providing offerings tailored to their entire financial picture can now seamlessly aggregate their client’s data into a fully customized online wealth management platform.

Data Points Releases Its Behavioral Finance Assessment Platform from PRWeb

Data Points announced today the release of its Predicting Wealth™ platform, which provides the financial services industry a scientific way to identify clients with the highest potential for building wealth across all market segments. The platform delivers analytics on the financial behaviors of clients and predictive assessments to drive financial success.

United Capital Announces FinLife Partners: a White Label of Firm’s Integrated Advice, Investment Management, Technology and Coaching for Advisers from BusinessWire

Today, United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), a Financial Life Management firm, announces the launch of FinLife Partners, a turnkey advice and planning platform that allows independent advisers access to the firm’s proprietary Financial Life Management system, including adviser-branded client experience tools, digital workflow technology and personalized on-demand coaching.

SEC Warns More Cyber Enforcement Actions Coming from Nasdaq.com

The SEC has a long to-do list, but ensuring that advisors and other registrants are protecting clients’ sensitive information from cyber threats is right at the top, and more enforcement actions are expected.

PayPal leads $30 million round in Acorns investing app from TechCrunch

Acorns, the investing app, is announcing a $30 million strategic investment from PayPal, with participation from the Rakuten FinTech Fund. This brings the team’s total funding to $62 million.

Katch is shutting down May 4th from Katch

After 12 months of building the best way to save and discover mobile live streams, it is with great disappointment that we must announce that Katch will be shutting down.

Docupace Announces Independence from RCS Capital (RCAP) from BusinessWire

Docupace Technologies LLC, financial services’ premier digital compliance and cyber security company, announced today that it will pursue growth independently of investment from RCS Capital Corporation

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 29, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 29, 2016

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15

On today’s broadcast, LPL Financial hooks up with BlackRock’s FutureAdvisor, Riskalyze and Advizr integrate their platforms, and bots might be the future of financial 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 Twenty Over Ten, providers of beautiful, tailored, mobile responsive websites specifically for Financial Advisors.

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Easily manage your brand while automatically archiving your website changes for compliance. Sign up for a 45 day free trial today by visiting twentyoverten.com/fppad. Oh, and be sure to watch the YouTube channel for videos from next week’s NAB Show, which are also brought to you by Twenty Over Ten.

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

LPL Financial to Leverage BlackRock Solutions’ FutureAdvisor to Offer Robo Solution to Advisors and Their Clients from LPL Financial

[Now on to this week’s top story which comes from LPL Financial, as the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer announced it will use BlackRock’s recently-acquired FutureAdvisor platform to power an online automated investment offering. LPL first hinted at its plans for a “robo advisor” back in the summer of 2015 at its annual Focus conference, which was roughly one month before BlackRock made its FutureAdvisor acquisition.

While the announcement sure generated some buzz, no details on specific pricing or availability were provided. What the press release did say is that the model portfolios will be provided by LPL’s research department, so at least initially, advisors and reps will not be able to create their own custom allocations.

The press release also said the automated solution will be integrated with LPL’s custodial platform, but it didn’t say if that was the existing BranchNet platform or the much-anticipated ClientWorks, which as far as I know, has still not been officially released.

So at least we now know what LPL’s robo strategy will be, but with so many forward-looking statements, we don’t know when that strategy will be ready for use by LPL’s financial advisors.] Leading retail investment advisory firm and independent broker/dealer LPL Financial LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), today announced it will use BlackRock Solutions’ (BRS) FutureAdvisor platform to support a digital advice platform for use by LPL’s financial advisors and institutions and their clients.

A Match Made in Heaven: Advizr and Riskalyze Integrate from Businesswire

[Next up is news from Riskalyze and Advizr, as the two companies announced a new integration to streamline financial advisor workflows. The new integration will import Riskalyze model portfolio sets into the Advizr financial planning software, allowing advisors to recommend the most appropriate asset allocation according to their client’s personal Risk Number.

Not only that, both companies offer effective lead generation tools for advisors, with Riskalyze offering prospects the opportunity to determine their own Risk Number, and Advizr offering a quick financial plan illustration with Advizr Express.

The combination of the two will help advisors gain more information about prospects’ risk tolerance and the building blocks of a complete financial plan.

The companies called the integration “a match made in heaven” because both of them are winners of the Best Client Facing Technology award announced right here on FPPad.

So as a result, and I am now officially accepting endorsements for matchmaking on my LinkedIn profile.] Advizr, the financial planning software recognized as the Best Client Facing Technology of 2015 by Bill Winterberg’s FPPad, and Riskalyze, the world’s first Risk Alignment Platform recognized for the same award in 2014, are integrating their award-winning products to provide an elegant, intuitive and seamless solution to financial advisers.

Messenger Platform at F8 from Facebook.com

[And finally, this week’s top story comes from the future, oh wait, “THE FUTURE!” as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at this week at F8 conference and detailed the company’s roadmap for the next 10 years.

My best takeaway for you is the launch of the Messenger Platform that includes automated messaging powered by bots, no, not that bot, these are automated messenger bots.

With bots in messenger, you can make online clothing purchases, receive weather forecasts, view top headlines and more.

I can totally see bots making their way into your technology. Imagine if you could ask your Redtail bot when you next client meeting is scheduled, or your Orion bot how your AUM has grown over the past year, or even allow clients to ask the MoneyGuide Pro bot for their updated retirement confidence meter. How cool is that?!?

And if vendors eventually integrate bot into existing services, I bet that they’ll also include message archiving and retention so you can confidently use bots without violating your compliance requirements.

Oh, did I just give those vendors a little more work to do? I’m sorry!

Unfortunately there’s no word yet from FINRA or the SEC whether your bot has to be fingerprinted and subject to a background check. Thank you, I do two shows a night!] We’re excited to introduce bots for the Messenger Platform. Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.

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

Former Top Schwab Executive Joins Betterment Board from New York Times

Less than one month after an investment round that doubled its private valuation to around $700 million, the robo-adviser Betterment is adding a former top executive from Charles Schwab, John S. Clendening, to its board.

Find time for your goals with Google Calendar from Google

That’s why starting today, we’re introducing Goals in Google Calendar. Just add a personal goal—like “run 3 times a week”—and Calendar will help you find the time and stick to it.

Orion’s Integration of FactSet’s Robust Research and Analytics Allows Advisors to Better Serve Their HNW and Institutional Clients from Marketwired

Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), a premier portfolio accounting service provider for financial advisors, has announced it is now integrated with FactSet, a leading provider of financial data, analytics, and service, to offer its advisor clients easy access to portfolio research and analytics.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15, 2016

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FPPad Tech Tour: inStream Solutions

Our second stop in Washington DC is a visit with Alex Murguia and John Wotowicz of inStream Solutions.

Hear how the need for a different approach to financial planning inside McLean Asset Management expanded to a dedicated wealth management solution for all financial advisors.

(Watch FPPad Tech Tour with Alex Murguia and John Wotowicz of inStream Solutions on YouTube)

Donate to the Foundation for Financial Planning and view more FPPad Tech Tour content online at http://www.fppadtechtour.com/

FPPad Tech Tour is brought to you by the following Back Stage Sponsors:
Envestnet|Tamarac: http://www.tamaracinc.com
Orion Advisor Services: http://www.orionadvisor.com
Redtail Technology: http://corporate.redtailtechnology.com

CHAPTER MARKERS:
0:10 FPPad Tech Tour Intro
0:43 inStream introduction
4:27 What prompted the move to make inStream a product for all financial advisors?
6:28 What are the important personal attributes of Alex Murguia?
7:20 Introducing John Wotowicz
9:38 How John applies his passion to the growth of inStream
11:20 How will inStream push the envelope of financial planning software in the future?
13:14 inStream announces match for contributions to the Foundation for Financial Planning

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[AUDIO] FPPad Tech Tour: inStream Solutions

Our second stop in Washington DC is a visit with Alex Murguia and John Wotowicz of inStream Solutions. Hear how the need for a different approach to financial planning inside McLean Asset Management expanded to a dedicated solution for all financial advisors. .

This is an audio-only podcast of the FPPad Tech Tour interview with Alex Murguia and John Wotowicz of inStream Solutions. Click here to view the full video.

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1

On today’s broadcast, Betterment raises $100 million in fresh capital, Fidelity tests FidelityGo, Schwab pulls the plug on OpenView Integrated Office, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

First, a heads up, Steve and I will be on the road later this month covering the massive NAB 2016 event, scouring the exhibit halls for technology you can use to make great videos and podcasts, followed by the 2016 Shareholders Service Group conference in San Diego. Visit fppad.com/subscribe and sign up today so you don’t miss any of our coverage from the events.

Betterment Raises $100 Million from Betterment.com

[Now on to this week’s top story which comes from Betterment, as the automated investment service raised another $100 million dollars in venture capital, bringing the total amount they’ve raised to $205 million. Betterment is pulling away from a crowded field of robo competitors, now servicing over 150,000 customers, managing $3.9 billion in assets, and valued at a reported $700 million.

Betterment says they will use the funding to grow the Betterment for Business 401(k) platform and the Betterment Institutional offering for you, the financial advisor.

But despite all the money raised and what they say about being their customer’s central financial relationship, Betterment’s questionnaire still doesn’t tell customers that they should pay off high interest credit card debt or build up an emergency fund first before investing. Oh, that’s right, customers can find that advice somewhere on the blog.

So I’ll reiterate what I posted on Twitter this week: Betterment, I hope you use the money to make unbiased fiduciary advice accessible & affordable to everyone.

If you want to read more about the latest round of Betterment’s funding, head over to fppad.com/183 for the links to this week’s top stories.] Today marks an important milestone for Betterment and our more than 150,000 customers who have invested over $3.9 billion with us. We’re excited to announce that Betterment has closed a $100 million investment, led by a new partner, Kinnevik.

Fidelity Starts Testing Robo-Adviser Service on Existing Clients from Bloomberg.com

[Next up is news from Fidelity, as the company announced plans to begin testing Fidelity Go, its own automated investing service for retail investors, with roughly 500 customers this week, with an official rollout sometime in the second half of this year.

If you remember back to November of 2015, Fidelity broke off its relationship to promote Betterment Institutional to advisors, and then coincidentally announced the Fidelity Go retail product that competes more or less with Betterment. Fidelity Go will feature investment portfolios managed by Geode Capital Management, all in fees at 39 basis points or lower, automatic rebalancing, but no tax loss harvesting.

With Fidelity Go as a retail offering, you should know that Fidelity told me that a B2B version is under development, and while they couldn’t give me a solid release date, they did say the offering will be customized to your needs as an advisor.

Nevertheless, Fidelity joins Charles Schwab as an institutional custodian with an automated investment solution in the retail space, but at no platform fee in exchange for a little extra cash allocation, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, in my opinion, is going to be tough to beat.] Fidelity Investments, the second-largest U.S. mutual fund company, will test an automated-investment service starting Wednesday on a small group of existing customers. Fidelity plans to offer the service to the public in the second half of this year.

Schwab Unplugs Its Customized Version of Salesforce from WealthManagement.com

[And speaking of Schwab, this week’s final story is news that Schwab Advisor Services is discontinuing the Schwab OpenView Integrated Office solution effective July 31. Roughly 150 firms are using the solution, so they’re going to have to find some other technology to replace Integrated Office, specifically the custom version of Salesforce that came with it.

The link to the story at fppad.com/183 has the details on options for affected advisors, including using Salesforce with Schwab OpenView Gateway or migrating to a completely new CRM, but here’s the angle I want to focus address.

This is absolutely an example of what can happen when you choose a custodian’s proprietary solution for a part of your technology. How committed is that custodian going to be to offer that technology over the lung run? In this case, Schwab, for whatever reason, is shutting down Integrated Office, leaving 150 advisors with just three months to figure out what to do.

So I don’t blame you one bit for getting a little uneasy when custodians offer proprietary technology solutions to you that they own and control. But with more custodian acquisitions of technology on the horizon, I’m afraid this is a risk you’re going to have to assume more frequently as time moves on.

One more thing: if you want a firm with Salesforce experience in financial services, get your pencils out, because you should consider contacting LiquidHub, Concenter Services, Navatar, Salentica, or AppCrown.] One hundred fifty Charles Schwab advisors must find a new client relationship manager (CRM) by July 31.

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

Envestnet | Tamarac Rolls Out New Household Structure and Service Team Functionality in Advisor View™ Client Portal from PRNewswire.com

Envestnet | Tamarac has launched four major software updates designed to strengthen RIAs’ online engagement with clients. The roll-out is part of the firm’s March 2016 technology release.

Advyzon Integrates Laser App Software to Enhance Client Advisor Relationship from LaserApp.com

Laser App Software, the premier provider of forms automation and management software for the securities and insurance industries, has announced that Advyzon, an all in one cloud-based platform combining portfolio management, performance reporting, CRM, client portal and planning, integrated with Laser App Software to enhance its client dashboard.

Marketware International is pleased to announce that it has become a new member of the IBM Watson Ecosystem Partner Program.

Our team has been hard at work creating the AdvisorQA mobile product experience for Financial Services. It provides a new mobile Content Management and Social Collaboration tool that utilizes the cognitive computing and research capabilities of IBM Watson.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016

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Ed O’Brien to become CEO of eMoney Advisor

Ed O'Brien hired as CEO of eMoney Advisor

Ed O’Brien hired as CEO of eMoney Advisor

Quick Take:

  • Ed O’Brien, former head of platform technology, Fidelity Institutional, will leave the company to become CEO of eMoney Advisor
  • As eMoney CEO, O’Brien will report to Fidelity Wealth Technology president Mike Durbin
  • Prior to assuming the eMoney CEO role, O’Brien reported directly to Durbin for seven years
  • Durbin stresses the CEO search included “a long list of candidates”
  • I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude to see if eMoney can continue its aggressive innovation as a digital wealth management provider with O’Brien as CEO

(3 minute read) (Updated 4:01pm ET)

In a press release yesterday, eMoney Advisor announced Edward O’Brien was hired as Chief Executive Officer of the firm.

Wait and See

I’m not as overly enthusiastic as others seem to be on the prospects of innovation from eMoney Advisor.

I posted a poll on Twitter to survey my followers whether they think the hiring of O’Brien as CEO of eMoney is positive, negative, or let’s wait and see.

twitter poll obrien

It’s a close race between a positive and the “let’s wait and see option,” and I fall into the wait and see camp.

Fidelity First?

In order to maximize its acquisition of eMoney (for a reported $250 million), Fidelity needs assurance that eMoney’s product roadmap will directly benefit the custodian’s various lines of business in order make a return on their investment.

And once Edmond Walters abruptly resigned as CEO of eMoney in September 2015, Fidelity was granted the opportunity to fill the vacant position with an individual who can strongly influence eMoney’s strategy in Fidelity’s favor.

It makes a lot of sense that Ed O’Brien, a long-time Fidelity executive with decades of industry experience, fill the CEO position.

Don’t get me wrong: few in the industry have O’Brien’s experience and tenure leading teams to develop financial services technology, and that experience should directly benefit eMoney.

This is most definitely a good thing.

But when it comes to developing an innovative, yet untested/unproven, feature versus developing the market of Fidelity’s existing customers, who wins?

Technically Independent

Even though eMoney Advisor will continue to operate “technically” as an independent organization, I cannot help but connect the dots that the hierarchy of O’Brien under Durbin will influence the eMoney Advisor product roadmap.

O’Brien is not only a Fidelity insider, he has reported directly to Fidelity Wealth Technologies president (and former Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services president) Mike Durbin for over seven years.

When originally acquired, eMoney was organized under the yet-to-be-announced Fidelity Wealth Technologies, a division of Fidelity Enterprise Services led by president Michael Wilens. Fidelity waited several weeks after the eMoney acquisition to announce the creation of Fidelity Wealth Technologies, according to the company spokesperson.

eMoney was technically never organized directly under Wilens and Fidelity Enterprise Services, as the company has always been under the direction of Durbin’s Fidelity Wealth Technologies group.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Durbin most definitely anticipated the connection I made, stressing how O’Brien topped a long list of “both internal and external candidates.”

Durbin also took the liberty to call out doubters (such as myself), saying in an open letter posted to the eMoney blog.

Don’t buy it? No problem – actions speak louder than words.  And I welcome you to watch and see for yourself how it continues to unfold.

Ok. I’m watching.

See, I’m just a guy in Atlanta who wants to help advisors sort through copious (and often confusing) technology options for their business so they can be better advisors. I’m not the head of a major custodian, CEO of a technology vendor, or even an executive of a multi-billion dollar RIA.

But I take my role seriously to navigate what can be a very murky and (sometimes) conflicted fintech ecosystem.

I can’t help but imagine how the connection between O’Brien and Durbin will steer eMoney’s strategy to favor Fidelity relationships ahead of other innovation.

Yet I agree with Durbin: Actions will speak louder than words.

Will eMoney’s existing culture of relentless innovation and development continue to flourish, or will O’Brien’s longtime bond with Fidelity suppress eMoney’s characteristic risk-taking in favor of the parent company’s interests?

I so want the former scenario to transpire, but hey, business is business, and it’s not always possible to satisfy multiple objectives at once.

Let’s wait and see.

Updated: The following corrections to the original post have been made

  • Ed O’Brien’s former title corrected to head of platform technology, Fidelity Institutional.
  • At the time of acquisition, eMoney Advisor was structured under Fidelity Wealth Technologies, a division of Fidelity Enterprise Services, and not directly under Wilens’ Fidelity Enterprise Services group, according to the company spokesperson
  • Corrected timetable, adding O’Brien’s reporting change in July 2013 and structure of eMoney under Durbin’s yet-to-be-announced Fidelity Wealth Technologies group

Timetable

If you’re not completely in the know regarding the events that preceded this news, here’s a timetable of what’s happened.

I also made two flowcharts (being updated now, so check back soon) showing the hierarchy of Fidelity’s different businesses that illustrates how not much has changed between Durbin and O’Brien before and after the eMoney acquisition.

  • Prior to July 2013, O’Brien reported to Mike Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services
  • In July 2013, O’Brien reports under Ron DePoalo, CIO for Fidelity Institutional, when the company aligned the platform technology team across the clearing and custody businesses
  • Fidelity acquires eMoney in February 2015 and places CEO Edmond Walters under Durbin’s yet-to-be-announced Fidelity Wealth Technologies group
  • Weeks later, Fidelity officially announces the combination of the clearing and custody businesses, creating a new Fidelity Wealth Technologies group with Mike Durbin as president. O’Brien remains under DePoalo in Fidelity Institutional, Walters remains under Durbin as originally structured
  • In September 2015, Walters resigns and Durbin assumes the interim CEO role for eMoney
  • In March 2016, eMoney Advisor hires O’Brien as CEO of eMoney
  • As a business unit under Fidelity Wealth Technologies, O’Brien will once again to report to Durbin in his new role as eMoney Advisor CEO

 

 

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 4

On today’s broadcast, ransomware strikes again, updates on LPL Financial’s automated investment service, and Morningstar releases sustainability ratings for mutual funds.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by IMPLEMENT NOW, the independent advisor’s Practice Management Virtual Summit hosted by Kristin Harad broadcasting online March 14th to the 18th. When you register, you’ll get access to the interviews and bonus material from 25 industry thought leaders who share how-to advice you can use right away to improve your practice. And, when you register by March 13th, your participation will count toward scholarships for the Child Mind Institute’s Brave Buddies program for anxious children.

Implement Now 2016

Find all the details for this high-impact online event by visiting fppad.com/implementnow

Stay on Guard Against Cyberattacks from ThinkAdvisor.com,

2 New Members Of The Ransomware Family That Are Already Wreaking Havoc! from True North Networks, and

The Pentagon wants you to hack its network for real from TheNextWeb

This week’s top story covers cybersecurity, as Dan Skiles, president of Shareholders Service Group, urges advisers to rethink their approach to keeping the firm safe from attacks. Skiles’ column is timely for two reasons: First, new ransomware called Locky is making the rounds, as True North Networks shared that they are helping one company restore critical data after getting infected by Locky ransomware.

And second, I don’t know if you heard, but this week the Pentagon, probably one of the most well-defended organizations on Earth, announced their own “Hack the Pentagon” program to pay hackers a bounty for finding vulnerabilities! If the Pentagon needs cybersecurity help, I think think it’s safe to say you probably need it, too.

So, where do you begin? I asked one expert to find out:

[Michelle Jacko] Advisors should begin with conducting a risk assessment, doing an inventory of what their technology uses are. Take a look at vulnerabilities by hiring an IT security specialist. Look at internal controls, develop those policies and procedures, and finally, really concentrate on user awareness training, which often is the beginning of where problems start.

If you want cybersecurity help from an outside partner, I connected with Itegria and External IT to find out what’s new:

[Robert Madi] Bill, we’re really excited to announce AdvisorGuard which is a cybersecurity specific solution designed exclusively for RIAs. As an expert in the RIA space, ITEGRIA understands how important cybersecurity is for advisors and how top of mind it is. We’re really excited about it and looking forward to making a huge impact in the RIA space.

[Sam Attias] We’ve released new features, a lot of them have to do with auditing, monitoring of what people are doing within our system with all their applications. We can monitor devices, we can also… a new secure sign on that we’ve come out with that has a lot of exciting features, one of them being for all your web-based applications like a Tamarac or an Orion, Salesforce, you can set the logins and passwords for everybody in your firm and they wouldn’t know what they are.

I think it’s safe to say that it’s time to stop kicking the cybersecurity can down the road and engage a provider that can help you protect your firm from attacks. For more information, be sure to head over to fppad.com/181 for the links to this week’s top stories.] Cybersecurity should be on every advisor’s mind. The unfortunate byproduct of advances in technology is that cybercriminals have new opportunities to commit their crimes.

LPL Expects to Launch Robo-Advisor This Year from ThinkAdvisor.com

[Next is an update from LPL Financial, as this week Bill Morrisey, the company’s head of business development, told ThinkAdvisor that their automated investment service for use by advisors is expected to roll out later this year.

Ok, so let’s rewind to episode 169 for a brief refresher:

No details on pricing or even a name for the solution were provided, but LPL president Dan Arnold did say that a pilot program with about 20 advisors will be begin in the next few months.

Morrisey didn’t comment on the pilot phase, and there still are no details on a fee schedule, minimum requirements, or even a name for the solution, but Morrisey did say that all investors would qualify for the service, so I expect there to be really low or no account minimum when the solution is officially released.] Seven months ago, at its annual conference, LPL announced its intention to launch a robo-advisory service, starting with a pilot program. Now the firm’s head of business development tells ThinkAdvisor that LPL expects to add the service this year.

Morningstar Releases Sustainability Rating for 20,000 Funds from Morningstar.com

[And wrapping up this week’s broadcast is news from Morningstar, as the investment research company released sustainability ratings for over 20,000 mutual funds. If you use Morningstar Direct or Morningstar Office in your business, you can now view the sustainability ratings from within your application, and the company anticipates the ratings will be introduced into Morningstar Advisor Workstation as well as the Morningtar.com websites in the coming weeks.

More and more emerging investors not only want to save for their future, they also want their investments allocated to companies with high environmental, social, and governance factors, or ESG.

So I spy a differentiation opportunity, because the consumer-facing automated investing services don’t give customers the option of allocating their money based on ESG factors. You, on the other hand, can now offer that option.] Investors will now be able to evaluate funds based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors with Morningstar’s new sustainability rating for funds.

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

Personal Capital Surpasses $2 Billion in Assets from PRNewswire

Personal Capital, the leading digital advice firm, today announced it has achieved $2 billion in assets under management (AUM), with one-third coming from clients with over $1 million in assets at Personal Capital. The average AUM per client is now $300,000.

Orchestrate acquires Sagacious from BusinessRecord.com

Orchestrate LLC, a West Des Moines applications, services and support firm serving financial services companies on Salesforce.com, has agreed to acquire Sagacious Inc., also a West Des Moines firm.

NAIFA Selects Junxure as a Partner CRM Provider for Its 43,000 Members from PRNewswire.com

Junxure, an industry-leading CRM solutions and technology firm for financial advisors, today announced its partnership with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), which represents the interests of insurance professionals and financial advisors through legislative and regulatory advocacy and ongoing education.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 4, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 4, 2016

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 19

On today’s broadcast, Riskalyze announces its new Check-Ins feature, eMoney Advisor shows off its new client experience, Fidelity offers a preview of its new Wealthscape™ platform, and TD Ameritrade Institutional tells me when you can expect Veo One.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by eMoney Advisor, providers of a leading ADVISOR-CENTRIC wealth-planning portal.

eMoney Advisor

eMoney just introduced an enhanced client experience, incorporating many of the features investors find most compelling about digital advice platforms – like automation, intuitive design, ease-of-use, and more, helping you deliver an unmatched client experience. For more information on eMoney’s brand new client portal, visit fppad.com/emoneyadvisor

Riskalyze Introduces ‘Check-Ins’, Automated Behavioral Coaching Tools for Advisors from Riskalyze

[Last week I attended the T3 conference in Ft. Lauderdale, and I made three vlogs that you should watch, so let me give you the rundown of what I think were the best stories from the event.

Leading off is Riskalyze, as CEO Aaron Klein introduced a feature called Check-ins, which allows you to gauge your client’s sentiment of the markets with a pretty unobtrusive email. Clients answer two simple questions in a few seconds which helps you quickly identify those who have growing concerns about their financial future. Here’s Aaron Klein on availability and pricing:

Klein: Check-Ins are going to arrive in May, and we haven’t set pricing for them yet, but I can tell you it’s going to be a free upgrade for all of our existing customers.] Riskalyze, the company that has equipped thousands of advisors with the Risk Number™, today announced powerful new tools that revolutionize the ability of advisors to put the markets in context for their clients during client reviews, support client psychology between those reviews, and deliver consistent behavioral coaching that promotes long-term investing.

eMoney Launches Enhanced Client Experience from eMoney Advisor

[Another top update comes from eMoney, as Drew DiMarino took the stage to show off the updated client experience, giving a preview of the new look, showing how goals are tracked in the platform, and highlighted client collaboration features that help clients remember what tasks they should complete to meet their goals. The update is coming in March, and here’s Drew DiMarino on what you can expect:

DiMarino: The new client experience is much more personal in nature, the client can actually add images of their family, set goals with those images tied to those goals, a much more customizable experience for the end client.] At the T3 Advisor conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today, eMoney Advisor (“eMoney”), a leading provider of wealth-planning technology for financial professionals, will unveil its enhanced client experience.

Fidelity Reveals Plans For Multi-Custodial Advisor Technology Hub from WealthManagement.com

[And finishing my rundown is Fidelity, as the custodian revealed plans to offer Wealthscape™, Fidelity’s Total Advisor Platform that combines portfolio management, rebalancing, proposals, and fee billing with the features and functionality of the eMoney wealth portal. I caught up with Tom McCarthy, senior vice president for product development at Fidelity for a few more details.

McCarthy: So we’ve taken a hard look at the marketplace, talking to our clients, and looking at a lot of research, so Fidelity’s response to help them grow their business is the Fidelity Total Advisor Platform. The primary pieces of that are a deep integration with our new acquisition of eMoney, bringing planning to action, as well as a full suite of integrated portfolio tools wrapped in very advanced workflows.

The platform is expected to roll out at the end of 2016 with Fidelity-only data, and support for multi-custodial data is anticipated sometime in 2017.] In the escalating battle for control of the technology hub used by registered investment advisors, Fidelity Investments has a new weapon that may turn the tides.

TD Ameritrade Tells RIAs to Get Ahead of Emerging Technology, Pricing and Talent Challenges from BusinessWire.com

[Now the week before T3 I went to the TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC conference, and I made more videos you should watch, but the biggest takeaway for me was clarification on when to expect the rollout of the Veo One dashboard.

I sat down with Chris Valleley to better understand the timeline when Veo One will be released.

[Winterberg]: So I need to be more clear that it’s not one release date, it’s all official, and it’s all done, but it’s rather graduated and it’s going to be progressive.
[Valleley]: That’s right, it won’t be a big bang rollout, it will be an iterative approach, and we’ll find the advisors with the right integrations at the right time and then onboard them into Veo One.

So, fair enough, you’re going to have to be patient for the release of Veo One, just like you’re going to need to wait and see how Fidelity’s Wealthscape evolves, too.

Fortunately, Veo Open Access now supports over 100 integrated solution providers, which means that you have options you can buy and implement today without waiting to see what the custodians promise to offer in the future.] Veo One, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s next-generation advisor technology platform, will give advisors access to all of the CRM, financial planning, portfolio management and other systems they use from one desktop.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have quite a bit of laundry to do from our trips, so for FPPad.com, I’m Bill Winterberg, see you next time!

Here are the video playlists we published from TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC and T3:

2016 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC

2016 T3 Advisor

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

United Capital Acquires FlexScore To Boost Financial Planning from WealthManagement.com

United Capital, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm, is acquiring FlexScore, a consumer-facing financial planning tool that aggregates users financial data to generate a credit-score-like number of a person’s financial health.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 19, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 19, 2016

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