FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 17

On today’s broadcast, Betterment Institutional releases its online investment solution for advisors. Will the industry rush to adopt this new digital solution for emerging clients? The SEC admits it doesn’t know where its laptops are. Could you be at risk of making the same mistakes committed by this industry watchdog? And, hackers claim to have stolen millions of passwords from Dropbox. Find out what you should be doing right now to protect the information you store online.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM: Simple, social, and collaborative CRM for financial advisors.


If you’re considering switching your CRM, connect with Amber from Team Wealthbox to get a personal demo at

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

Robo advisor Betterment works with Fidelity in RIA push from CNBC

[This week’s top story highlights Betterment Institutional, who this week announced the official release of an advisor-friendly version of its popular direct-to-consumer service that currently manages over $600 million in customer assets.

No doubt influenced by the guidance and financial investments from Steve Lockshin and Marty Bicknell, Betterment Institutional allows advisors to white label the Betterment platform and offer it to all clients for a cost of 25 basis points per year. Advisors can charge an additional fee if they so choose.

In addition, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services announced that the company will include Betterment Institutional among a list of practice management resources it offers to advisors. But the use of Betterment Institutional is not exclusive to Fidelity, so whatever your custodial affiliation is today, you can begin to use Betterment Institutional if you’re seeking a low-cost automated investment solution for your emerging clients.

Betterment Institutional joins Upside Advisor, Guide Financial, JemStep and a few others as an advisor-friendly automated investment solution, and you’ll want to stay tuned for news following the Schwab IMPACT conference, as details on that custodian’s much anticipated free investment platform should be made public.] If you can’t beat the robots, join them. That’s what Betterment—the ultra-low cost, computer-driven personal portfolio service—hopes financial professionals will do with its new institutionally focused “robo-advisor” offering.

Missing SEC laptops risk release of nonpublic information, inspector says from Marketwatch

[Next up is an embarrassing revelation from the Securities and Exchange Commission, as the industry watchdog admitted that somewhere between 24 and 202 laptops were unaccounted for, opening up the risk that private, nonpublic information could be exposed. Is this when I should do a forehead slap?

Alright, so the SEC has its own data security issues to deal with, but I want to take a moment to challenge you about how you’re keeping your business and client information safe. Do you use full disk encryption on the laptops you use for work? You should.

Windows 8.1 Pro and Enterprise offers BitLocker drive encryption for free, and if you use Mac, FileVault 2 disk encryption is built right in to the operating system. All you need to do is turn the feature on and protect your laptop with a strong login password.

And don’t forget about your mobile devices. Every device you use should be protected with a login passcode, the longer the better, and in most cases, requiring a passcode automatically enables device encryption.] The inspector-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a report that there’s at least 24 and as many as 202 laptops that are not accounted for, which risks the release of sensitive, nonpublic information.

Dropbox says it wasn’t hacked. But that doesn’t help users whose information was leaked from The Washington Post

[And finally, Dropbox made headlines this week as reports circulated that hackers claimed to have accessed over 7 million usernames and passwords to the popular online file storage service. Dropbox insists that its systems were not hacked, but rather the login credentials were obtained from unrelated companies and services.

Once again, it’s critical that you follow good online account protection practices: Use a unique password for each website, activate multi-factor authentication where possible, and consider managing login credentials in a reputable password management service like LastPass, 1Password, Meldium, and more.] Dropbox was the latest company under the gun on security, when a link on reddit surfaced a claim that hackers have nearly 7 million usernames — plus their passwords — from the storage service on Monday.

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

Canva Launches iPad App to Bring Amazingly Simple Design to Your Fingertips at

We’re very excited to today announce the launch of the Canva app for iPad.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 17, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 17, 2014

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Betterment Institutional launches for financial advisers

Betterment InstitutionalBetterment gives financial advisers access to its popular low-cost, automated online investment solution

FPPad Quick Take:

  • Financial advisers can now offer Betterment Institutional as a white-labeled low-cost online investment service to emerging clients.
  • Betterment Institutional charges 25 basis points a year, advisers can charge an additional fee if they wish
  • Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services will list Betterment Institutional as a practice management solution in its list of resources for advisers

Betterment, a popular automated online investment service, today announced the expansion of its technology for use by financial advisers and an inclusion among Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services practice management solutions.

Betterment for Advisers

Betterment Institutional is an expansion of the startup’s popular online investment service built for retail investors. As of June
10, 2014, Betterment reported $613,372,319 in assets under management in its regulatory filings.

According to Nick Gavronsky, product manager for Betterment, the company’s new offering allows financial advisers to white label the Betterment Institutional offering and brand it for their own business. Advisers using Betterment Institutional will receive a website hosted by Betterment that investors can use to create accounts, view statements and engage with an adviser.

Initially, end clients using Betterment Institutional will use the company’s Android and iOS mobile apps as they exist today, but adviser-branded apps are anticipated to be phased in as the offering matures, Gavronsky said.

Low Cost Investments

Betterment Institutional will allow financial advisers to set their own fee schedule for clients who choose to use the service. Betterment collects an annual fee of 25 basis points (0.25%) from accounts on the Institutional platform, and any additional fees above that amount are paid to the adviser.

Just as with the retail Betterment offering, accounts are held by Betterment LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser, and securities transactions are cleared through Apex Clearing Corporation.

Custom Models Welcome

Investors using Betterment’s retail offering are familiar with the standard asset allocation models the company’s algorithms select for clients based on their answers to a risk tolerance questionnaire.

Betterment Institutional offers the same investment allocation models to financial adviser clients, but the company also permits advisers to create their own custom models.

Again, the same technology that powers the default models in Betterment’s retail platform is available to custom investment models created by advisers, Gavronsky said in an interview.

In addition, investors who have $50,000 or more managed with Betterment Institutional have access to the same Tax Loss Harvesting+™ feature found on the retail Betterment platform. Tax Loss Harvesting+™ is an automated, daily account rebalancing feature.

Fidelity Touts Practice Management

Also noteworthy in the Betterment Institutional announcement is the recognition that Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, providing custody services to nearly 3,000 RIAs, now includes Betterment Institutional as one of the practice management solutions Institutional Wealth Services offers to its RIA clients and prospects, according to Erica Birke, vice president of communications and corporate affairs for Fidelity Institutional.

“Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services and Betterment share an interest in helping advisors realize that digital advice should not be perceived as a threat, but rather an opportunity to evolve their engagement models to better attract new business segments, particularly the emerging affluent, a segment that many advisory firms have historically under-served or not served at all,” wrote Birke in an email.

Fidelity does not have exclusivity over the Betterment Institutional offering to advisers; any adviser is free to engage Betterment Institutional as he or she wishes.

Financial Adviser Value

Betterment Institutional joins Upside Advisor and Guide Financial in an effort to provide a low-cost automated investment solution to  financial advisers.

Upside Advisor recently made headlines by powering Liftoff, the low-cost investment solutions offered by high profile New York RIA Ritholtz Wealth Management. Liftoff offers a similar model portfolio management service for an annual fee of 40 basis points (0.40%).

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FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 10

On today’s broadcast, Schwab and Google drop hints about their online investment services. See how this crowded market is about to become a little bit more cozy. Digital estate planning for your clients is becoming more important than ever. Find out which new solution will help your clients plan for their digital assets. And, Bob Veres gets me fired up about the use of social media in your business. You’ve been warned, prepare for a storm off!

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Envestnet | Tamarac, the provider of Tamarac Advisor Xi, a web-based portfolio and client management platform that uniquely integrates portfolio management, reporting, monitoring, rebalancing, and trading with a client portal and enterprise level CRM.


Find out more about Advisor Xi and download their latest white paper on best practices for technology evaluation and implementation by visiting

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

Exclusive: Schwab ready to unveil free ‘robo-broker’ service from Reuters, and

Google study heightens fund industry peers from Financial Times (subscription required) or Google Looks to Enter Financial Industry from NBC Bay Area, or Google will likely re-invent the industry rather than play in the existing sandbox from Valuewalk

[This week’s top story covers *two more* announcements in the online investment algorithm space. You did watch last week’s episode, didn’t you? So first up is Charles Schwab who, according to a Reuters article, is developing its own automated investing service for use by you, the financial advisor, to attract emerging clients with a low-cost solution. How low cost you ask? Rumors indicate the service will be free, not including the four to 19 basis points charged by Schwab’s ETFs used in the platform.

And on the heels of Schwab’s news, Google hinted that the company is exploring its own entry into the investment management business. Financial Times first reported that Google commissioned a research report back in September on entering the asset management industry, which trigged a wave of industry speculation that gained a lot of momentum this week.

So let’s take a step back for a moment. Schwab has over 7 million investor accounts with over $1trillion in assets under management and Google has over one billion users across their various online services and mobile devices.

Collectively, the online investment providers have somewhere around $3 billion in assets under management (that’s 3 tenths of a percent of Schwab!) and less than 100,000 users (that’s one one-hundredth of a percent of Google!). Are the disruptors about to be disrupted? I don’t know, you tell me, and it all depends on whom you ask.] Charles Schwab Corp. is weeks away from introducing an automated investing service aimed at winning business from novice investors it does not currently serve, company officials told Reuters.

Estate Assist Wants To Provide Estate Planning For The Social Media Age from TechCrunch

[Next up is an announcement of a new service called Estate Assist, an online safe deposit box, if you will, that stores information about digital assets and shares that information with trusted recipients after a user passes away.

Identifying and managing your clients’ digital assets is probably not a part of your current service model, partly because there really haven’t been any decent solutions out there you can use that are better than using plain old spreadsheets. But with the introduction of Estate Assist, I think it’s time you consider including digital asset management services. Look at my YouTube channel or my email newsletter as an example: if I got hit by a bus <pause>, how will my spouse and beneficiaries access these assets?

In addition to Estate Assist, I think you should look into similar services from, created by CFP® practitioner William Bisset, as well the data inheritance feature from SecureSafe.] Estate Assist, launches out of beta today. Its aim is to help you store all your online passwords, social media accounts, digital health records, bank info and other paperwork.

The Five Biggest Ways Your Practice Needs to Change from Advisor Perspectives

[And finally, this week’s episode wraps up with industry commentary from Bob Veres, as he identifies the biggest ways your business needs to change in a recent Advisor Perspectives column. Now Veres says “pundits and journalists” say you need to make radical transformations, but they don’t give you any specifics. I hope he’s not talking about me, because I try to load these broadcasts you’re watching with tons of resources you should have on your radar. But I digress.

Veres mentions a number of what he calls “genuine evolutionary trends” which are all enlightening in their own way, but buried down at the bottom of his column, he says he suspects that “social media is going to be the least productive in terms of generating business for your firm.”

Really? Now to his credit, Veres says you should play to your strengths, and if social media isn’t one of them, it’s ok.

Well, I think that attitude was valid 20 years ago before it was possible to find out just about anything about anyone online using a quick Google search.

Just look at this broadcast. Complete strangers are watching it, they’re getting consistent value from it, and if they meet me in person at a conference, they say they feel like they already know me. So to say it’s the “least productive” way to generate business.. that’s it, I’m done.] Pundits and journalists make their living telling you that our profession is in a period of rapid evolutionary transition, and exhort you to be open to radical transformation. What you don’t hear in these messages are the specifics.

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

Watch all of the videos from Finovate Fall 2014 presentations

Mobile Dossier Startup Refresh Finds A Revenue Model With Its Salesforce App from TechCrunch

Refresh, the mobile tool for making you smarter at meetings, is now positioning itself to help sales teams be smarter about their clients and potential clients. To do that, the company has created a new product for Salesforce’s AppExchange that will allow users to access detailed information about the people in their professional network.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 10, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 10, 2014



FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 3

On today’s broadcast, Upside Advisor teams up with a high-profile RIA. Will this partnership do anything to slow the growth of the $(!#-advisers? Redtail CRM previews the new version of its popular CRM. Will the design and feature changes be enough to attract advisors that are using aging systems? And, broker-dealers aren’t turning a blind eye to technology. Find out which firms are investing heavily to boost the efficiency of their representatives.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM. Version 1.6 is now available featuring automated workflows, templates for routine processes, and progress updates all on one screen!

Wealthbox CRM

Sign up for a free trial of Wealthbox today by visiting

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

Upside Powers Ritholtz Wealth Management’s New Digital Offering, Called Liftoff from Upside Advisor

[First up this week is an announcement from Ritholtz Wealth Management, the New York RIA headed by The Big Picture blogger Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown, aka The Reformed Broker, who released a new web-based offering to emerging clients called Liftoff. Liftoff is a white-labeled version of the $(!#-adviser solution, uh, ok, online investment solution from Upside Advisor, which I introduced to you back in episode 136.

For around 40 basis points, Liftoff provides automated asset allocation recommendations to clients who want to get started with investing, but don’t yet have enough assets to qualify for a one-on-one relationship with Ritholtz’s advisors. Upside Advisor is just the latest $(!#-adviser, oh, right, online investment provider to join this space, as they’re going up against competing solutions like Wealthfront, Personal Capital, Betterment, Learnvest, Guide Financial, JemStep, Orion Discover; I can’t keep them all straight!

So today you’re faced with a choice: will you sit on the sidelines to see how these low-cost automated solutions play out, or will you partner with a low-cost provider to offer an investment solution for your emerging clients?] Upside, a technology company providing a digital advisor platform to investment advisors, today announced a new partnership with Ritholtz Wealth Management (RWM).

Tech Review: Redtail’s New Edition from Financial Planning

[Next up is a review of Redtail CRM and its third major product update to its software called Project Tailwag. In his October column for Financial Planning magazine, Joel Bruckenstein gives a very favorable review of the redesign and feature enhancements to the industry’s most widely used CRM.

Users will soon have access to a clean, flat design that’s easier to use, and it’s also responsive, as it adjusts to screens of any size from desktops to smartphones. Contact records feature a timeline of client interactions, and important details like contact information and activities and workflows are just a single click away.

Whether you use Redtail CRM or an alternative solution such as Junxure, Salesforce, Wealthbox, and others, these are the types of features and functionality you’re going to need if you expect to cultivate meaningful relationships with clients and differentiate yourself from the $(!#-advisers, uh, I mean, online investment providers.] Redtail Technology just released a major upgrade to its popular CRM application. Dubbed Project Tailwag, this version of Redtail — only the third upgrade in the company’s 12-year history — offers a host of new enhancements.

Racing Ahead from Financial Advisor

[And finally, Joel Bruckenstien once again wraps up this week’s top stories with a technology update from the nation’s leading broker-dealers firms. In his column for Financial Advisor magazine, Bruckenstein highlights LPL Financial’s announcement of ClientWorks, the successor to the existing BranchNet platform that I covered in episode 137, an updated portfolio reporting solution and Client Center dashboard from Raymond James, updates to Commonwealth Financial Network’s Client Household 360 Dashboard and Practice360 business dashboard, and the AIG Advisor Group’s pending release of a mobile version of Salesforce and with integrated Salesforce work flows.

Clearly these broker-dealer firms are investing heavily in technology to boost the capabilities of their representatives, especially as they face increasing competition from all of the $(!#-adviser, ugh, online solutions out there.] The pace of technological innovation has never been greater. Independent broker-dealer firms continue to invest to keep up with the competition, offering advisors and end clients a better experience.

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

Risk Tool Smackdown: FinaMetrica vs. Riskalyze from Financial Planning

I tested myself using two of the more popular risk tolerance instruments: Riskalyze and FinaMetrica.

Smarsh Introduces Enhanced Archiving Support for Instagram from BusinessWire

Smarsh®, the leading provider of hosted archiving solutions for compliance and e-discovery, today announced the Smarsh Archiving Platform now offers enhanced support for Instagram.

Personal Capital integrates Zillow home estimates from Personal Capital

For those of you with property, Personal Capital has come out with a great new feature that will help you keep track of your real estate investments with Zillow.



Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 3, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 3, 2014


FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 26

On today’s broadcast, financial innovation takes center stage at Finovate Fall 2014. Find out which startups are building tools to improve your business. Advicent Solutions announces its acquisition of Figlo. Will this popular planning solution from Europe receive similar adoption in the US? And, I get a personal tour of Fidelity’s Office of the Future. Find out which technology you should have if you want to become the “anywhere advisor.”

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

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

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

In their new book titled Red Flags, you’ll learn how to protect your firm from cyber-attacks, disasters, and IT compliance risks. Learn more about the Red Flags book by visiting

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

Finovate Fall 2014: The Biggest Innovations in FinTech from Finovate

[This week’s top story highlights Finovate Fall 2014, the semi-annual gathering of many of the top startup companies in financial services. Finovate presenters cover a wide range of technology from mobile payments and automated investing to login security and financial literacy, so I’ve narrowed things down to the solutions that have the potential to help your business.

In no particular order, first up is My Virtual StrongBox with an updated version of its secure online file storage and sharing solution. Their competition for your business includes alternatives like Box and Sharefile for your document collaboration needs.

Next is Flexscore, which announced a new FlexScore Mobile financial profile scoring platform. Now with any mobile device, your clients can view their personal FlexScore, compare it with their peer group, and follow FlexScore’s recommend Action Steps to improve their score, which is a novel application of gamification techniques to financial advice.

Also showing potential is iQuantifi, a previous Finovate Best of Show winner, which is aggressively positioning itself as a virtual financial advisor solution. iQuantifi announced a new feature called "Cashfinder" to automatically recommend ways to reduce client expenses, and another one called "What if" that allows clients to tweak financial goals and view their effects in real time.

And the last company of note is bloom, which received one of this year’s Best of Show awards for its 401(k assessment and recommendation platform. bloom connects to client 401(k) accounts and evaluates its health using an image of a flower. Reducing risk or diversifying allocations leads to a healthier flower, which one again is an interesting and subtle play on gamification to get clients to take action on their financial future.]

On September 23 & 24, Finovate returns to NYC with FinovateFall, our flagship two-day showcase of the latest and greatest financial and banking technology innovations from leading established companies and hot young startups.

Advicent Solutions Acquires Figlo from Advicent

[Next up is news from Advicent Solutions, which announced its acquisition of Figlo, a financial planning software provider based in the Netherlands.

Figlo made a splash waaaay back in February 2011 at the T3 Conference in Florida when it demoed its software that had a very fresh and appealing user interface, but the company just didn’t gain all that much traction among advisors in the United States.

Now with the Advicent Solutions acquisition taking place, you should expect Figlo to benefit from Advicent’s marketshare with its NaviPlan and Advisor Briefcase solutions, and perhaps see the introduction of more compelling and user-friendly ways to deliver financial planning advice to clients.] In a deal that will further cement its position as the leading provider of financial consultancy and planning software solutions for banks, insurers and financial consultants, Advicent Solutions announced today its acquisition of Figlo.

Exclusive tour of Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future from FPPad

[And finally, several months ago in episode 129 I told you about Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future that the company created in its Smithfield, RI campus. I recently had the opportunity to tour the Office of the Future in person and was given a guided tour by Ed O’Brien, Head of Platform Technology for Fidelity Institutional.

The Office of the Future is divided into four distinct environments focusing on the diverse needs of today’s technology-empowered advisors: the briefing room, the “anywhere adviser” zone, the collaborative office, and the home environment.]

Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future shows how an adviser’s future office may not be a physical office at all.

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

Interactive Advisory Software Announces Data and Performance Validation, Client Billing and Reporting Services

Interactive Advisory Software (IAS) recently announced the launch of their new line of service offerings for new and existing advisors.  This marks the firm’s first major step toward a fully developed service bureau, in addition to their flagship fully-integrated technology platform.  Data and Investment Performance Validation, Client Investment Performance Reporting, and Account Billing are the first additions to the technology firm’s custom advisory services.

Actua to Acquire FolioDynamix, a Cloud-Based Wealth Management Technology Platform

Actua Corporation, formerly ICG Group (NASDAQ: ACTA), today announced that it has reached agreement to acquire FolioDynamix, a leading, secure, cloud-based investment and wealth management platform.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 26, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 26, 2014

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Exclusive tour of Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future

Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future shows how an adviser’s future office may not be a physical office at all

Recently I was invited to tour Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future, the company’s bold statement on where it believes the adviser’s future workplace is headed.

Irony notwithstanding, Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future does, in fact, occupy a physical space in the company’s Smithfield, RI campus located about an hour’s drive south of its Boston, Mass. headquarters.

Ed O’Brien, head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional, gave me a personal tour of the Office of the Future to highlight tools and technology advisers can use to invest in their own progressive workplace. A virtual Office of the Future tour is available on Fidelity’s website at

The Office of the Future is segmented into four distinct areas, each highlighting specific concepts and tools in technology that advisers can deploy in their office: the briefing room, the “anywhere adviser” zone, the collaborative office, and the home environment.

Briefing Room


In the briefing room, advisers will find large, HD displays connected to a virtual conferencing system. Advisers can use HD video conferencing to create an interactive bridge with colleagues in remote offices, back office support at the home office, or even with clients (but more on that in the home environment).

In addition, the briefing room is not filled with large, encroaching conference tables. Instead, advisers will find an inviting circle of chairs surrounding a large Lenovo Horizon II 27-Inch All-in-One Touchscreen Desktop where they can sit on the same side of the table with clients and begin to navigate through documents, reports, and other on-screen information in an engaging, dynamic setting.

“Anywhere Advisor” Zone


Fidelity’s O’Brien understands that the adviser no longer does 100% of his or her work in the physical office, and has the need to be productive no matter where his or her travels may lead. So Fidelity’s second room is nicknamed the “anywhere advisor” zone, where advisers can try technology that supports productivity while away from the traditional office.

O’Brien demonstrated the presentation apps on tablet devices that synchronize annotations and markup to any virtual meeting attendee, a Celluon EPIC Virtual Keyboard for the ability to type on any flat surface, a Pebble Steel Smart Watch to view notifications and incoming call information without taking one’s phone out of a pocket or handbag, and the arguably controversial Google Glass.

Collaborative Office


In the collaborative office, O’Brien is quick to point out that there are no physical servers supporting the devices in the office. Instead, the collaborative office features three different styles of workstations, from the low-cost tablet and virtual desktop configuration up to the fully-loaded multiple monitor and HD video conferencing equipment from Cisco.

In addition, the collaborative office features a green screen backdrop that advisers can use to create their own video content for clients and prospects, and use the video to add their own background images, graphics, and other information to make compelling content for their audience (much like I do with my own FPPad Bits and Bytes broadcasts).

The Home Environment


Finally, the last stop on the Office of the Future tour is the home environment, where O’Brien says more and more of the adviser-client interactions will take place.

Clients are increasingly seeking convenient options to work with financial advisers, and that includes the ability to chat and engage with an adviser from the comfort of their own living room.

Video chat services like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple FaceTime allow clients to have productive, meaningful conversations with their adviser, without dealing with the hassles of driving to an adviser’s office or even identifying advisor they want to work with that happens to have an office near their home.  Using this technology, clients are free to work with an adviser anywhere in the United States and conduct those meetings at times convenient to them.

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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.


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

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

Announcing the Fuse 2014 award winners from

[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

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.


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:


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:


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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

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 (, 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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