Today’s episode is brought to you by RightCapital; innovative financial planning software with unique tax planning capabilities. RightCapital features detailed tax projection and retirement distribution modules that allow advisors to illustrate tax-efficient drawdown strategies and Roth IRA conversions.
[This week’s top story comes from Personal Capital, as the digital RIA firm recently raised 75 million dollars in Series E funding from one investor, IGM Financial, a Canadian-based financial services company. $50 million was invested immediately with the other $25 million to be invested next year, bringing Personal Capital’s total amount of money raised to $175 million.
What will the company do with the money? According to CEO Bill Harris, Personal Capital will double its advisor headcount from 100 to 200, and increase its development staff from 40 to 60. Funds will also be used to double the company’s marketing budget, as chief marketing officer Mark Goines was quoted as saying, “The sad truth is no one knows about Personal Capital,”
What I find most interesting about this round of fundraising is WHO made the investment. IGM Financial is an incumbent financial institution, not a venture capital firm, and I find it interesting that none of Personal Capital’s prior investors participated in this latest round. This begs the question: Why not?] Personal Capital, the leading digital wealth management firm, today announced IGM Financial Inc., a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies, has invested $50 million this week, with an agreement to invest another $25 million in the next year.
[Because in another related story this week, SigFig, a San Francisco-based online automated investment service, announced that the company raised $40 million dollars, which includes $7 million of debt funding, bringing its total raised just under $60 million.
Once again, who led SigFig’s latest round?
If you said an incumbent financial institution, give yourself a gold star, because Eaton Vance was the lead investor, and to the best of my knowledge, its participation marks the company’s first investment EVER in a startup company!
These incumbent players join a growing list of activity in this space, with BlackRock acquiring FutureAdvisor, Invesco acquiring Jemstep, John Hancock acquiring Guide Financial (remember them?). The list goes on!
So what does this all mean? The throng of automated investment services who set out to change the way investors invest, make investing simple, et cetera, are now cozying up with the incumbent financial institutions many of the startups set out to disrupt in the first place! And I didn’t even mention the SigFig partnership with UBS, did i?
Oh, and this week Wells Fargo said it too will announce its own robo advisor partnership by the end of June!] SigFig, an independent San Francisco-based wealth management technology company, today announced the raising of $40 million in financing from a number of leading financial institutions, including Eaton Vance, Comerica Bank, New York Life, Santander InnoVentures, and UBS, as well as top-tier venture capital firms Bain Capital Ventures, DCM Ventures, Nyca Partners, and Union Square Ventures.
[Now on to news about the CRM software you use. This week, InvestmentNews reported about an Ameriprise Financial Services representative who was fined $50,000 and suspended for one year by FINRA for backdating and editing client notes in his CRM.
The CRM in this case was ACT!, and the rep made changes in his notes related to the sale of a variable annuities, which were discovered only after an arbitration panel mandated a forensic examination of the rep’s computer.
So whether you use Redtail, Junxure, Wealthbox CRM, Salesforce, or any other solution, it’s critical that your firm be aware how the integrity of client notes, and all records for that matter, is preserved. If you don’t know, now might be a good time to conduct a quick audit.] The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. levied a $50,000 fine against an Ameriprise general securities representative who altered his software notes to document his recommendations, for a 78-year-old client, to invest $2 million in Ameriprise variable annuities, the regulator’s decision shows.
Here are stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:
Dashlane, the New York startup that provides a platform for users to manage their passwords and online identities across multiple sites and apps, has raised a further $22.5 million in funding and picked up a key strategic investor and partner in the process.
On today’s broadcast, I’m on location at the Envestnet Advisor Summit. You’ll hear from Bill Crager about Open ENV, Stuart DePina on adding Salesforce integration to Tamarac, and hear how the Yodlee acquisition is enhancing the Envestnet platform.
Envestnet | Tamarac has rolled out a new edition of its Advisor CRM® application, Advisor CRM, which incorporates the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 update and is compatible with Microsoft Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2016
For our final stop in Washington DC, we connected with Rich Ellinger, founder of Wealthminder, in the shadow of the Washington Monument on the National Mall. Hear how Ellinger is using his background in engineering and startup growth to make quality financial advice accessible to everyone.
0:10 FPPad Tech Tour Intro
0:41 Rich Ellinger introduction
2:35 What was the draw to found Wealthminder?
4:50 How do you balance your work outside of Wealthminder?
5:54 How can technology help make advisors better at what they do?
7:16 Describe the evolution of Wealthminder as more and more advisors use the solution
8:57 Support for the Foundation for Financial Planning
On today’s broadcast, learn about top advisor technology from the Finovate Spring 2016, two lessons you should learn from a Salesforce database outage, hear top technology tips from industry experts, and more.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Riskalyze, the company that invented the Risk Number™ and twice named as one of the world’s 10 most innovative companies in finance by Fast Company Magazine.
Advisors use Riskalyze to show prospects they’re invested wrong and prove to clients they’re invested right. See how Riskalyze creates fearless investors by visiting riskalyze.com/fppad to book a guided tour.
[This week’s top story covers the Finovate Spring 2016 event held earlier this week in San Jose, California. With over 70 demos spread across two days, here are my picks for the most promising solutions for financial advisors.
First is IBM, as the company demoed its Client Insight for Wealth Management solution, designed to deliver better insights about your clients powered by, you guessed it, IBM Analytics. The Client Insight dashboard segments your clients by their behavioral profiles, predicts the likelihood of clients experiencing a significant life event, and automatically generates a list of top actions clients should take to make progress on their financial goals.
The analytics-powered insight is great, but it’s not yet clear to me if the solution is something you can buy today or if it requires an integration with the technology providers that you use, particularly with your CRM software. One third-party example I can think of is the automated investment service from Marstone, which to me, still seems to be evolving and appears to be rolling out at a very measured pace. So, if you want to start seeing some of these cognitive-powered insights in the tools you use, I think you need to prepare to spend a little bit more on your technology to make these benefits a reality.
The second demo of note came from Envestnet, as the company highlighted Advisor Now, which is now being positioned as an online financial planning tool that can be white-labeled by financial institutions or you, the independent financial advisor.
Advisor Now’s capabilities are quite a bit different than this time last year when the solution was first announced, as Envestnet is further leveraging its technology acquisitions of Upside, Yodlee, and Finance Logix.
Next week I’m headed to the Envestnet Advisor Summit in Chicago where I plan to get more details on Advisor New, but in the meantime you can watch a recent Advisor Now demo from Finovate Europe] IBM offers you a whole new level of insight to serve your customers with the most relevant offerings that helps you drive new revenue. It enables you to segment your customers quickly and analyze their behavior to deliver cross sell/ up sell offers which helps increase loyalty, retention and customer satisfaction.
[Next up is news on Salesforce, as the company unfortunately suffered a failure in one of its critical databases this week affecting several thousand of its customers in North America. The outage of the NA14 database lasted for about a day and a half, causing many users to publicly vent their frustrations on Twitter.
Closer to home, I didn’t hear from any advisors who were affected by the downtime, which is good, but there are still two lessons I want you to take away from this incident.
First, when you use any cloud-based system, especially a CRM, be absolutely certain that you have an offline backup of the critical information you need to take care of clients. Make it part of your process now to export data like names, phone numbers, and email addresses so you can stay in touch with clients if and when your online systems have extended downtime.
And second, make plans now for what you’re going to do when your firm experiences a crisis. How will you contact clients? Will you post information on your website, or provide updates on Twitter? Whatever you do, identify your process in your disaster recovery and business continuity plan, and if it’s been a while since you tested your communication in a crisis, well, you might want to do something about that.] A Salesforce database failure has left some clients unable to access their services across the United States, prompting the firm’s chief executive to step in.
[And finally, wrapping up this week’s broadcast is news from Shareholders Service Group, as I attended their annual conference in San Diego a few weeks ago. One of the general sessions I attended was a panel discussion on technology opportunities that lie ahead for independent financial advisors, so I caught up with each of the panelists,
Greg Friedman of Private Ocean, Dave Welling of SS&C Advisory Market Group, Tim Welsh of Nexus Strategy, and Joel Bruckenstein of Technology Tools for Today, to get their main takeaways from the session and hear best advice for advisors from a technology perspective.
The full video from the event is embedded over on website along with a few additional stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast.]
Here are stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:
Docupace Technologies LLC, a premier digital compliance and cyber security company in the financial services industry, completed its planned repurchase of the majority interest in the company previously held by RCS Capital Corporation.
[This week’s top story comes from Wealthbox CRM, as the company took advantage of a Cinco de Mayo theme to announce five new integrations on 5/5. The new integrations include TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo Open Access, Riskalyze, Orion Advisor Services, Microsoft Office 365, and Zapier. If Zapier sounds familiar, that’s because you heard about it in last week’s episode, unless you missed it, which means you should take a few minutes to watch it and get caught up.
This is great news from Wealthbox CRM, as many advisors I know were discouraged from using it in the past because it lacked integrations with many core technology solutions. With that objection out of the way, you should update your due diligence matrix to see which CRM is the best fit for your business objectives over the next few years.] Today we’re happy to announce five new Wealthbox CRM integrations with leading technology partners.
[Next up is news from Orion Advisor Services, as this week the portfolio accounting service provider announced a new app called Notifications. Once clients register their mobile number using the Orion client portal, Notifications uses text messages to provide updates like your clients’ portfolio balance, performance information, or even RMDs. Oh, and for you compliance officers watching, all of the messaging are automated, meaning there is no personal communication between the client and the advisor.
Ever since I saw the Penny App at last year’s FinCon event, I’ve been waiting for an advisor fintech provider to roll out text messaging for updates to clients, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure Orion is the first provider to do it.
Now one drawback I see is that clients need to learn special keywords like BAL, PERF, ADV to get information, so my challenge Brad and his team, you remember Brad, the potato chip guy from one of my vlogs, is to add in support for natural language processing so I can just ask the app, “What is my portfolio balance?” Sorry Brad!] Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), a premier portfolio accounting service provider for financial advisors, is announcing the launch of the Notifications app, which allows advisors to communicate with clients more directly by sending portfolio updates and scheduling meetings all via a text alert platform.
[And finally, news from Morningstar wraps up this week’s broadcast as the company’s aggregation service, ByAllAccounts, released a personal financial management portal for advisors and clients.
The new portal is available as a complete solution with customized branding for your firm, or if you already use a portal or online dashboard from other providers, you can choose from a number of the ByAllAccounts portal elements to use as stand-alone tools. For this reason, pricing is going to depend based on your needs for a solution, but whatever you pay, account aggregation from ByAllAccounts is included for an unlimited number of clients and accounts.
But there are some caveats you should know: First, the aggregation data is not intended for data reconciliation, so it’s not suitable for detailed portfolio performance information. Reconciliation-ready data is part of the the traditional ByAllAccounts aggregation service.
Second, a minimum number of licenses are required to use the portal, so today, this solution targeted for the mid- to large RIAs and broker-dealers, yet I’m optimistic that over time ByAllAccounts can offer pricing and functionality that is attractive to advisors of all sizes.] Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, today launched a new personal financial management portal in the firm’s account aggregation service, Morningstar® ByAllAccounts.
Here are the stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:
Demonstrating the intensifying race to dominate adviser technology, Pershing broadened the scope of its B2B digital advice offerings, announcing on Wednesday it was bringing startups SigFig, Vanare and Invesco’s Jemstep Advisor Pro onto its platform that also includes the still-developing robo Marstone.
Laserfiche today announced the availability of Laserfiche 10.1. The latest enterprise content management (ECM) offering builds on the features and resources of Laserfiche 10, released in January 2016, further enhancing teamwork and collaboration, refining case management capabilities and extending business analytics.
[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.
[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.
[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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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
Today’s episode is brought to you by Twenty Over Ten, providers of beautiful, tailored, mobile responsive websites specifically for Financial Advisors.
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.
[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.
[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.
[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:
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.
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.