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Wealthbox launches Wealthbox 3: Flash briefing for January 23, 2018

Links to today’s stories:

AdvicePay Launches as First Compliant Payment Processing Solution for Fee-For-Service Financial Planners

Vestwell adds Morningstar Investment Management’s 3(21) Fiduciary Services to Further Support Financial Advisors in their Retirement Plan Decisions

Wealthbox CRM launches Wealthbox 3

Disclosure: Wealthbox compensated me to help create the marketing video for the launch of Wealthbox 3

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing, Here are the top fintech stories you need to know today.

AdvicePay Launches with Support for Credit Card and ACH Billing

If you’ve wanted to take credit card or ACH payments for financial planning fee, there’s a new solution for you. AdvicePay just launched its payment processing solution this week for advisors who charge clients directly for financial planning fees instead of deducting a percentage of assets held by a custodian. Prior to AdvicePay, planners most likely received payments by check, as payment processors like PayPal and Stripe don’t work with financial advisory business, citing regulatory concerns. AdvicePay has over 280 advisors already using the platform and charges $50 a month per advisor plus transaction processing fees.

Vestwell adds Morningstar Investment Management’s 3(21) Fiduciary Services

In the 401(k) retirement plan space, Vestwell announced it will offer a select list of investment options under Morningstar Investment Management ‘s fiduciary services program. This partnership comes as Vestwell continues to make progress in the retirement plan space with its technology platform that helps employers and plan sponsors offer affordable, diversified investment options to employees while helping plan administrators also meet their fiduciary responsibilities to plan participants.

Wealthbox Launches Wealthbox 3

And in CRM news, Wealthbox CRM just announced the launch of its latest version of the advisor CRM called Weathbox 3. To mark the occasion, I joined Team Wealthbox as they sabered a bottle of champagne in a video that you just have to watch! But first, here’s Wealthbox cofounder Dan Ferranti on the new features advisors will find in Wealthbox 3:

To get links to all the details on today’s stories, visit fppad.com/flashbriefing

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

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TD Ameritrade Institutional Launches Model Market Center: Flash briefing for January 19, 2018

Links to today’s top stories:

TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Model Market Center Lets RIAs Streamline Investment Management – For Less

blooom Launches Suspicious Activity Alerts Feature to Help Protect Your 401k

Register for the 2018 Fearless Investing Summit

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing, here are the top fintech stories you need to know today.

Outsourcing investment management just got a little bit easier for advisors using TD Ameritrade Institutional, as this week the company announced the introduction of its Model Market Center. The Model Market Center features 62 different investment models from eight investment managers, with notable managers including Meb Faber’s Cambria Investments as well as WisdomTree Investments, who made fintech news a few weeks ago with its investment in AdvisorEngine’s acquisition of Junxure. Model Market Center joins a growing market of outsourced investment management solutions which includes Orion Advisor Services, Riskalyze, and Morningstar, and others.

Online 401(k) manager blooom is helping investors protect their accounts against fraudulent activity with its new Suspicious Activity Alerts feature. Investors can connect their 401(k)s and other employe-sponsored retirement accounts to blooom which continuously monitors for withdrawals or loans on account funds, notifying clients via text message when blooom detects any suspicious activity.

And tickets are selling fast to the 2018 Fearless Investing Summit brought to you by Riskalyze, which blends the latest in investment trends and fintech innovation in its three-day agenda. Last year’s inaugural summit eventually sold out, so you need to act quickly to make sure you don’t miss out on this year’s event. Secure your tickets today by visiting fppad.com/flashbreifing for the links on today’s stories.

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

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SS&C Technologies acquires DST Systems for $5.4 billion: Flash briefing for January 12, 2018

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing, Here are the top fintech stories you need to know today. (Click here to watch on YouTube)

Links to today’s top stories:

SS&C to Acquire DST Systems from ssctech.com

Merrill Lynch advisors will soon be texting clients from financial-planning.com

SS&C Technologies acquires DST Systems for $5.4 billion

The merger and acquisition train continues to steamroll into 2018, with SS&C Technologies announcing a $5.4 billion deal to acquire DST Systems in an all-cash transaction. Over 100,000 financial professionals use DST Systems technology like DST FAN Mail for portfolio aggregation and DST Vision to view a dashboard of all client accounts. SS&C, which also acquired Advent software in July of 2015 for $2.3 billion, says it will leverage the DST Systems acquisition to increase automation and efficiency across all of its wealth management offerings to financial professionals and institutions.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management adds text messaging support

Do you text with your financial adviser? In the coming weeks, Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch Wealth Management division will allow its 15,000 financial advisors to use compliant text messaging software as it rolls out new software this month and into February. Merrill Lynch selected CellTrust to allow advisors to send text messages to clients using a web browser, while clients can text back to their advisor using their Apple or Android devices. All messages are captured and archived for compliance purposes, meeting the regulatory requirements imposed by the SEC an FINRA.

Junxure acquisition details from AdvisorEngine

And finally, in a webinar this week, AdvisorEngine provided details on its roadmap following last week’s acquisition announcement of Junxure. Webinar attendees learned that the company plans to continue to support both the Junxure Desktop and Junxure Cloud versions of the CRM and has no plans to change the Junxure pricing structure from a user-based subscription to a fee based on assets under management. Here’s Rich Cancro, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AdvisorEngine with his comments about the alignment of culture between the two organizations:

When you take a look at the Junxure product and the people, as I got to know the management team, and then most recently the full team, the passion they have toward the Junxure client base is truly palpable, and that’s something that the team, the people, the care, and how they care for one another, there’s a lot of similarities around culture, being collaborative and helping one another and helping our clients.

To get links to the details on today’s stories, visit fppad.com/flashbriefing

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

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RetireUp acquires RepPro: Flash briefing for January 11, 2018

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing, Here are the top fintech stories you need to know today.

Links:

Envestnet | Tamarac Introduces Enhanced Document Vault File-Storage System for its Award-Winning Client Portal

Enable Calendly for Chrome

RetireUp Acquires RepPro, Creating a Powerhouse Digital Retirement Planning Solution

Envestnet | Tamarac Enhances Document Vault

Sharing documents with clients just got a little easier for advisors using the Envestnet | Tamarac platform, as the comprehensive technology solution for advisers just released an enhanced document vault and file storage system.
Previously, advisers using Envestnet | Tamarac had to turn to third party vendors for file sharing solutions, which meant managing two different systems and some decreased efficiency. The enhanced document vault includes support for uploading files in batches, document previews right in the web browser, secure access to the vault via mobile app, and more.

New Calendly Chrome Extension

Are you tired of playing email battleship with clients when scheduling meetings? Online scheduling software Calendly just announced a new extension for the Chrome web browser, allowing Calendly users to easily copy their meeting event links from the sidebar, quickly propose meeting times for an ad hoc meeting, and manually override existing calendar events to book a high priority meeting. The new Chrome extension works best with Gmail and G Suite account, but some of the features also do work with Office 365 and Outlook.com accounts

RetireUp Acquires RepPro

And in retirement planning software news, RetireUp just announced that company is acquiring RepPro, a form automation platform that supports forms for a variety of annuity carriers as well as custodians like TD Ameritrade and Fidelity. The two companies will operate under the RetireUp brand and will be headquartered in Chicago, providing advisors a single solution to generate retirement plans for clients as well as streamline the form creation process to bring the plans to life. Here’s RetireUp President Michael Roth on the RepPro acquisition.

When we were introduced to RepPro, there was an automatic synergy between the functionality of the two platforms as well as the mission both companies shared of making retirement planning more accessible for people and more profitable to advisors. We’re incredibly proud about this partnership and believe that RepPro’s best-in-class software will continue to improve the workflow at every stage of an advisor’s planning process.

To get links to the details on today’s stories, visit fppad.com/flashbriefing

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

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Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities: Flash briefing for Monday January 8, 2018

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing, Here are the top fintech stories you need to know today.

Links:

The Spectre of an Advertising Meltdown: What You Need to Know
https://www.lawfareblog.com/spectre-advertising-meltdown-what-you-need-know

uBlock Content Filtering
https://www.ublock.org/

Vanguard’s digital advice platform crosses $100B
https://www.financial-planning.com/news/vanguard-digital-advice-platform-hits-100-billion

Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

Have you updated your software lately? Security researchers worldwide are recommending that everyone install available software updates on computers and mobile devices in the wake of vulnerabilities called Meltdown and Spectre. The exploit allows malicious software to retrieve data from computer memory used by other programs, potentially exposing things like passwords, instant messages, bank account numbers and more. In addition to updating software, experts recommend installing open source content-filtering software like uBlock Origin in your internet browser to block malicious code.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services Exceeds $100 billion AUM

In online investment news, Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services crossed a milestone of $100 billion dollars in assets under management, becoming the first of the low-cost hybrid advice services to do so. While online investing startups have raised hundreds of millions in dollars in venture capital to tackle this market, established incumbents like Vanguard are having the most success in attracting assets to their digital platforms. Here’s Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein with his thoughts on Vanguard’s milestone.

“Vanguard has found a way to profitably bring hybrid human-robo advice to the market, and there is absolutely a need for better advice among smaller investors,” he adds. “The big realization most advisors have had is that Vanguard is serving a different market — one that will accept simpler, phone-based advice. It’s a rising tide that is lifting the advice boat and that’s a good thing for the industry.”

Reinvest 2017 Year-End Dividends in HSA Accounts

And do you or your clients have investments in you HSA accounts? if so, be sure to check with your HSA administrator to see what happened with dividends paid out at the end of 2017. Not all plans automatically reinvest dividends, so you may have to manually log in to your plan if you want the extra cash reinvested back into your HSA’s investment portfolio.

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

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Wealthfront raises $75 million: Flash briefing for Friday January 5, 2018

Wealthfront raises $75 million. Full transcript below.

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing for Friday, January 5, Here are the top fintech stories you need to know today.

Just say no to Bitcoin, as it was reported that Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch told its employees last month not to offer the Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust to clients, according to a Wall Street Journal article. The price of Bitcoin has skyrocketed over 1,300 per cent over the last 12 months, attracting wide speculation from global cryptocurrency enthusiasts and high levels of skepticism about a bubble among market experts.

In news from Wealthfront, the online automated investment service said it raised $75 million dollars in new financing led by Tiger Global Management and included participation from all of its existing investors. In a blog post, Wealthfront CEO Andy Rachleff said that the company will use the new financing to “pursue an even more aggressive push into software-based financial planning and financial services.” Wealthfront said it doubled its assets under management in 2017, finishing the year at over $9 billion, placing it fourth in total assets behind other low-cost investment services from Vanguard, Charles Schwab, and Betterment.

And another online investment service raising new money to jumpstart 2018 is NextCapital, as the company announced it raised $30 million in Series C financing led by venture firm Oak HC/FT, also with participation from many of NextCapital’s existing shareholders. According to NextCapital CEO John Patterson, the company will use the funding to “bring new digital advice capabilities to market and open up new strategic business channels.”

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AdvisorEngine acquires Junxure: Flash briefing for Tuesday January 2, 2018

AdvisorEngine acquires Junxure. Full transcript below.

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing for Tuesday, January 2, Here’s the top fintech story you need to know today.

Well the 2018 fintech news cycle is already off to a quick start, as AdvisorEngine announced the acquisition of CRM Software, the makers of Junxure CRM. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but in its press release, AdvisorEngine also said it received a commitment of $30 million in new financing from WisdomTree Investments, of which $22 million was funded today with a majority of those proceeds used to fund the acquisition of Junxure.

The new funding from WisdomTree builds on the company’s $20 million dollar investment for 33% of AdvisorEngine made back in December of 2016.

So here’s my quick take on the news: Junxure has a very loyal base of users, especially among those firms that continue to use the company’s flagship desktop software introduced back in 2001. However, the rollout of the Junxure Cloud solution has taken *much longer* than I expected, and advisors continue to tell me today that they can’t convert 100% of their desktop data to the Cloud version.

So this acquisition by AdvisorEngine gives me new hope that development, support, and expansion of the Junxure Cloud solution will receive new energy and direction. Junxure co-founder Greg Friedman will take on a new role as a strategic advisor with the company.

And from an industry perspective, 2018 is shaping up to be a year where CRM providers could be in play as companies continue to consolidate application in an attempt to offer an all-in-one technology solution for financial advisors. SS&C Advent acquired Salentica in late 2016, leaving Redtail and Wealthbox among the few independent CRMs that come to mind with large user bases, followed by providers like Grendel, ProTracker, and AdvisorsAssistant that could be acquisition targets as the year progresses.

If you have some insights on the Junxure acquisition, send me a message on Twitter I’m @billwinterberg, or email me at bill@fppad.com.

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

 

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2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for content creators

Just as I did last year, I’ve aggregated Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for 2017 on audio and video gear you can use to create online content for your business.

Check out the list below, and if you find any great deals I haven’t listed, leave a link in the comments below or send me a tweet to @billwinterberg.

NOTE: Links to Amazon where applicable are my affiliate links, so I earn a small commission if you use the links to purchase (and THANK YOU, because that helps support the free content here at FPPad!). Also, links to online sites may not reflect Black Friday pricing until Thursday or Friday, so check back often if the prices don’t yet match the prices I cite in this post.

Last updated November 27, 2017 at 11:38 AM ET

Jump to: Cameras — Lights — Video Accessories — Computers and Storage

Cameras

Canon EOS Rebel T6i Video Creator KitFirst up is a video creators kit featuring the Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR Camera at $649 from Amazon. B&H Photo also has the same kit for $649. I’ve seen several sales on the same camera and lens combo over at Target and Best Buy for $599, but for just $50 more for this package, you pick up the RODE VideoMic GO and a 32GB SD memory card that would cost about $120 when purchased separately, so you’re saving about $70 on these two accessories.

The T6i is a great DSLR to get started with video, as you can keep your equipment investment well below $1,000. Note, this camera has a “crop sensor” and not a full sensor like the more expensive Canon 5D line (starting around $2,000 just for the camera body!), but for production for a website and YouTube channel, many creators really won’t notice any drawbacks in using a crop sensor camera. But if your full-time business is landscape, architecture, or modeling photography, well, a full frame sensor is almost commonplace.

Also, why not buy the less expensive T6 or T5 cameras? Those cameras don’t have a touchscreen LCD display that swings out a full 180º to the side, which is super important when you’re filming yourself “selfie” style. You need to be able to see what the camera sees when filming yourself so you can set the focus, ISO, and lens aperture accordingly for a high quality image. You just can’t to that on the fly with the Canon Rebel cameras with no “i” after their model number!

Canon 80D

Now if you want pixel resolution similar to a full frame camera without the full frame price, Amazon also has a deal on the Canon EOS 80D DSLR camera with the video creator kit at $1,399B&H Photo has the same kit as well. Note that the 80D has an APS-C sensor, not a legitimate full frame sensor, but the sensor resolution is actually higher than some older model full frame cameras. Here’s a helpful review if you want to read more about the APS-C sensor.

Vlog Camera

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II Video Creator KitI use the term “vlog camera” for cameras you can keep in your pocket while on a trip, attending an event, or otherwise out of the office, but want to quickly take out a camera and record a quick thought, capture some time lapse, or shoot some b-roll footage for your video. I generally recommend two cameras for this kind of activity: the Canon G7X Mk II and the Sony RX100 V.

First, Amazon has a gift card bundle on the Sony RX100V right now for $949 including a $50 gift card, so your “net” price is $899. This isn’t a huge savings over the camera’s regular price of $949, but $50 will cover an extra battery and maybe an SD flash card to get you up and running with your vlogging.

The vlog camera I use, the G7X, is bundled on Amazon for $699 ($50 savings) which includes a 32GB flash card, Manfrotto PIXI MINI Tripod, and an extra Canon NB-13L battery (key if you want to vlog for a full day).

Note that neither camera has a jack for an external microphone, so these are not ideal for filming video in a studio or office as your main camera unless you have an external audio recorder that you will use for an audio track. Instead, I use my vlogging camera to capture b-roll at events and use as a second camera angle while my primary camera is a DSLR with the RODE microphone (or wireless lavalier) plugged directly into the camera for high quality audio.

Mevo Plus

Mevo Plus - The Live Event Camera
Here’s a camera for live streaming video. Check out the Mevo Plus at $399 for Black Friday ($100 off MSRP). If you want one camera that is super easy to set up and operate for a Facebook Live, YouTube, Periscope and more, the Mevo Plus can do it.

I highly recommend looking at ways to plug in an external microphone for your broadcasts unless you’re in a quiet office or studio, but that does add some cost an complexity to your setup. You can connect a microphone using a compatible mobile device connected to the Mevo Plus over WiFi, or you can add on the Mevo Boost accessory (another $250) that uses microphones connected via a USB interface (see how to connect microphones via USB in this article).

Drones!

DJI Mavic ProOk, ok, you don’t *need* a drone to make videos, but man, are they fun to use and they do capture incredible aerial footage. So if you’re inclined to experiment with adding a drone to your production process, here are a few Black Friday deals.

First is the DJI Mavic Pro at $895 ($104 off). This is the drone I own and bring to conferences and events as well as my family trip to Yellowstone this past summer.

Keep in mind that you’ll not only need to learn how to legally operate the drone, you also need to learn how to operate a new camera with its own ISO, focus, and exposure settings. Be sure to allocate lots of time for practice before you fly for your finished videos.

A lower price point for a drone is the DJI Spark WITHOUT A CONTROLLER at $399 for Black Friday. The Spark is a bit more compact than the Mavic Pro, but its arms don’t collapse and fold like the Mavic Pro, so this is a toss-up on how easy it is to stuff into a backpack compared to the Mavic Pro.

Also, to save money, you can choose not to buy the controller and fly this exclusively with your mobile phone, but your controls will be more limited than if you had a full handheld joystick. If you want the power of a joystick, then upgrade to this DJI Spark Fly More Combo at $599 (regularly $699).

Lights

Fotodiox has several Black Friday specials on lighting packages.

Deluxe Video Studio Chromakey Starter KitFirst is the Deluxe Video Studio Chromakey Starter Kit at $199 (regular price $344.95) which includes two of the 955 Compact Studio LED lights and a 5×7′ collapsible green screen background. These light boxes have 9 LED lights each(!), giving you TONS of dispersed light for your shoots, which is why this kit is approaching $200 (you can find cheaper kits, but you won’t find them with so many lights). One drawback is the size of the 5×7′ green screen, which might be a bit narrow and short if you hope to film your entire body in your shoot. But still, you can purchase other larger green screens to complement this set from Fotodiox.

Fotodiox Collapsible LED Ring LightAlso from Fotodiox is this clever collapsible LED ring light at $49.95 (regular price $129.95). Now before you buy this ring light, go watch my video with Bohuš Blahut of Fotodiox about the pros and cons of shooting with ring lights. Ok, so if you want an inexpensive way to get started with a simple ring light, this kit is a great way to get started. Just remember that shadow helps you when filming, so you’ll likely want to add a few other lights in your setup to help with modeling on your video subject (likely yourself!).

Video Accessories

Soundstripe Black Friday dealOne critical component of good videos is having good music. I’ve been a subscriber of Soundstripe for a year now, a service that offers unlimited licensing of tracks in their music library for a fixed annual subscription.

Now through Cyber Monday, get your first year subscription for $87, 35% off the regular annual subscription of $135. After the first year, the subscription renews at the standard $135 per year.

When typical tracks from Premium Beat and Tune Fruit run $40 to $100 EACH, getting an annual subscription to an expanding library of high quality music for $87 is incredible! If you end up using just two songs from Soundstripe in a year, you’ve recouped your subscription.

Computers and Storage

SanDisk Black Friday SavingsFor Black Friday, Amazon is offering 30% to 70%(!) off SanDisk memory cards. Look for minimum speeds of Class 10, the same as UHS Speed 1, for filming 1080 HD video, and consider the faster UHS Speed 3 for filming in 4k. The 64GB micro SD card was as low as $13.99, but even at Friday’s price of $14.99 it’s a really good deal!

The more videos you make, the more memory cards you’re going to need (and remember, flash memory will get slower with age, so if you shoot videos each day, your memory card’s speed will get slower and slower over time. It takes about a year or two to slow down, but you’ll notice it for sure when it takes a long time to move footage to your computer!)

Hard Drives

Seagate Portable DrivesB&H Photo has $15-$20 off 2TB Seagate portable hard drives, which come in handy for offloading raw footage and editing project files from your laptop onto some kind of backup device.

I always bring two of these drives along with me to video shoots so I have a place I can offload extra footage, but I remember buying my 1TB drives at $59.99, which is now the price of a 2TB drive with this Cyber Monday special!

Desktops and Laptops

Apple laptops and desktop computersI admit, I have a preference for Apple computers, especially because I edit all my videos in Final Cut Pro. That said, know that you can find some great deals on PCs that run Windows elsewhere, but I’m just going to list the deals I find on Apple.

For Cyber Monday, B&H has a killer deal on a 15.4″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar at $1,899, ($900 off MSRP, but about $425 off the lowest Amazon price). This is the laptop with the 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor, 16GB of 2133 MHz RAM, and 512GB PCIe SSD. These are just about the specs that match the MacBook I use (see below), but a little warning, you might find the 15″ form factor to be a bit too bulky to travel with this laptop in most backpacks. It’s also heavier than the 13″ form factor, but I will admit that the extra screen real estate will go a long way when doing multi-cam editing when you’re away from your large screen in your home office!

 

Best Buy has a number of Apple laptops and desktops on sale for Black Friday, with savings ranging from $150 to $250. What do I use to edit on the road? A mid-2015 13″ MacBook Pro with the 3.1GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB flash drive. It’s a workhorse that hasn’t failed me in two years and has been absolutely trouble free.

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