I was in San Diego and Palm Springs over the last week, delivering three different presentations over four days. I’m no Michael Kitces, but I was glad to sleep in my own bed after a week on the road.
Attend The Mobile Adviser Wednesday, May 15th through the AICPA PFP Web Seminar
Heads up: I’m presenting a webinar on my session The Mobile Adviser: Everything financial advisers need to stay safe, connected, and productive in the Mobile Age on Wednesday the 15th for the AICPA.
Follow this link to register: AICPA PFP & CPA/PFS Web Seminars
Here are this week’s stories of interest:
Bloomberg’s new venture: Online advice from InvestmentNews.com
[The latest entry into the online investment advice market is BloombergBlack, a premium investment subscription service primarily targeted to high net worth individuals interested in managing their own investments. For a starting fee of $100/month (their Form ADV permits monthly fees up to $500), subscribers gain access to four investment experts and a variety of Bloomberg research and information.] An 800-pound gorilla is wading into the market for online investment management and financial advice. Media giant Bloomberg LP is quietly testing a “premium” wealth management service, BloombergBlack, aimed squarely at mass-affluent investors.
Savant Capital takes advice online from InvestmentNews.com
[Ok, so the roughly $3 billion AUM Savant Capital is launching eSavantAdvisor, a 100% online way to work with a CFP® practitioner employed by Savant. There are three advisors for eSavant, and fees are no lower than the 1% annual fee on the first $1 million in assets charged by the parent company. At least the minimum fee is down to $900 (if you don't count TD Ameritrade Institutional's $165/year fee) from Savant's typical $5,000 annual minimum. So what technology does the eSavantAdvisor client get? Access to their portfolio data via Orion Advisor Services, a login at TD Ameritrade Institutional (doesn't that duplicate info in Orion?), and web meetings with WebEx to start. There may be other technology available, but the ones listed cover the basics. But here are two things that bother me: First, which three of the dozens of Savant employees are stepping up as eSavantAdvisor planners? It's not clear. And second, look at the Savant Capital Management website: it could use an overhaul. At least eSavantAdvisor.com features a more modern design, even if it is missing video.] Savant Capital Management is offering technology-savvy investors an online version of the comprehensive investment advice that its advisers offer clients who come into one of its offices.
Schwab Launches OpenView MarketSquare, PortfolioCenter Hosted from Financial-Advisor.com
[It's official, the long-awaited hosted version of PortfolioCenter is now live, and so is the Zagat-style rating system, MarketSquare. Most controversial is MarketSquare, where online reviews are first screened by Schwab insiders, likely for accuracy and brevity, and not to intentionally skew the bias of reviews. Still, in the day when all of us can get unfiltered reviews of any product sold on Amazon.com, Schwab's filter-first attribute of MarketSquare does create an odd approach. But on the other hand, there are a few websites out there already that permit unfiltered reviews of financial advisor products, and the value of those are so-so.] Schwab Intelligent Technologies (SPT) announced today that OpenView MarketSquare and PortfolioCenter Hosted have now gone live.
NetDocuments Launches New Apps Marketplace from BusinessWire.com
[Apple's App Store is approaching 50 billion (yes, BILLION) app downloads, Salesforce's AppExchange has over 1.7 million installs, and now online document management provider NetDocuments is hopping on the app marketplace bandwagon. The NetDocuments Apps Marketplace is sparsely populated today with just six apps in all, and largely acts as a consolidated list of third party developers that have created their own solutions for specific tasks performed in NetDocuments. Currently, apps can not be sorted by price, so it's not easy to tell which apps are free to use and which apps require a purchase or subscription. Oh, and they also released version 13.2 with a REST API and improved email search capabilities.] NetDocuments today announced the immediate availability of NetDocuments’ Apps Marketplace, a centralized location for third-party software developers to create apps that integrate with the company’s existing cloud-computing content management and collaboration services. The marketplace showcases apps that users can implement to streamline workflows and improve performance in managing their repository of documents and emails.