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Wealthfront Launches Risk Parity Mutual Fund: Flash briefing for February 23, 2018

Links to today’s top stories:

Investing Just Got Better with Wealthfront from Wealthfront

Robo-adviser Wealthsimple raises $51 million to expand service from Reuters

What’s new from RobustWealth | 2018 Fintech Update from YouTube

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

Wealthfront Adds Risk Parity Fund

Wealthfront, the Silicon-Valley based automated investment service, announced it is introducing its own Wealthfront Risk Parity mutual fund into the asset allocations of customers who qualify for the PassivePlus investment strategies, which requires an account balance of $100,000. The Risk Parity mutual fund is modeled after giant hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and carries an expense ratio of 50 basis points. In a move stirring controversy on social media, Wealthfront is automatically opting in eligible customers to the Risk Parity fund for up to 20% of their allocation unless they specifically opt out in their account settings.

WealthSimple Raises $51 Million

In other automated investing news, Toronto-based Wealthsimple announced it raised another $51 million US dollars from Power Financial Corporation, bring its total investment to $131 million. Originally started in Canada in 2014, Wealthsimple expanded to the US and UK markets in 2017 and now manages $1.45 billion dollars for approximately 65,000 customers. Fees for accounts under $100,000 are 50 basis points, while fees for larger accounts at 40 basis points.

RobustWealth Offers White-Labeled Automated Investment Solution

And finally, financial advisers are also looking for solutions that rival the customer experience delivered by automated investment services, so I recently met with Ryan Horvath of RobustWealth to learn more about their white-labeled solution:

So now advisors can come on and completely launch their own white-labeled robo advisor. So this is great for small accounts, millennials, and what the advisor can actually do is customize their risk tolerance questionnaire, put a link on their website, so now the client can come on, take that risk tolerance questionnaire, sign the electronic advisory documents all in the platform, get assigned to a model that’s customized by the advisor, open up accounts, all electronically, and get invested in their model, so it’s making life really easy to optimize those smaller accounts.

For more details on the automated investment solution from RobustWealth, head over to to get all the links to today’s top stories.

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

Hackers Latest Trick to Steal Tax Refunds from Taxpayers: Flash briefing for February 21, 2018

Here are the links to today’s top stories:

IRS Scam Leverages Hacked Tax Preparers, Client Bank Accounts from

Quovo Announces “Cue,” a Data-Driven Alert Engine for Financial Services Firms from PRNewswire

What’s new from RIA in Box | 2018 fintech update from YouTube

[Note: I have provided creative marketing services to RIA in a Box in the last 12 months. See my full disclosures here]

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

Hackers Tricking Taxpayers Demanding Payments of False Tax Refunds

Hackers are using more elaborate techniques to steal money from taxpayers, according to a new report published by security researcher Brian Krebs. In this latest scheme, hackers are breaking in to tax preparation firms to file fraudulent tax returns that result in large refunds deposited directly into taxpayer bank accounts. The attackers then posing as debt collection agencies to contact the taxpayers, demanding that the tax refunds be returned. The demands appear very legitimate, as the hackers know the dollar amount of the refund because they created the phony tax returns. The IRS says that taxpayers who receive such inquiries should contact their financial institution to potentially close the affected accounts as well as their tax preparer who likely had their systems compromised.

Quovo Announces “Cue” System

In account aggregation news, Quovo recently announced the introduction of a new alerts feature called Cue, which applies data science to monitor connected accounts for changes in balances, significant money movements, and even identify the chances clients may have additional accounts that their financial advisers do not yet know about. Currently, the Cue system can generate email notifications for advisors or be integrated directly into CRM software by leveraging the Quovo API, and is currently in a pilot phase with several large financial institutions for a rollout later this year.

RIA in a Box Electronic Employee Trade Monitoring

And speaking of aggregation, how do financial advisers make sure they stay on top of their compliance requirements to monitor personal stock trading by employees? I recently spoke with GJ King of RIA in a Box to learn more about how the company is using technology so simplify trade monitoring for compliance:

Our latest new feature we’re rolled out in the last few months is what we call automated employee trade monitoring, and how we think about that is most advisory firms today, maybe they don’t want to admit this but it’s true, where most people are still tracking personal employee trading through paper brokerage statements. You walk into an advisor’s office, you’ll generally see a stack of paper statements, maybe hidden in the corner, but they exist, we’re trying to bring that into a digital experience. It’s not rocket science, but we’re taking what used to be a paper experience and making that all automated and electronic through our system.

For more details on employee trade monitoring by RIA in a Box, head over to to get all the links to today’s top stories.

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

Stash raises $37.5 million in Series D funding: Flash briefing for February 16, 2018

Here are the links to today’s top stories:

Simplified investing app Stash raises $37.5 million Series D as it heads into banking from TechCrunch

Yahoo Finance Expands Offerings as Only Free Provider of Sustainability Scores, across Desktop and Mobile Web from Sustainalytics

What’s new from Envestnet | Tamarac from YouTube

Note: Coverage from the TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC conference was sponsored by Envestnet | Tamarac. Click here to view my full disclosures.

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

Yahoo! Finance Adds Sustainalytics ESG Ratings

How socially and environmentally friendly are the companies you invest in? Well, it just became a whole lot easier to find out, as earlier this month, Yahoo Finance announced it will now display Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG scores, for more than 2,000 publicly traded companies, powered by data from Sustainalytics. The Yahoo Finance Sustainability quote pages will show scores ranging from 1 to 100 for each of the three ESG categories, as well as a company’s ESG performance relative to its peer average in the same category. In the coming weeks, Yahoo said that ratings for over 28,000 mutual funds and ETFs will be available with data powered by the Morningstar Sustainability Rating™ for funds.

Stash Raises $37.5 Million in Series D Funding

In low-cost investing news, Stash announced that the company raised an additional $37.5 million in Series D funding this week, bringing its total funding to just over $116 million. Stash offers low-cost automated investing to over 1.7 million clients, up from 850,000 last year, and recently introduced support for IRA accounts with its Stash Retire product. The company also announced plans to introduce its Stash Banking product in the near future with support for free accounts with no fees and no minimum balance requirements, which is intended to broaden Stash’s appeal as a diversified financial services company instead of competing in the narrow automated investment marketplace.

Platform Updates to Envestnet | Tamarac

And finally, Envestnet | Tamarac continues to make enhancements to their platform for advisors, so to learn more about what’s new from Tamarac, I met with Managing Director Brandon Rembe at the National LINC conference earlier this month.

There’s a lot of different things we’re working on, a few key areas we’re working on is digital client engagement, our client portal, things like client on boarding, tasking, calendaring, all of those things to provide a more digital experience if the client wants to do that as well as provide more service for clients and family offices, things like that. We’re also doing a few things with artificial intelligence, to help with predictive analytics on spending, budgeting, how much you’re going to spend later on in life, we’re doing that with our partnership with Yodlee, and a few other things are automated workflows in the back office, to not only help the end client but also help the advisor run a more efficient practice.

For more details on Tamarac’s enhancements, head over to to get all the links to today’s top stories.

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


Grove raises $2.1 million for hybrid financial planning: Fintech flash briefing for February 12, 2018

Here are the links to today’s stories:

Grove raises $2.1M to find the sweet spot between old-school financial advisers and chatbots from TechCrunch

Riskalyze Retirement Solutions Goes Live from Riskalyze

Laserfiche rolls out SaaS solution for document management in the cloud from YouTube

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

Grove Raises $2.1 Million for Hybrid Financial Planning Service

A new startup wants to make financial planning services more accessible and affordable for the nation’s savers. The company is called Grove, based in San Francisco, who just announced it raised $2.1 million dollars in a seed round to launch a hybrid software-and-human powered financial planning service. According to TechCrunch, Grove combines account aggregation software with advice from Certified Financial Planner certificants, with two CFP’s listed on the company’s website, all for an annual membership fee of $600. The company says that automated investment management services are also available for an additional 25 basis points of assets under management.

Riskalyze Rolls Out Riskalyze Retirement Solutions

In the retirement plan space, Riskalyze announced the formal launch of Riskalyze Retirement Solutions, a joint offering with Vestwell to provide an end-to-end digital platform to financial advisors looking to manage 401(k) retirement plans. The new platform leverages the proprietary Risk Number methodology to propose appropriate asset allocations to retirement plan participants, and then streamlines the account on boarding process with custodians such as TD Ameritrade and Trust Company of America. Riskalyze Retirement Solutions is available to all existing Riskalyze advisors at no additional cost.

Laserfiche Introduces Cloud Offering

And what’s the latest news in document management software for advisors? I recently connected with Laserfiche’s Linda Ding to learn more about the company’s new offering of Laserfiche now available in the cloud:

With more demand on the rise for mobile-driven solutions, especially for document management, this year we’re rolling out a full SaaS model for document management, especially for smaller financial advisors, this is the perfect model. It’s cost-efficient, very competitive in terms of monthly cost, but you will find all the on-premise features, especially on the workflow automation and electronic forms collection, is inclusive in the SaaS model for Laserfiche users.

For more details on the new Laserfiche offering, head over to to get all the links to today’s top stories.

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


Brokerage websites go offline during market volatility: Flash briefing for February 7, 2018

Here are the links to today’s top stories:

Fidelity Reports Web Issues After Robo-Adviser Sites Crash

Personal Capital Adds Socially Responsible Investing to Serve Rapidly Growing Client Base

What’s new from AdvisoryWorld, 2018 Fintech Update from YouTube

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

Brokerage Websites Offline During Market Volatility

With huge increases in market volatility this week, brokerage customers have experienced unresponsive websites from some of the largest providers like Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Vanguard as well as smaller automated investment services Betterment and Wealthfront. According to Bloomberg, brokerage companies acknowledged that customers did lose access for short periods of time on Monday, but as trading activity subsided, account access was restored to all customers by Tuesday morning.

Personal Capital Adds Socially Responsible Personal Strategy®

In socially responsible investing news, Personal Capital is hopping on the responsible investing bandwagon with the addition of its new Socially Responsible Personal Strategy®. The strategy screens US equities based on environmental, social, and governance factors powered by Sustainalytics data to generate investment strategies that align with customers’ socially responsible preferences. Personal Capital joins Betterment, Wealthfront, Motif Investing, OpenInvest, and many others to help investors align their portfolios with their socially conscious preferences.

AdvisoryWorld Update on ACQUIRE Solution

And how do you stay up to date on what’s new this year in fintech? Well if you visit the FPPad YouTube channel, you’ll see the first batch of dozens of interviews filmed with fintech solution providers at last week’s National LINC conference, including a conversation about an updated from Advisory World called ACQUIRE. Here’s AdvisoryWorld COO Mike Wilson with the details.

We continue to work on what we refer to as ACQUIRE, which is our digital onboarding component. With that, advisors are able to embed links on their websites and social media accounts that helps get new business through the doors. It’s a questionnaire that points, again, to a model.

More interviews are being uploaded to the FPPad YouTube channel every day, so visit to get all the links to today’s top stories.

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news. to launch automated investment service: Flash briefing for February 5, 2018

Here are the links to today’s top stories: and tZERO Advisors Launch Robo-Advisor Digital Investment Platform from Businesswire

Yes, You Can Find a Financial Planner Even if You’re Not Rich from the New York Times

Everything New in Veo One® from the 2018 National LINC Conference from YouTube

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

You never know when you’ll have the urge to buy a new sofa, portable generator, and, oh I don’t know, a diversified portfolio of low-cost exchange traded funds? Well now you’re in luck, as online discount retailer announced plans to introduce an automated investment service to its customers powered by tZERO Advisors. The service promises to match investors to one of several Adaptive Dynamic Portfolios managed by FusionIQ, or investors can customize their allocation among the portfolios on their own, all for a flat monthly fee of $9.95 instead of a fee based on percentage of investor assets like in other automated providers.

XY Planning Network Offers Affordable Fiduciary Financial Planning to Americans

Speaking of affordable monthly fees, millions of Americans think they need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to qualify for an engagement with a comprehensive financial planner, but that is just not true according to a New York Times article by Ron Lieber published over the weekend. Leiber highlights the XY Planning Network, an organization of nearly 600 financial planners who all agree to act in their clients’ best interest at all times, offer affordable recurring fees simialr to a cable bill, and be willing to work virtually with clients from anywhere in the United States.

Updates from the 2018 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC Conference

And to finish last week, I attended the 2018 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC Conference and connected with the technology strategy team to learn more about the latest enhancements to the company’s Veo One solution for financial advisors. Here’s Managing Director Jon Patullo with a key takeaway:

The feedback for Veo One ® has been tremendous, advisers really love the platform to be able to come to one place and do everything they need to do is a home run. They’re thrilled with it, we’re in the process of rolling it out to all of our advisers, it’s available to every single adviser today, and they’re continuing to adopt it. It’s been a huge home run and we’re really excited to demo it for advisers this week.

My full interview with Jon is on the FPPad YouTube channel, so visit to get all the links to today’s top stories.

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

Orion Advisor Services announces Project ASTRO: Flash briefing for January 31, 2018

Here are the links to the top stories:

Three-Quarters of Americans Are in the Dark When it Comes to 401(k) Fees

Your Path to Home Ownership from Wealthfront

Orion Leads the Next Investment Management Revolution with Powerful Direct-Indexing Service

(In the past 12 months, I have been hired by Orion Advisor Services for technology consulting services. See my full disclosures)

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

TD Ameritrade Teams Up with FeeX for 401(k) Fee Analysis

Do you really know how much you pay in fees in your 401(k) account? According to a new survey by TD Ameritrade, 37 percent of investors mistakenly believe they don’t pay any fess. So that’s why TD Ameritrade just announced it’s teamed up with fintech startup FeeX to help investors quickly analyze the fees in their 401(k) accounts. 401(k) fee analyzer tools are nothing new, as other companies like Personal Capital, America’s Best 401(k), and even FeeX have offered these tools to everyday investors, but TD Ameritrade claims its one of the first online discount brokerage firms to offer free 401(k) fee analyzer tools to their customers.

Wealthfront Introduces Home Buying Illustrations to Path

In financial planning news, Wealthfront announced an update to its Path software which now includes a new planning feature for a future home purchase. Path allows Wealthfront customers to see whether their goals of buying a home are comfortable, manageable or a stretch. Customers can see average home prices across multiple zip codes and see how their monthly savings requirements change and what kinds of accounts to use to save based on a number of factors.

Orion Advisor Services Announces Project ASTRO for Direct Indexing

And making headlines in advisor portfolio management, Orion Advisor Services announced the launch of Project ASTRO, short for Advisor Strategy and Tax Return Optimization, scheduled to go live in March of this year. One of the most significant features Project ASTRO supports is the ability to conduct direct indexing, where individual securities that make up a stock index are purchased directly in client accounts as opposed to purchasing Exchange Traded Funds that a designed to track a particular index. Here’s Orion Advisor Services CEO Eric Clarke with more details.

At Orion, we’re super excited about the launch of our ASTRO offering, allowing our advisors to create customized separately managed account portfolios for their clients faster and with less expense than ever before. Our advisors can build tax-efficient non-qualified accounts, replicate indexes with customized tilts, incorporate legacy stock positions into model portfolios with ease, and accommodate environmental, social, and governance requests, and receive notification when an account is out of tolerance, all with built-in automated tax-loss harvesting.

Astro is scheduled to go live in March with a fixed annual fee of $50 per account.

To get links to all the details on today’s stories, visit

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

Finworx launches Finworx360: Flash briefing for January 26, 2018

Here are the links to today’s top stories:

eMoney Advisor – Tamarac Integration Released

Tolerisk Now Integrates with Wealthbox CRM

Finworx Blends Behavioral Finance with Persona Segmentation; Launches Finworx360

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

eMoney Advisor introduces Tamarac integration

eMoney Advisor, the popular financial planning software used by advisors, announced earlier this week that the company completed its integration with the Tamarac platform, which allows both advisors AND clients to view detailed portfolio information directly in the eMoney platform. This means advisors can easily access their Tamarac Reporting™ information in the eMoney dashboard, but clients can also view more detailed portfolio management and performance information from Tamarac when they log in using their secure client portal.

Tolerisk adds integration with Wealthbox CRM

In risk tolerance news, Tolerisk also announced its own new integration with Wealthbox CRM, allowing advisors to automatically import information about clients and prospects from Wealthbox to quickly set up new risk tolerance assessment questionnaires. Founded in 2014 by Mark Friedenthal, Tolerisk aims to quantify not only an investor’s ability to take risk in their portfolio, but also quantify their WILLINGNESS to take risk based on a standardized risk assessment process.

Finworx launches Finworx360

And finally, another newcomer to the client risk assessment space called Finworx announced the launch of Finworx360, billed as a behavioral finance assessment tool to help advisors better understand their clients’ decisions when it comes to investing. I connected with Finworx CEO Jeremy Floyd to learn more about what Finworx360 offers for advisors.

For over a year, our team has been polishing the behavioral risk survey and investor persona approach to understand the growing trends and behavioral biases, and to gain more comprehensive insights. Finworx360 is a result of our research, and it offers a whole new level of focus, simplicity, and accessibility to a broader audience.

To get links to all the details on today’s stories, visit

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


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

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