Tag Archives: advent

FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 26, 2016

On today’s broadcast, get an update on LPL Financial’s technology roadmap, FutureAdvisor signs up the fifth largest bank in the US, Betterment forms a partnership with Uber, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Nest Egg Guru, a stress testing app for your clients’ retirement planning.

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

LPL placing heavy focus on technology improvements from InvestmentNews, and

U.S. Bank Wealth Management Announces Partnership with FutureAdvisor to Offer Automated Investing Capabilities to Clients from BusinessWire


[Now on to this week’s top story that comes from LPL Financial, as this week the nation’s largest broker-dealer held its annual LPL Focus conference in San Diego.

I wasn’t able to attend the conference, but LPL CIO Victor Fetter kindly connected with me by phone to cover several of the key technology announcements made at the event.

First, ClientWorks, the replacement for the existing BranchNet platform, is now available to roughly 11,000 advisors, up significantly from the 500 beta testers this time last year. Next, an updated account opening solution is anticipated soon which will streamline the creation of LPL account forms, pre-populate forms for clients with existing LPL accounts, and automatically fire off an electronic signature workflow.

Fetter also highlighted a new Adoption Index score that advisors can use to gauge their own adoption of particular technologies and then identify areas where efficiency can be improved.

And finally, lots of attention was given to Guided Wealth Portfolios, LPL’s automated investment solution powered by BlackRock’s FutureAdvisor platform expected to be available in early 2017. Fetter told me that advisors can choose to add their brand to Guided Wealth Portfolios as an extension of their existing business, or they can create a new brand as a separate, but complementary, platform for certain clients.

Guided Wealth Portfolios will consist of ETF allocations managed by LPL Research and they will be visible in the ClientWorks dashboard. Clients can view their information using a mobile responsive website, but Fetter said a native app for iPhone or Android is not anticipated at this time. Oh, and I think fees for the service are still up in the air, so we’ll have to check back as the service gets closer to its official rollout.

And speaking of FutureAdvisor, this week, US Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States, announced that it, too, will be using FutureAdvisor to power an automated solution for its clients with portfolios designed by, you guessed it, US Bancorp Investments. Like LPL’s Guided Wealth Portfolios, US Bank said the service is expected to be available in 2017, and fees for the service were not yet disclosed.] To stay up to date with technological innovations, the independent broker-dealer LPL Financial is developing more tools for its new adviser dashboard and implementing smarter automation.

Uber Lets Drivers Hail an IRA with Betterment from the Wall Street Journal

[Next up is news on Betterment, as this week the company announced a partnership with Uber, the multi-billion dollar global ride-sharing network, which allows drivers to open and fund a Betterment IRA account directly within the Uber app. Drivers get special fees, too, with their first year of Betterment completely free, and after that it’s 25 basis points per year on accounts below $100,000.

So guess what? The stakes for client acquisition just went up, in fact, way up. Millions of people recognize Uber, and when they see a partnership like this, they have to be thinking, “Hey, if Betterment’s good enough for a huge company like Uber, it’s gotta be good enough for me.”

And for Uber, they could have chosen anybody for this partnership. They could have teamed up with Vanguard, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, or even *cough* FutureAdvisor, but no, they chose Betterment.

So the way I see it, this is about distribution and decreasing client acquisition costs. Look, for years, industry commentators, myself included, have beat the drum about the high acquisition costs of automated investment services and how tough it is for robo advisors to actually make a profit.

Well, if an automated service can immediately get exposure to hundreds of thousands of potential customers by getting embedded in another app, what’s to stop Betterment from getting embedded in the eBay app to invest your extra cash, or even into SnapChat right along side the SnapCash feature? That’s a pretty inexpensive, yet clever way, to acquire new customers.

So welcome to the new front line in the battle for asset management, I hope your marketing team is up for the challenge.] Uber Technologies Inc. is partnering with robo advice provider Betterment Inc. to offer thousands of its drivers access to retirement accounts.


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

In a world of software overabundance, Siftery offers clarity from Medium

Siftery helps you discover the right software product for your business. Great software is a force multiplier for your job. And picking the right solution for your company will make you look like a rockstar.

Guide Financial set to close operations on October 11 from FPPad

Guide Financial, the financial planning startup acquired by John Hancock in June 2015, told its users via email this week that the company plans to discontinue operations on October 11.

Integration Update: RiXtrema + Black Diamond Now Available from Advent

SS&C Advent’s Black Diamond wealth platform is now integrated with Portfolio Crash Testing by RiXtrema, one of the advisory industry’s leading Portfolio Analytics/Risk Management solutions.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 26, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 26, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 26

On today’s broadcast, Schwab releases Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ into the advisor marketplace, Advent rolls out a new advisor experience for Black Diamond, and TD Ameritrade Institutional assembles dozens of vendors in Chicago to help you move your business forward.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Autopilot, the only automated asset management platform built on the power of the Risk Number™.

Autopilot powered by CLS Investments and Riskalyze

Powered by CLS Investments and Riskalyze, Autopilot empowers advisors to revolutionize their business model, profitably service clients of all sizes, and democratize access to investment advice with a client service platform embedded directly in your firm’s existing website. Sign up for a demo today by visiting fppad.com/autopilot.

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

Schwab Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ from Schwab.com,

Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ ETF List: Evaluation and Selection from Schwab.com, and

Schwab Wealth Investment Advisory, Inc. Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ Disclosure Brochure from Schwab.com

[This week’s top story comes from Schwab Advisor Services, as the company officially rolled out its Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ solution to advisors that was first mentioned back in episode 158, which I will try to link right over here. One change of note is that Schwab increased the number of available ETFs to more than 450 from the original 200 announced back in March, but the platform fees remain unchanged.

So I looked into the disclosure materials and uncovered a few items that I think you should know. First, anytime a new client signs up, you, the advisor, are required to make a final decision to select a portfolio strategy for that client. Until you make that decision, your clients’ cash will be held in the sweep program.

Second, accounts over $50,000 are eligible for tax-loss harvesting, but hold on, you, the advisor, must use the software built in to Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ to activate and implement the tax-loss harvesting strategy.

And third, at any time, clients can authorize you, the advisor, to suspend trading due to “market conditions” and then reactivate trading “when the Advisor decides it is appropriate to do so.”

So I don’t know about you, but this sounds like Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ doesn’t really streamline any of your portfolio management activities, it may actually increase your workload a bit, which is ironic given the automated focus of the program. It’s definitely not a set-and-forget automated solution, and for this added workload in your business you’ll earn how much in new revenue? That’s what I thought.

And before I forget, Schwab says that the system “will not monitor the type and amount of capital gains” so you’ll have to manage that information in a separate solution, say Schwab Advisor Portfolio Connect or perhaps PortfolioCenter, if you want to report on the gains and losses in each client account. Oh, one more thing, as of today, the mobile app isn’t yet ready.

But to be fair, this is version 1.0 of the solution for advisor, so if anyone is listening out there, maybe you can get Schwab to acknowledge these opportunities to make Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ an attractive technology solution for your business.]

Advent Debuts the All-New Black Diamond Wealth Platform for Advisors and Wealth Managers at AdventConnect 2015 from Advent.com

[Next up is news from Advent, as the company held AdventConnect, it’s annual advisor conference in Las Vegas last week. The company used the event to showcase the next generation Black Diamond® wealth platform, which was being called “BD3” during internal development.

Gone from the Black Diamond name are the Performance Reporting label and the old widgets and BlueSky titles, which is now being replaced by the wealth platform description that represents the radical refresh of the advisor experience.

The main advisor dashboard now uses tiles that you can customize based on the information you want at a glance, portfolio performance graphs are much more streamlined, report pages contain relevant portfolio data without being overly crowded and busy, and a presentation mode is now built in to give you a way to walk through reports while redacting confidential client data.

Advent also announced a new initiative called Black Diamond Link, which adds “bi-directional, workflow-oriented integrations” with a variety of third party technology providers, including MoneyGuidePro, AdvisoryWord, XLR8, Junxure Cloud, Advisors Assistant, and Redtail Technology.] On the heels of last year’s unveiling and this year’s rollout of the new Black Diamond® investor experience, Advent today showcased its next generation Black Diamond® wealth platform. The next generation platform which has been dubbed “BD3” by clients and the development team, as it represents the third generation of the Black Diamond® platform, has been a multi-month effort to redesign and reinvent Black Diamond® to go beyond its roots in performance reporting.

Technology Innovators Get High Marks for Maximizing Integrations for Independent Registered Investment Advisors from MarketWatch

[If integrations with best-in-breed solutions sounds familiar, that’s because TD Ameritrade Institutional offers a similar platform under Veo Open Access, Schwab Advisor Services offers OpenView Gateway, and Pershing announced its own API store just a few weeks ago.

And for custodian-agnostic integration providers, Orion Advisor Services has been offering integrations to their advisors for several years. Full disclosure, you should watch my first vlog about Orion. So Advent, welcome to the club!

Now speaking of integrations, I’m going to wrap up with news from TD Ameritrade Institutional, as the company held its 6th annual technology summit in Chicago this week for Veo Open Access integrated solution providers. The number of solution providers now stands at 91 representing over $300 billion in assets advised across all of the technology solutions.

I’m running out of time for this broadcast, and I made a vlog about my trip to the Tech Summit in Chicago, so just watch the vlog and you’ll be up to speed on how this custodian is helping advisors like you take their business to the next level.] To help independent registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) keep pace in an era of accelerating technology change, TD Ameritrade Institutional1 has pursued a unique strategy of collaboration, harnessing the innovative and cutting-edge work of an entire community of technology leaders through its Veo Open Access vendor network.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 26, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 26, 2015

Orion Advisor Services parent company Northstar to be acquired by private equity firm TA Associates

TA Associates to acquire NorthStar Financial Services Group, parent company of Orion Advisor Services

Hot off the wires this morning (thank you FiComm) is news of another acquisition in the advisor fintech space.

Today, private equity firm TA Associates announced an agreement to acquire a majority interest in NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC.

Orion Advisor Services included in the deal

Orion Advisor Services

NorthStar has nine subsidiaries under the company, with Orion Advisor Services, LLC being the most recognizable to advisers interested in financial technology solutions for their business. Collectively, NorthStar and its subsidiaries manage and administer roughly $275 billion in assets, with Orion making up at least $180 billion of that amount (see: Orion Celebrates Fifteen Years of Serving Advisors With Record Growth from Marketwired.com)

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This comes on the heels of two acquisitions announced last week. First, Fidelity announced a deal to acquire eMoney for a rumored amount of $250 million according to sources close to the deal, followed by an announcement by SS&C Technologies to acquire Advent Software for $2.7 billion.

With three M&A deals in one week, financial technology service providers are proving to be attractive targets for acquisition.

The Future of FinTech M&A

Looking to the future, these deals seem to validate two trends in the industry. First, independent advisory firms continue to seek ways to scale their operational efficiency, and trusted third party providers offer attractive solutions to achieve such goals. Outsourced portfolio management (Orion Advisor Services and Advent Software) and account aggregation, client portals, and streamlined financial planning (eMoney Advisor) give advisers the leverage they need to growth their business without having to add significant overhead or add to the headcount of the firm.

Second, independent advisory firms are poised to continue to attract business from clients and investors dissatisfied with traditional wirehouse and brokerage providers, which may lead to a significant shift in asset flows away from transaction- and product-oriented businesses to fiduciary advice offered by independent RIAs.

Since M&A activity has dramatically picked up in 2015, here’s my question to you:

Who’s next?

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 6

On today’s broadcast, the rumors are true: eMoney gets acquired by Fidelity Investments, Advent Software gets acquired by SS&C Technologies, and the SEC reveals troubling cybersecurity issues after its first round of broker-dealer and adviser examinations.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Click to watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM.  Version 1.7 just released with delectable features like two-way Google Calendar synchronization, support for popular email newsletter services, an integrated Facebook feed, and more!

Wealthbox CRM

Sign up for a free trial of Wealthbox today by visiting fppad.com/wealthbox

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Fidelity Investments® Acquires eMoney Advisor from BusinessWire, and

Fidelity Acquires eMoney Advisor PFM Dashboard, Gets Financial Planning Software Thrown In? from Kitces.com

[This week’s top story that EVERYONE is talking about is eMoney’s acquisition by Fidelity Investments. Sources close to the deal cited a purchase price “north of $250 million” with a valuation around four times eMoney’s revenue. This deal marks the first time I can recall an institutional custodian taking ownership of a financial planning software provider. Nearly a dozen others that I listed on FPPad are all privately held with no custodial affiliation.

So the burning question is: What’s the future of eMoney? Executives from eMoney and Fidelity reaffirmed that the company will continue to operate independently, but have the financial backing of Fidelity to accelerate product development and growth. Now for me, eMoney seemed to be doing just fine on its own, always having a top spot in advisor technology surveys and having just released a big emX update two months ago, so did they really need to make a deal?

But on the other hand, if you read Michael Kitces’ take on Nerd’s Eye View, he believes Fidelity purchased eMoney primarily for its client-facing personal financial management tool, or PFM, that works a lot like Mint.com, and just happened to get eMoney’s financial planning software along with the deal. Robo-investment allocators are raising the stakes on client-facing dashboards, but buying eMoney for its PFM solution just doesn’t add up to me.

There are many other PFM options and client-facing dashboards out there like Aqumulate, Blueleaf, MoneyDesktop (MX), and even Personal Capital, who built their own, probably for a lot less than $250 million. So really, nobody knows what the future holds now that eMoney is under Fidelity’s ownership, and you can add me to the list of speculators that can only guess how this deal will influence your decision on what financial planning software you choose to use.] Fidelity Investments® announced today that it has agreed to acquire eMoney Advisor, a leading wealth planning software company, as part of Fidelity’s commitment to deliver an industry leading suite of innovative and meaningful tools and technology to its customers.

SS&C acquires rival Advent Software for $2.7 billion from IBS Intelligence

[Next up is news of another deal, as Advent Software is going to be acquired by SS&C Technologies for $2.7 billion. SS and who? I had never heard of them either until this week, because SS&C is primarily focused on institutions and enterprises, not independent RIAs.

So on the institutional side, the deal makes sense because SS&C is already the largest user of Advent’s Geneva solution, with around 2,400 internal users. But what about the Axys and Black Diamond solutions used by you, the independent adviser?

Bill Stone, SS&C’s chairman and CEO, said in a conference call that the company “did not see anything in Advent’s portfolio that we’d want to rationalise” and “killing a product is the last thing you want to do.”

Cough, TechFi.

So, Advent users, you’re in a little bit of limbo, too until we see this deal pan out, but I suspect not a whole lot will change in the near term. These are well-established companies with mature products that collectively have very high user retention.] The acquisitive US-based firm, SS&C, has expanded its presence in the wealth management software market with the all-cash acquisition of rival Advent Software.

Cybersecurity Examination Sweep Summary from SEC.gov

[And finally, the SEC released its first Cybersecurity Examination Sweep Summary this week, outlining key findings from over a hundred broker-dealer and RIA examinations. Here are my most important takeaways:

3 out of 4 advisers have been the target of cyber attacks, only 1 out of 5 advisers actually have cybersecurity insurance, and very few advisers know where to identify best practices on cybersecurity. Here’s a hint: THIS SHOW is one of them!

Clearly I should dedicate a show in the future exclusively to cybersecurity, but in the meantime, download my free guide on security at fppad.com/security and connect a vendor that specializes in RIA best practices like Itegria, Envision RIA, External IT, True North Networks, Right Size Solutions, and others.] OCIE’s National Examination Program staff, recently examined 57 registered broker-dealers and 49 registered investment advisers to better understand how broker-dealers and advisers address the legal, regulatory, and compliance issues associated with cybersecurity.

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

Wealthbox 1.7 – New Integrations & Enhancements from Wealthbox

Today we’re releasing Wealthbox CRM version 1.7 with a flavorful assortment of new add-ons and enhancements.

Advizr Announces Strategic Partnership with Blueleaf Portfolio Management and Reporting Software from BusinessWire

Advizr, a next generation financial planning software, today announced a strategic partnership with Blueleaf, a leading client engagement, data automation and reporting platform for advisors and clients.

Cambridge to have robo offering for advisers in 2016 from InvestmentNews.com

Independent broker-dealer Cambridge Investment Research Inc. plans to have a competitive robo-type offering that works in sync with its 3,000 advisers’ practices in 2016.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 6, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 6, 2015

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 t3enterpriseconference.com

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

Announcing the Fuse 2014 award winners from FPPad.com

[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 Morningstar.com

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

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 27

On this week’s broadcast, one of the top portfolio management software providers tip-toes its way into the cloud, creating investment policy statements just got a whole lot easier, how a new app can create a real-time dossier about your clients, and more. So get ready, Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch on YouTube)

This week’s episode of Bits and Bytes is brought to you by Mimic Technologies, providers of complete outsourced technology support, security, infrastructure and IT solutions exclusively for RIAs.

Mimic Technologies

To learn how you can keep your data safe from attackers, download a free copy of their white paper on Data Privacy and Protection by visiting fppad.com/mimic.

Advent unveils Advent Direct™ — An Innovative Cloud Platform — At AdventConnect from Advent Software

[Leading off is an update from Advent Software, which recently celebrated its 30th year in business last week at the company’s AdventConnect conference in San Francisco. The highlight of Advent Connect is the expansion of Advent Direct™, a cloud-based platform which Mike Golaszewski, Black Diamond’s head of product development, says is an abstraction layer on top of the company’s core product offerings.

While Advent Axys will remain a desktop-based solution for the foreseeable future, it will not be completely isolated from the cloud due to the online and mobile access available through Advent Direct.

And while the news of Advent Direct seems hot off the presses, it’s not entirely new, as Advent has offered an app to iPad users since April of this year for mobile access to client portfolio information.

Advent also unveiled the Advent Direct™ Community, a private online forum that’s part customer service portal and part discussion board, no doubt inspired by collaboration options found on other social networks. Yes, the Advent Users Group on LinkedIn, I’m talking about you!

But the one big unknown regarding Advent Direct is pricing. It remains to be seen how much Advent users will need to pay to route their Axys data into Black Diamond to benefit from enhanced reports.] Advent Software, Inc., a leading provider of software and services for the global investment management industry, today commenced its annual AdventConnect conference taking place September 18 – 20, 2013 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

A One-Click Roadmap for Your Clients from Riskalyze

[Next up is an update from a startup that deserves to be added to your technology radar. The company is called Riskalyze, based in Sacramento, California, which offers patented Risk Number technology in an attempt to quantify client risk tolerance and align it with suitable investment portfolios. This week, Riskalyze expanded its feature set by offering a single-click option to create an Investment Policy Statement.

Whether you believe in the validity of Investment Policy Statements or not (and Stark and Stark’s Tom Giachetti comes to mind), it still doesn’t get any easier than using a single click to generate an IPS document.

So if simplifying your client risk assessment process is important to you, you should learn more about Riskalyze’s offering.] Today, we’re excited to announce that Riskalyze now makes it possible to create this roadmap for your clients with a single click.

Surface Pro 2: hands-on with Microsoft’s new tablet powerhouse and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX: Power, With A Helping Hand, both from The Verge

[Now I bet you’ve noticed changes in the air, meaning Fall has arrived, complete with shorter days, football on the weekends, and a deluge of new product announcements. So on the heels of Apple’s new iPhone 5S and 5C announcement two weeks ago, Microsoft announced updates to its floundering line of Surface tablets to compete with the market-dominating iPad. Not to be left out, Amazon also announced a refresh of it’s low-cost Kindle tablets, with a new HDX line of Android-powered tablets starting at just $229.

But the unexpected surprise from all the hardware announcements actually came in the form of a new feature on the Kindle HDX called Mayday. Mayday is an icon on the Kindle users can touch to get free technical support anytime they need it, complete with video conferencing and screen sharing.

While its definitely a cool feature for Kindle users, Mayday actually creates a slippery slope for you as an advisor, as I think it won’t be too long before your clients start to expect a similar easy, on-demand way to access you as their trusted financial advisor.

So if you’re not yet up to speed on using video chat services like Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and more, now is the time to add these tools to your technology portfolio.]

Refresh – The Instant Dossier from Refresh

[Finally, updates to FPPad have been few and far between this month because of the amount of time I’ve been spending on phone calls and meetings. I’ve been speaking with dozens of people, and it’s unrealistic for me to think that I can keep all the details about each relationship straight in my head.

That’s why I’ve turned to a new app called Refresh, (full disclosure, they gave me a free T-shirt), but the app truly helps me keep all the details about my contacts organized in one place.

Refresh connects my contacts, calendar, and social media accounts to create a real-time dossier about the people I’m going to meet. Refresh automatically connect the dots of what my contacts are doing and sharing online so I don’t have to waste time gathering this intelligence on my own.

A beta version of the app is available for iPhone, but Android users will need to sign up to be notified when the app is released to the Google Play store.]

Watch Bits and Bytes for September 27, 2013

Watch Bits and Bytes for September 27, 2013

FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 14

Matt Abar, CEO of FinFolio

Watch today’s FPPad On Air broadcast at 4:15pm ET, as my guest will be Matt Abar, CEO of FinFolio.

Visit my Twitter profile page around 4:00pm ET for the broadcast link.


Now on to this week’s stories of interest:

Greg Friedman is set to finally bring Junxure to the cloud and beat back the Salesforce-ification of the industry from RIABiz.com

[Over 10+ years, Junxure desktop has attracted 10,000 users across 1,500 firms. It’s a great accomplishment for a niche CRM provider, but the momentum and innovation in cloud services, including cloud CRM, is challenging Junxure’s raison d’être. Will they be able to successfully pull off a transition of some or all of their users to the cloud?] As Greg Friedman takes Junxure to the cloud, he’s taking the gloves off with Salesforce — bolstered by new technology and a sense that the CRM giant is leaving much on the table in functionality and quality of service.

Surface to Air: Is Surface Going to be a Player in Financial Services? from WealthManagement.com

[Microsoft’s surface has a huge gap to close if it wants to be a contending tablet. Apple’s iPad has sold over 100 million units worldwide, and Microsoft chooses not to disclose early numbers of its Surface RT. Will the introduction of the $900 Surface Pro change anything? I doubt it.] Along with Windows 8 tablets for sale this year is Surface, a Windows 8 tablet that is meant to bully the iPad into submission. The likelihood of that in the near future? Slim, says financial services experts.

Total Rebalance Expert Integrates With Morningstar Office(SM) from MarketWatch

[Isn’t Morningstar Office supposed to be rebuilding their internal rebalancer? I’ll need to check with them once again, but for now, advisers using TRX’s rebalancer (see: Total Rebalance Expert CEO Sheryl Rowling on how rebalancing software saves advisers $325,000 per year) don’t have to wait for Morningstar anymore in the wake of this latest integration.] Total Rebalance Expert (TRX) today announced a data integration agreement with Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research. Now, advisors can automatically import their portfolio data from Morningstar Office(SM), a global practice and portfolio management platform for independent financial advisors, into TRX’s software platform to streamline and simplify the rebalancing process.

Half-financed by RIAs, AssetBook rolls out ‘Radar’ to put big RIAs in its range from RIABiz.com

 [You’re likely aware you have alternatives in portfolio management software to the heavyweight products from Advent, Schwab, and Albridge. AssetBook, born from descendants of dbCAMS, is a very good and low-cost solution with many of the same features offered by those mentioned earlier. It’s also a service bureau, meaning you don’t need to spend each morning reconciling transactions and new positions that come in your overnight data feeds. So for less than $30/account/year, AssetBook is one to consider for advisers looking to move to the cloud and to benefit from the experience and service of a portfolio services bureau.] AssetBook Inc. has long been a niche choice for smaller RIAs looking for an affordable platform. But, with a new portfolio-reporting platform full of bells and whistles expected to roll out in the first quarter of 2013, the McHenry, Md.-based software company is luring larger firms away from more established competitors.

TD Ameritrade Institutional Earns Top Marks for Advisor Satisfaction in Financial Planning Magazine’s 2012 Tech Survey from MarketWatch

[Let’s cut to the chase: TDAI’s Veo® Open Access now has over 60 vendor integrations, received the most “very satisfied” ratings in this year’s Financial Planning Tech Survey, and services thousands of TDAI’s 4,500 RIAs. If you had to start over today and choose a new custodian, who would you choose?] TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo(R) open access initiative, an industry wide-effort to deliver quality technology integrations to advisors, has helped the custodian secure top scores for advisor satisfaction in this year’s Financial Planning Tech Survey.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for November 16

Remember, today at 4:15pm Eastern, 1:15pm Pacific I’ll be hosting FPPad On Air with Steven Ryder of True North Networks to discuss disaster recovery and business continuity in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Check Twitter or Google+ for the link this afternoon.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

David Drucker and Joel Bruckenstein Announce Preliminary Agenda for “T3” 2013 Conference in Miami from PRNewswire.com

[One of the industry’s top conferences on technology is approaching quickly. Save the dates of February 11-13 and soak up the Miami sunshine while you absorb technology and practice management ideas. Note that the book Technology Tools for a High-Margin Practice will be published with all new information, including a chapter I wrote on the top collaboration technologies. Do not miss this conference!] David Drucker and Joel Bruckenstein, producers of the 8th Annual “T3” Technology Tools for Today™ Conference to be held at the Hilton Miami Downtown from February 11-13, 2013, today announced the preliminary T3 2013 conference agenda and initial details of their new book, Technology Tools for a High-Margin Practice, due out February 6, 2013.

H.D. Vest Chooses Advent’s Black Diamond Platform from Marketwire.com

[H.D. Vest, once part of Wells Fargo & Company and now owned by Parthenon Capital Partners, is equipping its 4,800 affiliates with access to on-demand custom performance reporting via Black Diamond. Clearly this is how wealth management and financial planning services will be delivered in the future; online, mobile, and customized. AND if you were a private equity company looking to increase the value of the H.D. Vest purchase, don’t you think streamline portfolio reporting and management is a decent way to do it?]  Advent Software, Inc., a leading provider of software and services for the global investment management industry, recently announced that H.D. Vest Financial Services® (H.D. Vest) has transitioned its performance reporting to Advent’s Black Diamond platform to enhance their Advisors’ ability to communicate portfolio performance during client meetings.

Envestnet | Tamarac(TM) Brings Tamarac University Online from MarketWatch.com

[Today you can learn how to cut an onion online. So why not learn how to rebalance client portfolios at the same time? If you’re an Envestnet | Tamarac user, you’re in luck, as much of their training content (a.k.a. Tamarac University) is now online and available on demand.] Envestnet | Tamarac(TM), a division of Envestnet, Inc., a leading provider of integrated web-based portfolio and client management software for independent advisors and wealth managers, has announced an expansion of its popular Tamarac University program to include an online option for RIAs covering its entire curriculum.

Envestnet Announces Integration With Junxure CRM Software via PRNewswire.com

[In the second release this week, Envestnet will combine “portfolio management with client recordkeeping and workflow management” inside the soon-to-be-released Junxure Cloud. What’s odd to me is that Junxure Cloud likely will have some type of workflow or task management component, yet the Envestnet integration adds in workflow management of its own. Which one will should advisers use?] Envestnet, Inc., a leading provider of technology-enabled wealth management solutions for investment advisors, has announced that it has agreed to integrate with Junxure Cloud, the upcoming web-based client-relations management (CRM) program for financial advisors. The integration is expected to be included with the initial release of Junxure Cloud, expected in the first quarter of 2013.

Advisor Software, Inc. Signs Agreement With Redtail Technology To Integrate goalgamiPro Quick Planning Solution With Redtail CRM from MarketWatch.com

[If you’re going to create a quick plan for a client, the last thing you want to do is perform double entry of a client’s name, address, etc. In this announcement, Redtail will soon partner with Advisor Software allowing users to pass client information to Advisor Software’s goalgamiPro (see: Yes, you can create financial plans in eight minutes).] Advisor Software, Inc., a provider of wealth management solutions for the financial advisor market, has finalized an agreement with Redtail Technology, Inc., a provider of client management solutions for financial professionals, to provide access to ASI’s unique quick planning tools. The strategic partnership will integrate ASI’s direct-to-advisor product goalgamiPro with Redtail’s Client Relationship Management (“CRM”) suite.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for November 2

Don’t forget to watch today’s broadcast with Bart Wisniowski of AdvisorWesbites.com on Google+. It starts at 4:15pm ET/1:15pm PT. Head over to my Google+ profile and click the “Join Hangout” button at that time.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Smarsh Launches Archiving & Compliance for Yammer from Smarsh.com

[(see Advisers using Yammer can enhance collaboration without sacrificing compliance for a podcast of this story) Yammer is a collaboration tool that provides an interface similar to the Facebook News Feed for your business. I’ve been recommending it in my Transformative Technology presentation to advisers for a year now as a way to supplant stand-up meetings in your office that can disrupt productivity and waste time. Now Smarsh has an archiving solution to capture and retain Yammer activity for both client-related and in-house communication.]  Smarsh®, the managed service leader in secure, innovative and reliable email archiving compliance solutions, today announced the launch of Archiving & Compliance for Yammer. Developed in partnership with Yammer, the hosted solution enables organizations to capture, preserve, search, supervise and produce Yammer files and communications in support of compliance, e-discovery and recordkeeping initiatives.

Schwab and Advent Software forge (historic) agreement — mostly for the good of Black Diamond users for now from RIABiz.com

[It’s nice that Schwab lets us know that an integration with Advent and Black Diamond is coming, but *when* it will actually be available to advisers is still anyone’s guess. If you’ve read our past stories on integrations from Fidelity and TD Ameritrade Institutional, you know that Schwab is playing catch up relative to their competition. So view this announcement as one way the industry’s biggest custodian is trying to fill the gap.] Schwab Advisor Services chose Advent Software as its first major portfolio management software partner for its grand ecosystem of software — Schwab Intelligent Integration.