Tag Archives: apps

FPPad Bits and Bytes June 7

No more planes, trains, and automobiles! No I'm back to give you the best in tech from the past three weeks.

No more planes, trains, and automobiles! Now I’m back to give you the best in tech from the past three weeks.

First, don’t forget to register for Tuesday’s free webinar on adviser technology. Head on over to InvestmentNews.com now.

Now this is an extended Bits and Bytes, covering the past three weeks of news and making up for my business/vacation trip out to the West Coast.

For your convenience and efficiency, I split this week’s updates among their respective categories, so you can use the links below to jump to areas of interest.

Here are the best stories of interest from the last three weeks:


Smarsh Survey Reveals New Phase in Evolution of Communications Oversight from Smarsh.com

[Smarsh, the provider of email and social media archiving solutions, recently released its annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey that has all sorts of nuggets around compliance. If you offer your contact information, you can download the report for free. Inside you’ll find insights like the gap between social media use and actually archiving messages and details on mobile device security (or lack thereof).]  Smarsh, the leading provider of hosted archiving and compliance solutions for email and electronic communications, today released its third annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report at FINRA’s 2013 Annual Conference. While challenges surrounding the oversight and retention of electronic communications remain widespread, this year’s study reveals that compliance professionals in financial services are more comfortable with the “new normal” of greater regulatory scrutiny, evolving communications tools and more complexity in the demands around email surveillance.


Live Junxure Cloud Demos Now Available from Junxure.com

[Curious what Junxure Cloud looks like? Demos are now available through Junxure, with five live demo sessions offered through June. Click over to their announcement and the link to join the demo sessions is at the bottom of the announcement.] Just announced! This June, Junxure will begin offering a series of live demonstrations of Junxure Cloud™, its highly anticipated cloud-based CRM solution for financial advisors.

Redtail and goalgamiPro make a data connection from InvestmentNews.com

[You should know both Redtail and goalgamiPro well from past FPPad coverage (see Yes, you can create financial plans in eight minutes). Now the two companies have integrated their products, saving you time when logging in and passing data from Redtail to goalgamiPro.] The latest example, and one that might end up being a good fit for a large number of advisers, at least those that do financial planning, is the integration of goalgamiPro with the popular customer relationship management application from Redtail Technologies.

Social Media

BloombergBlack Review: This Is Not The Disruptor You’re Looking For from I heart Wall Street

[Here is a VERY comprehensive look at BloombergBlack, the latest attempt at a “robo-adviser” online advice platform. Bottom line: behind the mystery and mystique of a premium brand, BloombergBlack lacks the real power and potential of big data and proactive alerts of online platforms. Read the full review for all of the insight.] When I first shared the news with Josh Brown about BloombergBlack (behind the scenes) it created a much bigger stir than I ever anticipated, especially inside of the wealth management industry.

Twitter Offers Bigger Opportunities with Lists Update from Arkovi.com

[If you are starting to get overwhelmed by the number of people you follow on Twitter, lists are an ideal way to organize people on a variety of filters. Lists allow you to sort the people you follow by whatever label or criteria you wish, saving you from the firehose of tweets found on your main timeline.] For active Twitter users, building lists is an easy way to organize friends, colleagues, brands and influencers online.

Practice Management

Pershing Launches Online Practice Management Center for Advisors from Pershing.com

[This is the next wave in value-add resources that custodians are beginning to deliver to their advisers. I would expect similar offerings from the other major custodians if they don’t already do this today (I just can’t keep all of their value-add resources straight in my head!). But what is really offered at Pershing’s site? This is essentially an aggregated website of about 100 of Pershing’s research and white papers published to date. So if you are looking for tips on using your tablet or getting proactive follow up reminders from your CRM, you will need to look elsewhere (aka FPPad!).] Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today unveiled its new Practice Management Center, a comprehensive resource that offers Pershing’s clients practice management-related content in one user-friendly, central location. In response to client demand, advisors will now have quick access to all of Pershing’s family of practice management materials, including more than 100 pieces of thought leadership, whitepapers, guidebooks and interactive tools on-demand.

3 Great Apps That Will Change Your Life from Financial-Planning.com

[Shortcut: the apps are Penultimate, Evernote, and Nozbe. What are my three “life-changing” apps? 1. PlainText: I don’t write notes with a stylus. Handwritten notes aren’t searchable. So instead I type, and this freemium app syncs all my entries with my Dropbox account. 2. Dropbox: While it’s not the gold standard in cloud file storage (see: Dropbox for Financial Advisers: Is it Safe? Secure?), it’s one of the best integrated services out there, including support for my PlainText notes. 3. Workflowy: Like PlainText, this is a super simple app I use to organize lists and todos. Expand and contract lists at will to see the entire universe or just one specific topic. It, too, syncs with Dropbox for backup.] To increase this understanding and to communicate your insights effectively, you need get yourself, your information and your insights organized. Here are three great app’s to help you get your tech stuff together like never before.

General Technology

Leaving Behind the Digital Keys to Financial Lives from NYTimes.com

[This article scratches the surface of what is becoming a much more significant issue as so much of our financial lives move to online services. I even struggle with this issue personally, as I maintain all of the online accounts for our household, and my wife isn’t all too familiar with the “system” I use. As a planner, you clearly have an opportunity to help clients not only organize their online finances, but also ensure that access to online information is available for all those who need it.] Bob Gingberg, a retired production manager for an educational publisher, is worried that he does not know any of the logins and passwords for online accounts belonging to his partner or brother and they do not know his.

Bill Winterberg: The 2013 IA 25 Extended Profile from AdvisorOne.com

[Once again, it was quite a surprise to receive a phone call from Joyce Hanson of Investment Advisor magazine calling to inform me that I had been selected into the IA 25 list of influential people in the financial services industry. I am honored and humbled, and will continue to deliver as much premium information about technology in this industry to you, my loyal readers and subscribers!] Bill Winterberg, a certified financial planner with a bullish view on the future of technology in the advisor space, describes himself as squarely positioned in the Gen X/Gen Y demographic.

Personal Capital Closes $25 Million In Series C Funding For Online Wealth Management Platform from TechCrunch

[After raising another $25 million, Personal Capital has attracted $52.3 million in funding to support a team of 70 employees managing a collective asset base just shy of $200 million across 700 clients. That’s roughly $285,000 for the average client. So with $52 million raised, I get a raw cost of client acquisition of $74,174, not including any spending derived from Personal Capital’s revenue earned to date. BUT, as Harris mentions, it may still be very early to evaluate the company’s growth soak critically, as this trend toward online advice platforms may have another 10 or 15 years ahead of it. Still, that is a long time to wait for any return on investment for many of the early investors.] When many people hear “wealth management,” they think of elite advisors meeting old money clients at the country club, or decades-old firms with big names such as Fidelity or Schwab. But in the years ahead, one Silicon Valley startup is aiming to shake up that establishment — and just has raised a nice chunk of new funding to help.

Ex-PayPal CEO to hire 100 in Denver for latest venture from BizJournals.com

[So what’s Personal Capital going to do with its new $25 million? Open up an office in Denver, CO and hire 100 financial advisers.] Bill Harris, the former CEO of PayPal and Intuit, tells the Silicon Valley Business Journal he intends to establish a Denver office for his latest company and hire 100 financial advisers.

Pershing Previews Its Next-Generation Mobile Application at INSITE™ 2013 from Pershing.com

[Pershing gets another update this week due to their conference-related announcements. The company previewed changes coming to its NetX360 mobile apps designed to run on iOS, Windows, and Android platforms. Nope, no Blackberry app for the 30 of you who have visited FPPad since the beginning of 2013!] Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, is previewing its next generation mobile solution for investment professionals today at the INSITE™ 2013 conference in Hollywood, Florida. The new version features a fully redesigned, sleek user interface and a variety of features aimed at making advisors more efficient and productive in their everyday activities.

Pershing unveils next NetX360 from InvestmentNews.com

[Alright, I’ll stop at three updates related to Pershing, but despite its dry title, InvestmentNews tech reporter Davis Janowski does a good job describing some of the adviser-of-the-future technology on display at INSITE 2013. He highlights voice recognition inside NetX360 that can respond to a variety of report commands. Now controlling NetX360 by voice while driving is a bit of a stretch for me, but it at least gets the point home. But here’s my hangup; I have trouble using Siri to send texts to family while driving, what makes me think I’ll be successful at performing data queries in NetX360? So, there’s obviously wow factor here, but true utility? I’m on the fence. So can custodians start with truly paperless account application and approval processes first, for example, which will translate to actual efficiency gains in your office? Thanks.] Ram Nagappan, Pershing LLC’s chief information officer, is something of a visionary. Not only does he love technology for technology’s sake — he gets positively giddy showing off new things — he loves applying it to improve business processes.

How Do I Know If My VPN Is Trustworthy? from Lifehacker.com

[I talk about VPN services to help keep passwords and login credentials safe from prying hackers (see How to secure mobile devices against “WiFi honeypots”). But when your credentials pass through a VPN, how safe are they? This Lifehacker update gives some good rules of thumb when evaluating the security of your VPN provider.] You do have to trust that your VPN service provider has your best interests at heart, because you’re relying on them to secure your connection, keep everything encrypted, and to protect your activity from prying eyes.

Box brings enterprise capabilities to the iPad with OneCloud

iPads are increasingly popular among financial advisers, but there are still a number of holdouts because you can’t easily modify and update documents on the tablet like you can with a laptop.

One company aims to eliminate that drawback today.

Box, the provider of online document backup and collaboration, released OneCloud today, “the first enterprise mobile framework” for the Apple iPad.

Watch this two-minute video on how OneCloud works and see the four “premier apps” in action to edit documents, annotate PDFs, create todos, and electronically sign forms in the framework.

(click to view on YouTube)

Laserfiche Mobile for iPhone Now Available in Apple App Store

Just a quick FYI for those of you who use Laserfiche for your document management system.

The Laserfiche app for iPhone is now available for download in the Apple App Store.

Most document management systems have a web access component allowing documents to be viewed through a standard web browser. But Laserfiche is the first among document management providers to financial advisers to publish a dedicated app for a mobile device.

Some key features in the mobile app include:

  • Search across all documents in the Laserfiche repository
  • Search just for text in a document, document names, document field information (i.e. metadata), or any combination of the three.
  • Add a document to Laserfiche using the iPhone camera or by uploading an image from the device’s photo library.

After playing around with the demo repository, the app is fairly quick in its search function across included documents, though the demo repository is not terribly large.

Document previews are available for Microsoft Word documents by simply tapping on the document listing. To view PDF files, one must first swipe across the filename, then tap a document icon to open the export menu, then select either “Send as e-mail” or “View electronic document.” Once the PDF is downloaded, it can be exported to other apps compatible with PDF files, including iBooks, Goodreader, Dropbox, and more.

Nevertheless, I found the PDF preview process quite convoluted. It takes one swipe and three taps to view the file. Given the popularity of PDF files in a paperless office, this user interface in the Laserfiche app deserves to be simplified.

I like what I see in this app, but here are some enhancements I’d like to see in the near future:

  • iPad compatibility to take advantage of the significantly larger screen
  • Ability to limit or exclude searches in repositories. For example, I just want to see all documents matching “1040” in my client John Smith’s folder
  • Keyword search option while viewing supported files so users can find words and phrases inside a document. Today users can only perform keyword searches from the main search window.
  • An app passcode upon launching. Client files contain sensitive information, so should an iPhone be lost or compromised, it would be nice to require one additional passcode (in addition to the master device passcode) to be entered when subsequently launching the app.

Are you a Laserfiche user? Do you think you’ll make use of the new iPhone app? Why or why not?

The iPad for Financial Advisers and Wealth Managers

Apple iPadI’ve had my Apple iPad for about 72 hours and am ready to post my overall reaction to the product and specifically address how I believe financial advisers and wealth managers can use the device in their practice.

The Executive Summary

  • What: Apple iPad Wifi 16GB
  • Pros: Elegant design, sleek & attractive, easy touch interface with nearly no learning curve, 10+ hour battery life
  • Cons: (Besides the 13 referenced below) No native file explorer, editing existing documents is a convoluted process.
  • Takeaway: The iPad can compliment a paperless office, enhance meetings with clients, and provide a single source to access print and online media if you’re willing to work within the limitations of existing apps.

The Review for Financial Advisers & Wealth Managers

What you won’t find in this review are the general statements about the iPad’s cool features (like iBooks, pinch-zooming, etc.)  and the drawbacks (no multitasking, no USB ports, etc.) of the device. Instead, you’ll find my take on how I believe advisers and wealth managers can use the new tablet computer to enhance their daily lives.

If you still feel like you need the basic pros and cons overview of the device, here are two links, one in favor of the iPad’s potential to change computing, and one painstakingly detailed on the drawbacks of the device.

With that out of the way, let’s explore the ways I see advisers using the iPad.

Read More…

Awesome iPhone Apps As Told to David Pogue

Here’s a quick integration of Twitter and Wordle on how the services can be combined to gain insight on a topic very quickly. I’ve written about Wordle before; it’s a web-based tool to create word clouds from text.

Earlier today, technology columnist David Pogue asked the following question on Twitter:

Lots of replies came in, so it’s difficult to determine which apps are the most recommended among those that replied.

Read More…