Tag Archives: Betterment

Betterment introduces Plus and Premium hybrid advice plans featuring in-house CFP® professionals

The lede!

  • Betterment adjusts its default fee structure to 25 basis points for accounts of all sizes for what is now called Betterment Digital (the 35bps, 25bps, and 15bps tiers are gone)
  • Betterment customers who formerly qualified for the 15 basis point tier will see their fees increase 67% to 25 basis points. Some customers are not pleased
  • New Plus and Premium plans are offered that introduce hybrid advice engagements from human advisers for an additional fee
  • Betterment Plus includes an annual planning call with the in-house adviser team and support via email. Betterment Plus pricing is 40 basis points and requires a $100,000 account minimum
  • Betterment Premium include unlimited contact with the in-house adviser team via phone and email. Betterment Premium pricing is 50 basis points and requires a $250,000 account minimum
  • All Betterment plan fees are capped, charged only on the first $2 million of a customer’s balance.
  • Betterment is introducing the Betterment Advisor Network™, launching with roughly ten advisers who have complete the Betterment vetting process, all of whom must hold the CFP® certification
  • There is no fee to be included in the adviser referral network
  • Betterment receives no referral fees for directing customers to any specific adviser in the referral network
  • Customers who work with an adviser in the Betterment referral network pay a fee of 25 basis points on their assets in their Betterment account. The adviser can set an additional fee on top of Betterment’s fee for services provided

Betterment introduces hybrid advice plans with access to in-house CFP® professionals

Betterment announced today that the company will introduce hybrid advice offering with access to an in-house team of financial advisers.

For the full details from Betterment, see the post below from the Betterment website:

 

The Best of Both Worlds: Smart Technology + Financial Experts

Fee Fallout

One unfortunate consequence of the new 25 basis point pricing structure is the elimination of the 15 basis point tier that formerly applied to accounts over $100,000.

Reaction on Twitter was swift, as these customers will see their fees increase by roughly 67%.

Fee Parity Between Retail and Advisor Platforms

Despite the frustration of customers who formerly qualified for the 15 basis point tier, Betterment Digital’s pricing establishes parity with the pricing offered in the Betterment for Advisors (formerly Betterment Institutional) service.

Since the Betterment for Advisors introduction, I had been critical of the conflict the different pricing tiers presented for advisors who chose to implement Betterment for Advisors for their clients.

I often questioned how an adviser could meet his or her fiduciary obligation to clients with over $100,000 in assets, as that client would pay fees of 15 basis points using a “retail” Betterment account, where a minimum fee of 25 basis points would be charged on a Betterment for Advisors account, for asset management services that I felt were essentially equivalent.

Today, that fee disparity, and the fiduciary quandary, is eliminated, but at the expense of raising fees for customers who qualified for the former 15 basis point tier.

Betterment undercuts Personal Capital

One other observation is Betterment Premium now enters the competitive hybrid advice market, a space dominated by Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, that is also occupied by Personal Capital and the Schwab Intelligent Advisory offering scheduled to debut sometime in the first half of 2017.

Betterment Premium is more expensive than the 30 basis point fee Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and the 28 basis point fee from the upcoming Schwab Intelligent Advisory, but at 50 basis points, the service undercuts Personal Capital’s current 89 basis point pricing.

 

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 30, 2016

On today’s broadcast, get updates on hackathons hosted by Orion and eMoney, Motif Investing introduces subscription pricing, Betterment automates asset location preferences, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Envestnet | Tamarac, providers of Advisor Xi, an industry-leading fully integrated web-based suite for RIAs. Tamarac’s Advisor Xi unifies portfolio management, modeling, rebalancing, trading, billing, and reporting with a fully customizable client portal and enterprise-grade CRM.

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On October 20th, two innovative and rapidly growing firms will share how they leveraged the Advisor Xi Suite in their business during an interactive webinar. Space is limited, so secure your spot today by visiting http://fppad.com/tamarac

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

Fuse 2016: Day One and eMoney Advisor Summit 2016: Hack-a-thon Day One

Now you’ve probably noticed that it’s been a few weeks since my last Bits and Bytes broadcast, and that’s because I’ve attended not one, but two hackathon events hosted by financial technology companies. The first was the Fuse event in Park City, Utah, where Orion Advisor Services assembled developers from dozens of companies to present innovative ways they leverage the Orion Notifications platform. My producer Steve and I vlogged each day of the event, which I highly recommend you watch to find out who claimed the coveted Best in Show award.
And then two weeks later, eMoney hosted their own hackathon event, which had a bit of a different structure from Fuse, as four groups of advisors teamed up with eMoney product, design, and engineering employees to build new planning experiences onto the existing eMoney platform. We made vlogs of this event, too, which I also think is worth your time to watch.
Now, I get that hackathons generate good PR and marketing buzz for the host companies, but quite honestly it’s exciting to see activities like these that promote innovation and experimentation with technology that’s all about helping you serve your clients AND be a better business owner.

Motif Enters Subscription Economy, Introduces Motif BLUE from BusinessWire

Now, moving on to top stories, let’s start with Motif Investing, as the company just introduced a new subscription-based service called Motif BLUE. If you remember back in December 2014, I awarded the Best Back-Office Technology to the Motif Advisor Platform, but that was before the company switched from a flat monthly fee per customer to an AUM-based fee schedule.
But with Motif BLUE, the monthly fee makes a comeback, as customers can pay up to $19.95 a month to invest in three motifs, get auto-rebalancing of professional motifs, and trade motifs three times per month commission free.
So my theory is, customers can use the Motif BLUE Starter plan at $5 a month to mimic one of the asset allocations of the popular automated investment services out there, but instead of paying an AUM-based fee of, oh, 25 to 35 basis points, customers pay Motif roughly $60 a year.
Do the math, and Motif is cheaper when assets go above about $20,000 versus an annual fee of 35 basis points. Now I admit, there are still other differences between Motif Investing and automated investment services, but I think you can sense I believe that fees for investing software should not be based on the size of the assets being managed, and I expect that trend to grow as customers gravitate towards subscription-based pricing models.

Tax-Coordinated Portfolio™: The Latest Breakthrough in Tax-Smart Investing from Betterment

But to up the ante, Betterment announced its own new offering called the Tax-Coordinated Portfolio service, where Betterment automatically implements asset location preferences across taxable and tax-deferred or tax-exempt investment accounts.
Now the concept of asset location preferences is nothing new, but what IS new is the ability to use software to automatically manage location preferences on the fly, such as when clients make one-time deposits or withdrawals across their various accounts. Betterment confirmed that this service will be available to Betterment for Advisors customers, so when I go back to that whole discussion around fees a moment ago with Motif Investing, one could argue that higher fees could be justified because of nuanced differences like automated asset location management.

Quovo Unveils Advisor Dashboard, Arming Financial Advisors With Enriched Client Data Insights in an Intuitive User Interface from Marketwired

And look, if you want to effectively mange asset location preferences, you really need to see all of your clients’ assets and accounts, which leads me to my final story that comes from Quovo, as the company announced the release of the Quovo Advisor Dashboard. The dashboard allows advisors to quickly view information on both assets under management as well as held-away assets, easily synchronize new client accounts, and generate simple reports based on the data obtained by Quovo.
Now I know aggregating held-away assets has always come with its share of challenges (like expired account credentials), but with the Department of Labor fiduciary requirements coming in April next year, how will you be able to defend the advice you provide to clients if you don’t have a clear picture of their assets and liabilities?
You can certainly get those details without using account aggregation, but it just won’t be very efficient, and with direct-to-consumer providers like Personal Capital and Betterment including account aggregation in their solutions, well, these are the new table stakes for technology in your business. So if you’re not using solutions like Quovo or alternatives like Morningstar ByAllAccounts, Aqumulate, eMoney, Wealth Access, Yodlee and others, there’s still time to add one of these to the tools you use today.

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

Riskalyze Rolls Out Coverage for Individual Bonds from Riskalyze

It’s a request we’ve heard from a lot of advisors: make it simple to include individual bonds in a portfolio on Riskalyze. We’re excited to announce that coverage for over 30,000 individual corporate, government and municipal bonds will arrive on October 1.

Qumram launches fully-compliant WhatsApp social media record keeping from Qumram

Despite end-to-end encryption, Qumram enables financial services firms to meet client demand for social media interaction, via WhatsApp, without compromising compliance.

Save time with smart scheduling in Google Calendar from Google

If you’re using G Suite, “Find a time” already lets you set up meetings much faster in Calendar on Android. Today it’s coming to iOS and by the end of the year, the web.

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.

Designed as an alternative to Monte Carlo simulations and calculating probabilities of success, Nest Egg Guru helps you tangibly quantify how client portfolios may hold up if future investment returns don’t pan out as expected.

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Sign up for a no obligation free trial at fppad.com/nesteggguru to see how this low-cost solution can complement the planning software you already use today.

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 July 29, 2016

On today’s broadcast, it’s a robo free-for-all, so put on your best robo accessory, because FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Envision Consulting, providers of IT management and support, cloud computing, and cybersecurity services to RIAs. This October, Envision is hosting a cybersecurity event with Kevin Mitnick, the World’s Most Famous Hacker, where you can find out how to leverage Kevin’s knowledge of the latest hacking techniques to protect your business from attack.

Register Today!

Space is limited, so secure your registration today by visiting topsecurityshow.com, and if you use my promo code, FPPad, you’ll save 15% off the price of your registration.

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

Fidelity Launches Automated Investment Advice Service from WSJ.com

Fidelity Go Vs. Pokemon Go: Be A Low-Cost Investor Or AR Zombie from Investor’s Business Daily

Better Together: Automated Investing with Professional Guidance from BusinessWire

TD Ameritrade Earns $240M in Quarter; Says Retail Robo Is Coming from ThinkAdvisor

TD Ameritrade Institutional, XY Planning Network Launch Program to Cultivate Next-Generation RIAs and Investors from TD Ameritrade

Wells Fargo Plans to Start Robo-Advisory in 2017, Sloan Says from Bloomberg

Big News for the Quantopian Community: Managing External Capital from Quantopian

[Get ready for the robo news, as this week’s top stories come from Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade, as both financial institutions recently announced online investing solutions for the retail investor. A few days ago, Fidelity officially rolled out Fidelity Go, specifically targeting digitally savvy customers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, with investment assets in the low six figures.

When asked by Investor’s Business Daily what happens when Fidelity Go customers get older and wealthier, Rich Compson, head of managed accounts at Fidelity, responded that customers would be referred “to other services like Fidelity’s Portfolio Advisory Services.”

Ok, ok, but advisors aren’t completely left out, as Fidelity did promise details about an automated service it’s developing for financial advisers by year-end. That’s, details, by year-end.

And a few weeks ago, TD Ameritrade announced it had completed updates to its Amerivest Managed Portfolios retail offering, including a digital overhaul for better goal setting, performance tracking, and more.

In ThinkAdvisor’s interview with incoming CEO Tim Hockey, he said that the company will be using Amerivest’s tech enhancements “to launch a new robo for the self-directed client’s needs” scheduled for sometime in 2017.

When asked about referrals to RIAs who custody with TD Ameritrade Institutional, Hockey added that retail clients with $1 million dollars or more are the “target referral” for affiliated RIAs.

That comment came out at the same time the company announced a program with the XY Planning Network to provide dedicated service and no minimum asset requirement to use TD Ameritrade Institutional’s custody services. That’s good, it’s gotta be awkward knowing TD Ameritrade is going to target digitally savvy investors, aka potential XYPN clients, with their own retail robo solution.

On top of all that, Wells Fargo also announced that it, too, is entering the robo market, with a solution expected also sometime in 2017.

And if you don’t like today’s current robo solutions, you can go build your own robo algorithm with Quantopian, who just received fresh venture capital this week from hedge fund investor Steve Cohen.

That’s it, all I hear all day long is how great robos do this, or how wonderful robos do that: robo, robo, robo!]

Envestnet | Tamarac to Roll Out Client Portal 2.0 from PRNewswire

[Now in NON-robo news, how about an update from Envestnet | Tamarac, as the company released the latest version of its client portal to advisors who use the Advisor View™ application. If you watched my coverage of the Envestnet Advisor Summit earlier this year, you would have seen a preview of the updated client portal, plus the key enhancements highlighted by Brandon Rembe. So click right here so you can watch that video.] Envestnet | Tamarac has completely redesigned the client portal in its Advisor View™ portfolio management and performance reporting application. The new client portal will be implemented as part of Tamarac’s July 2016 technology release, and seeks to help RIAs create highly customizable client portal experiences to engage their clients and appeal to the next generation of investors.

MoneyGuidePro creator releases DOL fiduciary-focused software from InvestmentNews.com

[Also, MoneyGuidePro recently released a utility called Best Interest Scout, intended to gather information about client goals, expectations, and investment details in one place. This should help you from a workflow perspective, but the tool should also be helpful in identifying when you must engage in a Best Interests Contract with a client. If you’re concerned about compliance with the pending fiduciary rule from the DoL, expect more tools like Best Interest Scout to come to market.] PIEtech, the creator of financial planning software MoneyGuidePro, has built a tool to see how well clients’ portfolios are aligned with their best interests, including retirement goals and concerns, insurance needs, and health-care costs.

Now since I took a few weeks off, I just don’t have time to cover all the stories in my backlog, including news on the talent exodus at Wealthfront, the Betterment for Business 401(k) offering surpassing 200 plan sponsors and $5 billion in AUM, Quovo, Riskalyze and more, so links to those stories are below:

Talent exodus hits Wealthfront including heads of product, marketing and operations from RIABiz.com

Wealthfront, founded in 2008, is experiencing its first big talent exodus — a flurry of departures that includes some C-suite titles and a Unicorn shepherd.

Betterment for Business Surpasses 200 Plan Sponsors from PRNewswire

Betterment for Business, the only turnkey 401(k) service that includes personalized investment advice for all participants, announced today that it has successfully added 200 plan sponsors to the platform in the last six months.

Betterment Becomes First Independent Robo-Advisor to Surpass $5B of Assets Under Management from PRNewswire

Betterment announced today that it is the first independent robo-advisor to reach $5 billion in assets under management. The company now helps more than 175,000 customers intelligently manage and grow their wealth.

Apex Clearing to Offer Vanare’s Digital Advice Platform from PRNewswire

Apex Clearing Corporation will begin offering to its broker dealer and RIA clients the ability to digitally manage investments using Vanare’s digital advice platform. Vanare offers a wealth management technology platform with a highly customizable white labeled Roboadvisor.

Advisor Software, Quovo Partner to Strengthen Goals-Based Planning Capabilities for Wealth Managers from PRNewswire

Advisor Software, Inc. has teamed up with Quovo to provide wealth managers with seamless access to aggregated client financial data, which can help put together an all-encompassing financial picture for every client.

Marstone and Quovo Announce Partnership from MarketWired.com

Marstone, an innovative digital wealth company, and Quovo, a financial data science company for the wealth management industry, today announced that they have completed a partnership to enhance Marstone’s digital wealth solutions with Quovo’s industry-leading data aggregation.

Riskalyze Autopilot for Retirement Plans from Riskalyze

LastPass introduces Emergency Access from LastPass

With the Emergency Access feature, you can give trusted family and friends access to your LastPass account in the event of an emergency or crisis.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 29, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 29, 2016

 

FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 1, 2016

On today’s broadcast, Betterment takes heat for suspending customer trades, TD Ameritrade Institutional hosts its annual technology summit, 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 Orion Advisor Services, the industry’s premier portfolio accounting service provider for advisors. Orion integrates with several automated investment platforms, but you’re not sure if now the right time to add a robo element to your firm.

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Find out if you’re ready, or not, to add your own solution by downloading a free copy of the Orion pre-robo checklist today by visiting fppad.com/robochecklist.

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

Robo Adviser Betterment Suspended Trading During ‘Brexit’ Market Turmoil via WSJ (subscription required),

After trading halt, Betterment suffers its own Brexit shock from Financial Planning,

Betterment explains why its Brexit-sparked trading halt on Friday wasn’t ‘suspended’ trading from RIABiz, and

Robo-advisor CEO: Here’s why I told clients they couldn’t trade in sell-off from CNBC

[This week’s top story is all about Betterment, because in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote, the company notified financial advisors on the Betterment Institutional platform that it had suspended trading from 10am to 12pm Eastern on June 24th, citing their expectation of “highly unpredictable volatility,” a decision which has triggered all sorts of discussions across the investment community.

First, a primer. Betterment uses ETFs for all customer portfolios, and when trading gets volatile, ETF pricing can get significantly disconnected from the value of the ETF’s underlying securities. Remember the flash crash of August 2015? ETF pricing was all over the map, especially for lightly traded and illiquid ETFs.

So, when Betterment’s team identified undesirable trading conditions, they suspend all trading. And as a discretionary advisor to retail customers, they can totally do that. It’s disclosed right there on page 65 of the retail agreement, which every customer acknowledges they read by checking the I agree box next to the Sign Up button. <wink wink>

But the exact same language is on page 70 of the Institutional Agreement, and I couldn’t find anything that said trading *authorized by the Advisor* would be treated any differently. In the RIABiz coverage of the event, Michael Kitces said that treating financial advisors the same as clients “creates operational channel conflicts.”

And there’s the rub. If you’re an advisor using Betterment Institutional for your clients, when you authorize trades, you need to know whether those trades will be subject to Betterment’s suspension criteria.

But that’s one risk of using ETFs in Betterment Institutional, or any automated investment service for that matter. Sometimes the pricing gets out of whack, and you won’t always know in advance when that happens.

So on a volatile day, you need to understand that, as of today, your trade authorizations might not be processed right away, and your trades will be in limbo for who knows how long until Betterment decides it’s ok to resume trading. I suspect that policy might soon be changing for Betterment Institutional users.] Betterment, LLC, a pioneer in the world of automated investing, made an unusual move and suspended all trading Friday morning as markets were roiled by the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.

TD Ameritrade Institutional Gathers Top Technology Innovators to Help Drive Significant Enhancements for Veo from BusinessWire

[My next story highlights TD Ameritrade Institutional, as I attended the custodian’s 7th annual technology summit in Dallas, and I made a vlog about it so you can get a glimpse of what the event is like, so be sure to check it out.

At the summit, executives offered updates on Veo Open Access, which now features 104 integrated solution providers, announced the introduction of Veo Advanced Alerts, and reiterated the pending release of the Veo One platform for late fall of this year.

There weren’t very many advisor dashboards available when Veo One was first announced in January of last year, but recently several tech providers have invested heavily in their own all-in-one dashboards, with notable names like Envestnet|Tamarac, supported by Envestnet’s acquisitions of Finance Logix and Yodlee, Salesforce, with its rollout of Financial Services Cloud happening now, and Fidelity’s Wealthscape platform anticipated by the end of this year, which will include technology from the eMoney acquisition.

So Veo One will go up against some stiff competition when it is rolled out later this year, so I recommend you make plans now to refresh what you know about the dashboard options for your business in the second half of this year.] A growing community of technology innovators, which has collaborated with TD Ameritrade Institutional1 to make Veo Open Access one of the industry’s leading platforms for independent registered investment advisors (“RIAs”), is again coming together to drive significant new enhancements to Veo and accelerate the pace of future Veo One integrations.

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

Riskalyze Announces General Availability of Asset Sync from Riskalyze

Starting today, advisors will be able to import an investor’s outside assets from over 18,000 connections from thousands of financial institutions.

Junxure Cloud Expands Integration with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo® from PRNewswire

Junxure, the industry leading CRM solutions and technology company for financial advisors, this week announced new enhancements to its cloud-based CRM platform, Junxure Cloud®. As part of its ongoing work to integrate with leading platforms serving independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), Junxure Cloud has expanded its integration with Veo®, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s comprehensive trading and account management platform.

Dow Jones and Vestorly Create Content Marketing Product for Financial Professionals and Their Clients from MarketWired

Vestorly Inc., the leading content marketing and relationship analytics platform in the financial services industry, today announced a unique partnership with Dow Jones that will enable all Vestorly users to access Dow Jones content, including The Wall Street Journal, in order to engage clients and generate leads.

Dashlane launches a password management tool for the enterprise from TechCrunch

Today, the company behind one of the more popular solutions for helping consumers manage their online accounts, Dashlane, is making its move into the enterprise.

BNY Mellon’s Pershing Unveils New Technology Capabilities that Enable Firms to Define Their Own Digital Wealth Management Experience from Pershing

Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today launched a suite of technology enhancements that provide wealth management firms with greater flexibility to digitally transform their business.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 1, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 1, 2016

 

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15, 2016

On today’s broadcast, LPL Financial hooks up with BlackRock’s FutureAdvisor, Riskalyze and Advizr integrate their platforms, and bots might be the future of financial 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 Twenty Over Ten, providers of beautiful, tailored, mobile responsive websites specifically for Financial Advisors.

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Easily manage your brand while automatically archiving your website changes for compliance. Sign up for a 45 day free trial today by visiting twentyoverten.com/fppad. Oh, and be sure to watch the YouTube channel for videos from next week’s NAB Show, which are also brought to you by Twenty Over Ten.

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

LPL Financial to Leverage BlackRock Solutions’ FutureAdvisor to Offer Robo Solution to Advisors and Their Clients from LPL Financial

[Now on to this week’s top story which comes from LPL Financial, as the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer announced it will use BlackRock’s recently-acquired FutureAdvisor platform to power an online automated investment offering. LPL first hinted at its plans for a “robo advisor” back in the summer of 2015 at its annual Focus conference, which was roughly one month before BlackRock made its FutureAdvisor acquisition.

While the announcement sure generated some buzz, no details on specific pricing or availability were provided. What the press release did say is that the model portfolios will be provided by LPL’s research department, so at least initially, advisors and reps will not be able to create their own custom allocations.

The press release also said the automated solution will be integrated with LPL’s custodial platform, but it didn’t say if that was the existing BranchNet platform or the much-anticipated ClientWorks, which as far as I know, has still not been officially released.

So at least we now know what LPL’s robo strategy will be, but with so many forward-looking statements, we don’t know when that strategy will be ready for use by LPL’s financial advisors.] Leading retail investment advisory firm and independent broker/dealer LPL Financial LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), today announced it will use BlackRock Solutions’ (BRS) FutureAdvisor platform to support a digital advice platform for use by LPL’s financial advisors and institutions and their clients.

A Match Made in Heaven: Advizr and Riskalyze Integrate from Businesswire

[Next up is news from Riskalyze and Advizr, as the two companies announced a new integration to streamline financial advisor workflows. The new integration will import Riskalyze model portfolio sets into the Advizr financial planning software, allowing advisors to recommend the most appropriate asset allocation according to their client’s personal Risk Number.

Not only that, both companies offer effective lead generation tools for advisors, with Riskalyze offering prospects the opportunity to determine their own Risk Number, and Advizr offering a quick financial plan illustration with Advizr Express.

The combination of the two will help advisors gain more information about prospects’ risk tolerance and the building blocks of a complete financial plan.

The companies called the integration “a match made in heaven” because both of them are winners of the Best Client Facing Technology award announced right here on FPPad.

So as a result, and I am now officially accepting endorsements for matchmaking on my LinkedIn profile.] Advizr, the financial planning software recognized as the Best Client Facing Technology of 2015 by Bill Winterberg’s FPPad, and Riskalyze, the world’s first Risk Alignment Platform recognized for the same award in 2014, are integrating their award-winning products to provide an elegant, intuitive and seamless solution to financial advisers.

Messenger Platform at F8 from Facebook.com

[And finally, this week’s top story comes from the future, oh wait, “THE FUTURE!” as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at this week at F8 conference and detailed the company’s roadmap for the next 10 years.

My best takeaway for you is the launch of the Messenger Platform that includes automated messaging powered by bots, no, not that bot, these are automated messenger bots.

With bots in messenger, you can make online clothing purchases, receive weather forecasts, view top headlines and more.

I can totally see bots making their way into your technology. Imagine if you could ask your Redtail bot when you next client meeting is scheduled, or your Orion bot how your AUM has grown over the past year, or even allow clients to ask the MoneyGuide Pro bot for their updated retirement confidence meter. How cool is that?!?

And if vendors eventually integrate bot into existing services, I bet that they’ll also include message archiving and retention so you can confidently use bots without violating your compliance requirements.

Oh, did I just give those vendors a little more work to do? I’m sorry!

Unfortunately there’s no word yet from FINRA or the SEC whether your bot has to be fingerprinted and subject to a background check. Thank you, I do two shows a night!] We’re excited to introduce bots for the Messenger Platform. Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.

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

Former Top Schwab Executive Joins Betterment Board from New York Times

Less than one month after an investment round that doubled its private valuation to around $700 million, the robo-adviser Betterment is adding a former top executive from Charles Schwab, John S. Clendening, to its board.

Find time for your goals with Google Calendar from Google

That’s why starting today, we’re introducing Goals in Google Calendar. Just add a personal goal—like “run 3 times a week”—and Calendar will help you find the time and stick to it.

Orion’s Integration of FactSet’s Robust Research and Analytics Allows Advisors to Better Serve Their HNW and Institutional Clients from Marketwired

Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), a premier portfolio accounting service provider for financial advisors, has announced it is now integrated with FactSet, a leading provider of financial data, analytics, and service, to offer its advisor clients easy access to portfolio research and analytics.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016

On today’s broadcast, Betterment raises $100 million in fresh capital, Fidelity tests FidelityGo, Schwab pulls the plug on OpenView Integrated Office, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

First, a heads up, Steve and I will be on the road later this month covering the massive NAB 2016 event, scouring the exhibit halls for technology you can use to make great videos and podcasts, followed by the 2016 Shareholders Service Group conference in San Diego. Visit fppad.com/subscribe and sign up today so you don’t miss any of our coverage from the events.

Betterment Raises $100 Million from Betterment.com

[Now on to this week’s top story which comes from Betterment, as the automated investment service raised another $100 million dollars in venture capital, bringing the total amount they’ve raised to $205 million. Betterment is pulling away from a crowded field of robo competitors, now servicing over 150,000 customers, managing $3.9 billion in assets, and valued at a reported $700 million.

Betterment says they will use the funding to grow the Betterment for Business 401(k) platform and the Betterment Institutional offering for you, the financial advisor.

But despite all the money raised and what they say about being their customer’s central financial relationship, Betterment’s questionnaire still doesn’t tell customers that they should pay off high interest credit card debt or build up an emergency fund first before investing. Oh, that’s right, customers can find that advice somewhere on the blog.

So I’ll reiterate what I posted on Twitter this week: Betterment, I hope you use the money to make unbiased fiduciary advice accessible & affordable to everyone.

If you want to read more about the latest round of Betterment’s funding, head over to fppad.com/183 for the links to this week’s top stories.] Today marks an important milestone for Betterment and our more than 150,000 customers who have invested over $3.9 billion with us. We’re excited to announce that Betterment has closed a $100 million investment, led by a new partner, Kinnevik.

Fidelity Starts Testing Robo-Adviser Service on Existing Clients from Bloomberg.com

[Next up is news from Fidelity, as the company announced plans to begin testing Fidelity Go, its own automated investing service for retail investors, with roughly 500 customers this week, with an official rollout sometime in the second half of this year.

If you remember back to November of 2015, Fidelity broke off its relationship to promote Betterment Institutional to advisors, and then coincidentally announced the Fidelity Go retail product that competes more or less with Betterment. Fidelity Go will feature investment portfolios managed by Geode Capital Management, all in fees at 39 basis points or lower, automatic rebalancing, but no tax loss harvesting.

With Fidelity Go as a retail offering, you should know that Fidelity told me that a B2B version is under development, and while they couldn’t give me a solid release date, they did say the offering will be customized to your needs as an advisor.

Nevertheless, Fidelity joins Charles Schwab as an institutional custodian with an automated investment solution in the retail space, but at no platform fee in exchange for a little extra cash allocation, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, in my opinion, is going to be tough to beat.] Fidelity Investments, the second-largest U.S. mutual fund company, will test an automated-investment service starting Wednesday on a small group of existing customers. Fidelity plans to offer the service to the public in the second half of this year.

Schwab Unplugs Its Customized Version of Salesforce from WealthManagement.com

[And speaking of Schwab, this week’s final story is news that Schwab Advisor Services is discontinuing the Schwab OpenView Integrated Office solution effective July 31. Roughly 150 firms are using the solution, so they’re going to have to find some other technology to replace Integrated Office, specifically the custom version of Salesforce that came with it.

The link to the story at fppad.com/183 has the details on options for affected advisors, including using Salesforce with Schwab OpenView Gateway or migrating to a completely new CRM, but here’s the angle I want to focus address.

This is absolutely an example of what can happen when you choose a custodian’s proprietary solution for a part of your technology. How committed is that custodian going to be to offer that technology over the lung run? In this case, Schwab, for whatever reason, is shutting down Integrated Office, leaving 150 advisors with just three months to figure out what to do.

So I don’t blame you one bit for getting a little uneasy when custodians offer proprietary technology solutions to you that they own and control. But with more custodian acquisitions of technology on the horizon, I’m afraid this is a risk you’re going to have to assume more frequently as time moves on.

One more thing: if you want a firm with Salesforce experience in financial services, get your pencils out, because you should consider contacting LiquidHub, Concenter Services, Navatar, Salentica, or AppCrown.] One hundred fifty Charles Schwab advisors must find a new client relationship manager (CRM) by July 31.

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

Envestnet | Tamarac Rolls Out New Household Structure and Service Team Functionality in Advisor View™ Client Portal from PRNewswire.com

Envestnet | Tamarac has launched four major software updates designed to strengthen RIAs’ online engagement with clients. The roll-out is part of the firm’s March 2016 technology release.

Advyzon Integrates Laser App Software to Enhance Client Advisor Relationship from LaserApp.com

Laser App Software, the premier provider of forms automation and management software for the securities and insurance industries, has announced that Advyzon, an all in one cloud-based platform combining portfolio management, performance reporting, CRM, client portal and planning, integrated with Laser App Software to enhance its client dashboard.

Marketware International is pleased to announce that it has become a new member of the IBM Watson Ecosystem Partner Program.

Our team has been hard at work creating the AdvisorQA mobile product experience for Financial Services. It provides a new mobile Content Management and Social Collaboration tool that utilizes the cognitive computing and research capabilities of IBM Watson.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016