Tag Archives: dropbox

FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 29

On today’s broadcast, Betterment launches 401k plans for business, Morningstar updates its iPad app for advisors, Vestorly raises a new venture capital, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Betterment for Business Officially Launches and Announces Advisory Board from PRNewswire.com

[This week’s top story features Betterment, as the automated investment service announced the official launch of Betterment for Business, the company’s 401(k) plan for employers.

Earlier this month, Betterment for Business received a very strong endorsement from the founder of a start-up called Estimize, saying the plan was so easy to set up that it could potentially crush the 401(k) industry.

With plan fees ranging from 60 basis points all the way down to 10 basis points for billion-dollar plans, and an interface built for ease of use, Betterment’s offering might actually be one that you recommend to your small business-owner clients, and you might even consider it for your own company’s 401(k) needs.

Among large 401(k) plans, established providers like Vanguard, Fidelity, and Financial Engines have a sizable advantage, but underserved companies establishing their first 401(k) plan should see Betterment as a very attractive solution.

This reminds me of how Betterment targeted young underserved investors back in 2010… huh.] Betterment, the largest automated investing service, today announced the official launch of Betterment for Business. The new 401(k) platform, which uses smarter technology and includes personalized investment advice for all plan participants, is now live for a charter group of plan sponsors and participants.

Preview Morningstar’s new iPad app dashboard for advisors from Morningstar

Sigma Prime leads Series A round for Vestorly from PEHub.com

Vestorly, Inc. the leading content marketing platform in financial services headquartered in New York City, today announced a Series A round of funding of $4.1 million.

New cloud storage options for Office mobile and Office Online from Office.com

Today, we’re making Office even easier for customers to use with cloud storage providers by adding real-time co-authoring with Office Online for documents stored in partner cloud services, extending our Office for iOS integration to all partners in the CSPP, and enabling integration between Outlook.com and cloud storage providers Dropbox and Box.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 29, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 29, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 17

On today’s broadcast, Betterment Institutional releases its online investment solution for advisors. Will the industry rush to adopt this new digital solution for emerging clients? The SEC admits it doesn’t know where its laptops are. Could you be at risk of making the same mistakes committed by this industry watchdog? And, hackers claim to have stolen millions of passwords from Dropbox. Find out what you should be doing right now to protect the information you store online.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM: Simple, social, and collaborative CRM for financial advisors.


If you’re considering switching your CRM, connect with Amber from Team Wealthbox to get a personal demo at Wealthbox.com.

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

Robo advisor Betterment works with Fidelity in RIA push from CNBC

[This week’s top story highlights Betterment Institutional, who this week announced the official release of an advisor-friendly version of its popular direct-to-consumer service that currently manages over $600 million in customer assets.

No doubt influenced by the guidance and financial investments from Steve Lockshin and Marty Bicknell, Betterment Institutional allows advisors to white label the Betterment platform and offer it to all clients for a cost of 25 basis points per year. Advisors can charge an additional fee if they so choose.

In addition, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services announced that the company will include Betterment Institutional among a list of practice management resources it offers to advisors. But the use of Betterment Institutional is not exclusive to Fidelity, so whatever your custodial affiliation is today, you can begin to use Betterment Institutional if you’re seeking a low-cost automated investment solution for your emerging clients.

Betterment Institutional joins Upside Advisor, Guide Financial, JemStep and a few others as an advisor-friendly automated investment solution, and you’ll want to stay tuned for news following the Schwab IMPACT conference, as details on that custodian’s much anticipated free investment platform should be made public.] If you can’t beat the robots, join them. That’s what Betterment—the ultra-low cost, computer-driven personal portfolio service—hopes financial professionals will do with its new institutionally focused “robo-advisor” offering.

Missing SEC laptops risk release of nonpublic information, inspector says from Marketwatch

[Next up is an embarrassing revelation from the Securities and Exchange Commission, as the industry watchdog admitted that somewhere between 24 and 202 laptops were unaccounted for, opening up the risk that private, nonpublic information could be exposed. Is this when I should do a forehead slap?

Alright, so the SEC has its own data security issues to deal with, but I want to take a moment to challenge you about how you’re keeping your business and client information safe. Do you use full disk encryption on the laptops you use for work? You should.

Windows 8.1 Pro and Enterprise offers BitLocker drive encryption for free, and if you use Mac, FileVault 2 disk encryption is built right in to the operating system. All you need to do is turn the feature on and protect your laptop with a strong login password.

And don’t forget about your mobile devices. Every device you use should be protected with a login passcode, the longer the better, and in most cases, requiring a passcode automatically enables device encryption.] The inspector-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a report that there’s at least 24 and as many as 202 laptops that are not accounted for, which risks the release of sensitive, nonpublic information.

Dropbox says it wasn’t hacked. But that doesn’t help users whose information was leaked from The Washington Post

[And finally, Dropbox made headlines this week as reports circulated that hackers claimed to have accessed over 7 million usernames and passwords to the popular online file storage service. Dropbox insists that its systems were not hacked, but rather the login credentials were obtained from unrelated companies and services.

Once again, it’s critical that you follow good online account protection practices: Use a unique password for each website, activate multi-factor authentication where possible, and consider managing login credentials in a reputable password management service like LastPass, 1Password, Meldium, and more.] Dropbox was the latest company under the gun on security, when a link on reddit surfaced a claim that hackers have nearly 7 million usernames — plus their passwords — from the storage service on Monday.

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

Canva Launches iPad App to Bring Amazingly Simple Design to Your Fingertips at Canva.com

We’re very excited to today announce the launch of the Canva app for iPad.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 17, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 17, 2014

FileThis launches document and client portal for financial professionals

FileThis enhances document fetch capabilities with a client portal for financial professionals. Image courtesy of FileThis, Inc.

FileThis enhances document fetch capabilities with a client portal for financial professionals. Image courtesy of FileThis, Inc.

FileThis automates the collection and archiving of clients’ important records

FileThis, a startup based near Silicon Valley, released a version of its electronic document retrieval and storage service for financial professionals.

In a broadcast last year (watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 16), I highlighted FileThis Fetch, a service that connects to users’ financial accounts to capture electronic statements and PDF files, routing them to the user’s storage service of choice, including Evernote, Dropbox, Personal, and Google Drive.

FileThis Client Portal

Aimed at reducing lost or undelivered documents by clients, the FileThis Document and Client Portal uses the company’s same Fetch process to capture files from a variety of financial institutions including banks, credit card companies, investment accounts, and more.

The new Document and Client Portal adds on administrative features financial advisers should find very useful. Advisers can invitations to use the FileThis platform from the dashboard.

Once clients activate their accounts, they can begin to link financial accounts to FileThis so the platform can fetch related documents and statements.

Automatic Organization

FileThis attempts to automatically identify and categorize documents fetched by the platform to sort them into meaningful categories.

Documents can be stored in cabinets that correspond to high-level categories such as education, financial, and vital records.

Documents are also identified by accounts using vendor names like AT&T and Bank of America. Finally, individual documents are tagged with metadata to identify the content of the document, including bills, statements, invoices, and more.


Any service that retrieves and stores sensitive financial information must have high security protections in place.

FileThis follows bank-level security procedures to ensure the safety and security of the information it stores.

Data to and from FileThis is sent using 256-bit SSL, and account credentials are encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption. Much more information on the FileThis security features can be found on this page: https://filethis.com/security/


With the launch of FileThis Documents and Client Portal, FileThis is offering introductory pricing for new users.

The starter plan is $49 per month for one admin, and the admin account permits up to 50 login accounts for end users, i.e. clients.

Firms that need more accounts for clients should consider the $99 per month plan with two admin accounts and support for up to 400 client logins.

Pricing information for more than 400 client logins can be viewed at the bottom of this page: https://filethis.com/pro/


FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 29

On today’s broadcast, Google ups the ante among office mobile app providers. Will the enhancements be enough for you to leave Office 365? Dropbox and Amazon want your cloud file storage business. Find out who has the features and pricing that are right for your firm. And, creating time-lapse videos just became a whole lot easier. Learn how you can use a new iPhone app for an interesting twist on your website’s contact page.

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.


If you’re looking for the best place to monitor trends in broker-dealer technology, you need to come to Atlanta November 11th through 13th. Reserve your spot today by visiting t3enterpriseconference.com

Here are this week’s stories of interest: Google bolsters iOS productivity suite with Slides, updates to Docs and Sheets from Apple Insider

[This week’s top story comes from Google, as the Internet search giant released a new app for iOS devices called Slides. Originally contained inside the Google Drive app, Slides is now the latest stand-alone app from Google to round out its mobile office productivity suite, which includes the previously-released Google Docs and Google Sheets apps.

This now rounds out Google’s mobile office toolkit, matching, at least in basic functionality, the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps from Apple, and the Office 365 apps of Word, Excel and PowerPoint most advisors know, and may or may not love.

The apps are free to use if you have a Google account and are included in Google Apps for Business subscriptions, priced at $50 per year per user. So if you don’t need any of the complex features in the Microsoft Office apps, the Google office apps may be everything you need to manage your business on the go at an affordable price.] Google on Monday released presentation app Slides alongside updates to existing iOS apps Docs and Sheets, offering a free Web-connected alternative to similar productivity suites from Microsoft and Apple.

Introducing a more powerful Dropbox Pro from Dropbox, Amazon Opens Up Its Enterprise Cloud Storage Service Zocalo To All from Techcrunch, and Cloud Storage Showdown: Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and More Compared from Gizmodo

[Next up is news on two cloud file storage services, Dropbox and Amazon Zocalo. First up is Dropbox, which announced this week that the company is upgrading it’s Pro plan to offer better security controls when sharing files and folders with others. Also new is an improved remote wipe feature. Before this update, any files synchronized to a device that later became unlinked from a Dropbox account would still stay on the device. Now with the updated remote wipe feature, that’s no longer the case.

And the storage space of the Dropbox Pro plan was increased to one terabyte with pricing remaining at $9.99 per month.

But a new service competing directly against Dropbox Pro users is Amazon’s Zocalo, which is now available for the general public after being in a limited preview for a few months. Designed with enterprise users in mind, Zocalo can integrate with Microsoft’s Active Directory services for user permissions and administration. Pricing for Zocalo starts at $5 per month per user for 200 gigabytes of data, and with all these options now for cloud file storage, it’s hard even for me to keep everything straight. But if you head over to fppad.com/138, I’ve linked to a handy chart from Gizmodo with the details of many of the top cloud file storage providers.] We first launched Dropbox to help you simplify your life. Since then, you’ve told us that Dropbox does more than just that — it enables anyone with an idea, project, or passion to create amazing things.

Hyperlapse: Instagram’s First Standalone App You’ll Actually Want to Use from Mashable

Download Hyperlapse from Instagram from iTunes

[And finally, my last story will give you something to do to add some creativity to your weekend. Earlier this week, Instagram released a new app for iOS called Hyperlapse. The Hyperlapse app allows you to record several minutes of video on your iPhone and condense down to a quick time-lapse video with some added video stabilization. So why is this relevant to you as an advisor?

Here’s one idea on how you can use the Hyperlapse app in your business. The next time you drive to your office, mount your phone to your dashboard and record the route you take to get there. The hold your phone while you walk into your building and go to your office, and then create a Hyperlapse video from that footage. Post that Hyperlapse video next to your address on your website’s contact page. That way, anyone who is going to visit your office for the very first time can actually see where they should park and what door to enter, all in cool Hyperlapse video.] Instagram’s latest standalone, Hyperlapse, is simple, elegant and actually really useful. The app, which rolled out Tuesday, allows users to quickly and easily create on-the-go time-lapse videos— something that hasn’t been easily and effectively accomplished on mobile, until now.

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

The Freewheeling Life of the Virtual Advisor from ThinkAdvisor

Financial planner Alan Moore is at the forefront of a trend that is extending the reach of traditional advisors onto digital platforms.

Every Time You Buy Something, This App Invests a Few Pennies on Wall Street from WIRED

Now, a startup called Acorns wants to solve these problems with a new smartphone app, hoping it can help millennials outgrow the piggy bank. 


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 29, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 29, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 20

On today’s broadcast, Apple previews new features in its mobile and desktop operating systems. Will they be enough to wean advisors away from Microsoft? Betterment launches a new tax loss harvesting algorithm. How much potential additional return can this service add to client portfolios? And, if you just can’t get enough of real-time stock and economic data, then you need to check out the new Dashboard from YCharts.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM. Don’t waste another warm summer evening reading your CRM’s user manual.

Wealthbox CRM

Instead, turn on simplicity, tune in to Wealthbox, and drop out of CRM school with Wealthbox’s outrageously simple CRM. Get a free trial today by visiting fppad.com/wealthbox

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

Preview iOS 8 from Apple, and

Preview OS X Yosemite from Apple

[This week’s top story highlights Apple’s announcements at its 2014 World Wide Developers Conference held in San Francisco. The company introduced a ton of new features coming in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite later this fall, but here are ones that are most relevant to financial advisors.

First, iCloud Drive was introduced as Apple’s answer to popular cloud document synchronization services like Dropbox, Box, and ShareFile. You’ll soon be able to synchronize all kinds of files, not just Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents, to the iCloud service, but iCloud Drive’s sharing features are not as robust as other providers. While you can share individual files from iCloud using a unique URL, you can’t sync entire folders of documents with other iCloud users.

Second, an update to the iOS keyboard includes predictive text that will suggest contextually appropriate words and phrases to significantly speed up your replies while responding on your device. Hopefully this will put an end to your pithy text message lingo!

Third, security gets a boost as data stored in the Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and Messages apps first requires a passcode for access any time the phone is rebooted.

And fourth, iOS 8 will allow you to mirror your device’s screen directly to an Apple TV without joining a WiFi network. This peer-to-peer AirPlay connection is perfect for the times you want to mirror your iPad screen to a TV, but don’t have access to a WiFi network at a client’s home or at a conference hotel. Try doing that with a Chromecast! 

On the OS X Yosemite side, advisors should enjoy the flexibility to make and receive phone calls from your computer using your iPhone, a supercharged Spotlight app that offers search results from Wikipedia, Bing, Maps, and more, and a clever Handoff feature to synchronize your work in progress between your Mac and your iOS devices.]

Betterment Introduces Tax Loss Harvesting+™ from Betterment.com, and

White Paper: Tax Loss Harvesting+™

[Next up is news from Betterment, the online algorithm-powered investment service, which just announced the introduction of Tax Loss Harvesting Plus™.

In a very detailed white paper, Betterment identified how its Tax Loss Harvesting Plus service would have generated an additional 0.77 percent annualized after-tax return over 13 years of backtested data. But as I read through the discussion of navigating wash sale rules and Betterment’s Parallel Position Management strategy, I couldn’t help but think that managing such nuances of tax loss harvesting can potentially turn in to a full-time job for advisors, especially those who employ active strategies with individual equities and ETFs.

I reached out to Jon Stein, Betterment founder and CEO, and he confirmed that the Tax Loss Harvesting Plus™ service will be available in the Betterment Institutional platform that will be introduced to financial advisors in the near future. So now you’re faced with a yet another decision: will you continue to manage time-consuming tax loss harvesting strategies with in-house technology, or outsource this service once Betterment’s Institutional offering becomes available?] Tax Loss Harvesting+ can reduce your tax exposure better than other automated harvesting tools. Every transaction, both customer and system initiated, is executed in a tax-efficient way.

YCharts Dashboard from YCharts.com

[And wrapping up this week’s broadcast is news from YCharts, a research and charting provider to a variety of financial institutions. In response to overwhelming feedback, YCharts introduced a new Dashboard application that allows users to build their own customs screens with all sorts of analytical tools.

If you live and breathe charts, watch lists, and economic indicators but don’t want to pay the high price for a Bloomberg terminal, YCharts lets you view data on US and Canadian equites, ETFs, ADRs and over 400,000 economic indicators. Shawn Carpenter, YCharts co-founder and CEO, also told me that the next wave of data updates to YCharts will include mutual funds.] The Dashboard is all about you: Which companies you want to see. Which indicators you want to follow. Which indices matter to your investing process. Set it up once, and it will be with you for the rest of your investing career.

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

Cybersecurity firm says large hedge fund attacked from CNBC.com

In an audacious and sophisticated attack, cybercriminals acting in late 2013 installed a malicious computer program on the servers of a large hedge fund, crippling its high-speed trading strategy and sending information about its trades to unknown offsite computers, CNBC has learned.

RegEd Launches Enterprise Risk Control Center

RegEd, a leading provider of technology solutions for compliance and risk management for the financial services industry, announced today the launch of RegEd SCORE™ Risk Control Center, the industry’s first analytics-driven solution that brings together critical compliance and business data to enable Broker-Dealers to identify and manage behavioral and sales practice risk among their registered population.

A Guide to RIA CRM Software for Investment Adviser Firms of all Sizes from RIAinaBox.com

Using data from our recent 2014 RIA Systems and Operations Survey along with other industry observations, we wanted to provide some guidance when it comes to selecting the right CRM software tool for your advisory firm.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 20, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for June 20, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 28

On today’s broadcast, cybersecurity takes center stage at FINRA and the SEC, what you need to do to protect your business from attacks. Amazon launches its cloud desktop service to the public. Does this mark the end of plain old desktop in your business? And two growing providers form a new joint venture to take your portfolio management efficiency to the next level.

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 nation’s largest privately held portfolio accounting service bureau.

Orion Advisor Services

Providing full-service data reconciliation, advisory fee billing, Salesforce integration, mobile apps and more, Orion believes it’s time for you to enjoy your business again. Visit fppad.com/orion for more information.

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

Top Cybersecurity Threats for BDs, Advisors from ThinkAdvisor, and

SEC Cybersecurity Roundtable Webcast from SEC.gov

[Leading off today’s broadcast is an update from FINRA and the SEC highlighting cybersecurity threats faced by advisors and broker-dealers. In a roundtable event held in Washington DC this week, regulators and industry representatives acknowledged that the number one cybersecurity threat to firms of all sizes is the unauthorized account takeover.

This happens when a hacker compromises an investor’s username and password credentials, or manages to take control of an investor’s email account. The hacker then proceeds to liquidate holdings and transfer money to outside accounts, or even poses as a client with a convincing story to get advisors to transfer funds to an outside account, a clever tactic known as spoofing.

Both FINRA and the SEC acknowledge they must play a role in this area, but neither provided details on what exactly that role should be, and if any advisor exams are to include cybersecurity audits, they are likely to start in the fall of 2014 at best.

Until then, here’s what I recommend you do: First, update your compliance manual with policies for what you do when faced with a cybersecurity attack.

Second, train everyone in your organization so they’re familiar with the common tactics from hackers, including phishing, spoofing, and reverse social engineering. And finally, invest in technology to boost your security, like activating multi-factor authentication, deploying firewalls, and even using phishing simulation software that I highlighted in episode number 115.] The top risks broker-dealers face in dealing with cybersecurity threats are operational risk, “insider” risks posed by rogue employees and hackers penetrating BD systems, Daniel Sibears of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Wednesday at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s cybersecurity roundtable.

Amazon WorkSpaces, Amazon’s Cloud Desktop Service, Launches To Public Along With New Sync Client from TechCrunch, and

Amazon WorkSpaces from Amazon

[Next up is news from Amazon, as the company announced the general release of its virtual desktop solution to the public called WorkSpaces.

WorkSpaces is squarely aimed to take on other virtual desktop providers like Citrix, VMWare, and Microsoft, and with pricing ranging from $35 to $75 per month for each user, WorkSpaces is roughly half the price of the competition. If you’re looking to get rid of your aging server and move all of your core software to the cloud, Amazon WorkSpaces just became a very compelling option.

Plus, with the introduction of a new WorkSpace Sync application, you can backup and synchronize up to 10GB of documents between your WorkSpaces, the Amazon Simple Storage Service, and even your local desktop computer. This gives you a secure and reliable document storage alternative to consumer services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive that you might be using today.] Amazon WorkSpaces, the company’s virtual desktop computing environment introduced last fall at the AWS re:Invent conference, is today available to the public.

Orion Advisor Services, LLC and Total Rebalance Expert (TRX) Form Joint Venture; Announce Technology Integration from PRNewswire.com

[And finally, two popular providers in portfolio management and rebalancing software, Orion Advisor Services and Total Rebalance Expert, announced a new joint venture this week called the “Total Technology Platform.”

The two companies first integrated their solutions back in October of 2012, enabling the import of account, transaction, and tax lot data from Orion directly into TRX with a single click.

But this latest venture goes beyond bidirectional integration, as users of Orion will now be able to access TRX directly from within the Orion platform. At the same time, both companies said they are committed to maintaining open-architecture platforms rather than hold advisors captive to one bundled solution.

Orion users can still take advantage of integrations with Blaze Portfolio, iRebal from TD Ameritrade Institutional, and Rebalance Express from RedBlack Software, and TRX users can continue to import data from Morningstar Office, Portfolio Center from Schwab Performance Technologies®, Advent’s Black Diamond Performance Reporting and more.] Total Rebalance Expert (TRX) and Orion Advisor Services, LLC (Orion) announced today a joint venture between the two companies to provide a “Total Technology Platform” designed to simplify and streamline the portfolio management process.

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

Box Unveils First Standalone Product And New API Pricing At Inaugural Dev Conference from TechCrunch

New Kitces Network to Target Planners for Gen X & Y from Financial Planning

Office 2 HD for iPad is now Citrix ShareFile QuickEdit, drops $7.99 price to become free via iTunes


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 28, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 28, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 21

On today’s broadcast, why did Microsoft rebrand several of its services, and how might it change the tools that you use, how one large RIA’s technology change created a time savings of over 40%, and a new collaboration hopes to eliminate concerns over support for one Salesforce overlay provider.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

This week’s episode of Bits and Bytes is brought to you by Total Rebalance Expert, the industry’s largest, privately owned portfolio rebalancing software provider.

Total Rebalance Expert

Fresh off its acquisition of PowerAdvisor, TRX offers advisors tax-efficient rebalancing, an easy to use interface, and more, all at an affordable price. Learn how you can gain a half a million dollar return on your technology investment by downloading their latest white paper at fppad.com/trx

Here are this week’s top stories:

Microsoft launches Office Online in battle with Google Drive from TheVerge.com,

Microsoft SkyDrive Morphs Into OneDrive, Bringing New Features from Mashable, and

Microsoft and DocuSign announce strategic partnership to bring eSignature to Office 365 customers from Microsoft

[Now occasionally I get feedback that I don’t pay enough attention to Microsoft, so Mike, this week’s lead story is just for you! The world’s largest software company just announced the rebranding of several of its product lines, beginning with its free web-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, formerly known as Office Web Apps.

The company acknowledged that using the word ‘apps’ led to some confusion among its customers, as many assumed that native Office apps for iOS and Android were available, so now Microsoft is referring to the web-based tools as Office Online. While this move hopefully will clear up confusion over the different versions of Office available, no new features were released to coincide with the rebranding. Office Online will continue to store files in the cloud, which leads me to the second story about Microsoft.

Microsoft’s answer to online storage services like Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive has been SkyDrive, but this week the company rebranded SkyDrive to OneDrive, due to a legal dispute over the use of the word ‘Sky.’ Unlike the Office Online name change, OneDrive’s launch DID come with a series of new features.

OneDrive users can now automatically upload photos from their Android devices, which previously was only supported on iOS and Windows Phone. Online collaboration has also improved, as real-time editing in Office 365 documents is now done character by character. And subscriptions to OneDrive are now available on a monthly basis in addition to the annual subscription previously required under SkyDrive.

And rounding out the Microsoft trifecta this week, the company announced that eSignature support will be coming to Office 365 users through a new partnership with DocuSign. Expected to roll out in March, Office 365 users will be able to submit and sign documents using DocuSign without leaving their Microsoft applications. So if you use Microsoft documents for your internal client agreements and disclosure materials, the DocuSign integration should help you further streamline the e-signature process as you complete the on boarding of new clients.]

How a $5 billion RIA’s Laserfiche conversion generated time savings of 40% from FPPad

[Next up is a fascinating case study from a large RIA about its search for a robust electronic document management solution. At last week’s T3 conference, Jim Anderson of CLS Investments highlighted the firm’s approach to converting from IBM FileNet, its legacy content management system, over to a new implementation with Laserfiche. The RIA, which manages more than $5 billion in assets, migrated over 1.5 million documents into Laserfiche, and Anderson estimated that in the first year alone, the firm has realized a time savings of roughly 40%.

There’s a lot more to the story, including a time Anderson said everyone acted as if their hair was on fire, so be sure to get the link to read all the details.] One $5 billion RIA converted 1.5 million documents to Laserfiche in less than a year, saving the company 40% of its collective time

AppCrown Collaborates With a Global Services Major to Help Market, Deliver and Support Their Integrated Financial Services Platform in Banking and Wealth Management from PRWeb

[And finally, many of you who use Salesforce for your CRM might be familiar with AppCrown, the financial services technology provider built on the Salesforce.com platform. In prior years, AppCrown received criticism for failing to provide adequate support to its users who were implementing Salesforce in their business.

So to beef up its support, AppCrown just announced a new collaboration with Mphasis, a global service and solution provider owned by HP. It remains to be seen how the collaboration with Mphasis will improve AppCrown’s support of its financial advisor users, but if concerns about support have stalled your implementation plans, it might be time to reconsider whether AppCrown’s version of Salesforce could be a potential solution for you.] AppCrown, the leading provider for cloud based financial systems across CRM, Banking & Wealth Management, today announced its intent to partner with Mphasis.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 21, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 21, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 24

On today’s broadcast, can you really share documents on Dropbox and SkyDrive without violating compliance? How does one RIA manage the security concerns of the bring-your-own-device trend? And does Salesforce create more problems than it solves? One RIA decides to bare all.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Hill Compliance Advisors, a virtual compliance consulting firm to RIAs. As a former RIA herself, Cindi personally performs your compliance tasks, allowing you to do what you do best: run your business and spend more time with clients.

Hill Compliance Advisors

With a little help, compliance will no longer feel like the enormous burden it might seem to be today. Follow Cindi’s blog and sign up for her free newsletter by visiting fppad.com/hilladvisors.

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

NetDocuments Announces ndOffice™ and ndConnect™ to Embed Cloud-Based Document Management in MS Office, and Integrate with SkyDrive and Dropbox from NetDocuments

[On the heels of last week’s announcements by Laserfiche, NetDocuments is out with news of its own. The popular cloud-based document management provider announced two new enhancements that should be very useful for advisors.

First, NetDocuments has reengineered its ndOffice product, which allows NetDocuments to be integrated directly with Microsoft Office applications, including the online Office 365 Web Apps. Instead of temporarily saving documents to a desktop or server and then uploading them to NetDocuments, ndOffice allows users to open and update Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly from their NetDocuments repository. That should save a lot of mouse clicks!

And second, NetDocuments announced the scheduled release of ndConnect coming this April. Now *you* may use NetDocuments for your own document management, but your clients prefer to use consumer services like Dropbox or SkyDrive to manage their own files. So how do you get the two services to play nice with one other?

ndConnect is NetDocuments’ way of bridging the gap between these services, as it applies rules and permissions to support file sharing with Dropbox and SkyDrive without circumventing the security and compliance requirements advisors need to follow. So you can continue to meet your compliance obligations for document management while allowing your clients to use their preferred file sharing service.] NetDocuments brings document management directly into MS Office applications and integrates the enterprise content management service with Dropbox and SkyDrive

Why a ‘bring your own device’ strategy is critical for small business owners from InvestmentNews

[Next up is news on the mobile device security front. I bet you wouldn’t even consider running your business today without using a smartphone, and you probably allow your colleagues and employees to use their mobile devices to stay connected with the workplace, a trend identified as “bring-your-own-device,” or BYOD.

But accessing your business and client information on your mobile device does raise serious security concerns. Alex Murguia, Managing Principal of McLean Asset Management Corporation, shared how his firm supports the BYOD trend while also enforcing the security of information stored on mobile devices. And coincidentally, the product he selected just got acquired by VMware this week for a reported amount of $1.5 billion dollars.] Our firm is instituting a Bring Your Own Device policy as part of our new Mobile Device Management strategy.

How one RIA’s faith in Salesforce’s sophistication led to cut-and-paste hell and a major rethinking from RIABiz.com

[And finally, if you’ve been considering an upgrade to your CRM or want to officially cut the cord from Microsoft Outlook (note: not a CRM), you’ve probably considered SalesForce, the 800-pound gorilla of CRMs, as a potential solution. Well one firm recently dove in head-first into a Salesforce implementation, but quickly found that things did not go as smoothly as they had planned.

An article published this week in RIABiz chronicles one RIA’s trials and tribulations with the CRM behemoth and reveals many important lessons learned along the way. So if you want to avoid the frustrations of a Salesforce deployment encountered by one RIA, I suggest you read this account and use it to influence your plans for a more successful CRM transition.] After a dazzling SF demo, Portland Global Advisors planned to dump its advisor-dumb Microsoft CRM for Salesforce but the devil was in details


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 24, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 24, 2014


FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 16

On this week’s broadcast, Fidelity shows what Google Glass might do to change wealth management, a startup looks to tame the onslaught of digital statements, controversy over GMail’s privacy policy, and more.

(Watch on YouTube) This week’s edition of Bits and Bytes is brought to you by Orion Advisor Services, the nation’s largest privately held portfolio accounting service bureau.

Orion Advisor Services

Providing full-service data reconciliation, advisory fee billing, Salesforce integration, mobile apps and more, Orion believes it’s time for you to enjoy your business again.

Visit fppad.com/orion for more information.

Fidelity Market Monitor for Glass from Fidelity Labs

[First up this week is news from Fidelity Labs which just developed, oh wait, I just got a stock alert from my glasses. Right! Fidelity Labs developed an app for Google Glass, Google’s entry into the wearable computing market. Using the app, anyone donning Google’s controversial glasses can log in to their Fidelity account with voice authentication, get real time quotes by taking a picture of a company logo, and receive trading alerts. While the app is a glimpse of the not-too-distant future of mobile computing, I would not be surprised to see many of the quote and news-related updates provided by default in the Google Glass operating system. Still, the ability to perform account-related functions without having to hold a device in your hand can prove to be very popular, especially as wearable computing devices mature and become more socially acceptable.] Fidelity Labs is participating in a Google early developer program, and is working with a prototype of Google Glass to better understand the technology and how it may benefit our customers.

FileThis Fetch iPhone app available from FileThis

[Next up is news from a start-up in California called FileThis, which is new to my radar. Many of you are slowly making the transition to a paperless office, but you also should recognize how you can help clients make the transition to a paperless home. Nearly all of the major financial institutions provide statements we can download, but with ten or twenty accounts spread across banks, credit cards, and investments, it can easily take hours on the weekend to download and organize everything. This is where FileThis comes in. This week, FileThis released a free app for iPhone and iPad called FileThis Fetch. Within a few minutes of creating a free account, users connect their financial accounts and FileThis will automatically Fetch electronic statements and PDF files, and then route them to the user’s destination of choice, including Evernote, Dropbox, Personal, and Google Drive. Six connections are available for free, and users can purchase up to 30 connections for just $5 a month.] FileThis, a Marin, California-based startup, today announced the availability of an iPhone app for its award-winning FileThis Fetch service that lets consumers go paperless

No, Google did not say that there is no privacy in Gmail from TheNextWeb.com

[In online privacy news, Google’s GMail service made headlines this week as the company’s lawyers cited case law where, now I’m summarizing here, users of web-based email services cannot have a legitimate expectation of privacy when voluntarily turning over information to third parties. Websites like Consumer Watchdog and Gizmodo crafted pretty sensational headlines this week, making it sound as if Google had all but given up on protecting users’ privacy when they use the company’s free GMail service. But that’s not entirely true. Josh Ong at The Next Web helped clarify what Google’s lawyers actually said, and pointed out how their quote was taken out of context and blown out of proportion. But as an advisor, you should be concerned about how much information you volunteer to third party services, and would be well served by using business-class providers that have clear and explicit privacy policies. This means using email from Google Apps for Business, Redtail Email, Smarsh, and many more.] Earlier on Tuesday, Google was quoted by Consumer Watchdog, RT.com (Russia Today) and Gizmodo as having argued in a legal motion that customers have “no legitimate expectation of privacy”, but the quote has been taken out of context.

Video Creation 101 for Advisors – Join the Webinar! from Advisor Websites

[And finally, if this is the first Bits and Bytes broadcast you’ve watched, or you caught all three, you might be inspired to start your own broadcast to raise your own online profile or communicate with clients in new ways. If so, you’re in luck, because I’m teaming up with Advisor Websites to broadcast a free webinar about Video 101 for Financial Advisors. So clear your calendar for Tuesday, August 27th at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific, and sign up for this free webinar.] Advisor Websites is thrilled to announce that we’ll be presenting a brand new, action-packed webinar with our friend and trusted financial technology expert, Bill Winterberg! Join us as we present a comprehensive and simplified explanation designed to help you begin creating and sharing video content online.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 5


The Fourth of July holiday is an ideal time for independent financial advisers in the U.S. to celebrate independence.

But before you leave for the long weekend of hot dogs, hamburgers and cold drinks, take three minutes to review this week’s stories of interest:

Lockbox and Smarsh Partner to Offer a New Standard in Privacy and Security Service to Financial Services Professionals from Marketwire.com and Exemplar Turns to the Cloud for Document Security from Financial-Planning.com

[Who is Lockbox? They rapidly advanced up my watch list of companies with technology solutions for financial advisers. Lockbox is an Australian company that just entered the US market in May this year. They are entering a crowded space of cloud document storage providers along with Dropbox, Box, ShareFile, SpiderOak, and many more. Lockbox’s strong points are that it offers two-factor authentication and client-side encryption (see: Evaluating Online Document Storage at the Journal of Financial Planning for more details), but Lockbox lacks a number of features I’d like to see in a true solution for advisers. As of today, Lockbox isn’t compatible with Mac, they don’t offer desktop file synchronization, and they don’t have mobile apps for iOS or Android. Add these capabilities and change pricing from user based to storage capacity based, and I’ll be interested.] Lockbox, the leader in privacy and security service, today announced that AdvisorSquare, part of the Smarsh suite of website services designed specifically for financial services professionals, has joined the company’s affiliate community.

SigFig Lands $15 Million in Series B Funding From Top Investors from Finovate.com

[Officially launched just under two years ago, San Francisco-based SigFig raised $15 million in Series B funding to . Formerly known as WikiInvest, SigFig aggregates over $75 billion in assets on its platform and is entirely about making investment analysis accessible and transparent, while delivering investment recommendations in an attempt to generate a higher return in a portfolio. Recommendations typically cover switching mutual funds or ETFs for similar, lower-fee versions, or changing financial institutions where lower trading commission charges are offered. But for clients who have professional investment advisers, SigFig compares portfolio performance to a peer group of thousands of other investment advisers aggregated in the platform. If your portfolio isn’t performing, SigFig tells clients “Your adviser sucks for the following reasons:” How’s that for a nudge?!?] SigFig, the platform that helps users manage a total of $75 billion in assets, recently received $15 million in Series B funding.

Tech Review: New Digital Content Services from Financial-Planning.com

[You work something like 40 hours a week. If you want to maximize time servicing existing clients and attracting new ones, how much time should you be devoting to creating content shared on social media networks? Probably not a lot. Thankfully, Joel Bruckenstein shares two providers, Vestorly (listen to my podcast with Vestorly co-founder Justin Wisz at Social currency might just be the answer to financial advisers’ frustration with social media) and AdvisorDeck,  in his July column at Financial Planning that can streamline your content generation process, saving you precious time while still allowing you to maximize your compliant use of social media.] While many advisors have struggled to adopt social networking tools, there have been few low-cost, turnkey solutions to help advisors curate information and automatically deliver digital content to clients and prospects.

Succession Planning for an Entire Industry: Why Study Groups Aren’t That Bad from AdvisorOne.com

[Warning: subtle self promotion ahead! This story by AdvisorOne’s John Sullivan tells you why study groups are not bad, contrary to what compliance adviser Tom Giachetti might say. I belong to an outstanding study group called Xcelsior, and in this story you’ll ready why this study group shows that an exciting future lies ahead for the financial planning industry.] Compliance curmudgeon Tom Giachetti doesn’t think much of study groups. “Study groups are a bunch of people sitting around convincing each other that they’re right,” the chairman of the securities practice group at the law firm of Stark & Stark said recently in Denver.