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.
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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