Tag Archives: Fidelity

FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 21, 2016

On today’s broadcast, the World’s Most Famous Hacker shares his top cybersecurity tips, Fidelity previews its next-generation advisor technology platform, and get rapid-fire news from three of the fastest-growing portfolio management providers.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad 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.

envestnet-tamarac-600

If you’re going to Schwab IMPACT next week, be sure you make some time to visit the Envestnet |Tamarac booth for a live demo on their latest client portal and financial planning capabilities.

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

See the #topsecurityshow tweets from Kevin Mitnick’s cybersecurity presentation

[Now continuing with the National Cyber Security Awareness theme this month, my first story is about Kevin Mitnick, the World’s Most Famous Hacker, as he presented some jaw-dropping examples of cyber and social engineering attacks that are being used today to compromise businesses of all kinds, including financial advisory firms.

Envision Consulting hosted the event in Washington DC and brought me in as the master of ceremonies, so I wanted to be sure I shared my top three takeaways with you.

First, Mitnick advised that none of the computers in your business or home should have any kind of peer-to-peer sharing software installed. This software is usually used to download pirated movies and music across peer-to-peer networks, so while you might not be downloading any pirated content, it’s possible that some of your colleagues or even your kids are doing so.

Mitnick said that some peer-to-peer software exposes the contents of a computer’s ENTIRE hard drive to the sharing network without the user’s knowledge, which is never a good thing, so you need to be sure it’s not installed on any of your systems.

Second, Mitnick showed how hackers can use a custom wireless access point to mimic public WiFi hotspots and perform man-in-the-middle attacks on your devices. For about $100, hackers broadcast their own hotspot pretending to be attwifi or free airport wifi, wait for your device to automatically connect, and then intercept the data your device sends back and forth.

So whenever you’re in a public place, turn your wifi connection off and use your mobile carrier’s network, or if you must connect to an untrusted WiFi network, use a virtual private network, or VPN, to encrypt the traffic sent to and from your device.

And third, instead of opening email attachments directly with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, consider using Google’s file preview built into the Chrome browser. This way, you won’t risk executing what Mitnick calls “weaponized” files, because Chrome will render a preview of the document in the web browser first, helping you determine if the file looks legitimate or if it seems suspicious. You can check the plugin settings in Chrome to see if the PDF viewer is enabled for your computer.]

Fidelity® Goes to Market with Next-Generation Advisor Technology Platform from BusinessWire

[Next up is news from Fidelity Investments, as the company offered a preview of its automated investment solution for advisors called the Fidelity Automated Managed Platform, a solution co-developed with eMoney Advisor expected to be in pilot in the late first quarter of 2017.

Now if you take a look at the linked article, you’ll see a few screenshots of the solution powered by the eMoney online experience, so this doesn’t appear to be a repackaged version of Fidelity Go that is offered to retail clients, and the portfolio allocations are the same as those in Fidelity Go which are managed by the sub-advisor Geode Capital Management.

Unfortunately the preview didn’t cover any specific pricing of the Fidelity Automated Managed Platform, and advisors not already using eMoney will have to purchase at least the eMX Select subscription that’s somewhere around $1,500 to $2,000 per year, which is an interesting way to get advisors to buy more eMoney subscriptions. The press release also includes descriptions of the coming Wealthscape total advisor platform, Wealthscape Portfolio Tools, Wealthscape Regulatory Early Warning, and more. There’s a lot to take in from the press release, so be sure to follow the link included with this week’s top stories if you want to get completely up to speed.]

Envestnet | Tamarac Offers Goals-Based Reporting in Advisor View™ & Client Portal from PRNewswire, and

BAM Advisor Services Selects Orion as Exclusive Portfolio Accounting Software for RIAs from Marketwired, and

Addepar Surpasses $500 Billion in Assets and Opens Platform API for Integrations from PRNewswire

[And I’m running out of time, so let me finish with a rapid-fire update that starts with Envestnet | Tamarac, as their Advisor View client portal integration with MoneyGuidePro is now officially in production, then Orion Advisor Services, as the company announced a partnership with BAM Advisor Services to provide portfolio management software services to their collective $27 billion dollars in assets, and finish with a surprise update from Addepar, which used a rare press release to announce that the company surpassed $500 billion in assets managed on its platform and the rollout of the Addepar Open API for third party developers.]

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 21, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 21, 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 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

Ed O’Brien to become CEO of eMoney Advisor

Ed O'Brien hired as CEO of eMoney Advisor

Ed O’Brien hired as CEO of eMoney Advisor

Quick Take:

  • Ed O’Brien, former head of platform technology, Fidelity Institutional, will leave the company to become CEO of eMoney Advisor
  • As eMoney CEO, O’Brien will report to Fidelity Wealth Technology president Mike Durbin
  • Prior to assuming the eMoney CEO role, O’Brien reported directly to Durbin for seven years
  • Durbin stresses the CEO search included “a long list of candidates”
  • I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude to see if eMoney can continue its aggressive innovation as a digital wealth management provider with O’Brien as CEO

(3 minute read) (Updated 4:01pm ET)

In a press release yesterday, eMoney Advisor announced Edward O’Brien was hired as Chief Executive Officer of the firm.

Wait and See

I’m not as overly enthusiastic as others seem to be on the prospects of innovation from eMoney Advisor.

I posted a poll on Twitter to survey my followers whether they think the hiring of O’Brien as CEO of eMoney is positive, negative, or let’s wait and see.

twitter poll obrien

It’s a close race between a positive and the “let’s wait and see option,” and I fall into the wait and see camp.

Fidelity First?

In order to maximize its acquisition of eMoney (for a reported $250 million), Fidelity needs assurance that eMoney’s product roadmap will directly benefit the custodian’s various lines of business in order make a return on their investment.

And once Edmond Walters abruptly resigned as CEO of eMoney in September 2015, Fidelity was granted the opportunity to fill the vacant position with an individual who can strongly influence eMoney’s strategy in Fidelity’s favor.

It makes a lot of sense that Ed O’Brien, a long-time Fidelity executive with decades of industry experience, fill the CEO position.

Don’t get me wrong: few in the industry have O’Brien’s experience and tenure leading teams to develop financial services technology, and that experience should directly benefit eMoney.

This is most definitely a good thing.

But when it comes to developing an innovative, yet untested/unproven, feature versus developing the market of Fidelity’s existing customers, who wins?

Technically Independent

Even though eMoney Advisor will continue to operate “technically” as an independent organization, I cannot help but connect the dots that the hierarchy of O’Brien under Durbin will influence the eMoney Advisor product roadmap.

O’Brien is not only a Fidelity insider, he has reported directly to Fidelity Wealth Technologies president (and former Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services president) Mike Durbin for over seven years.

When originally acquired, eMoney was organized under the yet-to-be-announced Fidelity Wealth Technologies, a division of Fidelity Enterprise Services led by president Michael Wilens. Fidelity waited several weeks after the eMoney acquisition to announce the creation of Fidelity Wealth Technologies, according to the company spokesperson.

eMoney was technically never organized directly under Wilens and Fidelity Enterprise Services, as the company has always been under the direction of Durbin’s Fidelity Wealth Technologies group.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Durbin most definitely anticipated the connection I made, stressing how O’Brien topped a long list of “both internal and external candidates.”

Durbin also took the liberty to call out doubters (such as myself), saying in an open letter posted to the eMoney blog.

Don’t buy it? No problem – actions speak louder than words.  And I welcome you to watch and see for yourself how it continues to unfold.

Ok. I’m watching.

See, I’m just a guy in Atlanta who wants to help advisors sort through copious (and often confusing) technology options for their business so they can be better advisors. I’m not the head of a major custodian, CEO of a technology vendor, or even an executive of a multi-billion dollar RIA.

But I take my role seriously to navigate what can be a very murky and (sometimes) conflicted fintech ecosystem.

I can’t help but imagine how the connection between O’Brien and Durbin will steer eMoney’s strategy to favor Fidelity relationships ahead of other innovation.

Yet I agree with Durbin: Actions will speak louder than words.

Will eMoney’s existing culture of relentless innovation and development continue to flourish, or will O’Brien’s longtime bond with Fidelity suppress eMoney’s characteristic risk-taking in favor of the parent company’s interests?

I so want the former scenario to transpire, but hey, business is business, and it’s not always possible to satisfy multiple objectives at once.

Let’s wait and see.

Updated: The following corrections to the original post have been made

  • Ed O’Brien’s former title corrected to head of platform technology, Fidelity Institutional.
  • At the time of acquisition, eMoney Advisor was structured under Fidelity Wealth Technologies, a division of Fidelity Enterprise Services, and not directly under Wilens’ Fidelity Enterprise Services group, according to the company spokesperson
  • Corrected timetable, adding O’Brien’s reporting change in July 2013 and structure of eMoney under Durbin’s yet-to-be-announced Fidelity Wealth Technologies group

Timetable

If you’re not completely in the know regarding the events that preceded this news, here’s a timetable of what’s happened.

I also made two flowcharts (being updated now, so check back soon) showing the hierarchy of Fidelity’s different businesses that illustrates how not much has changed between Durbin and O’Brien before and after the eMoney acquisition.

  • Prior to July 2013, O’Brien reported to Mike Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services
  • In July 2013, O’Brien reports under Ron DePoalo, CIO for Fidelity Institutional, when the company aligned the platform technology team across the clearing and custody businesses
  • Fidelity acquires eMoney in February 2015 and places CEO Edmond Walters under Durbin’s yet-to-be-announced Fidelity Wealth Technologies group
  • Weeks later, Fidelity officially announces the combination of the clearing and custody businesses, creating a new Fidelity Wealth Technologies group with Mike Durbin as president. O’Brien remains under DePoalo in Fidelity Institutional, Walters remains under Durbin as originally structured
  • In September 2015, Walters resigns and Durbin assumes the interim CEO role for eMoney
  • In March 2016, eMoney Advisor hires O’Brien as CEO of eMoney
  • As a business unit under Fidelity Wealth Technologies, O’Brien will once again to report to Durbin in his new role as eMoney Advisor CEO

 

 

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 19

On today’s broadcast, Riskalyze announces its new Check-Ins feature, eMoney Advisor shows off its new client experience, Fidelity offers a preview of its new Wealthscape™ platform, and TD Ameritrade Institutional tells me when you can expect Veo One.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by eMoney Advisor, providers of a leading ADVISOR-CENTRIC wealth-planning portal.

eMoney Advisor

eMoney just introduced an enhanced client experience, incorporating many of the features investors find most compelling about digital advice platforms – like automation, intuitive design, ease-of-use, and more, helping you deliver an unmatched client experience. For more information on eMoney’s brand new client portal, visit fppad.com/emoneyadvisor

Riskalyze Introduces ‘Check-Ins’, Automated Behavioral Coaching Tools for Advisors from Riskalyze

[Last week I attended the T3 conference in Ft. Lauderdale, and I made three vlogs that you should watch, so let me give you the rundown of what I think were the best stories from the event.

Leading off is Riskalyze, as CEO Aaron Klein introduced a feature called Check-ins, which allows you to gauge your client’s sentiment of the markets with a pretty unobtrusive email. Clients answer two simple questions in a few seconds which helps you quickly identify those who have growing concerns about their financial future. Here’s Aaron Klein on availability and pricing:

Klein: Check-Ins are going to arrive in May, and we haven’t set pricing for them yet, but I can tell you it’s going to be a free upgrade for all of our existing customers.] Riskalyze, the company that has equipped thousands of advisors with the Risk Number™, today announced powerful new tools that revolutionize the ability of advisors to put the markets in context for their clients during client reviews, support client psychology between those reviews, and deliver consistent behavioral coaching that promotes long-term investing.

eMoney Launches Enhanced Client Experience from eMoney Advisor

[Another top update comes from eMoney, as Drew DiMarino took the stage to show off the updated client experience, giving a preview of the new look, showing how goals are tracked in the platform, and highlighted client collaboration features that help clients remember what tasks they should complete to meet their goals. The update is coming in March, and here’s Drew DiMarino on what you can expect:

DiMarino: The new client experience is much more personal in nature, the client can actually add images of their family, set goals with those images tied to those goals, a much more customizable experience for the end client.] At the T3 Advisor conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today, eMoney Advisor (“eMoney”), a leading provider of wealth-planning technology for financial professionals, will unveil its enhanced client experience.

Fidelity Reveals Plans For Multi-Custodial Advisor Technology Hub from WealthManagement.com

[And finishing my rundown is Fidelity, as the custodian revealed plans to offer Wealthscape™, Fidelity’s Total Advisor Platform that combines portfolio management, rebalancing, proposals, and fee billing with the features and functionality of the eMoney wealth portal. I caught up with Tom McCarthy, senior vice president for product development at Fidelity for a few more details.

McCarthy: So we’ve taken a hard look at the marketplace, talking to our clients, and looking at a lot of research, so Fidelity’s response to help them grow their business is the Fidelity Total Advisor Platform. The primary pieces of that are a deep integration with our new acquisition of eMoney, bringing planning to action, as well as a full suite of integrated portfolio tools wrapped in very advanced workflows.

The platform is expected to roll out at the end of 2016 with Fidelity-only data, and support for multi-custodial data is anticipated sometime in 2017.] In the escalating battle for control of the technology hub used by registered investment advisors, Fidelity Investments has a new weapon that may turn the tides.

TD Ameritrade Tells RIAs to Get Ahead of Emerging Technology, Pricing and Talent Challenges from BusinessWire.com

[Now the week before T3 I went to the TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC conference, and I made more videos you should watch, but the biggest takeaway for me was clarification on when to expect the rollout of the Veo One dashboard.

I sat down with Chris Valleley to better understand the timeline when Veo One will be released.

[Winterberg]: So I need to be more clear that it’s not one release date, it’s all official, and it’s all done, but it’s rather graduated and it’s going to be progressive.
[Valleley]: That’s right, it won’t be a big bang rollout, it will be an iterative approach, and we’ll find the advisors with the right integrations at the right time and then onboard them into Veo One.

So, fair enough, you’re going to have to be patient for the release of Veo One, just like you’re going to need to wait and see how Fidelity’s Wealthscape evolves, too.

Fortunately, Veo Open Access now supports over 100 integrated solution providers, which means that you have options you can buy and implement today without waiting to see what the custodians promise to offer in the future.] Veo One, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s next-generation advisor technology platform, will give advisors access to all of the CRM, financial planning, portfolio management and other systems they use from one desktop.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have quite a bit of laundry to do from our trips, so for FPPad.com, I’m Bill Winterberg, see you next time!

Here are the video playlists we published from TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC and T3:

2016 TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC

2016 T3 Advisor

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

United Capital Acquires FlexScore To Boost Financial Planning from WealthManagement.com

United Capital, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm, is acquiring FlexScore, a consumer-facing financial planning tool that aggregates users financial data to generate a credit-score-like number of a person’s financial health.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 19, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 19, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 13

On today’s broadcast, Schwab and Wealthfront duke it out over automated investment supremacy, Fidelity wants to be the first final app for Apple Watch, and learn what screencasting app I use to delegate work so I can be more efficient.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Croesus, the affordable all-in-one portfolio management & CRM software for RIAs. Over 9,500 investment professionals use the Croesus application to manage more than $700 billion in assets, and Croesus is offering a 50% discount on set-up fees for Advent Axys users until June 30th.

Croesus

To learn more about Croesus or to sign up for a free trial, visit fppad.com/croesus.

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

Charles Schwab Launches Schwab Intelligent Portfolios™ from Business Wire

[This weeks top story features, no surprise, Charles Schwab and Wealthfront, as this week many of us witnessed round one of what could easily be a 12-round match between the industry heavyweight and the up-and-coming contender. Allow me to bring you up to speed in less than 60 seconds:

In June of 2014, Wealthfront crossed a billion dollars in AUM and paid homage to Charles Schwab for building a world-class company (foreshadowing). Then in October, Schwab announced it would release it’s own automated investment service called Schwab Intelligent Portofolios™ in the first quarter of 2015, and offer it with no management fees.
So in January of this year, details emerged that Schwab Intelligent Portfolios generally will have higher cash positions than similar allocation strategies, allowing Schwab to earn revenue on cash that is swept to Schwab Bank.
This week, Schwab officially rolled out Intelligent Portfolios on Monday, so on Tuesday, Wealthfront’s CEO Adam Nash criticized Schwab, remember, the same company he venerated just 9 months ago (does that count as a another pivot?), citing high cash allocations as quote “almost criminal.” Schwab countered on Wednesday, saying Nash was misleading and quote “presented a very loose interpretation of facts.” Now you’re up to date, and with a little bit of time to spare!

So why is this news for you? According to Schwab’s press release, the company plans to release Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ in the second quarter, a version of the service that allows financial advisors who custody client assets with Schwab to use the solution with their own firms’ branding.

For a yet-to-be-disclosed fee (here’s a hint: I bet it’s 25 basis points), advisors can modify and customize asset allocations in Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™, or they can choose to use existing portfolios for no program management fee.

And second, while Schwab and Wealthfront battle it out, you have a huge opportunity to get in front of investors caught up in this story to communicate how you’re different from automated investment services. Yes, you do offer portfolio management, but you offer so much more, so it’s time you start controlling the conversation instead of allowing others to control the conversation about you.] Charles Schwab today launched a fully automated investment advisory service, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios™, the only investment advisory service using sophisticated computer algorithms to build, monitor, and rebalance diversified portfolios based on an investor’s stated goals, time horizon and risk tolerance – without charging any advisory fees, commissions or account services fees.

Fidelity® to Launch Financial App for Apple Watch™ from Fidelity

[Next up is news from Fidelity Investments, as this week the company rode the wave of interest in the Apple Watch announcement by revealing a financial app for the new product. If you remember waaaay back in my third episode, I told you about Fidelity’s Market Monitor app for the ill-fated Google Glass, so it’s not surprising that the financial services company is also leading the industry on embracing Apple’s foray into wearable computing.

So again, what’s the takeaway for you? While Google Glass has floundered perhaps for being a little too intrusive, the Apple Watch and other devices on your wrist may actually lead to some incremental productivity increases in your daily routines. So will Apple Watch prove to be popular among advisors? Only time will tell. Thank you, I’ll be here all week! Try the veal!] Fidelity Investments® announced today a first-of-its kind financial app for Apple Watch. Through a unique design and experience, the Fidelity Mobile® app for Apple Watch conveniently gives customers a distinctive overview of global markets and alerts on stocks and investments in real-time right on their wrist.

How I Finally Learned To Delegate By Creating Video Tutorials With Screencasting Software from Kitces.com

[And finishing up this week’s broadcast is a recent post from Michael Kitces on his Nerd’s Eye View blog about learning to delegate work to others. I’m sure you’re heard time and time again that you need to delegate work to be more efficient with your own time, but some things are just easier if you do them yourself instead of showing someone else how to get the job done. So what was the breakthrough for Kitces? The answer was screencasting software.

Screencasting software allows you to record your computer screen and also record your narration of what you’re doing. When you’re finished, you can share your screencast video with colleagues or even with clients by uploading it as a private video online.

I make screencasts for my own business, and I even use them for graphics for Bits and Bytes broadcasts. The tool I prefer is Camtasia for Mac, they also have a version for Windows, and if you keep an eye out, you’ll often find a coupon code for 50% off.] For me, the “breakthrough” in how to delegate effectively came from using screencasting software – tools that record what’s happening on your computer screen, paired with the audio of you talking while you’re sitting in front of it.

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

Envestnet | Tamarac™ Rings in 2015 with a Record Year of RIAs Adopting its Portfolio and Client Management Platform from PRNewswire

During the previous 12 months, Tamarac has added approximately 150 RIA firms to its roster of clients, bringing the total to more than 800 firms managing client assets in excess of $500 billion. The dramatic increase in RIA clients has had an exponential effect on the number of financial accounts residing on the Advisor Xi platform, which now number more than 1 million.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 13, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 13, 2015

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 27

On today’s broadcast, Envestnet acquires Upside, the laptop you’re using right now could be vulnerable to attacks, and Mobile Assistant releases updates that will speed up your dictation workflow

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

TRX just announced TRX Edge, a completely rewritten rebalancing platform optimized for the web as well as mobile devices. Sign up for a demo of TRX Edge and also download their white paper on rebalancing ROI by visiting fppad.com/trx

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

Envestnet Acquires Upside from Envestnet

[First up this week is a late-breaking announcement by Envestnet that the company will acquire online investment provider Upside for an undisclosed amount. I’ve covered Upside in several broadcasts before, as their automated investment service is meant to be used by advisors, and their service powers Liftoff, launched last year by high-profile advisors Barry Ritholtz of the Big Picture and Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker. Oh, happy belated birthday, Josh!

Now this is the first online investment provider to be acquired by a larger vendor. Remember, Fidelity Institutional did not acquire Betterment Institutional, they simply announced a collaboration with the company last year (watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 17, 2014), so I expect several more acquisitions to be announced this year. You might want to keep an eye on JemStep, SigFig, and Wealth Access, but you didn’t hear that from me!

Now news of this deal broke while I was already in the studio filming this week’s broadcast, so you’ll need to visit fppad.com/154 for more details, like Envestnet’s Thursday afternoon conference call, and see how this acquisition will shake up the online automated investment landscape for advisors.] Envestnet, Inc., a leading provider of unified wealth management technology and services to financial advisors, announced today that it has acquired Upside, a technology company providing digital advice solutions to financial advisors. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Lenovo PCs ship with man-in-the-middle adware that breaks HTTPS connections from ArsTechnica, and

How Lenovo’s Superfish ‘Malware’ Works And What You Can Do To Kill It from Forbes

Test your computer with The SuperFish vulnerability test at Filippo.io

And visit SuperFish Vulnerability from Lenovo Support

[Um, it’s accumulating, so next up is news of the SuperFish controversy affecting users of Lenovo laptop and desktop computers. For roughly four months in 2014, Lenovo shipped 16 million PCs pre-installed with a “visual search” plugin called SuperFish.

While preloaded software that serves up ads is annoying, security experts discovered a vulnerability in the way encryption certificates were handled. I’ll spare you the technical details, but this means if you’re using a Lenovo computer with SuperFish preinstalled, your web browser sessions could be vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks, potentially exposing some of your confidential information.

So how do you know if you’re infected? I’ve linked to a SuperFish vulnerability test in this week’s show notes at fppad.com/154, and you will also find a link to Lenovo’s support site with instructions on how to remove SuperFish from your computer.]

Lenovo is selling computers that come preinstalled with adware that hijacks encrypted Web sessions and may make users vulnerable to HTTPS man-in-the-middle attacks that are trivial for attackers to carry out, security researchers said.

Mobile Assistant Announces New Version of iPhone App; Integration With Salesforce; Enhanced Integration With Redtail Technology from MarketWired

[I’m going to need a shovel soon, so let’s finish up with news from Mobile Assistant, the popular dictation service advisors use to streamline their note taking workflow. This week, Mobile Assistant released an updated iPhone app that offers an expanded notes section with search features, optional push notifications when dictation jobs are completed, and better visibility into the amount of dictation lines used in each billing cycle.

The dictation service also added Salesforce to the list of CRMs that can import completed dictations to client records, and if you’re a Redtail CRM user, you’ll now be able to sign up for a free trial of Mobile Assistant directly from Redtail without having to retype any of your personal information. So if you’re still in the habit of manually typing in notes after a client meeting, give dictation services a try and see how much your productivity can improve.] Mobile Assistant, Inc., the fastest growing mobile dictation service in the financial and insurance industries, is pleased to announce that it has launched the newest version of its iPhone App in parallel with full integration with Salesforce, the nation’s leading cloud based CRM platform.

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

Fidelity Investments® Aligns Clearing and Custody Units; Strengthens Commitment to Innovation in Financial Advice Industry from BusinessWire.com

Fidelity Institutional, the division of Fidelity Investments® that provides clearing, custody and investment management products to registered investment advisors (RIAs), broker-dealers, family offices, retirement recordkeepers and banks, today announced the alignment of its clearing and custody units.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 27, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 27, 2015

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 6

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

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Click to watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

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

Wealthbox CRM

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

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Fidelity Investments® Acquires eMoney Advisor from BusinessWire, and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cough, TechFi.

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

Cybersecurity Examination Sweep Summary from SEC.gov

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

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

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

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

Wealthbox 1.7 – New Integrations & Enhancements from Wealthbox

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

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

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

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

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

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 6, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 6, 2015

Fidelity Investments acquires eMoney Advisor

Fidelity Investment acquires eMoney Advisor

Fidelity Investments’ acquisition of eMoney Advisor makes the custodian invested in financial planning software.

Updated 7:54 AM ET, February 3, 2015 with valuation information

Fidelity Investments today announced the acquisition of eMoney Advisor, the Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based provided of popular financial planning and adviser marketing solutions.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed by Fidelity Investments.

“North of $250 million”

Some sources cited a purchase price “north of $250 million” and a valuation of four times eMoney’s annual revenue in this Philly.com article.

Sources not authorized to speak publicly on the matter told me the valuation was closer to eight times eMoney’s annual revenue for a purchase price between $250 and $300 million. (Note: we’ll never know the true terms as both companies are privately held and not required to disclose the terms.)

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® will retain a minority interest in eMoney Advisor and will continue to use the solution as one of eMoney’s largest clients.

Independent Planning

Today’s acquisition marks the first time I can recall an institutional custodian has taken majority ownership of a financial planning software provider.

I’ve taken the liberty of listing many of the other popular financial planning solutions along with their respective parent company affiliation(s) where applicable.

  • MoneyGuidePro, owned by PIETech, Inc., Private
  • FinanceLogix, owned by OLTIS Software, LLC., Private
  • inStream Solutions, Inc., Private, unknown private equity affiliation
  • Advicent Solutions (provider of NaviPlan® and Profiles™), Vista Equity Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm
  • Guide Financial, Private
  • MoneyTree Software, Private
  • Advizr, Private
  • SunGard, operating under SunGard Financial Systems, a subsidiary of SunGard Data Systems Inc., Private under ownership of Bain Capital LLC, Blackstone Group LP, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners LP, KKR & Co LP, Providence Equity Partners Inc, Silver Lake and TPG Capital LP
  • WealthTec, Private
  • GoalGamiPro, Advisor Software, Inc., Private

If you have more details regarding the providers listed or wish to add any solutions to the list, please contact me.

Accelerating Integrations

Several questions come to my mind once Fidelity Investments finishes its eMoney acquisition.

Will eMoney continue to support integrations with competing institutional custodians, or is a walled garden strategy coming for the popular planning software? Will the new ownership expand integrations and custodial support, restrict them, or simply maintain today’s status quo?

Ed O’Brien, senior vice president of Technology Platforms for Fidelity Institutional, and Edmund Walters, eMoney Advisor Founder and CEO, graciously carved out a few minutes to converse by phone regarding my questions.

“Our vision at eMoney is not just about delivering financial planning, but making the adviser’s life easier through technology,” said Walters. “Developing integrations with leading technology providers allows us to do that, and now with Fidelity behind us, we will accelerate it.”

O’Brien added by saying, “We want eMoney to continue to accelerate their role in the marketplace to deliver the best advisor experience possible, and that helps make what Fidelity does better.”

In addition, eMoney publicly assured others with similar questions that the company will “continue to operate independently as a standalone entity” in an update on the company Twitter feed this morning.

How Will Custodians Respond?

Consider, however, the perspective of other custodians serving independent financial advisers. How eager will they be to integrate and pass data to eMoney Advisor once it falls under ownership of a competing custodian?

For example, TD Ameritrade Institutional just announced at its conference last week that the new Veo One™ platform will soon integrate data from eMoney Advisor (watch Veo One preview from the National LINC 2015 Conference).

With eMoney falling under Fidelity Investments’ ownership, what’s in the future for eMoney integrations supported by competing custodians?

The question is not specific to TD Ameritrade Institutional. eMoney Advisor is used by over 25,000 financial professionals, who collectively use the institutional custody and broker-dealer services from a variety of providers, including Schwab Advisor Services, TD Ameritrade Institutional, LPL Financial, and Pershing, LLC (under The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation).

This is a developing story. Instead of email you can message me on Cyber Dust at billwinterberg 

FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 12

On today’s broadcast, Financial Planning magazine’s annual tech survey is here. Find out who makes up this year’s winners and losers in advisor technology. Fidelity announces a new collaboration with LearnVest. How will this partnership help you with your digital advice delivery to clients? And, Wealthfront fires the first salvo at the separately managed account industry. Does this new service have the potential to put pricing pressure on the SMAs you use today?

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Click to watch on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by the 2015 T3 Conference, Advisor Edition, exclusively designed for the technology needs of independent financial advisors.

t3600

You can get $50 off the regular registration rate by using the promo code “2015T3FPPAD,” so reserve your spot to the event Michael Kitces calls the Best for Advisor Technology by visiting technologytoolsfortoday.com

Now here are the links to this week’s top stories:

Tech Survey 2015: What’s New Now? from Financial Planning

[This week’s top story comes from Financial Planning magazine, as technology columnist Joel Bruckenstein revealed the results of the publication’s annual technology survey of financial professionals. The first surprise of the survey involves tools advisors use to assess client risk tolerance.

For the longest time, the risk assessment category has been dominated by FinaMetrica, the Australian-based firm that launched its client profiling tools back in 1998. Today, assessment tools from Riskalyze and PocketRisk have gained respectable adoption among advisors. But roughly 50% of survey respondents admitted that they don’t use any risk profiling tools, so if you’re part of that 50%, you might want to consider adding one of these solutions to your technology plan for 2015.

Also gaining traction are portfolio rebalancing solutions, as these tools are now in use by more than half of all survey respondents, a first for the category. TD Ameritrade Institutional’s iRebal earned top honors, with Envestnet|Tamarac and Orion Advisor Services rounding out the top three solutions in use today. And with all of the low-cost online investment solutions touting their rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting attributes, I expect to see rebalancing software adoption to continue to grow as advisors match the rebalancing capabilities of the online providers.

Other than that, this year’s survey is pretty similar to the one from 2013, with TD Ameritrade Institutional taking top honors in advisor satisfaction, MoneyGuide Pro cited as the most popular financial planning software, and Junxure, Salesforce, and Redtail duking it out once again for top honors among CRM software depending on how you slice the data.] In the advisor technology sphere, it used to be enough to look for evidence of change. What’s different now is the velocity of the action.

Fidelity Institutional Announces New Collaboration with LearnVest from Fidelity Institutional

[Speaking of online investment solutions, the next story comes from Fidelity Institutional, as the company recently announced a new collaboration with LearnVest, the online technology-enabled financial planning provider. This news follows Fidelity’s announcement last month of a similar collaboration with Betterment Institutional, where Fidelity will list the online investment service in its list of resources advisors should consider as they contemplate ways to attract the next generation of investors.

Under the collaboration, advisors can publish what’s called a “financial wellness” micro website that features educational content produced by LearnVest. In addition, advisors can offer the LearnVest planning program to their clients under a preferred pricing agreement.

Now I’m all in favor of advisors embracing digital advice delivery at an affordable price, buy why should you be piggybacking off of LearnVest’s content? Shouldn’t YOU be the one delivering valuable financial planning content to your clients and prospects? If you have the resources, you should be building your own website, creating your own content, and training yourself and your colleagues to deliver your message with compelling video content. Yes, it takes time and a nominal financial investment, but I bevel the potential reward is worth it.

However, if you don’t have the talent or the resources to make this happen, then the LearnVest collaboration at least gives you a starting point to bridge the gap between your current service model and the technology-enabled relationships that emerging clients are demanding.] Fidelity Institutional, the division of Fidelity Investments® that provides clearing, custody and investment management products to registered investment advisors (RIAs), retirement recordkeepers, broker-dealers, family offices and banks, today announced a new collaboration with LearnVestTM, as well as additional resources to help advisors explore options to digitize their practices.

Direct Indexing: The Next Generation of Index Investing from Wealthfront

[And finally, it seems like I can’t stop talking about online investment services this week, as this time it’s Wealthfront making headlines, as the company just announced a new offering called Direct Index investing. Starting with an account minimum of $100,000, Wealthfront will purchase individual securities and ETFs on behalf of its customers that are benchmarked against the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF. Holding individual securities instead of funds and ETFs allows Wealthfront to track the performance of the index, but harvest individual gains and losses from individual in securities to be more tax efficient.

If this sounds a lot like separately managed accounts, or SMAs, that advisors use today, that’s because it is. So while Direct Index Investing isn’t anything new, Wealthfront is now able to offer the service with very low account minimums and charges its low annual management fee of just 25 basis points, which could very well put pricing pressure on many of the SMA providers you use like Parametric, Envestnet, Nuveen, and more.] Today, we are very excited to announce the expansion and improvement of our unique direct indexing technology. With this release, the Wealthfront Direct Indexing Platform will extend the benefits of direct indexing to broader sets of clients, with increased tax benefits and lower costs.

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

Junxure Expands Relationship and CRM Integration with Advent Software

Junxure CRM, an industry-leading practice improvement firm for financial advisors that integrates CRM technology, consulting, and training, today announced the expansion of its relationship with Advent Software, a leading provider of software and services for the global investment management industry. Advent’s Black Diamond(SM) wealth management platform now offers an integrated experience with Junxure Cloud, Junxure’s cloud-based CRM/office management solution. 

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 12, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 12, 2014