Tag Archives: iPad

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 March 6

On today’s broadcast, Wealthfront wants you to know they crossed another round number in AUM, ByAllAccounts is now aggregating over $1 trillion dollars in investor assets, and Morningstar is out with a new iPad app for advisors.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by IMPLEMENT NOW, the independent advisor’s Practice Management Virtual Summit hosted by Kristin Harad broadcasting online March 16th to the 20th. When you register, you’ll get access to interviews and bonus material from 22 industry thought leaders as they reveal their practice management secrets for success.

Register for Implement Now

And if you register by March 15th, you’ll receive a copy of Carl Richard’s new book The One Page Financial Plan. Find all the details for this high-impact event by visiting fppad.com/implementnow

Two Billion Reasons to Believe from Wealthfront, and

Vanguard may expand fast-growing virtual investing service to advisers from InvestmentNews

[First up is news from online investment service Wealthfront, as the company announced this week that it has surpassed the $2 billion dollar mark in assets under management, an increase of 20 times in just over two years. This places the automated investment service just barely in the Top 100 RIA firms measured by assets according to the InvestmentNews RIA database. However, another online provider has also entered this rarefied territory, but with very little fanfare.

That provider is mutual-fund giant Vanguard, as the Vanguard Personal Advisor Services™ reached $10.1 billion dollars in assets as of the end of 2014, and it’s still in a limited pilot program. If you do the math, the company added nearly $8.8 billion to its platform in just nine months, and the company is also considering offering some form of the service to advisers.

So while the startups continue to make headlines and receive face time on cable business TV, the incumbents that the startups say they’re disrupting are putting up some very impressive growth metrics of their own.] Wealthfront managed less than $100 million in client assets when I joined, and had many skeptics. No one outside of the company could have imagined that, just over two years later, we’d celebrate being the first automated investment service to reach $2 Billion in client assets under management.

Morningstar Reaches Milestones, Aggregates More than $1 Trillion in Assets Daily With Access to 20,000 Financial Data Sources Through Morningstar ByAllAccounts Aggregation Service from Morningstar

[Related to online asset tracking is this is news from Morningstar, as the company announced its ByAllAccounts aggregation service now aggregates over $1 trillion dollars in investor assets. You may recall that Morningstar acquired ByAllAccounts back in April of 2014, and since then the number of supported data sources has grown to over 20,000 from 4,500. Can you say Yodlee?

So what does this mean for you? Remember, most of the online investment services don’t take into account the assets users have in their held away accounts. Personal Capital is one exception, but they’re not a pure online service, either. The rest don’t have the complete picture of their users’ net worth, so if you’re on the fence about incorporating account aggregation in your business, this is one area in your value proposition where you can outperform the online competition.] Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced a number of milestones for its Morningstar® ByAllAccounts aggregation service.

Review: Morningstar’s New iPad App from Financial Planning Magazine

[And finally, Morningstar also rounds out this week’s broadcast as Joel Bruckenstein reviewed their new iPad app built for the needs of financial advisers. I had the opportunity to recently test the app with Morningstar’s Mike Barad as he walked through the market research information, complete with embedded videos from Morningstar analysts, as well as the Clients and Portfolios view that advisors can use to stay up to date on client asset allocations, holdings, and more.

There are a few wish list items that Bruckenstein highlighted, such as the inability to conduct trading or rebalancing activity within the app, or to view Portfolio X-Ray reports on aggregated accounts. Still, for a version 1.0 app, advisors who use Morningstar Office or Workstation in their business should find the app useful for those times they’re away from their desktop computer.] While Morningstar has long been known as a leading provider of independent investment research, the company also produces a number of software applications for advisors.

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

Into The 21st Century, Finally from Financial Advisor Magazine

Years before there was Riskalyze or Pocket Risk, there was FinaMetrica, a comprehensive risk-profiling tool for use by advisors with their clients.

Wealth Access integrates with MoneyGuidePro from InvestmentNews

Wealth Access, a personal financial management platform, announced Tuesday its integration with MoneyGuidePro, a popular financial planning software.

Breaking Delivers the News to Your Mac or iPhone Notification Center from Lifehacker

OS X/iOS: Keeping up with the news is easy, but keeping up with news you care about can be trickier. Breaking is a new app that makes it easier.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 6, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 6, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 30

On today’s broadcast, Microsoft introduces the Surface Pro 3 line of tablets. Will the third time be the charm to win adoption from advisors? Cybersecurity remains a hot topic in financial services. Read what one compliance attorney says are the worst security practices he’s ever seen. And, advisor matchmaking websites are popping up everywhere. Will any of them reach critical mass to successfully match prospects with the right advisor?

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by ITEGRIA, providers of complete outsourced technology support, security, infrastructure and IT solutions exclusively for RIAs.

itegria - providing a 360-degree, comprehensive approach to financial advisor IT needs

To learn how you can keep your data safe from attackers, download a free copy of their latest white paper on social engineering attacks by visiting fppad.com/itegria.

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

Fly Or Die: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 from TechCrunch

[This week’s top story comes from Microsoft, as the company recently introduced its third generation of Surface Pro tablets due out by mid to late June. The entry level Surface Pro 3 comes with the Core i3 processor and 64GB of storage, starting at $799, but a fully loaded Core i7 version with 512 GB of storage will set you back almost $2,000 and it doesn’t include the detachable Type Cover, which runs an additional $129.

Microsoft is using its Surface Pro 3 to take aim at the Apple MacBook Air line of popular ultra-thin laptops. While the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than the 13” MacBook air, offers a touch display, and has a removable keyboard, the fully-loaded version runs nearly $300 more than the top of the line MacBook Air.

Still, the latest Surface runs Windows 8 natively, supports Microsoft Office, and poses fewer compatibility issues with proprietary broker-dealer or custodial software that often requires Internet Explorer.

But at 18% taller and 22% wider than the iPad Air, to me the Surface really isn’t a tablet as much as it is a touchscreen laptop with a detachable keyboard. It remains to be seen whether the Surface Pro 3 will gain adoption from advisors, or languish when compared with the more traditional Windows laptops from manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, and others.] Forget everything you thought you knew about the Microsoft Surface tablet, as the latest generation of the Windows-powered Surface Pro is a clear step up from the Microsoft slates of yore.

surface pro 3 thumbnail

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review: A legitimate work PC in tablet clothing from PCWorld

Through every iteration, Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet has edged closer to becoming a true laptop replacement. Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 3 takes several small steps in that direction—along with one giant, game-changing leap.

Experts: Financial Advisers Lax on Cybersecurity from WSJ.com

[Next up is a timely article on poor cybersecurity practices among financial advisors. In a Wall Street Journal column, Brian Hamburger, compliance attorney and chief executive of MarketCounsel, identified several dangerous issues he’s seen when visiting advisory firms.

The innocent, but dangerous, practices include things like writing down passwords on sticky notes, failing to reset passwords when an employee leaves the firm, and not encrypting laptop hard drives.

Couple that with the dramatic increase in client spoofing, where hackers break in to client email accounts to request fraudulent money transfers, and you have a recipe for some substantial financial losses as well as the loss of client trust.

Regarding passwords, my advice is to treat them like a pair of boxer shorts. Yes, boxer shorts: Keep them a mystery, don’t share them, don’t leave them lying around, and please, change them often!] When consultant Brian Hamburger visits financial advisory firms he often sees a practice as innocent as it is dangerous: Passwords posted on computers to help advisers remember them.

‘Match.com’ for advisers and clients expands to San Francisco from InvestmentNews

[And finally, there are a number of new websites that have recently launched to match consumers seeking financial advice with financial advisors. You may already be familiar with services like Paladin Registry or WiserAdvisor.com, and to a lesser extent, the advisor search features from the FPA and NAPFA.

But recently, InvestmentNews highlighted the latest entrant into the field called GuideVine. The service follows a similar theme to existing advisor matchmaking websites, but GuideVine offers embedded video introductions along with standard written biographies to help consumers get a feel of each advisor’s unique characteristics.

Now I support any and all websites that have the objective of connecting clients with advisors that are right for them, but I think advisors would be wise to invest time and energy building their own online resources, which include a blog, active social media profiles, and even a YouTube channel.

I feel it’s key to be visible in the places where your potential clients are active every day, and to me, the advisor matchmaking sites just don’t have the large audiences that are found on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and more.] GuideVine, a technology startup that wants to connect advisers with consumers seeking financial advice, started operations on Thursday in San Francisco after a successful New York launch in March.

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

Voices: Katie Stokes, on Getting Rid of the Quarterly Report from WSJ.com (free preview)

With real-time market and investment available online to every client, the quarterly report is an obsolete mode of data delivery.

Riskalyze and United Planners Launch Partnership from Yahoo Finance

United Planners Financial Services (UP), a national RIA and independent broker-dealer partnership with more than 350 advisors nationwide, and Riskalyze, the creator of the Risk Number™, today announced a partnership to equip every UP advisor with industry-leading Client Risk Profile technology to pinpoint client risk tolerance.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 30, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 30, 2014


FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 21

On today’s broadcast, Microsoft slashes pricing of another service in an attempt to be your single destination for notes, find out when Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps may finally be available for the iPad, and how two advisors are giving up on the traditional office space so they can work with clients completely virtually.

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 the links to this week’s top stories:

Microsoft launches free OneNote for Mac, freemium OneNote for Windows, and OneNote cloud API for apps from TheNextWeb, and

Introducing the OneNote Channel from IFTTT

OneNote vs. Evernote: A personal take on two great note-taking apps from ComputerWorld

[Leading off this week’s broadcast is news once again from Microsoft, as the company revealed changes to its note taking application called OneNote. For the first time, Microsoft released a version of OneNote for the Mac operating system, and it also introduced a freemium version for Windows, replacing the traditional desktop-based version that was priced at around $100.

This move increases OneNote’s chances of competing against popular note taking apps like Evernote, Google Keep, and to a lesser extent, Apple’s Note application synchronized via iCloud.

Notes saved in OneNote are synchronized via Microsoft’s OneDrive online file storage service, further deepening user’s dependency on Microsoft’s array of services, but with support for OneNote apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, you’ll have the ability to review and add notes anytime, anywhere all from the convenience of your mobile device of choice.

Also new to OneNote is a library of APIs that will allow third-party apps to integrate with the note taking service, including an integration with IFTTT, or If This Then That, a wildly popular online automation service for single-step workflows.

Premium features in OneNote are available if you own Office 2013 or subscribe to Office 365.] Microsoft today revealed three major announcements regarding its OneNote offering: a free version of OneNote for Mac, a freemium version of OneNote for Windows, and a new cloud API for first- and third-party apps to communicate directly with OneNote.

Microsoft CEO Nadella may unveil Office on iPad on March 27 from ZDNet.com

[Now I can’t mention Microsoft in a broadcast this week without addressing the rumors surrounding the imminent release of Microsoft Office for iPad. Several news outlets cited unnamed sources who alluded to the release of Office for iPad around March 27th.

Since the debut of the iPad back in 2010, users have had access to a number of third-party apps that were somewhat compatible with Microsoft Office documents, including apps like Documents To Go, Office 2 HD, Quickoffice Pro HD, and more.

But until now, there’s been no native solution from Microsoft that offers many of the robust features users know and love in Office, and using the Office Online suite, formerly known as Office Web Apps, in the iPad’s web browser has been a kludgy solution at best.

So if you’ve avoided using Apple’s iWork suite or Google Drive to manage word processing and spreadsheets on your iPad, you may now finally have the apps you’ve been waiting for directly from Microsoft. So check the app store after March 27th to see if Office for iPad is available.] It looks like Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella himself may be taking the wraps off Microsoft’s Office for iPad.

Can an adviser thrive in a virtual office? from InvestmentNews

[And finally, all this talk about notes in the cloud and Office on the iPad is a great segue to talk about the virtual office. In a trend worth watching, several advisors are ditching the traditional corporate office environment in favor of more flexible, and low-cost, virtual office.

Advisors Alan Moore and Sophia Bera were recently featured in a column at InvestmentNews for their approach to running an advisory business without the need for the traditional office.

To support his business, Moore highlights a number of apps that help him stay connected with clients.

Long-time FPPad subscribers should recognize the online scheduling app from ScheduleOnce, electronic signature tools by Adobe EchoSign, and my favorite time tracking app called RescueTime.

But Moore also revealed some new apps like Meldium, a password manager for teams, and Talkwalker, a service similar to Google Alerts that scours the web and notifies you when it finds key words and phrases relevant to you.] Not many financial advisers have the courage or desire to shut down a bricks-and-mortar space in order to inhabit an all-virtual world. But many young advisers such as Mr. Moore are convinced that it’s a business model that can work.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 21, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 21, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 28

On today’s broadcast, iPhone and iPad users on high alert; what you need to do right now to fix a huge security flaw, how Schwab Advisor Services plans to give thousands of advisors a presence in the popular app stores, and what’s the next hot technology you might see coming from the industry’s largest independent broker-dealer?

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Redtail Technology, providers of cloud-based CRM for financial professionals since 2003.

Redtail Technology

Check out their popular CRM, document imaging, and complaint email solutions and sign up for a 30-day free trial by visiting fppad.com/redtail.

Behind iPhone’s Critical Security Bug, a Single Bad ‘Goto’ from Wired, and

Apple Patches Critical OS X ‘Gotofail’ Security Hole from PC Magazine

[This week’s top story is for all of you who use iPhones and iPads in your business. In case you haven’t heard, Apple quietly rolled out a new update to iOS this week to patch a critical flaw in the way secure Internet connections are handled.

It’s been dubbed the “gotofail” flaw, as the operating system’s source code had an inadvertent goto command, essentially bypassing the final steps in the security authentication process.

So what you need to do right now is to turn on your device, open the Settings app, tap General, and then tap Software Update to start the download process. The same bug also affects Mac users, so be sure to perform a Software Update on your Mac to patch this security hole.] Like everything else on the iPhone, the critical crypto flaw announced in iOS 7 yesterday turns out to be a study in simplicity and elegant design: a single spurious “goto” in one part of Apple’s authentication code that accidentally bypasses the rest of it.

Schwab OpenView Mobile launches, allows RIAs to create branded mobile apps for iOS and Android from FPPad

[Next up is another story about mobile devices, only this one comes from Schwab Advisor Services. In a press release this week, Schwab announced that it officially rolled out Schwab OpenView Mobile, a service that allows advisors to publish native mobile apps branded for their business. Schwab OpenView Mobile lets advisors perform limited customization of things like logos, contact details, and color schemes and publish the app in the iTunes App Store as well as Google Play.

But Schwab isn’t the first to offer custom branded apps for advisors, as both Orion Advisor Services and Trust Company of America have both been offering this service to their clients for several years at no additional charge. The Faulkner Media Group also publishes branded mobile apps for advisors at a reasonable price.

But for a cost of of $5,000 up front plus $2,000 in annual maintenance, Schwab OpenView Mobile might prove to be a bit too expensive relative to the other third party app solutions currently on the market. I’ll come back in a few months to report on the overall adoption of OpenView Mobile by Schwab’s advisors, so stay tuned.] Schwab OpenView Mobile officially launches, allowing RIAs to publish branded mobile apps to the iTunes App Store and Google Play

LPL Financial to deploy Microsoft Lync for enterprise messaging from Twitter

[And finally, wrapping up this week’s broadcast is a little inside information on how LPL Financial hopes to make its advisors a bit more efficient when collaborating with the home office. According to my sources, aka a tweet from Jamie Cox, LPL will soon be deploying an instant messaging and video chat service from Microsoft called Lync.

Now I know several RIAs have been experimenting with collaboration platforms like Yammer, Google Chat, and Salesforce Chatter, but this is the first I’ve heard of an independent broker’s plans to roll out an enterprise-wide messaging app. Retail pricing for Lync is $2 per user per month, but I don’t have details on what the final cost will be to LPL representatives, if any.
While the apps might seem a little funky at first, it’s clear that realtime messaging and collaboration is really gaining momentum in the enterprise, so if you aren’t at least experimenting with some of these apps, you might want to put them on your technology roadmap for this year.]



Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 28, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 28, 2014

FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 25

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

On this week’s broadcast, get the rundown of all the announcements from Apple this week, the trend of quick financial planning expands to a new software provider, and how you can impress clients with a survey. Yes, I said survey!

So get ready, a special Halloween edition of Bits and Bytes begins now.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Wealth Management Marketing, providers of complete outsourced marketing services for Registered Investment Advisers.

Wealth Management Marketing

Learn how outsourcing your marketing can result in successful custom marketing campaigns that grow your business by visiting fppad.com/wmm.

From iPad Air to Mac Pro: everything you need to know about Apple’s fall event from TheVerge.com

[By now, you’ve probably heard that Apple has further disrupted the hardware and software market as we know it. The company introduced a more powerful line of MacBook laptops, updated the release date of the Mac Pro uber-computer to December starting at just under $3,000, and revealed the both the iPad Air, with its ultra-thin 9.7-inch Retina display weighing in at just one pound, and a new iPad mini, upgraded with its own 7.9 inch Retina display and now priced at $399.

Apple also accelerated the race to zero on software pricing, announcing that Mavericks, the latest operating system for Mac, is now free for all users, and the iWork and iLife suites are free for anyone who purchases a new Mac or iOS device.

So what does all this mean to advisors?

Most of you run your business on Windows computers, with many of you still using Windows 7 and older versions of Microsoft Office.

The cost of upgrading your software is often a deterrent, especially if you need to buy one or two dozen licenses for everyone in your organization. That’s especially true now that Office 365 requires an annual subscription of $99 per person; that adds up quickly!

So with free versions of the latest software from Apple, you need to consider what your businesses technology will look like in the near future. Will you get more value from low-cost PCs that come with non-trivial software costs, or from higher-priced Apple hardware that includes core software for free?

And for those programs that don’t run on Macs: there’s always Parallels or VMWare Fusion if you absolutely must have access to your legacy Windows-only applications.] After a year in which Apple’s product announcements have largely leaked out ahead of time, today the company delivered something of a surprise: a redesigned tablet, the iPad Air, that is the lightest full-size iPad to date at just 1 pound.

SunGard Launches a Financial Planning Solution that Helps Advisors Quickly Create Holistic, Client-Friendly Plans from Sungard

[If you watched FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 11, you learned that Advisor Software published goalgamiPro, the company’s quick financial plan illustration tool, on the Salesforce AppExchange market.

Now the latest company capitalizing on the popularity of quick financial planning tools is Sungard, who announced this week the introduction of a new product called WealthStation CompAct.

The new tool is a single, stand-alone application advisors can use on their own or in collaboration with clients to highlight planning opportunities across eight areas, including cash management, asset allocation, and retirement planning.

WealthStation CompAct allows advisors to create basic plans simply and efficiently to help clients prioritize their financial goals. Should more detailed planning be needed, data from CompAct can be fed into the more robust WealthStation Financial Planning module.] SunGard has launched WealthStation CompAct, a new financial planning solution that gives advisors the ability to produce results-based, holistic financial plans quickly, simply and interactively.

Use Surveys to Impress Clients. Yes, Surveys! from Morningstar Advisor

[And finally, you’ve no doubt read countless articles why it’s important to send surveys to your clients. Client surveys provide valuable insight on what your clients are thinking, but the last thing you want to do is fill up your client’s inbox with another dull, plain-vanilla survey.

Enter a survey tool called Typeform. In four easy steps, you can use Typeform to create fun, yes I said fun, surveys that stand out among the rest. Instead of the standard radio bubbles and check boxes, Typeform gives you lots of options to add color, style, and bold icons to your survey. And since Typeform uses responsive design, your surveys look great no matter what device clients use to offer feedback.] The last thing you want is a client to see your survey request and think, “Hooray–another boring survey from my financial advisor.”

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 25, 2013, "Halloween Edition!"

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 25, 2013, “Halloween Edition!”

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 27

On this week’s broadcast, one of the top portfolio management software providers tip-toes its way into the cloud, creating investment policy statements just got a whole lot easier, how a new app can create a real-time dossier about your clients, and more. So get ready, Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch on YouTube)

This week’s episode of Bits and Bytes is brought to you by Mimic Technologies, providers of complete outsourced technology support, security, infrastructure and IT solutions exclusively for RIAs.

Mimic Technologies

To learn how you can keep your data safe from attackers, download a free copy of their white paper on Data Privacy and Protection by visiting fppad.com/mimic.

Advent unveils Advent Direct™ — An Innovative Cloud Platform — At AdventConnect from Advent Software

[Leading off is an update from Advent Software, which recently celebrated its 30th year in business last week at the company’s AdventConnect conference in San Francisco. The highlight of Advent Connect is the expansion of Advent Direct™, a cloud-based platform which Mike Golaszewski, Black Diamond’s head of product development, says is an abstraction layer on top of the company’s core product offerings.

While Advent Axys will remain a desktop-based solution for the foreseeable future, it will not be completely isolated from the cloud due to the online and mobile access available through Advent Direct.

And while the news of Advent Direct seems hot off the presses, it’s not entirely new, as Advent has offered an app to iPad users since April of this year for mobile access to client portfolio information.

Advent also unveiled the Advent Direct™ Community, a private online forum that’s part customer service portal and part discussion board, no doubt inspired by collaboration options found on other social networks. Yes, the Advent Users Group on LinkedIn, I’m talking about you!

But the one big unknown regarding Advent Direct is pricing. It remains to be seen how much Advent users will need to pay to route their Axys data into Black Diamond to benefit from enhanced reports.] Advent Software, Inc., a leading provider of software and services for the global investment management industry, today commenced its annual AdventConnect conference taking place September 18 – 20, 2013 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

A One-Click Roadmap for Your Clients from Riskalyze

[Next up is an update from a startup that deserves to be added to your technology radar. The company is called Riskalyze, based in Sacramento, California, which offers patented Risk Number technology in an attempt to quantify client risk tolerance and align it with suitable investment portfolios. This week, Riskalyze expanded its feature set by offering a single-click option to create an Investment Policy Statement.

Whether you believe in the validity of Investment Policy Statements or not (and Stark and Stark’s Tom Giachetti comes to mind), it still doesn’t get any easier than using a single click to generate an IPS document.

So if simplifying your client risk assessment process is important to you, you should learn more about Riskalyze’s offering.] Today, we’re excited to announce that Riskalyze now makes it possible to create this roadmap for your clients with a single click.

Surface Pro 2: hands-on with Microsoft’s new tablet powerhouse and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX: Power, With A Helping Hand, both from The Verge

[Now I bet you’ve noticed changes in the air, meaning Fall has arrived, complete with shorter days, football on the weekends, and a deluge of new product announcements. So on the heels of Apple’s new iPhone 5S and 5C announcement two weeks ago, Microsoft announced updates to its floundering line of Surface tablets to compete with the market-dominating iPad. Not to be left out, Amazon also announced a refresh of it’s low-cost Kindle tablets, with a new HDX line of Android-powered tablets starting at just $229.

But the unexpected surprise from all the hardware announcements actually came in the form of a new feature on the Kindle HDX called Mayday. Mayday is an icon on the Kindle users can touch to get free technical support anytime they need it, complete with video conferencing and screen sharing.

While its definitely a cool feature for Kindle users, Mayday actually creates a slippery slope for you as an advisor, as I think it won’t be too long before your clients start to expect a similar easy, on-demand way to access you as their trusted financial advisor.

So if you’re not yet up to speed on using video chat services like Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and more, now is the time to add these tools to your technology portfolio.]

Refresh – The Instant Dossier from Refresh

[Finally, updates to FPPad have been few and far between this month because of the amount of time I’ve been spending on phone calls and meetings. I’ve been speaking with dozens of people, and it’s unrealistic for me to think that I can keep all the details about each relationship straight in my head.

That’s why I’ve turned to a new app called Refresh, (full disclosure, they gave me a free T-shirt), but the app truly helps me keep all the details about my contacts organized in one place.

Refresh connects my contacts, calendar, and social media accounts to create a real-time dossier about the people I’m going to meet. Refresh automatically connect the dots of what my contacts are doing and sharing online so I don’t have to waste time gathering this intelligence on my own.

A beta version of the app is available for iPhone, but Android users will need to sign up to be notified when the app is released to the Google Play store.]

Watch Bits and Bytes for September 27, 2013

Watch Bits and Bytes for September 27, 2013

FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 9

I spent all day Thursday traveling out and back to Minnesota, but I still managed to find time to write and produce this week’s episode of Bits and Bytes (click to watch on YouTube).

First, a word from this week’s sponsor. Without their support, Bits and Bytes wouldn’t be possible!

Today’s Bits and Bytes is brought to you by the 2013 T3 Enterprise Conference, exclusively designed for the technology needs of broker-dealers and financial enterprises. Mark your calendar for November 3rd through 5th in Chicago, and register today at www.t3enterpriseconference.com

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Find your lost phone with Android Device Manager from the Android official blog

[This week’s lead story is for all of you Android users out there. Now there’s one less reason to be jealous of your fellow iPhone owners. Late last week, Google announced that it will be introducing an app called Android Device Manager later this month for all users of Android version 2.2 and higher, which pretty much means 98% of all the Android devices on the market. Now iPhone and iPad users have been able to track, lock, and even remotely wipe the contents of their devices since 2010 using Apple’s Find My iPhone app, and Windows phone and Blackberry users have also had remote device management apps of their own for some time. Finally, this long-overdue app from Google will especially be useful for those of you using Android devices, because you can now have better remote administration of lost or stolen devices that may contain personal or client information.] Have you ever lost your phone in between the couch cushions or forgot it in a restaurant? Or maybe searching for your phone before you rush out the door is part of your morning routine? Later this month, the new Android Device Manager can help you out. It’s one of a few simple features you can use to keep your device—and the data you store inside—safe and secure.

Mobile Portfolio Management Gets Easier from Morningstar.com

[Speaking of mobile devices, huge numbers of financial advisers are using mobile devices to stay connected and get work done while on the road. But one of the areas with significant room for improvement is the use of mobile devices to check client portfolios, especially for clients with accounts at multiple custodians. All of the major custodians have mobile apps you can use to check on client accounts, but those only work for clients who hold all their assets with one institution. Fortunately, third party portfolio management software providers have their own apps advisors can use to review all of their clients’ holdings, regardless of where they are held. Two and a half years ago, Orion Advisor Services was one of the first to debut a mobile app for advisors, and just last month they updated their app with a cleaner, sleeker version advisers should find more user friendly. And another provider to watch is AssetBook, which launched its own app for advisors, also about a month ago. Details of what you’ll find in each mobile app are in this month’s column for Morningstar Advisor.] One of the first mobile portfolio management apps for advisors gets an update, while an under-the-“radar” provider debuts its own native app.

Laserfiche Announces Integration with DocuSign eSignature Platform from MarketWire.com

[Now for some news in the document management arena. It’s pretty to easy to scan paper documents or save PDF files to a document management system, but applying client signatures to those documents has always been a challenge. Often the easiest thing to do is to just print out a document, have a client sign it, and then rescan it back into the system. It gets the job done, but it’s not really efficient, and that means it costs you money. Fortunately, Laserfiche, the enterprise content management provider, announced this week that their solution now integrates with DocuSign, one of the leading electronic signature providers. And remember, custodians such as TD Ameritrade Institutional, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, and Pershing, as well as broker-dealers like Cambridge and LPL accept documents signed using DocuSign, with just a few exceptions. So this development is welcome news for all advisors seeking a true end-to-end paperless solution for processing client forms that require signatures.] Laserfiche today announced an integration with DocuSign, The Global Standard for eSignature®, to further enhance the value of the company’s industry-leading enterprise content management (ECM) solution with secure electronic signature.

Six tech tools that help you improve your writing output here at FPPad.com

[Wrapping up this week’s update is an article from Susan Weiner on six technology tools you can use to boost your writing output. Susan is the author of a brand new book titled Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients, and this week she shared her best technology tips on FPPad for all of you looking to build your online profile with effective blog posts.] Writing is a cerebral art, but sometimes technology helps. I’ve found six tools that can boost the quality and productivity of your writing. They play the roles of idea generator, disciplinarian, transcriptionist, enforcer, and mistake revealer.

And if you want to read the best material in financial planning knowledge and information over the weekend, click or tap the button below to head over to Michael Kitces’ Nerd’s Eye View blog and see the latest in Weekend Reading.

Click to view Weekend Reading at Kitces.com

FPPad Bits and Bytes June 7

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Live Junxure Cloud Demos Now Available from Junxure.com

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

Redtail and goalgamiPro make a data connection from InvestmentNews.com

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

Social Media

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

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

Twitter Offers Bigger Opportunities with Lists Update from Arkovi.com

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

Practice Management

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

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

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

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

General Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pershing unveils next NetX360 from InvestmentNews.com

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

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

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

FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 22

I made it! The new FPPad headquarters is up and running in Atlanta (and if there weren’t boxes and papers everywhere, I’d post a photo).

But right now, it’s back to unpacking for me. So here are this week’s stories of interest:

Personal Phones, iPads at Work: Convenience or Cyber Threat? from Financial-Planning.com

[BYOD, or bring-your-own-device, is a growing trend in all businesses, including yours. Do you allow employees (and you, too) to connect to work-related systems with a personal mobile device? It can be as simple as allowing email or contacts to be synchronized to the device. If so, it’s critical you have procedures and systems in place to adequately protect any sensitive data stored on personal devices. This short review from new FP editor Paula Vasan is a timely reminder, plus you’ll get three mobile device management resources cited by me.] Personal devices can pose a serious threat to businesses if strict policies and preventative cybercrime measures are not put in place, according to a study.

Citrix follows Box’s lead by adding content editing and secure synching to its ShareFile mobile apps from TheNextWeb.com

[Dropbox, Box, ShareFile, etc. are common names heard when talking about cloud file storage and synchronization. Dropbox is wildly popular among consumers, Box is a leader in the enterprise, and ShareFile is growing well among financial advisers (it was also one of my picks for Best Tech of 2012). This week, ShareFile enhanced its mobile app by allowing users to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations directly within the ShareFile app, as well as allows users to markup and annotate PDF documents. With Box, you can do similar tasks using other third-party apps compatible with OneCloud. With Dropbox, you can’t do this.] Citrix, a cloud, networking, and virtualization technology company, will announce on Tuesday that it is updating its ShareFile file-sharing app with better mobile content editing. What this means is that the service aims to compete against Box and other enterprise-focused file sharing services, hopefully allowing users to be more productive while on the go, even when they are offline.

With a fresh $20M and sharp increase in assets managed, Wealthfront keeps growing from PanoDaily.com

[How is online advice platform Wealthfront fairing? Well, they’re up to $170 million in assets aggregated through the platform. I’d judge by growth in 2012 that the company is on its way to $500 million in assets by the end of 2014. Still, with a fresh round of $20 million raised, coupled with $3 million in Angel and $7.5 million Series A capital, its a significant investment for a questionable return so far. But again, there’s potential here if Wealthfront catches on with the next generation of wealth transfer on the horizon.] Wealthfront, which makes software that acts as a financial advisor for its clients, hasn’t had the easiest road remaking the financial world in Silicon Valley’s image. But it after a name change, a pivot and some key new hires it appears to be growing rapidly.

Erado Announces the Latest Addition to Their Social Media Compliance Solution, Salesforce Chatter from Erado.com

[Erado continues to increase their social media archiving coverage with the addition of Salesforce Chatter connectivity. Smarsh has supported Chatter since October 2012 (see FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 5), and with Erado onboard, I’d expect to see a slight uptick in Chatter use among advisers using Salesforce for their CRM.] Erado, the nation’s leading compliance and archiving firm in electronic communication, officially announced the newest addition to their Social Media Capturing suite, Salesforce Chatter.