Tag Archives: iphone

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

YouTube secrets for financial advisers

YouTube Zero

Effective video thumbnails, annotations, and hyperlinks are the biggest missed opportunities on YouTube for financial advisers

I recently connected with Joe and Luke Simonds of Advisor Internet Marketing (http://www.advisorinternetmarketing.com/) to talk about the top YouTube secrets for financial advisers.

The Simonds brothers are hosting 31 live Google+ Hangout events in 31 days (a tall order for anyone to deliver!), and I was the guest on March 12 to talk about YouTube secrets.

Here are some of the highlights from our 35 minute broadcast.

Why YouTube?

You likely already know that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine right behind Google. And because Google owns YouTube, Google often seeds Internet search results with content uploaded to YouTube.

Advisers who are wondering why uploading content to YouTube is worth the time and effort need to know that if they have zero content on YouTube, they have zero chance at showing up in those coveted YouTube slots in Google search results.

At 4:30, Simonds and I talk about why this is so important for anyone in financial services.

It doesn’t cost a lot to get started

Yes, advisers can record a video with their iPhone and upload it to YouTube, but there are a number of reasons why this may not be the best strategy for creating YouTube content.

Fortunately, the total cost for “prosumer” video and studio equipment is a lot lower than some might think. I have a list of gear advisers can buy to create their own studio that is free for anyone who signs up to the free FPPad newsletter.

At 7:25, we talk about how important good audio and video quality is in creating the right impression for one’s audience.

The biggest mistake to avoid

One of the biggest mistakes I see advisers making is not going through the process of creating a transcript. Many advisers sit in their office, press record on their iPhone or webcam, and ad lib about a topic.

Big mistake!

One reason why this is a mistake is that for any adviser under compliance requirements for their content, advisers might have to scrap their video altogether if compliance doesn’t approve the content.

So the mistake to avoid is filming a video without a transcript.

Write a script, submit it to compliance prior to filming, and then after the video is uploaded to YouTube, upload the transcript so YouTube can add closed captions to the video. Not only does that decrease the risk of scrapping a video, transcripts increase the video’s search engine ranking as Google uses the transcript to identify what the video is about.

At 12:35, we discuss the big mistakes to avoid and how using transcripts solves those big risks.

Key secrets to boosting YouTube ROI

Filming a video and uploading it to YouTube isn’t going to guarantee success. Fortunately there are some super easy techniques and secrets that can boost an adviser’s YouTube ROI.

First, create a custom thumbnail image for your video and use that instead of allowing YouTube to pick a random frame from your video.

Second, use YouTube annotations to make it super easy for viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel or to go watch a related video on your channel.

And third, use hyperlinks, complete with the “http://” prefix in the video’s description box on YouTube to help your viewers navigate to relevant websites.

At 14:40, we talk about all of these super easy secrets that few advisers know about that can really boost the ROI of YouTube.

How to look good on camera

With your YouTube video, you’re asking your viewers to give up some amount of time in the hopes that they’ll learn something, get a valuable takeaway, or be entertained. Don’t blow the opportunity by looking nervous or shifty on camera!

How have I become so comfortable filming all my videos?

I hired a coach.

Regular viewers of FPPad Bits and Bits might notice @CMS2020 in the credits as Executive Producer. That’s Steve Biermann, founder of Creative Marketing Solutions and my producer and coach for all of my video content.

At 22:11, we talk about the lessons I learned when I hired a coach and how he’s helped me improve my on camera presence.

End with a call to action

As with any good content online, finish the content with a call to action. What should the viewer do next? What resources are available to help the viewer answer their questions. The answer is in your call to action.

At 31:57, we end the Google+ Hangout with our respective calls to action, which includes my prompt to get my free guide to awesome video you will receive when you subscribe to the free FPPad newsletter. So subscribe right now!

I hope that you have time to watch the Hangout with Joe and Luke Simonds, or even jump in at the various time points provided above to get the most important takeaways.

And if you have any questions about getting started or your experience with video, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Learn YouTube secrets for financial advisors

FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 7

On today’s broadcast, hackers launch a massive denial of service attack, so what should you do if one of your providers gets attacked? Apple is releasing yet another update to iOS, find out how this will help you support the bring-your-own-device trend in the workplace, and passwords are growing like weeds. Find out what programs you should use to better manage passwords while also protecting your account security.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by The Mercato, an online marketplace of do-it-yourself practice management tools, templates and training for independent advisors.

The Mercato

Discover the tools that can help take your business to the next level and receive a free practice management resource by visiting fppad.com/mercato.

Get your free resource by adding the guide to your shopping cart, and right before you enter your payment information, use the discount code: FPPad

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

Hit with a DDoS from Aweber

[This week’s top story serves as a warning for anyone who uses cloud-based software services, which pretty much means all of us. Last week, dozens of popular web-based services were the victim of a distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, including popular email newsletter services like MailChimp, GetResponse, and Aweber, the service I use to send out my weekly Bits and Bytes updates via email.

The DDoS attacks essentially flood websites with malicious traffic, making it impossible for legitimate traffic to make it through, bringing entire websites down. The good news is that no passwords or user data are ever compromised, but the bad news is that the website is totally offline, and in this recent attack, many websites were down for several days. So what lesson did I learn from the DDoS attack on Aweber?

The primary way I communicate with you, the FPPad audience, is through my email newsletter. But without access to Aweber, I had no way to send out updates to anyone. So the lesson for me is to get in the habit of making an offline backup of my newsletter subscribers, so that when Aweber is down, I can still send out an emergency message if I need to.

It takes less than a minute to export my database to a spreadsheet, and I probably only need to backup my data once a week. So if you’re dependent on access to your online services to communicate with clients, be sure you make a periodic backup of client contact information so you can still contact them in the event your website provider goes down.] Starting on Monday, February 24 at about 1PM, AWeber began experiencing large, sustained, and repeated DDoS attacks that completely disabled all aspects of our service for extended periods of time.

iPhone in Business from Apple

[Next up is news of a pending release of Apple’s latest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 7.1, which will feature expanded mobile device management, or MDM, capabilities. This is a big deal for any advisor who wants to use an iPhone or iPad to access a mix of personal and business information on one device, a trend known as bring-your-own-device.

iOS 7.1 will allow IT administrators to deploy MDM profiles wirelessly to devices, which is a big advantage over the existing process of requiring physical access to the device so administrators could plug it in. Users will be able to accept the MDM profiles on their devices and can view what access and controls the IT administrator has over the device. IT can also install apps, settings, and device policies wirelessly over the air without ever needing physical access to the device.

These new MDM controls will be supported by third party solutions, so if you’re seeking a way to support BYOD in your business, look to companies like airwatch, MobileIron, and Zenprise for a solution that meets your needs as well as your budget.] Progressive IT organizations worldwide are prioritizing productivity and innovation by empowering employees with iPhone and iPad.

Easing the burden of password management from InvestmentNews

[And finally, you are no stranger to the growing number of passwords you need to manage in order to log in to your online accounts. With a new password seemingly created each week, how do you possibly manage them all without jeopardizing your account security? In a recent article on InvestmentNews, Joyce Hanson highlighted several password managers advisors are using to organize and secure of all the passwords they need to log in to web-based services.

Top contenders cited by advisors include LastPass, 1Password, or DirectPass, which are all available for less than $50 per year per user, which is inexpensive insurance compared to the cost of a security breach should just one of your passwords become compromised.] Cloud software helps advisers keep track of the minutiae

Plus one story that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

The world’s largest photo service just made its pictures free to use from The Verge

Getty Images is betting its business on embeddable photos


FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 7, 2014

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 7, 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 13

On this week’s broadcast, what the new iPhone means to the future of your business, mobile check deposit comes to one of the top custodians, another document collaboration and e-signature partnership, 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 Total Rebalance Expert, the industry’s largest, privately owned portfolio rebalancing software provider.

Total Rebalance Expert

Designed by well-known CPA Sheryl Rowling, TRX features tax-efficient rebalancing, an easy to use interface, and more, all at an affordable price. To learn how you can gain a half a million dollar return on your technology investment, download the latest white paper by visiting fppad.com/trx

Apple Unveils iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S from the Wall Street Journal

[No technology broadcast would be complete without mentioning this week’s announcements from Apple on the new iPhone 5S and 5C. Nearly one out of every two advisors already use the iPhone for personal and business activity, and few will argue that the capabilities of all smart phones, even Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry, can really boost an advisor’s efficiency.
So if you’re considering an upgrade to your iPhone, or even a switch from the other manufacturers, here are the three most important updates you need to know.

First, the iPhone 5S features a new Touch ID sensor to unlock your phone using only your fingerprint, further enhancing the device’s security to prevent unauthorized access.

Second, the iPhone 5S comes with iOS 7, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system with hundreds of new features. Of most relevance to you is the new AirDrop feature, allowing you to share photos, contacts, and most importantly documents, directly over WiFi using a secure connection. Now AirDrop only works with iPhone 5, and the latest versions of the iPad and iPod Touch, so you may need a backup plan when you want to share documents with clients who have older Apple devices.

And third, any new purchase of an iOS device comes with the iWork apps for free, including Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and iMovie, saving you roughly $40, but also giving you native apps to edit the office documents that you use every day.

But no matter what phone you currently use today, manufactures keep trying to one-up each other with new software and hardware features, and Apple is no different than the rest of the competition. One downside to all this innovation: it does put pressure on your technology budget when trying to keep up with all the new options out there.] Apple Inc. introduced a pair of new iPhones Tuesday with upgraded features, but didn’t stray far from its usual playbook to address concerns about intensifying competition from rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co.

Fidelity adds remote check deposit feature to the WealthCentral Mobile app from FPPad.com

[And in other mobile device news, mobile check deposit is now coming to one of the top institutional custodians to independent advisers. In Bits and Bytes for August 30th, you learned that LPL Financial rolled out remote check deposit to their iOS and Android apps. Not to be outdone, Fidelity announced this week that it, too, will allow advisers to deposit client checks into their accounts using the company’s WealthCentral Mobile app.

Now advisors can’t just download the latest version of the app and start deposits right away, as there is an enrollment process that Fidelity requires. Read the related story to get all the details of the process.] Weeks after LPL introduced remote check deposit in its app, Fidelity becomes the first custodian to offer the functionality to its advisers.

ShareFile + RightSignature: Empowering professionals with e-signatures from ShareFile from ShareFile.com

[Next up is news on a new partnership between leading providers of document collaboration and e-signature software. This week, ShareFile, part of the Citrix family of collaboration tools, announced that it completed an integration with RightSignature, another contender in the e-signature space. I bet you were expecting DocuSign, weren’t you, since I’ve mentioned them in almost every Bits and Bytes episode to date!

But advisors using ShareFile now have the ability to route documents stored in ShareFile directly to RightSignature to obtain client signatures. But not all financial institutions accept e-signatures from RightSignature, so if you’re a ShareFile user, you might need to challenge your custodian to pursue a relationship with RightSignature so you have options when it comes to obtaining electronic signatures from your clients.

There’s a video walkthrough available of the ShareFile/RightSignature integration, so to watch it, just visit the story linked above.] We’re excited to announce our new partnership with RightSignature, a leading provider of secure electronic signature services, to bring you a fast, easy and secure way to obtain electronic signatures on important documents, right from your Citrix ShareFile account.

Fate or Destiny? from TheReformedBroker.com

[Finally, you should know what Josh Brown is up to. Josh who, you might ask? He’s the former broker turned fee-only advisor and author of Backstage Wall Street, which Brown says is “the book [air quote]they[air quote] don’t want you to read.”

So what does Josh Brown have to do with technology?

He’s a prime example of how social media and transparency through technology can literally throw gasoline on a smoldering fire and ultimately transform your business into a enviable growth engine.

On his website this week, Josh announced that he has to go away for a while to work on a handful of major projects, but with his social media presence and visibility as a fee-only advisor, it’s worth your time to put Josh on your radar if you haven’t done so already.] I suppose I don’t believe in fate but I do believe in destiny.


Watch Bits and Bytes for September 13, 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 for April 19

I started a six-week stint of travel across six cities, including several presentations at upcoming conferences.

See my speaking page for my upcoming conference appearances to see if you’re attending one of the events. Please stop by and say hello!

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Pershing Integrates Redtail Technology to Simplify Client Onboarding for Advisors from Pershing.com

[Pershing is not one to flaunt news of new integrations, so here’s a rare example of the company taking a bit more public stance on new partnerships. Here, Pershing now integrates with adviser-favorite CRM Redtail, particularly to push contact information in CRM to Pershing forms. This is useful when prospects are tracked in Redtail, then after some time, are converted to clients. Instead of manually filling in account forms, or using a third-party service like LaserApp, Redtail can now push data directly to NetX360. The fewer points of failure in technology systems, the better!] Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today announced a significant innovation in its industry-leading NetX360 platform through its relationship with Redtail Technology, a provider of web-based Client Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. Pershing’s integration of Redtail’s solution into NetX360 is designed to help advisors onboard clients more quickly, easily and efficiently.

Comply or die: NRS upgrades ‘manual’ to the 21st century from InvestmentNews.com

[The days are over of maintaining a compliance manual printed out in a three-ring binder sitting on the COO’s bookshelf. Today’s modern office demands more flexible systems, including a higher-tech compliance manual. It’s surprising that it’s taken until 2013 to achieve this, but hey, compliance isn’t exactly cutting edge.] Simply put, Policy Architect is meant to help both registered investment advisers and those affiliated with a broker-dealer stay compliant by allowing for more frequent updating of a firm’s compliance manuals (it helps, of course, if you keep yours digital as opposed to cutting down trees for a binder).

Mobile Assistant Launches iPhone App, “TALK IT” from PRNewswire.com

[Have bad cell coverage, but still need to dictate meeting notes from the road? Now Mobile Assistant has an iPhone app to facilitate this process. It’s not the first dictation service to support a mobile app (CopyTalk did it several months ago, starting this arms race), but definitely is a useful feature to all of the Mobile Assistant users who ever experienced a dropped call or two in the middle of dictations.] Mobile Assistant, the professional quality voice-to-text dictation service for the financial, insurance and sales industries, announces the release of its iPhone Application, TALK IT, this week. Mobile Assistant’s TALK IT is a high quality transcription service and an alternative to inaccurate automated voice-to-text solutions on the market, appealing to financial advisors and insurance agents as an easy way to accurately and securely document client meeting notes.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for November 30

Remember, today’s FPPad On Air broadcast is at 4:15pm ET when I’ll connect with Right Size Solutions founder Wes Stillman to talk costs of moving to the cloud, how to protect data in the cloud, and how the latest products from Apple and Microsoft will change the financial planner’s office. Visit my Google+ profile after 4pm ET for the On Air link.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

LPL Introduces eSignature to Advisor Tech Platform from Financial-Planning.com

[Schwab touted its pending rollout of eSignature tech to its advisers at this month’s IMPACT conference, but then sheepishly admitted advisers won’t receive it until late 2013. Clearly beating Schwab in its go-to-market strategy, LPL announced the introduction of DocuSign to all of its 12,000+ affiliated reps on Tuesday. Schwab teed this one up for LPL and the rest of their competition.] To streamline document processing, LPL Financial has introduced DocuSign’s eSignature solution for all of its advisors. The San Diego-based company said that it expects that the new technology, introduced Tuesday, will increase efficiency, reduce paperwork and improve both the client and advisor experience when signing and submitting forms to LPL.

Personal Capital Launches Android App from PRNewswire

[First came the iPad app, then iPhone, and now one of the leading online RIA firms by registered users is expanding its mobile compatibility to Android phones. So why don’t you have your own app already?] Personal Capital’s breakthrough financial service – named “one of the most important online banking innovations of all time” – is now available for free on the Android Marketplace to the 50 million US users of Android phones.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 21

I’m attending the final day of the Gemini Orion Advisor Forum 2012 today, so be sure to check the #GOAF12 hashtag on Twitter for the latest event updates.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Is Your Website Mobile? Three Do’s and Don’ts from Financial-Planning.com

[You have looked at your website with a tablet or smartphone recently, right? If not, you need to do it now and see if it’s at all user friendly. Just about 15% of all traffic to FPPad comes from mobile devices (80% of that is all from iPhones and iPads), so it’s more important than ever before to be mobile friendly.] It’s no secret that the rise of mobile devices has created one of the largest shifts in consumer behavior in the last 40 years.