Tag Archives: Joel Bruckenstein

FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 10

On today’s broadcast, how a business model pivot by a rising wealth management software provider will affect your technology spending, technology experts chime in on the trends that are sure to affect all advisory businesses, new integrations provide marketing resources to grow your online audience, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

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

Total Rebalance Expert

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

Here are this week’s top stories:

inStream abandons free plan, introduces subscription pricing from FPPad.com

[This week’s lead story comes from inStream Solutions, which just announced that the company is no longer offering a free subscription plan to financial advisors. inStream first received attention in 2011 by introducing the free financial planning software tool for advisors, with hopes of monetizing advisor participation through an online product marketplace.

But just like many well-known startups including Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and more seek ways to monetize their platform, inStream shares the challenge of figuring out how to build a sustainable revenue model for its innovative platform.

So the free plan is going away, replaced by a $2,400 annual subscription. Existing users do have the option to subscribe for $1,000 in the first year, and any advisor who signs up by this summer will receive 50% off their first year subscription.

More details about inStream’s pivot as well as the release of a new Safe Savings Rate tool are in this week’s show notes.] Financial planning software startup inStream Solutions drops its free pricing plan, switches to annual subscription model

Technology for Planners: Trends, Spending, and the Rise of Robo Advisers from the Journal of Financial Planning

[Next up is a peek into the minds of technology experts in financial services. The cover story of this month’s issue of the Journal of Financial Planning is all about technology for planners; the trends, spending patterns, and rising concern of online “robo-adviser” services.

I had the privilege of joining tech experts Joel Bruckenstein, Jennifer Goldman, and JP Nicols in this roundtable discussion moderated by none other than the venerable Michael Kitces. Be sure you read the roundtable transcript and think about what changes you need to make in your business for 2014 and beyond.] Technology is essential to operating a successful and profitable planning practice. Whether it’s software integration, mobile devices, cloud computing, or the latest on so-called robo advisers, you’ve got questions. The Journal’s practitioner editor, Michael Kitces, uncovers the answers in this roundtable discussion with tech experts Joel Bruckenstein, CFP®, Jennifer Goldman, CFP®, JP Nicols, CFP®, and Bill Winterberg, CFP®

Bill Good Marketing Integrates Gorilla with Redtail CRM

[Now one of the takeaways from the roundtable cover story is that advisors don’t have the budget or venture capital funding to deploy a nationwide marketing blitz. So how can you build your brand and online audience in the face of this competition?

One way is to use content marketing libraries that integrate with your current technology. New this week is the integration of the Bill Good Marketing library into Redtail CRM, giving over 75,000 Redtail users access to compliance-approved marketing material from Bill Good.] CRM systems Gorilla and Redtail Technology collaborate to address major trends affecting Financial Advisors

Exclusive new content & videos from Advisor Websites

[And another offering comes from Advisor Websites, which now offers its “Hall of Famer” users the ability to embed written as well as video content on their website through a partnership with FogLifter.

For more information on the marketing integrations and to view some of the sample content, go to Video 1: Tax & Income Planning http://www.viddler.com/v/1c97c093 and Video 2: Fiduciary Difference http://www.viddler.com/v/479dfc19 .] It’s a new year and big things are happening at Advisor Websites! We are thrilled to announce the addition of new content for all Advisor Websites users!

Unboxing the 2013 Mac Pro: The ultimate desktop for financial advisers from FPPad

[And finally, many of you have asked me what equipment I use to produce each episode of FPPad Bits and Bytes. Well just a few weeks ago, I received my new Mac Pro from Apple and have transferred all of my video editing over to this powerhouse of a machine.

I filmed the unboxing of my Mac Pro and uploaded my review to my YouTube channel this week, so if you’re interested in building your multimedia production capabilities, I suggest you watch the review to see if a Mac Pro purchase makes sense for you. And in case you don’t know, everyone who subscribes to the FPPad newsletter gets my complimentary guide to creating awesome videos. Sign up at fppad.com/subscribe to get your copy today.] The all-new Mac Pro is a powerhouse loaded with processors and memory, but it might (just might) be a little bit overkill for financial advisers


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 10, 2014 on YouTube

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 10, 2014 on YouTube

FPPad Bits and Bytes for November 8

On this week’s broadcast, get up to speed on all the developments from the T3 Enterprise Conference, find out which portfolio rebalancing company just acquired a portfolio management software provider, and another CRM with a long history with advisors gets a fresh start in the cloud.

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 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 social engineering attacks by visiting fppad.com/mimic.

Here are this week’s top stories:

Joel Bruckenstein convenes a wholesale version of T3 for IBD execs who choose software for thousands of reps from RIABiz.com, Trying to harness the power of big data for advisers from InvestmentNews.com, Live from T3: Deploying Tech at the B/D Level and Day Two at T3: A Lack of Data Standards from WealthManagement.com.

[First up this week is a recap of the first-ever T3 Enterprise Conference for broker-dealers and financial enterprises. T3 Enterprise is modeled after the T3 Conference for financial advisors, now in its 9th year, and in full disclosure, I co-produced T3 Enterprise along with Joel Bruckenstein and David Drucker.

If you weren’t able to attend or follow the conference hashtag on Twitter, here’s what you need to know:

Redtail, the leading provider of cloud-based CRM to advisors, unveiled a new platform called Redtail Data Cloud. Redtail Data Cloud aims to tackle the challenge of making sense of “big data” present in disparate or poorly integrated technology solutions, and generate valuable, meaningful insight that was generally only possible after pouring over custom spreadsheets for hours upon hours.

Redtail Data Cloud collects over 500 unique data points across its CRM, email, and document imaging products, and also collects data via integrations with Riskalyze, Advisor Websites, Advisor Deck, ActiFi, and MoneyGuidePro. Look for the platform to debut for both advisors and broker-dealers this January.

Also, two companies exited stealth mode at the conference by introducing new promising products.

The first is CleverDome, is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based startup born from the back-office of United Planners Financial Services. Their two new solutions, SOAR, or Source of Accurate Record, and miVu, or Media Integrated View Unification, are best described as document management tools that are invisible to the user, so if that doesn’t make you at least a little curious about what they do, I don’t know what will.

And second to emerge is Gotham Tech Labs, led by John Rourke, who introduced two new stand-alone products, WealthBox CRM and WealthBase. WealthBox CRM is intended to be a simple CRM with a streamlined interface, but with powerful social and collaborative workflows. WealthBase is an inbound marketing network intended to connect financial advisors with consumers seeking feedback and engagement on their financial needs.] Joel Bruckenstein and his co-producers, David Drucker and Bill Winterberg, made it a two-day event geared toward broker-dealers and large RIAs looking to enhance their advisors’ productivity and simplify the many day-to-day processes of providing advice.

Total Rebalance Expert Acquires PowerAdvisor from Cornerstone Revolutions from PRNewswire.com

[The next story is news hot off the presses from Total Rebalance Expert, the San Diego-based portfolio rebalancing software provider. In a press release issued just today, TRX announced that it acquired the PowerAdvisor portfolio management software solution from Portland, Oregon-based Cornerstone Revolutions. PowerAdvisor will be rebranded as TPX, or Total Portfolio Expert, and TRX will continue to support over 100 firms that use portfolio management software every day in their business.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, but this deal will likely offer advisors with a tightly integrated portfolio management and rebalancing software package, a single resource for customer service and back office support, and a very capable solution offered at a very compelling price point.] Total Rebalance Expert (TRX) today announced the acquisition of PowerAdvisor’s portfolio management software suite from Cornerstone Revolutions. The combination of TRX’s industry leading portfolio rebalancing platform with PowerAdvisor’s portfolio management system will create a complete and integrated portfolio management solution.

Tech Review: ProTracker Cloud CRM Software from Financial-Planning.com

 [And finally, this week’s broadcast wraps up with an update on ProTracker software, providers of desktop-based CRM to advisors for over 16 years. In his technology column for Financial Planning magazine, Joel Bruckenstein reviewed ProTracker Cloud, the latest CRM to introduce a cloud-based solution, which is built on top of the SugarCRM platform. This is similar to the concept of overlays from XLR8 and AppCrown, which both customize the out-of-the-box Salesforce platform and tailor it for the wealth management environment.

Warren Mackensen, president of ProTracker Software and also an active fee-only financial planner, certainly has the experience of knowing what it takes to run a successful advisory business, so I’m optimistic that he’ll be able to introduce SugarCRM, which hasn’t yet gained much traction among advisors, as a viable contender among cloud-based CRMs.] A well-established product for independent advisors is moving to a platform that will provide increased flexibility and may attract new categories of users.

 News that didn’t make the broadcast:

Dell sells its majority stake in Smarsh to investment fund Toba Capital from Businessweek

[This in an informative review of Smarsh’s odd ownership by Dell, as a result of its purchase of Quest several years ago. Dell was a silent owner for roughly a year, making strategy moves challenging, according to the article. Now that the uncertainty seems all but gone for now, Smarsh is making strides to expand its growth among several industries, including archiving for financial services. They even opened a new office in the Atlanta metro area, about a half hour drive from FPPad world headquarters!] Dell has quietly unloaded its majority stake in digital archivist Smarsh, ending a prolonged period of uncertainty for one of Portland’s fast-growing tech companies.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for November 8, 2103

FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 11

On this week’s broadcast, learn which broker-dealers are stepping up their game in technology, the industry’s first native financial planning app for Salesforce is introduced, what to do when someone steals your online videos, and more. So get ready, Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by the 2013 T3 Enterprise Conference, exclusively designed for the technology needs of broker-dealers and financial enterprises.


You have less than one month before this event kicks off on November 3rd in Chicago, so if you’re looking for the best place to monitor trends in broker-dealer technology, you need register today at t3enterpriseconference.com

Upping the Ante from Financial Advisor Magazine

[Continuing with the theme of broker-dealer technology, this week’s lead story comes from Joel Bruckenstein, whose “Upping the Ante” column for Financial Advisor magazine provides a terrific overview at what broker-dealers are doing to deliver leading technology to their representatives.

Bruckenstein covers updates from leading BDs like Raymond James, LPL Financial, United Planners, Commonwealth, and Wells Fargo Advisors. Even if your firm is not affiliated with a broker-dealer, you need to read this column to find out what technology you should be adding to your business so you don’t fall behind in this continuously evolving marketplace.] With advisors’ business models constantly evolving, the pressure on independent broker-dealers to continually enhance their technology platforms has never been more intense. From portfolio management to client relationships, advisors are demanding that competitive brokerage firms up their tech games. This article looks at how five broker-dealers are trying to satisfy those demands.

Advisor Software, Inc. Launches goalgamiPro On salesforce.com’s AppExchange, The World’s Leading Business Apps Marketplace from PRNewswire.com

[Now notably absent from an article on broker-dealer technology is any update on Salesforce, the 800-pound gorilla of enterprise CRM. But one company expanding its support of Salesforce is Advisor Software, creators of goalgamiPro, a quick financial planning software application that I’ve highlighted in the past on my YouTube channel.

Advisor Software just launched a new app in the Salesforce AppExchange for goalgamiPro, giving advisors who use Salesforce the industry’s first native financial planning app for the CRM platform. You can watch a 7-minute demo video of goalgamiPro for Salesforce in action embedded along side the links to this week’s top stories.] Advisor Software, Inc., a provider of wealth management solutions for the financial advisor market, today announced it has launched its goalgamiPro quick planning solution on salesforce.com’s AppExchange, empowering businesses to connect with customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways.

Video theft: the latest threat to online financial adviser content from FPPad

[Switching gears now, a lot of you have asked me how you can create and post videos online to market your firm and generate organic search traffic to your business. But when you post videos online, you need to know that other people with dubious intentions can steal your videos and use them for their own benefit.

This week I discovered two episodes of Bits and Bytes had been reposted to another channel on YouTube and were being used to generate advertising revenue for that channel owner. So what can you do if you find someone allegedly infringing your copyrighted videos? YouTube makes it very easy to file an infringement claim, and when I filled one out for the two Bits and Bytes videos that were stolen, YouTube removed them in less than 24 hours.

Here is the link to access the YouTube Copyright Infringement Notification form.] Content thieves are stealing popular advisor videos to draw visitors to their questionable channels. Find out how to stop them.

Orion Advisor Services, LLC Achieves ISO 27001 Certification from PRNewswire.com

[Finishing up this week’s broadcast is a security update from Orion Advisor Services, the nation’s largest privately held portfolio accounting service bureau and, full disclosure, past sponsor of Bits and Bytes. Earlier this week, Orion announced that it achieved the ISO 27001 certification for meeting rigorous standards required for internal security controls.

The ISO 27001 certification is not easy to achieve, as the audit process is both time consuming and expensive. Orion becomes just the second company in all of Nebraska to receive the certification and joins industry heavyweights like Salesforce and Broadridge as the few financial services firms that are ISO 27001 certified.

But if you seek the gold standard in security controls from your vendors and providers to keep your information safe, ISO 27001 is the benchmark that distinguishes the top companies from all the rest.] Orion Advisor Services, LLC, a premier portfolio accounting service provider, recently completed an independent audit in accordance with the global security certification standards outlined by the ISO/IEC 27001:2005 report (“ISO 27001”).


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FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 5


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask the Tech Experts: Register for this free InvestmentNews webinar

06/12/2013 UPDATE: A replay of the webinar is available. Register for free to view the archive using the link below. NOTE: The replay is not compatible with mobile devices.

I have the privilege of presenting alongside Joel Bruckenstein, co-founder of Technology Tools for Today, and Davis Janowski, technology reporter for InvestmentNews in an upcoming free webinar. Watch the promo video above.

Ask the Tech Experts: Trends in Advisory Technology will be hosted Tuesday, June 11 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

View the archive for free at InvestmentNews.com.

Click the image to view the free archive.

Click the image to view the free archive.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 3

I’m in San Diego presenting at the Shareholders Service Group 2013 conference, then headed out to Palm Springs tomorrow for FPA Retreat 2013. Grab me and introduce yourself if you’re attending either event!

Here are this weeks stories of interest:

How to secure mobile devices against “WiFi honeypots” from FPPad

[This is important, so I’m sharing it in the first spot this week. WiFi honeypots are hardware devices that fool your laptop and/or mobile device into thinking its connected to a trusted WiFi network. But its not, and unknowingly connecting to a WiFi honeypot exposes you to a man-in-the-middle attack. Read this article now to learn how you can increase your defenses against WiFi honeypots.] Most of the time, you’re likely not at risk of having data you send over WiFi intercepted by someone else. But a number of software programs and hardware devices for sale on the Internet allow users to do just that; sit on public WiFi and eavesdrop on unencrypted data being passed back and forth.

Pershing Broadens the Accessibility of NetX360 to run on Microsoft’s Surface Pro Tablet from PRNewswire

[Ok, the race to support Windows 8 is on. Pershing starts off the PR campaign by announcing its NetX360 custodial platform is now supported on Windows 8. By definition, that means NetX360 also runs on Surface Pro tablets, which run Windows 8. BUT, what I haven’t seen yet is the user interface, and I doubt there have been any major changes to the interface that correspond with the tiles UI (formerly Metro) featured so prominently in Windows 8. I’d reach out to Pershing for comment, but I’m 35,000 feet in the air as I write this.] Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today announced that the company’s industry-leading technology platform for advisors, NetX360®, now runs on Microsoft’s new Surface™ Pro tablet. The availability and compatibility of NetX360 on the Surface Pro will help advisors manage their business more effectively and efficiently while working in the office or on the road.

Building a Smarter Portfolio from Financial-Planning.com

[Joel Bruckenstein reviews Riskalyze, a web-based tool that uses questionnaires to determine a quantifiable number for a client’s risk tolerance. With the “magic” number in hand, advisers can design portfolios around the client’s appetite (or lack thereof) for risk. Sound familiar? As Bruckenstein mentioned, providers like MoneyGuidePro and FinaMetrica have similar features in their respective programs. But the fresh graphics and appealing user interface give Riskalyze a leg up on the usability factor, so this is one worth watching as they mature.] I recently tried a new cloud-based product called Riskalyze Pro that provides advisors with both risk-assessment and portfolio-construction tools. The tool was developed by Riskalyze Advisors, a new company whose proprietary platform provides risk assessment, portfolio construction, analytics and investment discovery.

eMoney And Zumbox Announce Strategic Partnership To Offer Digital Postal Mail To Clients from PRNewswire

[Here’s an interesting combination. Zumbox is an alternative to paper mail you get every day. Instead, Zumbox scans all your paper mail and delivers it to you through a secure portal. That worked well five years ago when everything came in the mail. I don’t know about you, but today, I get virtually everything electronically, including bank statements, credit card statements, brokerage account trade confirms. Even my tax return this year was 100% electronic. So why eMoney chooses to partner with Zumbox for electronic document delivery over more prevalent providers (say, ShareFile, Box, etc.)? I’m going to connect with eMoney soon, so I’ll report back what I learn.] eMoney Advisor (“eMoney”), the only wealth-planning system for financial advisors that offers transparency, security, mobile access and superior organization for everything that impacts their clients’ financial lives, has announced a strategic partnership with Zumbox to offer Digital Postal Mail to clients whose advisors use the eMoney platform.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 12

It’s been a quiet week in the world of financial planning technology.

So read the lone story below, digest Michael Kitces’ Weekend Reading, and get an early start to your weekend!

The Trade-PMR Fusion desktop is the first of its kind among investment custodians

The Trade-PMR Fusion Advisor Workstation is the first of its kind among investment custodians

Ready For Takeoff from FA-Mag.com

[Touch screens and “live tiles” seem to be taking over as the interface of tomorrow. Yes, we’ve been using the mouse and keyboard for over four decades, so it’s about time humans experiment with more natural controls. But, do touch screens and tiles *really* increase one’s productivity? In some cases yes (like navigating a map), but in some cases, no (virtual touch-responsive keyboards). So will Trade-PMR’s Fusion Advisor Workstation platform overcome all that is frustrating and time-consuming with the traditional custodial interface? Joel Bruckenstein seems to think so.] Trade-pmr, an ria custodian located in Gainesville, Fla., is not among the most widely recognized names in the custody business. But with the release of Fusion, the company’s new, touch-enabled custodial platform, its profile within the industry is certain to rise soon.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 5

This week, a registered rep's YouTube video on annuities lands him in hot water.

This week, a registered rep’s YouTube video on annuities lands him in hot water.

My lesson learned from this week: Completely block out a few days each month in my calendar for rescheduling events. Things don’t always go according to “plan,” so it’s a lot easier when I have a few unscheduled days available in the future rather than try and compress existing commitments to squeeze in a rescheduled event.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

YouTube Annuities Videos Lead To Fine And Suspension from Forbes.com

[So a registered rep for First Heartland Capital, Inc., Ralph William Hicks Jr., created and posted videos to YouTube about equity index annuity (“EIAs”) seminars. FINRA alleged that Hicks’ marketing materials, including the YouTube videos, “presented oversimplified claims which omitted material information, or failed to provide a sound basis for evaluating the facts.” So what’s your lesson in all of this? If you’re going to market on YouTube (or any online site), you’d be better off avoiding specific details about products, including annuity guarantees and risks, and rather address general financial planning principles or opportunities NOT linked with particular products. But if you do mention products, you probably ought to provide a conspicuous link to disclosure material at a minimum.] While registered with First Heartland during approximately 2009 through 2011, the AWC alleges that Hicks disseminated to some 200 to 1,000 members of the public: advertising and sales literature to the public in YouTube videos; invitations to seminars and workshops; and letters concerning, among other things, bonus incentives.

Book Review: Technology Tools for Today’s High-Margin Practice from the Journal of Financial Planning

[Bruce Colin, CFP® provides an honest, unbiased review of the new edition of Technology Tools for Today’s High-Margin Practice, updated by Joel Bruckenstein and David Drucker featuring multiple contributions from a variety of authors (of which I am one). Read Colin’s review for the best chapters of the book and why this edition is “required reading” for advisers. You can buy a copy using this affiliate link or just search for it on Amazon.] Required Reading for Tech-Savvy Planners: Latest Drucker-Bruckenstein book disappoints in some areas, but still worth the investment.

Technology blueprint for a typical RIA firm from InvestmentNews.com

[Nexus Strategy founder Tim Welsh makes a (first?) guest appearance at InvestmentNews to cover the programs and applications most used by financial advisers. Data for this article was obtained from the 2013 InvestmentNews Technology Study. But one opportunity for improvement: avoid burying the lead.] The overwhelming success of the independent-adviser segment is transforming the financial services industry. With over $2 trillion in assets, independent registered investment advisers continue to be the fastest-growing segment and as a result are attracting investments by technology firms to penetrate this growing marketplace.

Biggest Tech Trends Now from Financial-Planning.com

[In this recap of February’s Technology Tools for Today conference, Joel Bruckenstein covers the biggest trends observed: data security for financial advisers, protecting mobile devices, ramped-up custodian technology, touchscreen interfaces, and Windows 8.] The interest in security among independent advisors seemed to have ratcheted up. Perhaps it’s because major custodians have acted to heighten advisor awareness of attacks, or it could be increased media coverage of Chinese hackers targeting U.S. websites – but either way, it was one of the key questions for attendees at February’s Technology Tools for Today conference.

Salentica Releases Laser App Integration to Enable Advisors to Reduce Time Spent On Form Filling from PRWeb.com

[Streamlined form filling is almost a required technology for the progressive advisory firm. Laser App is the 800-pound gorilla in form-filling software, so it’s imperative that other technology vendors integrate with them in some way. Here’s the latest CRM integration from Salentica, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM overlay provider for financial services. They’re still tiny with respect to their user base among advisers, but supporting integrations such as this will help boost its adoption in the marketplace.] Salentica Inc., a market leader in providing innovative Client Relationship Management (CRM) and Client Reporting technology solutions for the wealth management industry, announced today the general availability of its integration with Laser App within its CRM software.

T3 2013: Conference review in pictures

Enjoy a short slideshow of about two-dozen photos captured on site at T3 2013 in Miami, FL.

Note: Picasa uses Flash, so iOS users touch here: https://picasaweb.google.com/109199896143956110609/T32013?authuser=0&feat=directlink


T3 2013: Top technology to put on your radar

t3 2013 conferenceAt over 600 attendees, T3 2013 packs downtown Miami with the best in adviser technology

This year’s Technology Tools for Today conference (T3) packed over 600 attendees in the Hilton Miami Downtown hotel, including roughly 300 financial advisers according to conference co-founder David Drucker.

A conference like this is covered by all the major media outlets, so you can check out coverage from InvestmentNews, Financial Planning, WealthMangement, and more.

I’m taking a short break (and giving my feet a rest!) to share some of the most intriguing vendors with which I’ve had the chance to connect with today. In addition to updates on FPPad and elsewhere, be sure to follow #T32013 on Twitter.


Raj Udeshi, head of business development for HiddenLevers

Raj Udeshi, head of business development for HiddenLevers


No longer T3 newbies, HiddenLevers is back again this year with a novel feature that I feel significantly improves the lead generation process for advisers.

The new feature is a portfolio stress test call to action advisers can embed in their website. When prospects land on an adviser’s page, they see a button that offers a free portfolio stress test to see what happens as a result of a specific macro event.

Prospects get a very useful illustration provided by HiddenLevers, and advisers get lead contact information (including basic portfolio details) volunteered by the prospect to use for follow up contact.

Find more information at https://www.hiddenlevers.com/.


Cloud RIA Ryan Terwedo

CloudRIA founder & CEO Ryan Terwedo

A company launching out of stealth mode is cloudRIA, founded roughly 5 years ago by Ryan Terwedo. Terwedo brings experience running back office operations for a variety of financial services firms in the Seattle, WA area, and is now leveraging his expertise into the RIA market.

cloudRIA’s tag line is the “RIA OS,” with the premise of being the operating system, or the glue, if you will, of major advisor software tools. Partners today include Redtail CRM, MoneyGuidePro, TD Ameritrade Institutional, and many more soon to come.

I see a lot of potential with cloudRIA, but this market is going to be tough. After spending 15 minutes with Terwedo, I think he’s fearless enough to take on the challenge.

For more information, visit http://cloudria.com/


kwanti, a new player in portfolio analytics

kwanti, a new player in portfolio analytics

kwanti is portfolio analytics software that imports client portfolio holdings and offers quick reports to a variety of benchmarks and metrics. The company recently secured a connection with TD Ameritrade Institutional Veo® Open Access, so advisers with client accounts at the third-largest (by assets) custodian can easily import holdings for analysis.

As kwanti matures and adds more portfolio connections, look for it to offer intelligent analytics at a very attractive price point. Pricing starts around $50 per user per month.

For more information, visit http://kwanti.com/