On today’s broadcast, Betterment takes heat for suspending customer trades, TD Ameritrade Institutional hosts its annual technology summit, and more.
So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!
Today’s episode is brought to you by Orion Advisor Services, the industry’s premier portfolio accounting service provider for advisors. Orion integrates with several automated investment platforms, but you’re not sure if now the right time to add a robo element to your firm.
Find out if you’re ready, or not, to add your own solution by downloading a free copy of the Orion pre-robo checklist today by visiting fppad.com/robochecklist.
Here are the links to this week’s top stories:
Robo Adviser Betterment Suspended Trading During ‘Brexit’ Market Turmoil via WSJ (subscription required),
After trading halt, Betterment suffers its own Brexit shock from Financial Planning,
[This week’s top story is all about Betterment, because in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote, the company notified financial advisors on the Betterment Institutional platform that it had suspended trading from 10am to 12pm Eastern on June 24th, citing their expectation of “highly unpredictable volatility,” a decision which has triggered all sorts of discussions across the investment community.
First, a primer. Betterment uses ETFs for all customer portfolios, and when trading gets volatile, ETF pricing can get significantly disconnected from the value of the ETF’s underlying securities. Remember the flash crash of August 2015? ETF pricing was all over the map, especially for lightly traded and illiquid ETFs.
So, when Betterment’s team identified undesirable trading conditions, they suspend all trading. And as a discretionary advisor to retail customers, they can totally do that. It’s disclosed right there on page 65 of the retail agreement, which every customer acknowledges they read by checking the I agree box next to the Sign Up button. <wink wink>
But the exact same language is on page 70 of the Institutional Agreement, and I couldn’t find anything that said trading *authorized by the Advisor* would be treated any differently. In the RIABiz coverage of the event, Michael Kitces said that treating financial advisors the same as clients “creates operational channel conflicts.”
And there’s the rub. If you’re an advisor using Betterment Institutional for your clients, when you authorize trades, you need to know whether those trades will be subject to Betterment’s suspension criteria.
But that’s one risk of using ETFs in Betterment Institutional, or any automated investment service for that matter. Sometimes the pricing gets out of whack, and you won’t always know in advance when that happens.
So on a volatile day, you need to understand that, as of today, your trade authorizations might not be processed right away, and your trades will be in limbo for who knows how long until Betterment decides it’s ok to resume trading. I suspect that policy might soon be changing for Betterment Institutional users.] Betterment, LLC, a pioneer in the world of automated investing, made an unusual move and suspended all trading Friday morning as markets were roiled by the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.
[My next story highlights TD Ameritrade Institutional, as I attended the custodian’s 7th annual technology summit in Dallas, and I made a vlog about it so you can get a glimpse of what the event is like, so be sure to check it out.
At the summit, executives offered updates on Veo Open Access, which now features 104 integrated solution providers, announced the introduction of Veo Advanced Alerts, and reiterated the pending release of the Veo One platform for late fall of this year.
There weren’t very many advisor dashboards available when Veo One was first announced in January of last year, but recently several tech providers have invested heavily in their own all-in-one dashboards, with notable names like Envestnet|Tamarac, supported by Envestnet’s acquisitions of Finance Logix and Yodlee, Salesforce, with its rollout of Financial Services Cloud happening now, and Fidelity’s Wealthscape platform anticipated by the end of this year, which will include technology from the eMoney acquisition.
So Veo One will go up against some stiff competition when it is rolled out later this year, so I recommend you make plans now to refresh what you know about the dashboard options for your business in the second half of this year.] A growing community of technology innovators, which has collaborated with TD Ameritrade Institutional1 to make Veo Open Access one of the industry’s leading platforms for independent registered investment advisors (“RIAs”), is again coming together to drive significant new enhancements to Veo and accelerate the pace of future Veo One integrations.
Here are the stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:
Riskalyze Announces General Availability of Asset Sync from Riskalyze
Starting today, advisors will be able to import an investor’s outside assets from over 18,000 connections from thousands of financial institutions.
Junxure, the industry leading CRM solutions and technology company for financial advisors, this week announced new enhancements to its cloud-based CRM platform, Junxure Cloud®. As part of its ongoing work to integrate with leading platforms serving independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), Junxure Cloud has expanded its integration with Veo®, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s comprehensive trading and account management platform.
Vestorly Inc., the leading content marketing and relationship analytics platform in the financial services industry, today announced a unique partnership with Dow Jones that will enable all Vestorly users to access Dow Jones content, including The Wall Street Journal, in order to engage clients and generate leads.
Dashlane launches a password management tool for the enterprise from TechCrunch
Today, the company behind one of the more popular solutions for helping consumers manage their online accounts, Dashlane, is making its move into the enterprise.
Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today launched a suite of technology enhancements that provide wealth management firms with greater flexibility to digitally transform their business.