Tag Archives: Morningstar

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 30, 2016

On today’s broadcast, get updates on hackathons hosted by Orion and eMoney, Motif Investing introduces subscription pricing, Betterment automates asset location preferences, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Envestnet | Tamarac, providers of Advisor Xi, an industry-leading fully integrated web-based suite for RIAs. Tamarac’s Advisor Xi unifies portfolio management, modeling, rebalancing, trading, billing, and reporting with a fully customizable client portal and enterprise-grade CRM.

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On October 20th, two innovative and rapidly growing firms will share how they leveraged the Advisor Xi Suite in their business during an interactive webinar. Space is limited, so secure your spot today by visiting http://fppad.com/tamarac

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

Fuse 2016: Day One and eMoney Advisor Summit 2016: Hack-a-thon Day One

Now you’ve probably noticed that it’s been a few weeks since my last Bits and Bytes broadcast, and that’s because I’ve attended not one, but two hackathon events hosted by financial technology companies. The first was the Fuse event in Park City, Utah, where Orion Advisor Services assembled developers from dozens of companies to present innovative ways they leverage the Orion Notifications platform. My producer Steve and I vlogged each day of the event, which I highly recommend you watch to find out who claimed the coveted Best in Show award.
And then two weeks later, eMoney hosted their own hackathon event, which had a bit of a different structure from Fuse, as four groups of advisors teamed up with eMoney product, design, and engineering employees to build new planning experiences onto the existing eMoney platform. We made vlogs of this event, too, which I also think is worth your time to watch.
Now, I get that hackathons generate good PR and marketing buzz for the host companies, but quite honestly it’s exciting to see activities like these that promote innovation and experimentation with technology that’s all about helping you serve your clients AND be a better business owner.

Motif Enters Subscription Economy, Introduces Motif BLUE from BusinessWire

Now, moving on to top stories, let’s start with Motif Investing, as the company just introduced a new subscription-based service called Motif BLUE. If you remember back in December 2014, I awarded the Best Back-Office Technology to the Motif Advisor Platform, but that was before the company switched from a flat monthly fee per customer to an AUM-based fee schedule.
But with Motif BLUE, the monthly fee makes a comeback, as customers can pay up to $19.95 a month to invest in three motifs, get auto-rebalancing of professional motifs, and trade motifs three times per month commission free.
So my theory is, customers can use the Motif BLUE Starter plan at $5 a month to mimic one of the asset allocations of the popular automated investment services out there, but instead of paying an AUM-based fee of, oh, 25 to 35 basis points, customers pay Motif roughly $60 a year.
Do the math, and Motif is cheaper when assets go above about $20,000 versus an annual fee of 35 basis points. Now I admit, there are still other differences between Motif Investing and automated investment services, but I think you can sense I believe that fees for investing software should not be based on the size of the assets being managed, and I expect that trend to grow as customers gravitate towards subscription-based pricing models.

Tax-Coordinated Portfolio™: The Latest Breakthrough in Tax-Smart Investing from Betterment

But to up the ante, Betterment announced its own new offering called the Tax-Coordinated Portfolio service, where Betterment automatically implements asset location preferences across taxable and tax-deferred or tax-exempt investment accounts.
Now the concept of asset location preferences is nothing new, but what IS new is the ability to use software to automatically manage location preferences on the fly, such as when clients make one-time deposits or withdrawals across their various accounts. Betterment confirmed that this service will be available to Betterment for Advisors customers, so when I go back to that whole discussion around fees a moment ago with Motif Investing, one could argue that higher fees could be justified because of nuanced differences like automated asset location management.

Quovo Unveils Advisor Dashboard, Arming Financial Advisors With Enriched Client Data Insights in an Intuitive User Interface from Marketwired

And look, if you want to effectively mange asset location preferences, you really need to see all of your clients’ assets and accounts, which leads me to my final story that comes from Quovo, as the company announced the release of the Quovo Advisor Dashboard. The dashboard allows advisors to quickly view information on both assets under management as well as held-away assets, easily synchronize new client accounts, and generate simple reports based on the data obtained by Quovo.
Now I know aggregating held-away assets has always come with its share of challenges (like expired account credentials), but with the Department of Labor fiduciary requirements coming in April next year, how will you be able to defend the advice you provide to clients if you don’t have a clear picture of their assets and liabilities?
You can certainly get those details without using account aggregation, but it just won’t be very efficient, and with direct-to-consumer providers like Personal Capital and Betterment including account aggregation in their solutions, well, these are the new table stakes for technology in your business. So if you’re not using solutions like Quovo or alternatives like Morningstar ByAllAccounts, Aqumulate, eMoney, Wealth Access, Yodlee and others, there’s still time to add one of these to the tools you use today.

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

Riskalyze Rolls Out Coverage for Individual Bonds from Riskalyze

It’s a request we’ve heard from a lot of advisors: make it simple to include individual bonds in a portfolio on Riskalyze. We’re excited to announce that coverage for over 30,000 individual corporate, government and municipal bonds will arrive on October 1.

Qumram launches fully-compliant WhatsApp social media record keeping from Qumram

Despite end-to-end encryption, Qumram enables financial services firms to meet client demand for social media interaction, via WhatsApp, without compromising compliance.

Save time with smart scheduling in Google Calendar from Google

If you’re using G Suite, “Find a time” already lets you set up meetings much faster in Calendar on Android. Today it’s coming to iOS and by the end of the year, the web.

2016 Morningstar Investment Conference: Day 3 Vlog

On the final day of the 2016 Morningstar Investment Conference, we wrapped up our vlog coverage with several discussions about things to implement as attendees return to their office.

We first attempted to capture sound bites on some of the best ideas heard at the conference, but this ended up unfolding in an unexpected way.

Next we connected with Blane Warrene and Marie Swift who have supported Morningstar’s social hub since it’s debut at the Morningstar Investment Conference five years ago.

We finished with varying perspectives from more key Morningstar employees, with one of them including, if you can believe it, a karaoke song about account aggregation.

I hope you enjoy the experience of day three of the 2016 Morningstar Investment Conference from our perspective.

(Watch the vlog on YouTube)

2016 Morningstar Investment Conference: Day 2 Vlog

The 2016 Morningstar Investment Conference spans three days in Chicago to deliver the best investment ideas and discussions to financial professionals.

Morningstar asked my executive producer Steve and me to attend their conference and create a daily vlog.

I hope you enjoy the experience of day two of the 2016 Morningstar Investment Conference from our perspective, including a new segment we attempted called “Escalator Interviews!”

2016 Morningstar Investment Conference: Day 1 Vlog

You might not believe who has started vlogging.

Morningstar, one of the biggest names in investment research, brought me to their conference to create a daily vlog about the event.

Experience the 2016 Morningstar Investment Conference from a completely new perspective: a vlog.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 6, 2016

On today’s broadcast, Wealthbox CRM releases 5 new integrations, Orion sends portfolio information to clients via text message, Morningstar ByAllAccounts introduces a new client portal, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

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

5 New Integrations: Zapier, TD Ameritrade, Riskalyze, Orion, Microsoft Office 365 from Wealthbox.com

[This week’s top story comes from Wealthbox CRM, as the company took advantage of a Cinco de Mayo theme to announce five new integrations on 5/5. The new integrations include TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo Open Access, Riskalyze, Orion Advisor Services, Microsoft Office 365, and Zapier. If Zapier sounds familiar, that’s because you heard about it in last week’s episode, unless you missed it, which means you should take a few minutes to watch it and get caught up.

This is great news from Wealthbox CRM, as many advisors I know were discouraged from using it in the past because it lacked integrations with many core technology solutions. With that objection out of the way, you should update your due diligence matrix to see which CRM is the best fit for your business objectives over the next few years.] Today we’re happy to announce five new Wealthbox CRM integrations with leading technology partners.

Orion Advisor Services Launches Text Alert Platform for Advisors from MarketWired

[Next up is news from Orion Advisor Services, as this week the portfolio accounting service provider announced a new app called Notifications. Once clients register their mobile number using the Orion client portal, Notifications uses text messages to provide updates like your clients’ portfolio balance, performance information, or even RMDs. Oh, and for you compliance officers watching, all of the messaging are automated, meaning there is no personal communication between the client and the advisor.

Ever since I saw the Penny App at last year’s FinCon event, I’ve been waiting for an advisor fintech provider to roll out text messaging for updates to clients, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure Orion is the first provider to do it.

Now one drawback I see is that clients need to learn special keywords like BAL, PERF, ADV to get information, so my challenge Brad and his team, you remember Brad, the potato chip guy from one of my vlogs, is to add in support for natural language processing so I can just ask the app, “What is my portfolio balance?”
Sorry Brad!] Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), a premier portfolio accounting service provider for financial advisors, is announcing the launch of the Notifications app, which allows advisors to communicate with clients more directly by sending portfolio updates and scheduling meetings all via a text alert platform.

Morningstar Launches ByAllAccounts Personal Financial Management Portal for Advisors, Aggregates Investor Accounts with Daily Updates for a More Holistic View of Total Wealth from Morningstar

[And finally, news from Morningstar wraps up this week’s broadcast as the company’s aggregation service, ByAllAccounts, released a personal financial management portal for advisors and clients.

The new portal is available as a complete solution with customized branding for your firm, or if you already use a portal or online dashboard from other providers, you can choose from a number of the ByAllAccounts portal elements to use as stand-alone tools. For this reason, pricing is going to depend based on your needs for a solution, but whatever you pay, account aggregation from ByAllAccounts is included for an unlimited number of clients and accounts.

But there are some caveats you should know: First, the aggregation data is not intended for data reconciliation, so it’s not suitable for detailed portfolio performance information. Reconciliation-ready data is part of the the traditional ByAllAccounts aggregation service.

Second, a minimum number of licenses are required to use the portal, so today, this solution targeted for the mid- to large RIAs and broker-dealers, yet I’m optimistic that over time ByAllAccounts can offer pricing and functionality that is attractive to advisors of all sizes.] Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, today launched a new personal financial management portal in the firm’s account aggregation service, Morningstar® ByAllAccounts.

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

Periscope mimics FB Live by letting you permanently #Save replays from TechCrunch

You can now permanently save replays of your broadcasts by including #Save in their title.

Pershing platform expands robo offerings with Vanare, Jemstep and SigFig partnerships from Financial Planning

Demonstrating the intensifying race to dominate adviser technology, Pershing broadened the scope of its B2B digital advice offerings, announcing on Wednesday it was bringing startups SigFig, Vanare and Invesco’s Jemstep Advisor Pro onto its platform that also includes the still-developing robo Marstone.

Cloak is now part of StackPath from GetCloak.com

Peter, Nick, and I are excited to announce that Cloak is now part of StackPath, a still-stealthy startup based in Dallas, Texas that has bold plans for online security.

Laserfiche 10.1 at the Forefront of ECM and Business Process Automation from Laserfiche

Laserfiche today announced the availability of Laserfiche 10.1. The latest enterprise content management (ECM) offering builds on the features and resources of Laserfiche 10, released in January 2016, further enhancing teamwork and collaboration, refining case management capabilities and extending business analytics.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 6, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 6, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 29, 2016

On today’s broadcast, Redtail is the beneficiary of two announcements, MoneyGuidePro releases G4, and see the latest audio and video solutions to enhance your online content

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kaleido, introducing their new flexible marketing services that turn your marketing plan into action.

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Learn how Kaleido can help you implement the marketing projects you’ve been putting off by visiting fppad.com/kaleido.

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

Morningstar and Redtail Technology Announce Expanded Agreement, Adding Redtail’s Robust CRM Functionality to Morningstar Office for Financial Advisors from PRNewswire, and

Zapier integration with Redtail CRM is now available from Redtail Technology

[This week’s top story is a two-for-one about Redtail Technology, as the CRM provider was first mentioned by Morningstar as the company is further expanding its integration with the popular CRM for advisors. Two years ago, Redtail users started accessing Morningstar research and analytics directly in the CRM, and with the latest integration, users of both solutions can transfer data between the two systems, reducing the amount of manual data entry as well as synchronizing client and account data viewed in Redtail CRM.

The second story from Redtail is the announcement of a new integration with Zapier, a popular web automation application. The connection with Zapier means that Redtail users can use triggers in Redtail, such as a new activity or a new contact in the CRM, to create an action in another program, which includes over 500 popular services like Slack, Google Docs, MailChimp and many more.

Other providers, including Wealthbox CRM, have been hinting at soon-to-be-released integrations with Zapier and others for several months now.
So if you’ve been frustrated with the lack of direct integrations within your CRM, you’ll soon be able to build your own custom trigger and action workflows using apps like Zapier.] Redtail CRM is now available publicly in Zapier’s App Directory in beta version.

PIEtech, Inc. Releases 4th Generation of MoneyGuidePro – Helping Firms Deliver Higher Quality Plans in a Scalable Manner from PRWeb

[Next up is news from MoneyGuidePro, as the financial planning software provider officially released the fourth generation of its software, aptly named G4. Advisors will definitely notice an updated look and feel to the user interface, but G4 largely retains many of the core features present in the prior version, G3, such as the Play Zone, Social Security Maximization, and the What Are You Afraid Of? modules.

One of the more significant changes is the addition of five pre-built workflows called “conversations” which are used to streamline the creation of an initial financial plan. Advisors can complete the conversation data entry alone or together with clients in a meeting, or decide to grant clients access to an online portal where they enter data completely on their own.

The pre-built workflows limit the amount of data needed to create a plan so that the entire process isn’t overly tedious. With a preliminary plan created, advisors can then drill down into more specific areas of the plan.] PIEtech’s vision, “Everyone needs and deserves a quality financial plan,” has never been truer – for both advisors and clients. Today, PIEtech released the fourth generation of MoneyGuidePro® to help financial advisors develop and deliver quality financial plans on an unprecedented scale.

Watch the G4 video tutorial on the MoneyGuidePro website.

FPPad Coverage from the 2016 NAB Show on YouTube

[And finally, I want to wrap up this week’s broadcast with a heads up about the videos Steve and I made at the NAB Show last week. We featured the top video, audio, and technology gadgets, as well as whatever that thing is, from over 1,800 exhibitors that you can use to start making your own online content. You’ll learn about 360º cameras, wireless microphones, lighting, production resources and more that are all affordable and easy for you to use.]

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

Quovo and Vanare Partner to Help Financial Firms Provide Better Client Experience from PRNewswire

Advisors striving to improve the client experience by providing offerings tailored to their entire financial picture can now seamlessly aggregate their client’s data into a fully customized online wealth management platform.

Data Points Releases Its Behavioral Finance Assessment Platform from PRWeb

Data Points announced today the release of its Predicting Wealth™ platform, which provides the financial services industry a scientific way to identify clients with the highest potential for building wealth across all market segments. The platform delivers analytics on the financial behaviors of clients and predictive assessments to drive financial success.

United Capital Announces FinLife Partners: a White Label of Firm’s Integrated Advice, Investment Management, Technology and Coaching for Advisers from BusinessWire

Today, United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), a Financial Life Management firm, announces the launch of FinLife Partners, a turnkey advice and planning platform that allows independent advisers access to the firm’s proprietary Financial Life Management system, including adviser-branded client experience tools, digital workflow technology and personalized on-demand coaching.

SEC Warns More Cyber Enforcement Actions Coming from Nasdaq.com

The SEC has a long to-do list, but ensuring that advisors and other registrants are protecting clients’ sensitive information from cyber threats is right at the top, and more enforcement actions are expected.

PayPal leads $30 million round in Acorns investing app from TechCrunch

Acorns, the investing app, is announcing a $30 million strategic investment from PayPal, with participation from the Rakuten FinTech Fund. This brings the team’s total funding to $62 million.

Katch is shutting down May 4th from Katch

After 12 months of building the best way to save and discover mobile live streams, it is with great disappointment that we must announce that Katch will be shutting down.

Docupace Announces Independence from RCS Capital (RCAP) from BusinessWire

Docupace Technologies LLC, financial services’ premier digital compliance and cyber security company, announced today that it will pursue growth independently of investment from RCS Capital Corporation

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 29, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 29, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 4

On today’s broadcast, ransomware strikes again, updates on LPL Financial’s automated investment service, and Morningstar releases sustainability ratings for mutual funds.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad 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 14th to the 18th. When you register, you’ll get access to the interviews and bonus material from 25 industry thought leaders who share how-to advice you can use right away to improve your practice. And, when you register by March 13th, your participation will count toward scholarships for the Child Mind Institute’s Brave Buddies program for anxious children.

Implement Now 2016

Find all the details for this high-impact online event by visiting fppad.com/implementnow

Stay on Guard Against Cyberattacks from ThinkAdvisor.com,

2 New Members Of The Ransomware Family That Are Already Wreaking Havoc! from True North Networks, and

The Pentagon wants you to hack its network for real from TheNextWeb

This week’s top story covers cybersecurity, as Dan Skiles, president of Shareholders Service Group, urges advisers to rethink their approach to keeping the firm safe from attacks. Skiles’ column is timely for two reasons: First, new ransomware called Locky is making the rounds, as True North Networks shared that they are helping one company restore critical data after getting infected by Locky ransomware.

And second, I don’t know if you heard, but this week the Pentagon, probably one of the most well-defended organizations on Earth, announced their own “Hack the Pentagon” program to pay hackers a bounty for finding vulnerabilities! If the Pentagon needs cybersecurity help, I think think it’s safe to say you probably need it, too.

So, where do you begin? I asked one expert to find out:

[Michelle Jacko] Advisors should begin with conducting a risk assessment, doing an inventory of what their technology uses are. Take a look at vulnerabilities by hiring an IT security specialist. Look at internal controls, develop those policies and procedures, and finally, really concentrate on user awareness training, which often is the beginning of where problems start.

If you want cybersecurity help from an outside partner, I connected with Itegria and External IT to find out what’s new:

[Robert Madi] Bill, we’re really excited to announce AdvisorGuard which is a cybersecurity specific solution designed exclusively for RIAs. As an expert in the RIA space, ITEGRIA understands how important cybersecurity is for advisors and how top of mind it is. We’re really excited about it and looking forward to making a huge impact in the RIA space.

[Sam Attias] We’ve released new features, a lot of them have to do with auditing, monitoring of what people are doing within our system with all their applications. We can monitor devices, we can also… a new secure sign on that we’ve come out with that has a lot of exciting features, one of them being for all your web-based applications like a Tamarac or an Orion, Salesforce, you can set the logins and passwords for everybody in your firm and they wouldn’t know what they are.

I think it’s safe to say that it’s time to stop kicking the cybersecurity can down the road and engage a provider that can help you protect your firm from attacks. For more information, be sure to head over to fppad.com/181 for the links to this week’s top stories.] Cybersecurity should be on every advisor’s mind. The unfortunate byproduct of advances in technology is that cybercriminals have new opportunities to commit their crimes.

LPL Expects to Launch Robo-Advisor This Year from ThinkAdvisor.com

[Next is an update from LPL Financial, as this week Bill Morrisey, the company’s head of business development, told ThinkAdvisor that their automated investment service for use by advisors is expected to roll out later this year.

Ok, so let’s rewind to episode 169 for a brief refresher:

No details on pricing or even a name for the solution were provided, but LPL president Dan Arnold did say that a pilot program with about 20 advisors will be begin in the next few months.

Morrisey didn’t comment on the pilot phase, and there still are no details on a fee schedule, minimum requirements, or even a name for the solution, but Morrisey did say that all investors would qualify for the service, so I expect there to be really low or no account minimum when the solution is officially released.] Seven months ago, at its annual conference, LPL announced its intention to launch a robo-advisory service, starting with a pilot program. Now the firm’s head of business development tells ThinkAdvisor that LPL expects to add the service this year.

Morningstar Releases Sustainability Rating for 20,000 Funds from Morningstar.com

[And wrapping up this week’s broadcast is news from Morningstar, as the investment research company released sustainability ratings for over 20,000 mutual funds. If you use Morningstar Direct or Morningstar Office in your business, you can now view the sustainability ratings from within your application, and the company anticipates the ratings will be introduced into Morningstar Advisor Workstation as well as the Morningtar.com websites in the coming weeks.

More and more emerging investors not only want to save for their future, they also want their investments allocated to companies with high environmental, social, and governance factors, or ESG.

So I spy a differentiation opportunity, because the consumer-facing automated investing services don’t give customers the option of allocating their money based on ESG factors. You, on the other hand, can now offer that option.] Investors will now be able to evaluate funds based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors with Morningstar’s new sustainability rating for funds.

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

Personal Capital Surpasses $2 Billion in Assets from PRNewswire

Personal Capital, the leading digital advice firm, today announced it has achieved $2 billion in assets under management (AUM), with one-third coming from clients with over $1 million in assets at Personal Capital. The average AUM per client is now $300,000.

Orchestrate acquires Sagacious from BusinessRecord.com

Orchestrate LLC, a West Des Moines applications, services and support firm serving financial services companies on Salesforce.com, has agreed to acquire Sagacious Inc., also a West Des Moines firm.

NAIFA Selects Junxure as a Partner CRM Provider for Its 43,000 Members from PRNewswire.com

Junxure, an industry-leading CRM solutions and technology firm for financial advisors, today announced its partnership with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), which represents the interests of insurance professionals and financial advisors through legislative and regulatory advocacy and ongoing education.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 4, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for March 4, 2016

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 October 16

On today’s broadcast, Morningstar says it will acquire Total Rebalance Expert, LogMeIn acquires LastPass, and Laser App doubles down on technology training for advisors.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Morningstar, Inc. to Acquire tRx Investment Portfolio Rebalancing Platform for Advisors from Morningstar

[Let’s get right to this week’s top story which comes from Morningstar, as the investment research company just announced that it will acquire Total Rebalance Expert, the portfolio rebalancing solution created by Sheryl Rowling back in 2008. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but my take on this news is that it’s a big positive for both companies, and here’s why.

First, Morningstar has provided back-office technology to thousands of advisors in the form of Morningstar Advisor Workstation and Morningstar Office, but for years advisors have complained that the internal portfolio rebalancing tool lacked some of the more sophisticated features found in competing solutions. So acquiring TRX closes this gap in Morningstar’s technology platform.

And for TRX, what began as a personal project for Sheryl Rowling’s own RIA has grown into a legitimate player in the portfolio rebalancing marketplace with over 175 firms already on board. But in order to take TRX to the next level, it’s going to require additional investments in development, marketing, and customer service, and that’s where Morningstar has the potential to add tremendous value.

This news is the latest in a string of fintech acquisitions this year that includes eMoney, Advent, LearnVest, Finance Logix, Upside Advisor, Guide Financial, and Yodlee. So, I think it’s time we have a chat. Come on, bring it in.

The independent technology providers you use today are in play. Fintech is hot right now, and there’s a lot of cash available, so don’t be surprised if one of the core solutions you use announces it’s going to be acquired.

Now I’m not saying you need to make an exit plan for each piece of technology you use, but I’m going do my best to keep you up to date on what’s happening, and offer suggestions where I feel appropriate if you need to make a move to an alternate solution. Ok? Ok.] Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Total Rebalance Expert (tRx), an automated, tax-efficient investment portfolio rebalancing platform for financial advisors, from FNA, LLC. Morningstar expects to complete the transaction in November 2015.

LastPass Joins the LogMeIn Family from LastPass, and

Joining forces with LastPass from Meldium, and

LogMeIn now owns LastPass – here’s how to migrate to 1Password from TroyHunt.com

[Next up is more acquisition news as LogMeIn, the remote access software provider, announced that it will acquire LastPass, the popular password manager solution, for $110 million. This follows the company’s September 2014 acquisition of Meldium, another password management tool, with a price tag of $15 million.

Now LastPass is the solution I use to manage passwords to hundreds of online accounts, so I am paying very close attention to what’s going to happen to the product in the near future. One thing LogMeIn did say on their website is that users of Meldium will be encouraged to transition to a comparable version of LastPass in early 2016.

But much of the online chatter I’ve read about LogMeIn mentions terrible customer service experiences and frustrating billing issues, so I admit that I’m considering competing solutions like 1Password or Dashlane, but I’m not making any moves just yet. Nevertheless, I’ve saved a great article that walks through the steps of extracting all my password data from LastPass to migrate to another service in case I might need it in the future, and you’ll find that link along with this episode’s top stories.] It’s a big day here at LastPass. We’re thrilled to announce that we’re joining LogMeIn.

Laser App doubles down on technology training at its first Advisor Con event in Las Vegas from FPPad

[And finally, a few days ago I attended the first-ever Advisor Con event hosted by Laser App Software in Las Vegas. The agenda at Advisor Con was filled with training sessions, and not just on Laser App software, but training for all of the technology providers who where in attendance.]

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 16, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 16, 2015