Tag Archives: Orion Advisor Services

Orion Advisor Services announces Project ASTRO: Flash briefing for January 31, 2018

Here are the links to the top stories:

Three-Quarters of Americans Are in the Dark When it Comes to 401(k) Fees

Your Path to Home Ownership from Wealthfront

Orion Leads the Next Investment Management Revolution with Powerful Direct-Indexing Service

(In the past 12 months, I have been hired by Orion Advisor Services for technology consulting services. See my full disclosures)

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing, Here are the top fintech stories you need to know today.

TD Ameritrade Teams Up with FeeX for 401(k) Fee Analysis

Do you really know how much you pay in fees in your 401(k) account? According to a new survey by TD Ameritrade, 37 percent of investors mistakenly believe they don’t pay any fess. So that’s why TD Ameritrade just announced it’s teamed up with fintech startup FeeX to help investors quickly analyze the fees in their 401(k) accounts. 401(k) fee analyzer tools are nothing new, as other companies like Personal Capital, America’s Best 401(k), and even FeeX have offered these tools to everyday investors, but TD Ameritrade claims its one of the first online discount brokerage firms to offer free 401(k) fee analyzer tools to their customers.

Wealthfront Introduces Home Buying Illustrations to Path

In financial planning news, Wealthfront announced an update to its Path software which now includes a new planning feature for a future home purchase. Path allows Wealthfront customers to see whether their goals of buying a home are comfortable, manageable or a stretch. Customers can see average home prices across multiple zip codes and see how their monthly savings requirements change and what kinds of accounts to use to save based on a number of factors.

Orion Advisor Services Announces Project ASTRO for Direct Indexing

And making headlines in advisor portfolio management, Orion Advisor Services announced the launch of Project ASTRO, short for Advisor Strategy and Tax Return Optimization, scheduled to go live in March of this year. One of the most significant features Project ASTRO supports is the ability to conduct direct indexing, where individual securities that make up a stock index are purchased directly in client accounts as opposed to purchasing Exchange Traded Funds that a designed to track a particular index. Here’s Orion Advisor Services CEO Eric Clarke with more details.

At Orion, we’re super excited about the launch of our ASTRO offering, allowing our advisors to create customized separately managed account portfolios for their clients faster and with less expense than ever before. Our advisors can build tax-efficient non-qualified accounts, replicate indexes with customized tilts, incorporate legacy stock positions into model portfolios with ease, and accommodate environmental, social, and governance requests, and receive notification when an account is out of tolerance, all with built-in automated tax-loss harvesting.

Astro is scheduled to go live in March with a fixed annual fee of $50 per account.

To get links to all the details on today’s stories, visit fppad.com/flashbriefing

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

TD Ameritrade Institutional Launches Model Market Center: Flash briefing for January 19, 2018

Links to today’s top stories:

TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Model Market Center Lets RIAs Streamline Investment Management – For Less

blooom Launches Suspicious Activity Alerts Feature to Help Protect Your 401k

Register for the 2018 Fearless Investing Summit

Welcome to the FPPad fintech briefing, here are the top fintech stories you need to know today.

Outsourcing investment management just got a little bit easier for advisors using TD Ameritrade Institutional, as this week the company announced the introduction of its Model Market Center. The Model Market Center features 62 different investment models from eight investment managers, with notable managers including Meb Faber’s Cambria Investments as well as WisdomTree Investments, who made fintech news a few weeks ago with its investment in AdvisorEngine’s acquisition of Junxure. Model Market Center joins a growing market of outsourced investment management solutions which includes Orion Advisor Services, Riskalyze, and Morningstar, and others.

Online 401(k) manager blooom is helping investors protect their accounts against fraudulent activity with its new Suspicious Activity Alerts feature. Investors can connect their 401(k)s and other employe-sponsored retirement accounts to blooom which continuously monitors for withdrawals or loans on account funds, notifying clients via text message when blooom detects any suspicious activity.

And tickets are selling fast to the 2018 Fearless Investing Summit brought to you by Riskalyze, which blends the latest in investment trends and fintech innovation in its three-day agenda. Last year’s inaugural summit eventually sold out, so you need to act quickly to make sure you don’t miss out on this year’s event. Secure your tickets today by visiting fppad.com/flashbreifing for the links on today’s stories.

I’m Bill Winterberg, and those are your fintech headlines for today from FPPad.com, be sure to check back in with me later for more fintech news.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 16, 2016

On today’s broadcast, Schwab announces its Schwab Intelligent Advisory services, Finicity raises $42 million for account aggregation, Envestnet|Tamarac rolls out Yodlee, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by eMoney Advisor, featuring a new Client Onboarding process as a part of their leading client experience. Onboarding replaces printed fact-finding documents with an automated, digital workflow, allowing clients to populate their own personal financial information online from anywhere — adding an extra layer of convenience and efficiency to your service.

eMoney Advisor

For more information on eMoney’s Client Onboarding tool, visit fppad.com/emoneyonboarding today.

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

Schwab Announces Schwab Intelligent Advisory™ from Charles Schwab

[Now the big story this week is news from Charles Schwab, as the largest custodian for RIAs announced plans to introduce Schwab Intelligent Advisory™ in the first half of 2017. In the press release, Schwab’s Neesha Hathi said that Schwab Intelligent Advisory is designed for emerging or mass affluent investors who don’t have complex financial situations, features access to CFP® professionals who are available by phone and videoconference, and charges fees of just 28 basis points (disclaimer!) with a maximum of $3,600 a year.

Now this isn’t as much of a technology story as it is a marketing story, because the technology for Schwab Intelligent Advisory portfolio management is that same that powers Schwab Intelligent Portfolios for retail investors and Institutional Intelligent Portfolios™ that you can use in your own RIA if you custody assets with Schwab.

But, how does that make you feel knowing you’re using the same technology that your custodian will use to offer its own human-assisted advisory services to mass affluent clients?

So I was asked if I thought RIAs should be concerned about this announcement, and I said yes, RIAs should absolutely be concerned. Look, when it comes to getting a prospect to buy what you do, most of the time it’s not what you say, it’s what people hear, and I’ve gotta admit, prospects are hearing comprehensive plans by CFP® professionals with 24/7 access, all for 28 basis points (disclaimer!)? Unless your prospects hear something far more different and compelling from you, I just can’t believe they’ll be willing to pay more than three times the price of Schwab Intelligent Advisory for your services.

And I’m not ignoring Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services, which also employs hundreds of CFP® professionals and charges 30 basis points (thank you!), with more than $40 billion on the platform and growing. A few of you have told me that you’ve lost clients to Vanguard’s service, which is also likely going to happen with Schwab Intelligent Advisory, but the difference with Vanguard is that they’re not also soliciting your custody business while simultaneously soliciting mass affluent clients.

But the executives at Schwab surely know what they’re doing, and I think they know their target RIA client pretty well, which I suspect largely enforces client account minimums of a million dollars or more, so Schwab Intelligent Advisory really isn’t a competitive threat, because it’s not intended for the high-net worth clientele targeted by the largest RIAs that generally choose to custody with Schwab.] Charles Schwab today announced plans to expand its suite of wealth management and advisory services with the launch of Schwab Intelligent Advisory, a hybrid advisory service that combines live credentialed professionals and algorithm driven technology to make financial and investment planning more accessible to consumers.

Finicity Secures $42 Million in Funding to Accelerate New Solution Development from Finicity

[Now one of the things not mentioned about Schwab Intelligent Advisory is account aggregation, which is the focus of my next two stories, starting with Finicity, as the company announced it secured $42 million in a new funding round led by Experian.

This is the first time I’ve mentioned Finicity in my broadcast, but I have a popular post on FPPad from March of this year when Intuit announced it was shutting down their Financial Data API and selected Finicity to offer façade APIs to developers who needed to transition off of Intuit’s aggregation.

In the wake of that change, Guide Financial, which was acquired by John Hancock in the summer of 2015, shut down back in October, but other than that I haven’t heard of other significant disruptions among other tech providers.

What remains to be seen is whether or not Finicity makes an attempt to offer aggregation services to advisers, either directly or by partnering with existing technology providers, so if you have some intel you can share with me, I’d appreciate the heads up, otherwise advisers can continue to engage aggregation providers such as Morningstar ByAllAccounts, Aqumulate, eMoney, Quovo Wealth Access, and Envestnet|Yodlee.] Finicity, a leading provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights, has secured $42 million in new funding. Experian, a global innovator in consumer and business credit reporting, led Finicity’s Series B round, along with a venture debt facility provided by Bridge Bank and participation from existing investors.

Tamarac Incorporates Yodlee’s Data Aggregation into Advisor Xi® from PRNewswire

[And speaking of Envestnet|Yodlee, my last story highlights the rollout of Envestnet|Yodlee to the Envestnet|Tamarac platform. While at the Schwab IMPACT conference in October, I had a chance to connect with Brandon Rembe to get a quick update on what this new feature means for advisors.

I’ve linked the full interview over here and in the description below, but let me just finish by saying that technology like account aggregation is still a bit of a differentiator for you, since it helps you know as much as you can about your client’s total financial picture, and not just what clients have at one custodian, such as, ohhh, Charles Schwab, which is a complete coincidence.] Envestnet | Tamarac now enables advisors to add assets and liabilities to households in Advisor View™, helping them expand their focus and deliver more holistic advice to clients.

A few parting words:

Before I sign off, you need to know that I have some big plans in the works for FPPad content in 2017. I’m not going to go into the details right now, but what you will notice is that this broadcast, the almost-weekly videos, will be taking a bit of a hiatus for a few months.

But don’t worry, I’ll still be providing my independent insight on financial technology that thousands of you count on as you navigate what I feel is an exciting, unprecedented opportunity in the business of financial advice.

So connect with me anytime on Twitter, I’m @billwinterberg, or sign up for my email newsletter at fppad.com/subscribe

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

Scottrade® Advisor Services Clearing Paths for Advisors with New Tech Agreements from Scottrade

Scottrade® Advisor Services now has agreements with two leading industry solutions providers to help RIAs run their day-to-day routines. Scottrade signed agreements with Morningstar, Inc. and Orion Advisor Services, LLC to offer their services at a discount.

Yahoo Says 1 Billion User Accounts Were Hacked from NY Times

Yahoo, already reeling from its September disclosure that 500 million user accounts had been hacked in 2014, disclosed Wednesday that a different attack in 2013 compromised more than 1 billion accounts.

A Note From Chris O’Neill about Evernote’s Privacy Policy from Evernote

We recently announced an update to Evernote’s privacy policy that we communicated poorly, and it resulted in some understandable confusion. We’ve heard your concerns, and we apologize for any angst we may have caused.

Introducing Asset Classes from Riskalyze

Advisors have been asking for better ways to visualize portfolio allocations, and we’re excited to announce today that we’re rolling out Asset Class coverage for all portfolios in Riskalyze!

Personal Capital Adds $1.5 Billion in AUM and Closes $100 Million in Financing in 2016 from PRNewswire

Personal Capital, the leading digital and professional advisor based wealth management firm, today announced that IGM Financial Inc. has completed the firm’s Series E round. Additionally, Silicon Valley Bank has extended $25 million in credit to the firm.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 16, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 16, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 21, 2016

On today’s broadcast, the World’s Most Famous Hacker shares his top cybersecurity tips, Fidelity previews its next-generation advisor technology platform, and get rapid-fire news from three of the fastest-growing portfolio management providers.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad 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.

envestnet-tamarac-600

If you’re going to Schwab IMPACT next week, be sure you make some time to visit the Envestnet |Tamarac booth for a live demo on their latest client portal and financial planning capabilities.

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

See the #topsecurityshow tweets from Kevin Mitnick’s cybersecurity presentation

[Now continuing with the National Cyber Security Awareness theme this month, my first story is about Kevin Mitnick, the World’s Most Famous Hacker, as he presented some jaw-dropping examples of cyber and social engineering attacks that are being used today to compromise businesses of all kinds, including financial advisory firms.

Envision Consulting hosted the event in Washington DC and brought me in as the master of ceremonies, so I wanted to be sure I shared my top three takeaways with you.

First, Mitnick advised that none of the computers in your business or home should have any kind of peer-to-peer sharing software installed. This software is usually used to download pirated movies and music across peer-to-peer networks, so while you might not be downloading any pirated content, it’s possible that some of your colleagues or even your kids are doing so.

Mitnick said that some peer-to-peer software exposes the contents of a computer’s ENTIRE hard drive to the sharing network without the user’s knowledge, which is never a good thing, so you need to be sure it’s not installed on any of your systems.

Second, Mitnick showed how hackers can use a custom wireless access point to mimic public WiFi hotspots and perform man-in-the-middle attacks on your devices. For about $100, hackers broadcast their own hotspot pretending to be attwifi or free airport wifi, wait for your device to automatically connect, and then intercept the data your device sends back and forth.

So whenever you’re in a public place, turn your wifi connection off and use your mobile carrier’s network, or if you must connect to an untrusted WiFi network, use a virtual private network, or VPN, to encrypt the traffic sent to and from your device.

And third, instead of opening email attachments directly with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, consider using Google’s file preview built into the Chrome browser. This way, you won’t risk executing what Mitnick calls “weaponized” files, because Chrome will render a preview of the document in the web browser first, helping you determine if the file looks legitimate or if it seems suspicious. You can check the plugin settings in Chrome to see if the PDF viewer is enabled for your computer.]

Fidelity® Goes to Market with Next-Generation Advisor Technology Platform from BusinessWire

[Next up is news from Fidelity Investments, as the company offered a preview of its automated investment solution for advisors called the Fidelity Automated Managed Platform, a solution co-developed with eMoney Advisor expected to be in pilot in the late first quarter of 2017.

Now if you take a look at the linked article, you’ll see a few screenshots of the solution powered by the eMoney online experience, so this doesn’t appear to be a repackaged version of Fidelity Go that is offered to retail clients, and the portfolio allocations are the same as those in Fidelity Go which are managed by the sub-advisor Geode Capital Management.

Unfortunately the preview didn’t cover any specific pricing of the Fidelity Automated Managed Platform, and advisors not already using eMoney will have to purchase at least the eMX Select subscription that’s somewhere around $1,500 to $2,000 per year, which is an interesting way to get advisors to buy more eMoney subscriptions. The press release also includes descriptions of the coming Wealthscape total advisor platform, Wealthscape Portfolio Tools, Wealthscape Regulatory Early Warning, and more. There’s a lot to take in from the press release, so be sure to follow the link included with this week’s top stories if you want to get completely up to speed.]

Envestnet | Tamarac Offers Goals-Based Reporting in Advisor View™ & Client Portal from PRNewswire, and

BAM Advisor Services Selects Orion as Exclusive Portfolio Accounting Software for RIAs from Marketwired, and

Addepar Surpasses $500 Billion in Assets and Opens Platform API for Integrations from PRNewswire

[And I’m running out of time, so let me finish with a rapid-fire update that starts with Envestnet | Tamarac, as their Advisor View client portal integration with MoneyGuidePro is now officially in production, then Orion Advisor Services, as the company announced a partnership with BAM Advisor Services to provide portfolio management software services to their collective $27 billion dollars in assets, and finish with a surprise update from Addepar, which used a rare press release to announce that the company surpassed $500 billion in assets managed on its platform and the rollout of the Addepar Open API for third party developers.]

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 21, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 21, 2016

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 15, 2016

On today’s broadcast, LPL Financial hooks up with BlackRock’s FutureAdvisor, Riskalyze and Advizr integrate their platforms, and bots might be the future of financial technology.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Twenty Over Ten, providers of beautiful, tailored, mobile responsive websites specifically for Financial Advisors.

Twenty over ten logo 620

Easily manage your brand while automatically archiving your website changes for compliance. Sign up for a 45 day free trial today by visiting twentyoverten.com/fppad. Oh, and be sure to watch the YouTube channel for videos from next week’s NAB Show, which are also brought to you by Twenty Over Ten.

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

LPL Financial to Leverage BlackRock Solutions’ FutureAdvisor to Offer Robo Solution to Advisors and Their Clients from LPL Financial

[Now on to this week’s top story which comes from LPL Financial, as the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer announced it will use BlackRock’s recently-acquired FutureAdvisor platform to power an online automated investment offering. LPL first hinted at its plans for a “robo advisor” back in the summer of 2015 at its annual Focus conference, which was roughly one month before BlackRock made its FutureAdvisor acquisition.

While the announcement sure generated some buzz, no details on specific pricing or availability were provided. What the press release did say is that the model portfolios will be provided by LPL’s research department, so at least initially, advisors and reps will not be able to create their own custom allocations.

The press release also said the automated solution will be integrated with LPL’s custodial platform, but it didn’t say if that was the existing BranchNet platform or the much-anticipated ClientWorks, which as far as I know, has still not been officially released.

So at least we now know what LPL’s robo strategy will be, but with so many forward-looking statements, we don’t know when that strategy will be ready for use by LPL’s financial advisors.] Leading retail investment advisory firm and independent broker/dealer LPL Financial LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), today announced it will use BlackRock Solutions’ (BRS) FutureAdvisor platform to support a digital advice platform for use by LPL’s financial advisors and institutions and their clients.

A Match Made in Heaven: Advizr and Riskalyze Integrate from Businesswire

[Next up is news from Riskalyze and Advizr, as the two companies announced a new integration to streamline financial advisor workflows. The new integration will import Riskalyze model portfolio sets into the Advizr financial planning software, allowing advisors to recommend the most appropriate asset allocation according to their client’s personal Risk Number.

Not only that, both companies offer effective lead generation tools for advisors, with Riskalyze offering prospects the opportunity to determine their own Risk Number, and Advizr offering a quick financial plan illustration with Advizr Express.

The combination of the two will help advisors gain more information about prospects’ risk tolerance and the building blocks of a complete financial plan.

The companies called the integration “a match made in heaven” because both of them are winners of the Best Client Facing Technology award announced right here on FPPad.

So as a result, and I am now officially accepting endorsements for matchmaking on my LinkedIn profile.] Advizr, the financial planning software recognized as the Best Client Facing Technology of 2015 by Bill Winterberg’s FPPad, and Riskalyze, the world’s first Risk Alignment Platform recognized for the same award in 2014, are integrating their award-winning products to provide an elegant, intuitive and seamless solution to financial advisers.

Messenger Platform at F8 from Facebook.com

[And finally, this week’s top story comes from the future, oh wait, “THE FUTURE!” as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at this week at F8 conference and detailed the company’s roadmap for the next 10 years.

My best takeaway for you is the launch of the Messenger Platform that includes automated messaging powered by bots, no, not that bot, these are automated messenger bots.

With bots in messenger, you can make online clothing purchases, receive weather forecasts, view top headlines and more.

I can totally see bots making their way into your technology. Imagine if you could ask your Redtail bot when you next client meeting is scheduled, or your Orion bot how your AUM has grown over the past year, or even allow clients to ask the MoneyGuide Pro bot for their updated retirement confidence meter. How cool is that?!?

And if vendors eventually integrate bot into existing services, I bet that they’ll also include message archiving and retention so you can confidently use bots without violating your compliance requirements.

Oh, did I just give those vendors a little more work to do? I’m sorry!

Unfortunately there’s no word yet from FINRA or the SEC whether your bot has to be fingerprinted and subject to a background check. Thank you, I do two shows a night!] We’re excited to introduce bots for the Messenger Platform. Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.

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

Former Top Schwab Executive Joins Betterment Board from New York Times

Less than one month after an investment round that doubled its private valuation to around $700 million, the robo-adviser Betterment is adding a former top executive from Charles Schwab, John S. Clendening, to its board.

Find time for your goals with Google Calendar from Google

That’s why starting today, we’re introducing Goals in Google Calendar. Just add a personal goal—like “run 3 times a week”—and Calendar will help you find the time and stick to it.

Orion’s Integration of FactSet’s Robust Research and Analytics Allows Advisors to Better Serve Their HNW and Institutional Clients from Marketwired

Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), a premier portfolio accounting service provider for financial advisors, has announced it is now integrated with FactSet, a leading provider of financial data, analytics, and service, to offer its advisor clients easy access to portfolio research and analytics.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 15, 2016

See what went down at this year’s Fuse 2015 advisor fintech developer event

Orion Advisor Services hosted Fuse 2015, a developer event the company organizes to encourage development of new apps and solutions for advisors and to increase the quantity and quality of integrations with Orion.

I created three videos from Fuse 2015 to get you an up close look at what happens at this exciting developer event.

Follow this link to view the Fuse 2015 Award Winners and view the #FuseUtah hashtag on Twitter.

Day 1: Fuse 2015 kickoff

Day 2: What are you developing?

Day 3: Best in Show

FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 1

Whoops! My May 8 email newsletter link lands here by mistake. Click here to see May 8 Bits and Bytes!

On today’s broadcast, Shareholders Service Group is attracting the attention of independent advisors, and for good reason, Orion Advisor Services announces a new partnership in the robo-advisor arena, and, find out how you can stay one step ahead of the latest cyber attacks that have the potential to cripple your business.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(WatchFPPad 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.

trx 600

TRX now offers TRX Edge, a completely rewritten rebalancing platform optimized for the web as well as mobile devices. Sign up for a demo of TRX Edge by visiting http://fppad.com/trx

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

Video coverage of the 2015 Shareholders Service Group conference from FPPad.com

[This week’s top story comes from Shareholders Service Group, as I spent the end of last week at the company’s annual conference for advisors outside San Diego. SSG is one of those institutions that flies below the radar of most advisors, but now with over 1,400 financial advisors leveraging the resources of SSG, the company is continuing to attract attention.

From a technology standpoint, Shareholders Service Group follows an open architecture approach powered by the custody services of Pershing, and SSG wants advisors to be able to choose the best of breed solutions they want to use, without being told what to do by the institution. While at the conference, I connected with CEOs from content marketing provider Vestorly as well as CRM provider Junxure to learn about the partnerships they recently formed with SSG.

I also connected with XY Planning Network co-founders Michael Kitces and Alan Moore to get their take on important trends advisors need to monitor, which, no surprise, include a number of technology takeaways.

There’s a lot more from the Shareholders Service Group conference, including conversations with CEO Peter Mangan and President Dan Skiles]

Orion Advisor Services, LLC Partners With Jemstep to Deliver New Integrated Technology to Independent Financial Advisors from Marketwired

[Next up is news from Orion Advisor Services, as the company recently announced a new partnership with online investment provider Jemstep. Jemstep originally formed back in 2008 to deliver online investment solutions to retail investors, but now the company also offers Jemstep Advisor Pro as a solution you can offer to your emerging clients. Here’s a quick summary. You can embed Jemstep Advisor Pro on your website where new clients can complete a self-directed process to open an account, just like Redhawk Wealth Advisors has done.

Clients fill out a basic profile, complete a very simple risk questionnaire, and link investment accounts using account aggregation. Jemstep then generates a simple portfolio analysis using the client’s existing holdings and compares hypothetical performance to a target allocation of a portfolio allocation that you, the advisor, created and Jempstep matches to the client’s risk tolerance. If everything looks promising to the client, they proceed to the account opening stage where they complete account forms electronically.

So where does Orion fit in to the picture? New accounts created by Jemstep are custodied with TD Ameritrade Institutional, and those account details can then be fed into Orion using Veo Open Access. Once in Orion, all kinds of performance and analytics can be performed, which is what Jemstep, as of today, May 1, 2015, doesn’t currently provide. Now do you get it?

But if you’re NOT using Orion, Jemstep delivers the online investment interface, but it lacks the portfolio performance reports found in other solutions. That’s why the partnership with Orion is important, among other reasons.] Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), the premier portfolio accounting service provider for advisors, announced that it has partnered with Jemstep, Inc., a leading provider of robo-technology solutions to advisors, to offer a new integrated technology solution for independent financial advisors.

SEC Cybersecurity Guidance Update from SEC.gov

[I need to move on to today’s final story on cybersecurity, as the SEC released new guidance this week with three important takeaways for advisors:

You need to periodically assess your cybersecurity risks, you need to identify how you will detect and respond to attacks, and you actually need implement your written policies and procedures and provide training to your staff.

So to do that, the SEC offered the following tips and resources to … oh, I’m being told they didn’t offer tips and resources, right, so I’m going to help you with the first takeaway which is cybersecurity threat assessment.

Do you want to know what threats advisors are actually facing every day? I set up a page on FPPad to collect threat information from advisors nationwide, and rank the top threats by the number of reports received. Plus, I’m going to highlight new attack techniques as they happen, so you can do your best to stay one step ahead of ever-more-sopisticated attackers. They’ve gone way beyond misspelled emails from Nigerian princes!] The Division has identified the cybersecurity of registered investment companies (“funds”) and registered investment advisers (“advisers”) as an important issue. Both funds and advisers increasingly use technology to conduct their business activities and need to protect confidential and sensitive information related to these activities from third parties, including information concerning fund investors and advisory clients.

Access the FPPad RIA Cybersecurity Exchange at fppad.com/cybersecurity

Visit the FPPad RIA Cybersecurity Exchange

Visit the FPPad RIA Cybersecurity Exchange

 

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

Personal Capital Apple Watch App Review from Dough Roller

Personal Capital revolutionized the free online financial dashboard. In one place you can now automatically track all of your investments, including retirement accounts. It shows your asset allocation and investing costs, and does so with amazing charts and graphs. All for free. Now the dashboard is available on the Apple Watch.

Addepar lays out world-fixing vision and rolls out upgrades at swanky The Battery event in San Francisco from RIABiz.com

Addepar Inc. is angling to manage a major chunk of a $120 trillion of assets under management on Earth, including pensions, sovereign countries, private wealth and endowments, by attacking the challenge as a data management problem first and a design and analytics problem at a close second.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 1, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 1, 2015

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 3

On today’s broadcast, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios gathers over $500 million dollars in its first few weeks, find out why Orion Advisor Services is regarded as one of the good fintech vendors, and personal dossier app Refresh gets acquired by LinkedIn.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Wealthbox CRM. Be the first to see the release of Wealthbox version 1.8 with a ton of new features and integrations, including one with MoneyGuidePro.

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

Exclusive: Schwab robo-adviser crosses half-billion dollar mark from InvestmentNews.com

[For the second week in a row, this week’s top story comes from Charles Schwab, as the company told InvestmentNews that it gathered “considerably over” $500 million in assets in the new Schwab Intelligent Portfolios program.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios was released to retail investors just three weeks ago, which you heard three episodes ago, and now they have over $500 million. And just four weeks ago, my broadcast covered Wealthfront’s news that they surpassed $2 billion dollars in assets under management.

So it took Wealthfront a little over three years to get to two billion dollars, and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is on pace to do it in about two months. NOW who’s going to be the fastest growing and most trusted automated investment service in the world? I think that title’s up for grabs.

But hold on: there’s a deeper story here. Your business is experiencing grocery store econ 101. That’s right, it’s all about shelf space. You might have the best business in the world, but if you don’t have any shelf space, you don’t even have a chance to step up to the plate.

So all of these new solutions online are taking up shelf space and they’re crowding you out of the market. Sure, investors are getting low fees, rebalancing, even tax loss harvesting, but are they getting any REAL advice that actually matters? Not from what I can tell. But what I do see is that your shelf space is slowly being eroded, so you better start doing something about that today.

You can start by sharing this broadcast to your colleagues. Go on, the button’s down there, or up in the corner. Use it.] The Charles Schwab & Co. robo-adviser has crossed a symbolic threshold in just three weeks, raising more than half a billion dollars, the San Francisco-based firm told InvestmentNews on Monday.

What Makes Orion So Special? from Financial Advisor Magazine, and

Envestnet | Tamarac™ Rings in 2015 with a Record Year of RIAs Adopting its Portfolio and Client Management Platform from PRNewswire.com

[Next up is news on Orion Advisor Services, as this week Joel Bruckenstein highlighted the portfolio accounting service bureau for a number of the company’s innovations in financial technology.

Here are the most relevant updates from Bruckenstein’s column. Orion now serves over 570 advisory firms who collectively process over $200 billion in assets, and the company expects to add another 280 firms this year.

Bruckenstein highlights many of Orion’s innovations, including its free private labeled mobile app for advisors, video client statements powered by Engage, and trading sleeve capabilities in its order management system.

Bruckenstein also writes that Orion exhibits a company culture of innovation, which you saw first hand from my Fuse 2014 hackathon coverage, which is an event the company will repeat once again this September.

To be fair, Orion’s competitor Envestnet | Tamarac has also recently achieved some significant milestones, as the company now serves over 800 advisory firms with over $500 billion dollars on the platform, and they also offer a custom branded iPad app for use by advisors and clients. So remember what I said about shelf space and competition? Both of these companies, plus many other technology providers, will put you in a position to differentiate yourself in a crowded market.] When pondering this month’s column, I thought it might be interesting to focus on a single firm whose story involved all of these trends, Orion Advisor Services, which offers “software as a service” and portfolio accounting services to RIAs.

Refresh Joins the LinkedIn Family from Refresh

[And finally, I’m wrapping up this broadcast by revisiting Refresh, an app I told you about way back in episode 107. Refresh is an app that creates a real-time dossier about people you’re going to meet, pulling information from a variety of sources to help you, well, refresh your memory about your connections.

This week, Refresh announced that it will be acquired by LinkedIn (probably because of the Bits and Bytes bump!), so the company will soon be sunsetting its standalone app and rolling in its dossier capabilities into LinkedIn. I’m pretty happy about this move, because Refresh has been one of my go-to apps for a while, and I’m glad to see how the technology can enhance the value of LinkedIn as all of us continue to develop meaningful relationships with clients and colleagues everywhere.] Today, I’m excited to announce that Refresh has been acquired by LinkedIn.

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

External IT Upgrade Democratizes Access to User Activity, Improving Advisors’ IT Security and Workflow from ExternalIT

External IT, a cloud-based IT outsourcing firm that focuses on RIAs and Broker Dealers, today announced a new capability to be part of its best-in-class Cloud Desktop solution. The enhancement to the recently redesigned platform creates a visual and easily readable interface to view user activity that tracks login location, IP address, time and device, along with the specific applications launched.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 3, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 3, 2015

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 20

On today’s broadcast, I have explosive news from eMoney, Riskalyze, Betterment, Schwab and Orion.

So buckle your seat belt, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(WatchFPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

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

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

In their new book titled Red Flags, you’ll learn how to protect your firm from cyber-attacks, disasters, and IT compliance risks. Learn more about the Red Flags book by visiting fppad.com/itegria.

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

eMoney Reveals New emX Select Dashboard At 2015 T3 Conference from WealthManagement.com

[Now you probably know that the Super Bowl of advisor technology, a.k.a. the T3 conference, was held in Dallas last week. By last count, there were over 40 press releases made at the event, but since this is just a five minute show, here are my picks for the most important stories.

First up is eMoney Advisor, as their CEO Edmund Walters took the stage with no slide deck, no apologies, and proceeded to shock the audience with a preview of emX Select, completed by a video filled with explosions.

Awesome, right?!? On everyone’s mind was the Fidelity acquisition, so Walters told the packed ballroom eMoney “had to sell” because “this tech is expensive” and he wants to “kick the crap out of the B2C” robo advisors (implosion!).

I told you, ! No apologies.

From what I’ve seen so far, emX Select resembles the Veo One™ dashboard recently announced by TD Ameritrade Institutional (you did watch my Veo One coverage, right?) but eMoney aims to have 28 integrations by September, which beats the 11 integrations planned for Veo One, one of which includes eMoney Advisor. Interesting!] On Friday at the 2015 T3 Conference in Dallas, eMoney Advisor, recently acquired by Fidelity for $250 million, gave advisors the first look at its new emX Select platform.

CLS Investments and Riskalyze Join Forces to Launch Autopilot, Arming Advisors With the Digital Tools Needed to Neutralize Robo-Threat from Riskalzye, and

Riskalyze Reinvents the Client Meeting from Riskalyze

[Next up is Riskalyze, as CEO Aaron Klein announced a new partnership with Omaha-based CLS Investments to provide an end-to-end online investment service called Autopilot. At a high level, Autopilot is similar to Betterment Institutional, Upside, JemStep and others where clients answer an online questionnaire and can then invest directly in a recommended portfolio allocation based on their answers.

Klein also demonstrated a new tool called Meetings, a simple way advisors can conduct screen sharing with remote clients without exposing private data, embarrassing cat videos, or the random Godzilla attack (woah!) that might pop up on an advisor’s screen. Meetings comes out February 23rd, so make sure you give it a try.] Autopilot Will Offer Automated Asset Management and Risk Measurement, Embedded Into an Advisory Firm’s Existing Website.

Betterment Valued At Nearly $500 Million In New Round from the Wall St. Journal

[And let’s crush this broadcast (woah!) with a quick roundup of other news: Betterment just raised another $60 million in venture capital for a total of $105 million. What are they going to do with the cash? Betterment CEO Jon Stein says they’re going to refine algorithms to answer questions like “Am I saving enough relative to my goals?” Warning: financial planning algorithms ahead!] New York-based Betterment is closing a new $60 million round, the company is set to announce on Thursday.

Schwab tells the SEC its robo-advisor has a 30 basis-point fee and big-time cash allocations held by Schwab Bank from RIABiz.com, and

Schwab Wealth Investment Advisory, Inc. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios™ Disclosure Brochure from SEC.gov

[Schwab’s Form ADV for their Intelligent Portfolios robo-solution revealed the service is “technically” free, but they will use client cash, aka the “sweep allocation” for Schwab Bank activity where Schwab earns income on the spread, so Intelligent Portfolios discloses that most strategies maintain a higher sweep allocation than other providers designed to fully invest client cash. But hey, it’s “free” and consumers LOVE free!] The Charles Schwab Corp. will charge a fee of 30 basis points to clients of its robo-advisor, but those investors will not pay it out of pocket because Schwab affiliates will reimburse the client behind the scenes, according to SEC documents relating to Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.

TA Associates to acquire majority interest in NorthStar from Orion Advisor Services

[And finally, private equity firm TA Associates recently signed an agreement to acquire a majority interest in NorthStar Financial Services Group, the parent company of Orion Advisor Services, CLS Investments, Gemini Fund Services and six other sister companies. So you’ve been asking me, is this good or bad, specifically for Orion. I believe it’s good, and here’s why: Orion has a strong track record of growth, Orion’s leadership will remain in place, the company remains privately held, and now there’s extra cash available for strategic opportunities.] TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC, and its nine subsidiary wealth management industry service providers.

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

Advicent Unveils Narrator™, a Tool for Advisors to Fight Commoditization, at T3 Conference from Advicent.com

Advicent Solutions announced at the 2015 T3 (Technology Tools for Today) Conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, that it is launching a new product for the North American market—the Narrator™ application builder. The product is available to buy immediately.

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 20, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 20, 2015