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.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 29, 2016

On today’s broadcast, it’s a robo free-for-all, so put on your best robo accessory, because FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by Envision Consulting, providers of IT management and support, cloud computing, and cybersecurity services to RIAs. This October, Envision is hosting a cybersecurity event with Kevin Mitnick, the World’s Most Famous Hacker, where you can find out how to leverage Kevin’s knowledge of the latest hacking techniques to protect your business from attack.

Register Today!

Space is limited, so secure your registration today by visiting topsecurityshow.com, and if you use my promo code, FPPad, you’ll save 15% off the price of your registration.

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

Fidelity Launches Automated Investment Advice Service from WSJ.com

Fidelity Go Vs. Pokemon Go: Be A Low-Cost Investor Or AR Zombie from Investor’s Business Daily

Better Together: Automated Investing with Professional Guidance from BusinessWire

TD Ameritrade Earns $240M in Quarter; Says Retail Robo Is Coming from ThinkAdvisor

TD Ameritrade Institutional, XY Planning Network Launch Program to Cultivate Next-Generation RIAs and Investors from TD Ameritrade

Wells Fargo Plans to Start Robo-Advisory in 2017, Sloan Says from Bloomberg

Big News for the Quantopian Community: Managing External Capital from Quantopian

[Get ready for the robo news, as this week’s top stories come from Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade, as both financial institutions recently announced online investing solutions for the retail investor. A few days ago, Fidelity officially rolled out Fidelity Go, specifically targeting digitally savvy customers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, with investment assets in the low six figures.

When asked by Investor’s Business Daily what happens when Fidelity Go customers get older and wealthier, Rich Compson, head of managed accounts at Fidelity, responded that customers would be referred “to other services like Fidelity’s Portfolio Advisory Services.”

Ok, ok, but advisors aren’t completely left out, as Fidelity did promise details about an automated service it’s developing for financial advisers by year-end. That’s, details, by year-end.

And a few weeks ago, TD Ameritrade announced it had completed updates to its Amerivest Managed Portfolios retail offering, including a digital overhaul for better goal setting, performance tracking, and more.

In ThinkAdvisor’s interview with incoming CEO Tim Hockey, he said that the company will be using Amerivest’s tech enhancements “to launch a new robo for the self-directed client’s needs” scheduled for sometime in 2017.

When asked about referrals to RIAs who custody with TD Ameritrade Institutional, Hockey added that retail clients with $1 million dollars or more are the “target referral” for affiliated RIAs.

That comment came out at the same time the company announced a program with the XY Planning Network to provide dedicated service and no minimum asset requirement to use TD Ameritrade Institutional’s custody services. That’s good, it’s gotta be awkward knowing TD Ameritrade is going to target digitally savvy investors, aka potential XYPN clients, with their own retail robo solution.

On top of all that, Wells Fargo also announced that it, too, is entering the robo market, with a solution expected also sometime in 2017.

And if you don’t like today’s current robo solutions, you can go build your own robo algorithm with Quantopian, who just received fresh venture capital this week from hedge fund investor Steve Cohen.

That’s it, all I hear all day long is how great robos do this, or how wonderful robos do that: robo, robo, robo!]

Envestnet | Tamarac to Roll Out Client Portal 2.0 from PRNewswire

[Now in NON-robo news, how about an update from Envestnet | Tamarac, as the company released the latest version of its client portal to advisors who use the Advisor View™ application. If you watched my coverage of the Envestnet Advisor Summit earlier this year, you would have seen a preview of the updated client portal, plus the key enhancements highlighted by Brandon Rembe. So click right here so you can watch that video.] Envestnet | Tamarac has completely redesigned the client portal in its Advisor View™ portfolio management and performance reporting application. The new client portal will be implemented as part of Tamarac’s July 2016 technology release, and seeks to help RIAs create highly customizable client portal experiences to engage their clients and appeal to the next generation of investors.

MoneyGuidePro creator releases DOL fiduciary-focused software from InvestmentNews.com

[Also, MoneyGuidePro recently released a utility called Best Interest Scout, intended to gather information about client goals, expectations, and investment details in one place. This should help you from a workflow perspective, but the tool should also be helpful in identifying when you must engage in a Best Interests Contract with a client. If you’re concerned about compliance with the pending fiduciary rule from the DoL, expect more tools like Best Interest Scout to come to market.] PIEtech, the creator of financial planning software MoneyGuidePro, has built a tool to see how well clients’ portfolios are aligned with their best interests, including retirement goals and concerns, insurance needs, and health-care costs.

Now since I took a few weeks off, I just don’t have time to cover all the stories in my backlog, including news on the talent exodus at Wealthfront, the Betterment for Business 401(k) offering surpassing 200 plan sponsors and $5 billion in AUM, Quovo, Riskalyze and more, so links to those stories are below:

Talent exodus hits Wealthfront including heads of product, marketing and operations from RIABiz.com

Wealthfront, founded in 2008, is experiencing its first big talent exodus — a flurry of departures that includes some C-suite titles and a Unicorn shepherd.

Betterment for Business Surpasses 200 Plan Sponsors from PRNewswire

Betterment for Business, the only turnkey 401(k) service that includes personalized investment advice for all participants, announced today that it has successfully added 200 plan sponsors to the platform in the last six months.

Betterment Becomes First Independent Robo-Advisor to Surpass $5B of Assets Under Management from PRNewswire

Betterment announced today that it is the first independent robo-advisor to reach $5 billion in assets under management. The company now helps more than 175,000 customers intelligently manage and grow their wealth.

Apex Clearing to Offer Vanare’s Digital Advice Platform from PRNewswire

Apex Clearing Corporation will begin offering to its broker dealer and RIA clients the ability to digitally manage investments using Vanare’s digital advice platform. Vanare offers a wealth management technology platform with a highly customizable white labeled Roboadvisor.

Advisor Software, Quovo Partner to Strengthen Goals-Based Planning Capabilities for Wealth Managers from PRNewswire

Advisor Software, Inc. has teamed up with Quovo to provide wealth managers with seamless access to aggregated client financial data, which can help put together an all-encompassing financial picture for every client.

Marstone and Quovo Announce Partnership from MarketWired.com

Marstone, an innovative digital wealth company, and Quovo, a financial data science company for the wealth management industry, today announced that they have completed a partnership to enhance Marstone’s digital wealth solutions with Quovo’s industry-leading data aggregation.

Riskalyze Autopilot for Retirement Plans from Riskalyze

LastPass introduces Emergency Access from LastPass

With the Emergency Access feature, you can give trusted family and friends access to your LastPass account in the event of an emergency or crisis.


Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 29, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for July 29, 2016


Veo One preview from the National LINC 2015 Conference

I just returned from TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC 2015 Conference in San Diego where I produced a couple of videos covering the technology updates from the event.

Veo® Vendor Village

First, you can get a glimpse of the “vendor village” TD Ameritrade Institutional configures for the technology providers that are integrated with the open access capabilities of the Veo® platform.

Nearly 40 of the 85+ integrated providers were on site providing demos of their technology to the thousands of advisors in attendance.

With over 85 integrated vendors, you may see several new companies that you haven’t heard of before, including Advizr, Vanare, and Upside.

Veo One™

Next up is a preview of Veo One™, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s updated online dashboard designed to be a single source for an advisor’s daily workflow.

Veo One is currently in a private testing period with select advisers, and the official rollout is anticipated in late summer or early fall of 2015.

The first five Veo One integrations will include DocuSign® and Laser App Anywhere for account opening, financial planning software from MoneyGuidePro™, Orion Advisor Services for portfolio management, and Redtail Technologies for CRM.

TD Ameritrade Institutional integrates Laser App Anywhere with the Veo® advisor platform

Independent advisers will shuffle less paper with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s latest Laser App integration

In a press release issued today, TD Ameritrade Institutional announced that it integrated Laser App Anywhere, the online document form filling application, to the Veo® advisor platform.

Laser App Anywhere for Independent Advisers

Laser App Anywhere was introduced last year at Laser App’s industry conference, but the solution was targeted to the document processing needs of broker-dealers. Independent advisers who custody with the leading financial institutions still had to use Laser App’s desktop application to streamline form filling.

TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Laser App Anywhere integration changes all that, and now brings Laser App Anywhere to independent advisers.

“Using the valuable integrations TD Ameritrade Institutional has built with Laser App Anywhere and Veo, advisers can spend less time processing paperwork manually and realize cost savings and increased productivity,” said Robert Powell, vice president of sales and marketing at Laser App, in the press release.

End-to-End Paperless Process

TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo platform has also supported DocuSign integration for some time, but that offering didn’t solve advisers’ need for true end-to-end paperless processing. Now with the addition of Laser App Anywhere, forms can first be prepopulated online using client data stored in the Veo platform, then routed to clients for electronic signature directly through DocuSign.

“The integration of Laser App Anywhere’s web-based technology with DocuSign further enhances the account opening process and supports TD Ameritrade Institutional’s larger effort to streamline workflows and provide better integrations between the technologies advisors use every day,” said  Jon Patullo, managing director of technology product management, TD Ameritrade Institutional.

For all the details of the integration announcement, read the official press release.

[VIDEO] thinkpipes® integration into Veo® platform enables advisers to trade options more efficiently

TD Ameritrade Institutional’s integration of an award-winning trading platform will help advisers manage options strategies in just a few clicks

Time and inflation are eating away at your clients’ portfolios in the current low-return market environment. In response, many of you are considering options to diversify investment strategies, hedge specific sector exposure, or increase portfolio income.

But implementing complex options strategies across hundreds of client accounts exponentially increases the resources you must allocate to traditional portfolio management.

In my latest video spotlight, I spoke with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Jon Patullo about the company’s recent integration of thinkpipes®, named “Best for Options Traders” in 2011 by Barron’s Online Broker Survey, into the Veo® platform.

Patullo also provides a brief overview of the thinkpipes dashboard and how easy it can be to roll a set of options contracts forward across multiple accounts.

(watch thinkpipes® integration powers options trading in TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo® platform on YouTube)

[VIDEO] TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo® Open Access to enhance trading, fee billing, and client on-boarding processes

Veo® Open Access, the award-winning integration platform initiative launched by TD Ameritrade Institutional last year, is getting additional upgrades this summer to further simplify advisers’ processes.

Several weeks ago, I met with Chris Valleley, director of the new Technology Solutions group for TD Ameritrade Institutional, and asked him about what’s in store for advisers currently using Veo®, the custodian’s account management and trading platform (see TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Jon Patullo discusses electronic signature and future enhancements of Veo® Open Access). The number of supporting integrations with Veo® Open Access Architecture continues to grow, now surpassing 60 vendors in all.

“Throughout the summer, we’re really focusing on those features where the vendor can push data back to Veo, [such as] things like trading and allocations,” Valleley said. (see Orion CEO discusses Veo® integration at the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference)

He discussed three key workflow enhancements planned for the near future: trading and rebalancing, management fees, and client on-boarding and electronic signature.

For example, Valleley highlighted how updates to Veo can streamline the quarterly process of submitting management fee invoices for accounts held at TD Ameritrade Institutional.

“Instead of creating [an intermediate] file and all the manual work that goes along with that, the [integrated portfolio management] vendor can then push the invoice directly to Veo,” he said.

Watch the full interview to get all the information on the progress TD Ameritrade Institutional is making with its integration platform.

[VIDEO] How financial advisers can compare technology integrations

Financial advisers can quickly assess technology integrations with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s analysis tool

How well does one CRM integrate with financial planning software? What about integrations between portfolio management software and rebalancing software?

To answer those questions, TD Ameritrade Institutional created the Integration Analyzer. Available to all of its affiliated advisers, Integration Analyzer quickly displays how well one software program integrates with another, and with Veo® Open Access.

For insight as to how Integration Analyzer works, I met with Chris Valleley, Director of Technology Solutions for TD Ameritrade Institutional at the custodian’s offices in Fort Worth, Texas. View the video below for the demo.

(click to view on YouTube)

Interview with Christine Gaze, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s new director of practice management

TD Ameritrade Institutional’s latest hire exhibits its commitment to empower advisors with leading practice management resources.

Yesterday, news hit the wires of TD Ameritrade Institutional’s hiring of Christine Gaze as director of practice management. Gaze brings over 16 years of experience in financial services, most recently as an executive director at Morgan Stanley Private Bank.

Ms. Gaze graciously took my call this morning between sessions at the IMCA 2012 Annual Conference outside Washington, DC that she is attending. Below is a summary of our conversation.

Christine Gaze, director of practice management for TD Ameritrade Institutional

Team Structure

Ms. Gaze will lead the advisor practice management team that is based in TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Jersey City, NJ offices.

The team consists of eight employees that Gaze says features both “Ivy leaguers” with extensive experience consulting in the financial services industry and “young guns” with an acute awareness of technology trends and broad capacity for research.

Key Initiatives

One initiative Ms. Gaze will pursue is to continue to attract advisors to the TD Ameritrade Institutional Roadmap™ business consulting program, citing recent success advisors who participated in the programs.

Roadmap users experienced nearly double the growth rate (17%) over non-Roadmap users (9%) (for more details, see this February 1, 2012 company press release).

Connecting with Advisors

Ms. Gaze and the advisor practice management team will work closely with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s strategic relationships group and its current director, George Tamer. Tamer’s team already covers much of the nation’s territory, and Ms. Gaze plans to travel and connect directly with advisors.

While it’s too early to comment specifically on other practice management initiatives, Ms. Gaze sees an inevitable convergence of practice management and technology. She highlighted how TD Ameritrade Institutional has already equipped advisors with resources such as the company’s Technology Integration Analyzer, Advisor Education knowledge center, and one-on-one coaching programs for qualified advisors.

Why TD Ameritrade Institutional?

When I asked what confirmed her decision to accept the role as director of practice management, she replied that it was the culture of TD Ameritrade Institutional and the tenure of many of its executives who are committed to the success of the company and its advisors.

Thank you to Ms. Gaze and the PR team at TD Ameritrade Institutional for providing the opportunity to connect and to share my discussion with the FPPad audience.

thinkpipes® trading now integrated in TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo® adviser platform

Latest integration to offer advanced, highly-customizable trading capabilities based on thinkorswim technology.

Advisers can now access thinkpipes trading information directly from the Veo® platform

In a press release today, TD Ameritrade Institutional announced that it has integrated thinkpipes®, an advanced trading platform based on thinkorswim technology, into the Veo® adviser platform.

“thinkpipes is much more than a trading platform and has truly become one of the most powerful tools that we leverage day-to-day” said Donald Capone, CFA, portfolio manager at JK Financial, Inc., in the press release. “If it’s being traded on the market, I no longer have to use multiple sources for historical data or quotes. It’s all right there at your fingertips in thinkpipes.”

For more details, visit TD Ameritrade Institutional’s thinkpipes page and Veo® page.

Video Spotlight: Exclusive look at Veo® Mobile app updates for iPad from TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Jon Patullo

Last week you found out about TD Ameritrade Institutional’s updates to the Veo® Mobile app for ipad, including the ability to trade equities and mutual funds and stream CNBC.

Yesterday, Jon Patullo, Managing Director of Technology Product Management, gave me an exclusive tour of the app’s new features from TD Ameritrade Institutional’s offices in Fort Worth, TX. Enjoy the video.

(click to view on YouTube)