FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 6

At last, good content to share with you on financial planning technology from the last week! Here are this week’s stories of interest:

TD Ameritrade makes trading on iPads for RIAs available before mobile devices from RIABiz.com

[You found out Wednesday afternoon that TD Ameritrade Institutional rolled out an update to its Veo® Mobile app for iPad that includes trading, real-time client account access, and live streaming CNBC. In Brooke Southall’s article for RIABiz, he relates some clarity from Jon Patullo on why the company decided to support trading on the popular tablet.] Following the lead of Pershing LLC and Fidelity Investments but ahead of Schwab Advisor Services, TD Ameritrade Institutional is ma king it possible for advisors to place trades for mutual funds, ETFs and equities from chairlifts and hotel lobbies using iPads.

Mobile-Management from Financial Planning

[This is a decent short overview of a few apps with which advisers are finding success with clients. Included are goalgamiPro from Advisor Software (see my intervew on goalgami with ASI’s Neal Ringquist), AdvisorView from Tamarac, and mobile apps by Orion Advisor Services.] New and powerful planning tools lets advisors such as Betty Hedrick slash the time required for both nuts-and-bolts planning, as well as the once time-consuming transactional work of managing wealth.

Also note that AdvisorOne is starting a 10-part series by Actifi’s Spenser Segal on top technology trends for advisers. The first update is just an overview of what’s to come in the future, but it’s worthwhile taking note so you don’t miss subsequent updates in the future.

TD Ameritrade Institutional enchances Veo® Mobile with trading and real-time client account access

Advisers using the Veo®  Mobile app can trade and view client account information in real time

In a press release today, TD Ameritrade Institutional announced several enhancements to mobile apps it provides for the Veo® advisor platform.

Click here to read the press release (at Marketwatch.com)

If you recall my interview with Chris Valleley, Senior Manager of Technology Product Management, he mentioned that the trading interface would be opened up to partners through Veo® Open Access, including the company’s own iRebal rebalancing software provider. Now that same trading capability has been expanded to include mobile apps available to advisers who custody assets with TD Ameritrade Institutional.

In today’s release, Jon Patullo, Managing Director of Technology Product Management commented, “In today’s volatile economic environment, advisors need to be able to stay connected while on the go and have the ability to monitor markets and manage their business anytime, anywhere.”

However, not all advisors are on board with trading via mobile devices as noted in this recent RIABiz article, Why RIAs are shunning mobile apps and why Black Diamond, Orion, Fidelity and others are still placing their chips on an iPad future.

In some circumstances, advisers may find the trading functions too limited to submit bulk trades across all client accounts or to perform sophisticated rebalancing. On the other hand, being able to conduct one-off trades while away from the home office is very convenient, and is becoming a more frequent circumstance with advisers seeking productivity from mobile apps while on the road.

Veo® Mobile is available for download from the iTunes app store.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 10

Relatively speaking, it’s been a quiet week. It’s my first full week home in Dallas with no traveling or conference appearances, but I’ve had a big backlog of work and writing waiting for me. Much of what I did this week was edit video interviews recorded at last week’s TD Ameritrade Institutional conference. Be sure to check those out using the link below.

First up in this week’s Bits and Bytes is my February column for Morningstar Advisor, Embracing the Cloud. Think you can’t ditch the servers that run all your in-house software? Think again.

Next is coverage from last weeks’ TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference:

View my three-part Video Spotlight series, filmed on location at the conference, then review my thoughts on electronic signature options being rolled out to advisers.

TD Ameritrade brings some Florida heat to the RIA winter from RIABiz.com

[Guest columnist Tim Welsh does a good job capturing the major themes at the custodian’s annual conference.] Building on the growing momentum of its RIA custody business, TD impressed the crowd with high-profile keynote speakers, a technology showcase, practice management gurus, elegant parties and a legendary 1970’s-era disco band.

Tech Execs Look to the Future: TD Ameritrade Conference from AdvisorOne.com

[Some of the big players in technology participated in a good panel discussion on how today’s innovations are laying the framework for exciting functionality in the future. A quick read with great quotes from the panelists.] A gathering of executives from up-and-coming, as well as established, technology companies sat with AdvisorOne at the TD Ameritrade conference in Orlando Friday morning for a discussion of the state of advisor technology, integration and where the innovation is likely headed next.

Finally, this week’s stories of interest:

Data Standards Elusive from InvestmentNews.com

[Those seeking background on common data standards and integration need only look to the mobile phone industry to witness a scrambled approach to common standards. There’s iOS, Android, WebOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and on and on. So really, why should the financial services industry be at all interested in developing a common standard? My take: the winner will be the one with the first mover advantage. Today, that nod goes to TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo Open Access initiative.] Getting a fragmented industry to agree on a common framework may be impossible.

New version of Laser App hits industry from InvestmentNews.com

[Generating paperwork is one of those seemingly unavoidable consequences of running a financial advisory business. But with more electronic form automation and e-signature acceptance by custodians, paperwork might soon go the way of the dinosaur.] One of the great quests in the advisory industry is the desire for straight through processing of forms, preferably digital forms that make printed paperwork a thing of the past.


Video Spotlight: TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Chris Valleley discusses vendor participation and best practices in Veo® Open Access

Here’s the third and final pilot in my Video Spotlight series from the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference. This clip features Chris Valleley, Senior Manager of Technology Product Management and his thoughts on vendor participation in Veo® Open Access and how the Technology Product Management team shares best practices with all integration partners.

Special thanks to Chris Valleley, TD Ameritrade Institutional, Marriott World Center Orlando, and FishDawg Productions.

Video Spotlight: TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Jon Patullo discusses electronic signature and future enhancements of Veo® Open Access

Here’s the second pilot in my Video Spotlight series featuring Jon Patullo, Managing Director of Technology Product Management for TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Special thanks to Jon Patullo, TD Ameritrade Institutional, Marriott World Center Orlando, and FishDawg Productions.

Video Spotlight: Orion CEO discusses Veo® integration at the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference

I’m launching a new series on FPPad this year called Video Spotlight. Here’s the first in what I hope will be a growing segment of updates to the blog. Enjoy!

Special thanks to Eric Clarke, TD Ameritrade Institutional, Marriott World Center Orlando, and FishDawg Productions.

The one hot topic in TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 pre-conference sessions

Leading up to its 2012 National Conference, TD Ameritrade Institutional held a full day of pre-conference sessions today for the benefit of its advisors.

George Tamer, Director Strategic Relationships and Consulting, welcomed 683 attendees to the pre-conference sessions, representing an uptick in attendance of 88% over the previous year.

Pre-conference tracks were split across four areas:

  • Learn How to Market Your Fiduciary Advantage
  • 401(k) Fundamentals
  • Options Market Center Workshop
  • Capturing Investment Opportunities
  • Boost Efficiency with Technology

I attended the Technology tracks, and throughout the day, the hottest topic that came up was the DocuSign integration with Veo Open Access.

Supporting E-Signature

The DocuSign integration with Veo Open Access allows a nearly seamless workflow from form creation, client signature, to back office processing. It sounds too good to be true almost, and advisors are rightly concerned about end-client experience. Clients will be faced with authentication questions from DocuSign, possibly failing to authenticate, figuring out how to get their own copies of signed documents, making sure they use the right Internet browser, and so on.

To its credit, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s team, including Andy Wang, Senior Manager of Product Management, was very proactive on addressing advisor concern. The custodian is not simply pushing out the new integration without any testing. It’s clear that they’ve listened to adviser feedback.

For example, Wang said that the DocuSign integration allows customization of client authentication questions so they’re not impossible for most clients to use. Wang cited an address of a house a client owned in the 1970s as one of the more challenging questions the default system might generate. The customized questions, according to Wang, are much more relevant, yet they still fall under the strict RSA guidelines for enforcing accurate authentication.

Electronic signature workflow presents a great opportunity for efficiency in an adviser’s firm, particularly because once documents are electronically signed, they are automatically routed to the TD Ameritrade back office servicing team. This largely removes advisers from the follow up chain, where they used to be required to gather all the signed paperwork, FedEx it to the custodian, and then call the back office to confirm receipt. That’s antiquated process is history.

Tomorrow, the main event kicks off with business updates from Tom Bradley and Fred Tomczyk, followed by keynote sessions from Robert M. Gates, 22nd U.S. Secretary of Defense and Sheila Bair, 19th Chairman of the FDIC.

Look for more updates soon!

What are social media best practices for advisers? Find out at TDAI National 2012

So you hear over and over that in order to build your profile as an adviser today, you need to be active in social media. Ok, so where to begin?

If you’re attending the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference this week, you can get your fill of social media tactics from a variety of subject matter experts.

I’ve been asked to facilitate conversations with conference attendees in TD Ameritrade’s Social Media Lab Thursday and Friday, February 2 and 3. Appearing with me in the Social Media Tactics room throughout each day are Marie Swift of Impact Communications, Brett Farmiloe of Blind Society, and Caitlin Zucal of Arkovi.

The Social Media Lab will also have three other rooms, covering the topics of social media compliance, website optimization, and best practices for LinkedIn.

So come visit the Social Media Lab and bring all the questions you have. I’ll be on hand starting at 2:00pm Thursday 2/2 and also at 4:00pm Friday 2/3. No question will be refused!

FPPad Bits and Bytes for December 23

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday. Here are this week’s stories of interest:

How Black Diamond is faring as a unit of Advent Software from RIABiz.com

[So if you’re a disgruntled adviser on Advent’s legacy software, which new provider are you going to consider? Now that Advent owns Black Diamond, it seems like a no-brainer that advisers will make the transition to the web-based solution with little or no transition cost.] Since the Jacksonville, Fla.-based up-and-comer in portfolio accounting software was purchased back in early June by the San Francisco-based market leader, it has increased the number of advisory practices it serves to 330 from 270, an increase of about 22%.

TD to work on workflows for third-party technology partners from InvestmentNews.com

[This is a good, mid-week submission from Davis Janowski about TD Ameritrade’s efforts to provide sample workflows to advisors using Veo Open Access.] TD Ameritrade Institutional has completed an agreement with technology consultancy Actifi Inc. to help it build automated workflows for TD’s Veo Open Access platform.