FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 28

I just came back from Brooklyn where the NAPFA Practice Management and Investments conference was held. While away, I kept an eye on new tech stories for advisers and wrapped them in one nice convenient package for you here:

TD Ameritrade Institutional Veo® Integration with Salesforce CRM Helps Financial Advisors Manage Important Client Relationships from amtd.com

[My Bits and Bytes post for September 9 listed TD Ameritrade’s announcement of an impending release of Salesforce CRM for its advisers. Yesterday, TD formally announced its release, which includes pre-defined workflow sequences advisers can use to get up and running quickly.] TD Ameritrade Institutional today introduced a Veo advisor platform integration with Salesforce CRM and other third party systems. The customized CRM app offers advisors flexibility, automated workflows and easier access to client data to help improve efficiency and client service.

Pershing Expands Anytime, Anywhere Account Access for Investment Professionals and Advisors With the Launch of Web-based NetX360.com from PRNewswire.com

[You knew lots of announcements were coming now, just days before Schwab IMPACT next week. Here’s an update from Pershing, which is in the final testing phase of rolling out a 100% web-based solution for its NetX360 platform. Notably, the platform supports multiple browsers, including Chrome and Safari, which I feel is a very wise decision.] Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, announced today that it has expanded its leadership of anytime, anywhere account access with the introduction of a browser-based version of its innovative, open-architecture NetX360® technology platform.

Turning planning on its head from InvestmentNews.com

[Davis Janowski covers a new entrant into the financial planning software space. Free, web-based inStream from inStream Solutions, headed up by McLean Asset Management’s Alex Murguia, looks to be a streamlined challenger to the established, high-maintenance software applications traditionally used by advisers.] Planning tools that predict a client’s future needs, advanced financial calculators and an integrated contact management system make inStream a robust, cloud-based product.

EISI strikes a deal to cash out its shareholders from RIABiz.com

[A property and casualty insurance software provider bought the maker of NaviPlan. Add this to the Financeware patent-infringement issues from a few months back, and you have some “what’s next?” thoughts with respect to the future of financial planning software.] Faced with an innovation challenge and increased competition, Emerging Information Systems Inc., North America’s biggest financial planning software company, responsible for NaviPlan and Profiles financial planning software, announced yesterday that its shareholders have reached a deal to sell EISI.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 9

Originally I hadn’t planned on posting a Bits and Bytes update today. I was on vacation until today and there were no relevant stories that came across my feeds. Then yesterday afternoon came.

While on my return flight to Dallas, my feeds and screens peppered me with updates from many of the major custodians including Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity.

Say Goodbye to Paper-Based Compliance Practices

But first, my September column for Morningstar Advisor covers a technology product aimed at reducing the manual data-gathering process associated with compliance activities, namely trading supervision and pre-clearance approval. Go read it! Say Goodbye to Paper-Based Compliance Practices.

Now on to this week’s stories of interest:

 TD Ameritrade to release customized version of Salesforce from FA-Mag.com

[So if you’re Schwab and announce a partnership with Salesforce in October 2010, then take a year to roll something out to advisers, someone might steal your thunder. That’s just what TD Ameritrade did this week as it announced the rollout of a customized version of Salesforce at about a 40% discount to advisers. I’m going to view the demo this afternoon and hope to report shortly thereafter.] TD Ameritrade Institutional (TDA) is putting final touches on a customized version of Salesforce that it will release in October.

Fidelity Rolls Out ‘Technology Investment Evaluator’ for Advisors from Financial Planning

[Not to be left out, Fidelity is providing its internal consultants with an Excel-based spreadsheet that helps rank the various tools available to advisers by how well the tool might meet advisers’ needs.] Fidelity Investments’ RIA custodian business has announced a new tool, Technology Investment Evaluator, to help advisors run their businesses more efficiently.

And on Monday, I posted that Schwab revealed its new Intelligent Integration website and formed a new subsidiary called Schwab Intelligent Technologies to support the effort.

For my thoughts on Salesforce, read Is Salesforce the future of adviser CRM?

FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 6

Today is the final day of FPA Retreat 2011, and Bill will soon be flying to Baltimore for a short weekend visit before returning to Dallas next Monday. As the events at Retreat unfolded, we’ve taken brief breaks to cover the best of technology news for advisers this week.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

TechCheck: Archiving for QuickBooks gets quicker from InvestmentNews.com

This InvestmentNews update covers a new Quickbooks integration in eFileCabinet Inc., a free social media policy resource, and news of the partnership between Trust Company of America and Black Diamond Performance Reporting.

TradeWarrior and TradePMR Announce Integrated Partnership from MarketWire.com

TradeWarrior and TradePMR announced today an integration between the two firms. The partnership provides TradePMR advisors with the ability to seamlessly export their client data files into TradeWarrior’s powerful rebalancing and trading system. The affiliation marks the first time TradePMR has made rebalancing software available to their advisors.

Lean on Me at FA-Mag.com

The major custodians are taking a leaf from the page of the independent broker-dealers who, in the best of cases, look beyond their advisors’ need for trade execution to the entire area of practice management.

Dropping Out of the Tech Arms Race at RegisteredRep.com

But even while confidence has slowly crept back among advisors, as the market has cooperated as well, many are still holding tight to the lessons of the past few years — spending on technology, but with a new kind of financial savvy and discretion.

Read Bill’s column for the May issue of the Journal of Financial Planning, Five Misconceptions About Document Management

Financial planners have benefited tremendously from new technologies introduced in the digital age by being able to conduct much of their business while on the go. However, one area of the digital movement that financial planners have been slow to adopt is document management technology.

The Tech Needs of Advisors on Advisor TV at Financial-Planning.com

At the Tiburon CEO Summit, Stuart DePina, CEO of software provider, Tamarac Corp., discusses what firms need to do with technology to service clients more effectively.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 29

Today is the beginning of a busy itinerary for us at FPPad. We’re starting a short vacation to visit family in the Mid-Atlantic, then flying to Ft. Myers, Fla. for FPA Retreat 2011, swinging back north to Baltimore for a few days, then returning to Dallas May 9.

We’ll do our best to provide a weekly update on May 6, but if not, this week’s Bits and Bytes will have to hold you over for two weeks.

TD Ameritrade brings software elite to Dallas for an API summit from RIABiz.com

TD Ameritrade Institutional welcomed around a dozen financial adviser technology providers to its two-day Technology Summit this week in Dallas, TX and provided updates on using its Application Programming Interface.

BlazePortfolio Unveils ATOM ALIGN Cloud Service from BlazePortolio.com

BlazePortfolio today announced the launch of ATOM ALIGN Cloud Service, a hosted rebalancing and trade order management solution for investment organizations.

Choosing Software That Works for Your Advisory Firm-Part 4: Building an Action Plan from AdvisorOne.com

The fourth update in a six-part series by Spenser Segal of ActiFi designed to present best practices to advisors on how to choose, implement and monitor new technology for an advisory firm.


And in case you missed our earlier post, read BrightScope Launches Advisor Pages™, Aggregates SEC/FINRA Sources to Improve Adviser Search

One innovative company is attempting to change the way consumers search for financial advisers.


Preview TD AMERITRADE Institutional’s Veo® Mobile App for iPad

Thank you to Andy Gluck and Advisors4Advisors for recording a four minute preview of TD AMERITRADE Institutional’s new Veo® Mobile app for iPad.

Click here if you can’t view the embedded video (opens on YouTube).

Follow the TD AMERITRADE Institutional 2011 Conference Twitter Backchannel

Wednesday marks the start of the 2011 independent adviser conference season with the TD AMERITRADE Institutional 2011 National Conference in San Diego, CA. While we presented at the event last year, this year we’re not able to attend.

This year’s conference agenda is packed with diverse information, but we’re particularly interested in the sessions revealing more information on TD AMERITRADE Institutional’s Open Access Technology. If the custodian rolls out an equivalent of an SDK (software development kit) to its technology infrastructure, it may issue a new wave of tight and highly-functional integrations with 3rd party software.

Also, we’re pleased to see the custodian’s progressive adoption of social media communication at its conference. The company created a Twitter account, @TDAI_National11, and selected an official hashtag of  #TDA2011 to identify conference-related tweets.

We turned TD AMERITRADE Institutional on to VisibleTweets.com, so if you see your tweets projected on flat-panel displays or projectors, you can thank us!

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/TDAI_National11/status/27471415758299137″]

FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 14

We were on the road for the first half of this week attending Laserfiche Empower 2011 in Los Angeles. While we took extensive notes over the 2 1/2 day event, we haven’t had the time to review and summarize them for posting (or post anything else for that matter!).

So check back in a week or two for our thoughts on Laserfiche’s potential to increase its presence in financial services.

Meanwhile, here are this week’s stories of interest:

Fidelity, Schwab and TD Ameritrade prep for arms race in mobile technology for advisors from RIABiz

In the next few months, Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. will launch mobile apps for advisors that deliver functionality from their respective technology platforms, WealthCentral and Veo, according to the companies.

Advisor Tested: iPad proves ideal for advisors on-the-go; the surprise is the effect on clients from RIABiz

Tech Enables Convenient Client Connections, my January column at Morningstar Advisor

Growing advisory firms need easy tools they can use to collaborate with busy clients in real time when an in-person meeting is not possible or practical. Here are four screen-sharing tools that advisors should consider adding to their technology toolkit to enhance client service.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 7

2011 is off to a roaring start, and this week’s Bits and Bytes captures that fact.

Included are two stories on Orion Advisor Services’ new mobile app for advisors and their clients, two stories on TD AMERITRADE Institutional’s API for their Veo technology platform, and one article on a web-based tool to facilitate new Form ADV Part 2 regulatory filings.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Orion Advisor Services Launches App For Mobile Platforms from FPPad.com

In a continuation of 2010’s trend towards mobile device adoption, Orion Advisor Services, LLC of Omaha, Neb. announced today that it released applications for the Android and Apple iOS platforms.

and How Orion Advisor Services became a mobile device pioneer and how competitors plan to react from RIABiz.com

Eric Clarke of Orion Advisor Services is  making accessibility by mobile means a big strategic priority with the development of an Orion app for Droids, iPads and the like.

A Game Changer from Financial Advisor Magazine

TD Ameritrade becomes the first major custodian to open its database so it can integrate with virtually any software firm supporting RIAs.

TD Ameritrade Institutional reporting progress on its open API initiative from InvestmentNews.com

Third-party vendors are anxious to integrate with Veo, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s trading and account management platform and be able to securely exchange data.

ADV Help from Financial Advisor Magazine

This new Web-based platform helps RIAs easily update their regulatory reports.

Black Diamond Inks Deal with Shareholders Service Group

Update: Brooke Southall and his team at RIABiz posted an article today discussing the partnership in more detail. Read it by clicking here.

Another custodian has formed a partnership to increase its technology offerings to affiliated advisers.

Shareholders Service Group (SSG) of San Diego, Calif. announced today that it is partnering with Black Diamond Performance Reporting of Jacksonville, Fla. to deliver its industry leading, web-based portfolio management and reporting system through the SSG platform.

Click here to view the press release for the Black Diamond and SSG partnership (Yahoo! News).

Read More…

Follow the TD AMERITRADE Institutional Conference Twitter Backchannel

I’ll be appearing this Friday on a panel titled Leveraging Social Media to Grow Your Business at the TD AMERITRADE Institutional 2010 National Conference in Orlando, FL.

Click here to view the entire conference agenda.

I’ll be attending the conference all day Friday and will attend the ethics CE session Saturday morning (my CFP® certification renewal is due at the end of this month!). So if you see me, stop me and introduce yourself. Don’t know what I look like? Check my bio for a photo.

Also, if you’re interested in my other upcoming presentations, please check out my speaking page.

Finally, I complied a list of conference attendees on Twitter, so check it out to see who’s tweeting from the event. Most are using the #TDA2010 hashtag to identify conference-related tweets.

See you there!