Tag Archives: Video Spotlight

Schwab Advisor Services’ Brian Shenson addresses PortfolioCenter Hosted, OpenView Gateway, and Integrated Office offerings for advisers

In this video spotlight interview, Brian Shenson, vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services met with me to update Schwab’s progress on a number of technology initiatives.

(For details on last weeks’ Schwab Tech Talk conference call, read RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series.)

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

PortfolioCenter Hosted

Clearly, Schwab Advisor Services recognizes the opportunity in offering advisers the ability to locate portions of their technology in the cloud.

The launch of PortfolioCenter Hosted, according to Shenson, is intended to simplify operations for advisers.

“We have over 3,500 advisers today relying on PortfolioCenter desktop, but they’re looking to simplify their operating model with cloud-based solutions,” said Shenson.

“PortfolioCenter Hosted allows [advisers] to have the same control and ownership of their data that they have today, but leverage Schwab’s backbone infrastructure to host their systems,” he added.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare

I asked Shenson to elaborate on the resources Schwab provides when it comes to the various integrations supported by PortfolioCenter and other Schwab Intelligent Technologies’ resources.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare is the latest resource Shenson highlighted to educate advisers on their technology purchase options.

“[OpenView MarketSquare is] not meant to replace other resources advisers rely on to learn about technology”, said Shenson, “but we think we have a unique opportunity to create voice to the adviser’s perspective on the technology they use to help inform other advisers before making that purchase decision for a particular technology.”

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Visit Schwab OpenView MarketSquare online at http://www.schwabintelligenttechnologies.com/MarketSquare

OpenView Gateway versus Integrated Office

Finally, there still is confusion over the differences in the two primary back office offerings from Schwab Advisor Services, OpenView Gateway and the Integrated Office.

I asked Shenson to identify the type of advisory firm to which each solution is best suited.

“Many advisers have already made substantial investments in their technology infrastructure, and for them we wanted to work with best-of-breed providers and build integrations to those platforms. That is what we designed with OpenView Gateway,” said Shenson.

The alternate solution, Integrated Office, is a complete “office in a box” offering.

“Many advisers are looking for incredible simplicity in their operating model,” said Shenson.

“They’re looking to us as a provider to offer an integrated solution where all the pieces are designed to fit very well together. For them we offer the Integrated Office.”

(click to watch on YouTube)

Schwab Advisor Services’ Neesha Hathi discusses innovation, differentiation, and pending technology rollouts

After spending several months on the road, spotlight video interviews are back!

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

I recently had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Neesha Hathi, senior vice president of Advisor Technology for Schwab Advisor Services, on a number of topics.

In this seven-minute video, Hathi highlights how Schwab is able to maintain its agility in innovation despite its large size as an organization.

For details on all of Schwab’s recent announcements, see RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series posted here yesterday.

Hathi also explains how Schwab Advisor Services has gathered extensive feedback from their advisors to enhance the web trading platform in use by thousands of firms everyday.

(click here to watch on YouTube)

eMoney Advisor wants to wow advisers with features bundled into one financial planning package

While attending the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2013 National Conference last month, I connected with Dan Cox, regional sales director for eMoney Advisor.

eMoney Advisor has been rather quiet in recent years, crossing my radar only once or twice with news of new product features and functionality.

For 2013, eMoney Advisor is ready to jump out of the gate and get in front of advisers to demonstrate how the platform can complement an efficient workplace.

So what is eMoney Advisor?

Cox replied, “It’s a fully integrated financial planning software package, bundled with account aggregation and a client portal.”

“Part of the bundled package is a secure client vault where [advisers] can upload and download any document and collaborate with other financial professionals,” added Cox.

For more information, visit them online at http://www.emoneyadvisor.com/

(click to view on YouTube)

Financial adviser workflow: How Deborah Fox is networking advisers with a one-stop shop for workflow

While attending the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2013 National Conference last month, I connected with Deborah Fox, founder of the Fox Financial Planning Network.

In our conversation, Fox provided insight on the need for systematized workflow solutions in the financial services industry.

“We wanted to provide tools in a way advisers could get quick results to fully systematize their practice and think through their business model,” said Fox.

I reviewed the Fox Financial Planning Network resources in January for Morningstar Advisor (see: How to add pre-configured workflows to popular adviser CRM software).

You’ll see how the network resources are not just a list of PDF files listing the steps advisers should follow to prepare for a client meeting, but includes CRM plugins (Redtail and Grendel are the first ones to support this integration) and live training webinars and discussions with Fox and other experts.

For more information about the Fox Financial Planning Network, visit them online at http://foxfinancialplanningnetwork.com/

(click to watch on YouTube)


goalgamiPro adds cash flow illustrations to its quick financial planning framework

A popular quick financial planning tool gets even faster with Open Access integration and cash flow illustrations

While attending the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2013 National Conference last week, I connected with Neal Ringquist, president of Advisor Software.

You’ve seen Ringquist before as Advisor Software announced the introduction of goalgamiPro, the quick financial planning software tool (See: Yes, you can create financial plans in eight minutes).

Now, goalgamiPro leverages Veo® Open Access from TD Ameritrade Institutional, streamlining the process of entering household asset information into the software.

“We’re fully integrated with Veo,” said Ringquist, “[allowing] advisors to bring accounts and holdings data into the application, which eliminates all that time and makes quick planning even quicker.”

goalgamiPro has also added a new data sheet with cash flow illustrations, further enhancing the conversations advisers can have with clients about planning opportunities.

“There are two ways to look at the viability of goal planning: one is through the balance sheet, but it doesn’t address ‘financeability,’ when cash will be available to meet goals,” added Ringquist. “So we’ve provided that cash flow report [which is] another way to evaluate the client’s goal plan.”

For more information, visit Advisor Software’s goalgamiPro product page at http://www.advisorsoftware.com/products/goalgamipro.asp

(click to watch on YouTube)

TD Ameritrade’s open technology helps push Orion Advisor Services over the $100 billion in platform assets mark

Orion Advisor Services is the beneficiary of a one-two combination of innovative technology

While attending the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2013 National Conference last week, I connected with Jon Reiners, director of institutional business development for Orion Advisor Services.

In our conversation, Reiners announced that the leading portfolio service bureau recently surpassed $100 billion in total assets administered under its platform.

“Of that $100 billion in assets we have,” said Reiners, “$35 billion is collectively here with TD Ameritrade.”

Also, Reiners detailed one new feature to be released in the next few weeks called Orion Mail, where statements suitable for email are automatically generated using custom Orion report data.

For more information about Orion, visit them online at http://www.orionadvisor.com/

(click to watch on YouTube)

FPPad Best of 2012: Posts

keyboardI’m recapping the best content found on FPPad in 2012. Previously I featured the top five videos from 2012 and the top five podcasts from 2012.

Today’s update is the last in the Best of 2012 series and highlights the twelve (for 2012!) most popular posts, as ranked by total views.

Before I begin, make sure that you’ve subscribed to my free newsletter so you don’t miss recaps of all the new posts, podcasts, and videos coming in 2013.

Here are the top twelve posts of 2012.

1. How to hide endorsements from your LinkedIn profile

Just like the most viewed video of 2012, readers wondering how to hide LinkedIn Endorsements generated the most visits to this FPPad post in 2012.

The relatively innocuous Endorsements feature LinkedIn added this year created a lot of frustration among registered advisers. While the feature is a convenient way for others to highlight an adviser’s skills and expertise, Endorsements skirt the gray area of testimonials that are prohibited by the SEC and FINRA.

Again, the conservative approach many advisers follow is to hide Endorsements altogether, and this post embedded a video to show how to do that.

2. Tungle, my go-to calendar service, is shutting down. Here are public calendar alternatives financial advisers should consider

I was bummed to learn that Tungle, my favorite online public calendar service, planned to shut down in December. Evidently, many other Tungle users felt the same way.

In this top post of 2012, readers wanted to know what alternatives they could use to replace the extremely useful and simple public calendar service from Tungle (no thanks to Research In Motion!).

3. Why advisers can’t trust their clients anymore

This is probably one of an adviser’s worst nightmare. They think they’re fulfilling a client’s withdrawal request to fund, say, a vacation or new car purchase.

But unbeknownst to the adviser, the client’s email account was hacked, and the request for funds was actually made by a hacker claiming to be the client.

If an adviser isn’t cautious, tens of thousands of dollars can be mistakenly distributed to a hacker, and not to the client.

This post covers ways advisers can spot identity theft, detect client “spoofing,” and implement techniques to identify clients before transferring any funds.

4. Yes, you can create financial plans in eight minutes

I think everyone would agree that having a financial plan is the best way to work towards financial success. But the ways financial plans are created vary widely across the industry.

One method growing among advisers is the creation of a quick financial plan.

In one of this year’s top posts, Neal Ringquist, President of Advisor Software, Inc. talks about the trend of quick financial planning tools and highlights his company’s goalgamiPro product in a video spotlight interview.

5. The Best Financial Adviser Technology of 2012

Advisers clearly want to know what technology will help their business in the years ahead. For a post that’s just three weeks old, it was so popular it vaulted into the top five of all content for the year!

Sure, you can read surveys and industry reports until your eyes glaze over and identify the most popular technology products out there, but what about those products that will help your firm truly stand out from all the others? That’s where my annual Best Tech for Advisers list comes in.

Read this year’s update to find products that will help you share documents with ease, broadcast yourself live over the Internet, and proactively plan for your clients’ needs.

6. How to hide LinkedIn Endorsements on the new LinkedIn profile design

See the top post of 2012? Here is its sister post, updated to reflect the new ways to hide LinkedIn Endorsements using the new profile design.

This post has the two minute screencast demonstrating how advisers can hide LinkedIn Endorsements, either globally or skill by skill.

7. The Financial Planning Flowchart (or why your clients will balk at paying your fees)

Here’s a post that is just FOUR days old, and it cracked the top ten of popular posts of 2012!

Why? Because advisers know that consumers (and clients) have more access to financial planning tools than ever before, including flowcharts like the one published in BloombergBusinessweek.

This post gained some serious traction on social media sites, generating a lot of traffic over the post- and pre-holiday weekend. Read it to find out why.

8. How financial advisers can improve their personal workflow

FPPad readers are always looking for ways to be more efficient and get more done each day.

That’s why a lot of content here focuses on tools and techniques to deliver on that premise.

In this post, I share one very cool app that I continue to use to this day to manage and organize personal workflow.

9. Should Financial Advisers use Google Drive?

In the same category as one of the top all-time posts at FPPad (see: Dropbox for Financial Advisers: Is it Safe?), I cover reasons why financial advisers should think twice about using Google Drive, the search giant’s online file storage service, for storing files with sensitive information inside.

10. Smarsh president Stephen Marsh addresses Pinterest and compliance

This is the first podcast update to break into the list of top posts of 2012, and that’s likely because it includes two topics of recent interest for advisers: Pinterest and compliance.

In this podcast, Smarsh president Stephen Marsh talks about the company’s latest product that can be used to archive content from new social media websites like Pinterest without depending on APIs or other data access methods that may not ordinarily be available from the social media site itself.

If you are one of those advisers who can’t wait to try out the next new social media website, then Smarsh’s new tool may be just the thing you need to manage your compliance requirements.

11. New LinkedIn profiles raise compliance concerns as there appears to be no way to hide endorsements

Notice a theme here? Yes, LinkedIn and their new Endorsements feature has generated a lot of interest and traffic here at FPPad.

This time, as new profile updates were being rolled out to LinkedIn users, it appeared that Endorsements couldn’t be hidden whatsoever.

One adviser who received the new profile design in an early rollout sent a screenshot to me, which was covered in this screencast update.

Fortunately, the final profile design includes an easy way to edit Endorsements and hide them, which you’ve already seen in the number six post of 2012.

12. Cloud computing for financial advisers: How to stay safe

And finally, here’s the post to round out the best of 2012. It’s all about cloud computing and the things advisers can do to stay safe when using cloud services.

This is a reference over to my article for the July edition of the Journal of Financial Planning that includes a list of ten things advisers should ask of their cloud service provider when conducting due diligence.

All of the answers provided should be saved to your compliance file, so when a regulator challenges you on the security of your cloud provider, you have all this information at the ready to satisfy the request.

And that’s it.

The most popular posts of 2012 here at FPPad, all rolled up into one convenient update for your reference.

Allow me to ask one more time for you to subscribe to the free newsletter so you can stay up to date on the best in financial planning technology content. I’d normally say “monthly” newsletter, but I don’t send updates on a monthly schedule. It’s less frequent than that, so 1) your inbox won’t be overloaded, and 2) you’ll receive quick links to some of the premium content posted here.

Have a happy, prosperous, and productive 2013!

FPPad Best of 2012: Videos

Year-end “best of” lists are flooding my feeds, and I’m reading the majority of them as they offer good insight on what audiences of different media outlets and publications read the most.

This year, I’m going to split the Best of FPPad in 2012 feature into three categories: Videos, Podcasts, and Posts.

fppad videoVideos were a new initiative I launched in 2012 to diversify the format of content featured here at FPPad.

This time last year I assembled my two-camera video setup that I could pack into a backpack and transport in an airplane overhead bin. I started with sit-down interviews, then branched out with point-of-view style interviews, iPad app demos, and then live On Air broadcasts.

I must say that the videos have been a big hit, as the FPPad YouTube channel surpassed 10,000 views and 50 subscribers this year. Have you subscribed yet?

So to kick off my list for this year, here are the top five videos (determined by view count) from FPPad in 2012.

1. How to hide endorsements from your LinkedIn profile for financial adviser compliance

Any time social media is mentioned for financial advisers, compliance rears its ugly head. This year’s most watched video addresses a new feature LinkedIn added earlier this year called Endorsements.

Generally, Endorsements are a quick and convenient way to highlight skills and expertise of LinkedIn connections, but the hard line the SEC and FINRA draws on prohibiting testimonials of any kind clouds whether or not Endorsements can be displayed on a regulated adviser’s profile.

The conservative approach is to simply hide Endorsements altogether, leading to the substantial interest in this how-to screencast.

Note that LinkedIn’s profile design changed late this year, so the process of hiding Endorsements has changed, reflected in this updated screencast, How to Hide LinkedIn Endorsements in the New LinkedIn Profile (which has a decent chance of becoming the most watched video for 2013…).

2. Veo® Mobile app for iPad from TD Ameritrade Institutional

All the major custodians now offer iPad apps for affiliated financial advisers. One app with extensive functionality is Veo® Mobile from TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Inside the app, advisers will find account management options, trading functionality, and streaming video from CNBC. It’s the all-in-one app advisers on the go can count on while away from the office.

3. Orion Advisor Services’ Eric Clarke discussing TD Ameritrade Institutional Veo® Open Access

In one of the first series of video spotlight interviews, I spoke with Orion Advisor Services President and CEO Eric Clarke about his company’s integration with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo® Open Access platform.

This type of content shaped what was to come for the remainder of 2012, as I added content that highlighted financial planning technology developments that really matter to your business.

And I know, I know, it’s “VAY-oh” Open Access, not “VEE-oh!”

4. FPPad Spotlight: Mike Wilson of AdvisoryWorld at T3 2012

This is a dark horse winner for 2012, as AdvisoryWorld (and their portfolio statistics offered to advisers) doesn’t garner much attention from the other media outlets to which you subscribe.

Nevertheless, this video continues to receive consistent traffic from a variety of locations, including the AdvisoryWorld.com website (see, there’s a lesson in this for you: put video, arguably ANY video, on the home page of your website. People will watch some or all of it!)

5. T3 2012: Competing Against Robo Advisers: Delivering Advice in a New World – Part 1

The final top five video of 2012 was filmed at the 2012 T3 conference in Dallas, TX. It features a panel session with Blueleaf CEO John Prendergast and inStream co-founder Alex Murguia discussing the controversial topic of robo advisers, or online financial advice and financial planning platforms that are competing against traditional financial advisers and wealth managers.

Both Prendergast and Murguia outline strategies advisers can implement to take on challengers like Personal Capital, Wealthfront, Betterment, LearnVest (hey, why doesn’t LearnVest have an https:// certificate?!?), and others.

I hope you enjoyed the video recap, so be sure to return over the next week to view the best podcasts and posts from FPPad in 2012.

Like integration, “mobile compatible” means different things to different people

When a technology vendor advertises a product as being “mobile compatible,” what does that really mean?

More often than not, mobile-compatible products usually display static reports and charts on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. But that’s not really taking advantage of mobile device capabilities, most notably a device’s touchscreen.

TrustFort, primarily known for its portfolio reporting technology to broker-dealers and RIAs, is now moving ahead with mobile app development with several of its partners that goes beyond basic report presentations, and instead provides a rich, interactive user experience. Such an environment lets both advisers and clients drill down into the details of financial and investment plans, touching different elements and expanding certain sections to view more detailed information.

Hear more about the mobile app development underway from TrustFort president and CEO Atindra Barua.

(click to watch on YouTube)

Salesforce, powered by Orion Connect, gets phone system integration and smarter email reports

I’m still not convinced that Salesforce, out of the box, is an attractive CRM for financial advisers.

Most firms need to customize much of what comes with the standard Salesforce package; some succeed after making substantial investments, while others give up, frustrated by the seemingly endless list of things to change (see: Salesforce for financial advisers solicits bipolar reactions; AppCrown attempts to resolve disjointed CRM).

Instead of customizing Salesforce in house, many advisers are leveraging third-party utilities found in the AppExchange. One of those utilities comes from Orion Advisor Services, called Orion Connect.

For details on Orion Connect and several new functions it offers, I spoke with Orion Advisor Services president and CEO Eric Clarke in the video spotlight below.

(click to watch on YouTube)