Tag Archives: video

2016 Black Friday deals for video creators

I’ve aggregated the best Black Friday deals I could find on audio and video gear you can use to create online content for your business.

Check out the list below, and if you find any great deals I haven’t listed, leave a link in the comments below or send me a tweet to @billwinterberg.

NOTE: Links to products on Amazon are my affiliate links, so I earn 4 to 6% if you use the links to purchase. Also, links to online sites may not reflect Black Friday pricing until Thursday or Friday, so check back often if the prices don’t yet match the prices I cite in this post.

Last updated November 26, 2016 at 9:51 AM

GoPro Hero 5 Black/Hero 4 Silver

gopro-hero-5-blackTarget has the GoPro Hero 5 Black (view the Target Black Friday ad) for the regular price of $399, but for Black Friday the purchase comes with a $60 Target gift card.

For an even better deal, Sam’s Club has a GoPro Hero 4 Silver bundle at $199 (view Sam’s Club Black Friday ad) with a dual charger, extra battery, and a 16GB microSD memory card. That’s a great deal for a more-than-adequate GoPro, since the Hero 4 Silver is what I use for my own action shots. Amazon has the Hero 4 Silver for $278 with no accessories and Walmart has it for 293!

Canon EOS Rebel T5i/T6i

t6i-250Best Buy has the Canon EOS Rebel T6i bundle for $699, (view the Best Buy ad) which includes an 18-55mm lens, a Rode VIDEOMIC GO and a 32GB SD memory card. Why do you want the T6i? Because it has a flip-out LCD screen, so you can view the screen when you are filming while holding the camera towards you (aka “selfie” mode).

The Best Buy T6i bundle is a much better deal than Target’s sale of just the camera and lens for $649. That Rode VIDEOMIC GO and memory card are worth more than $50!

Amazon has last year’s Canon EOS Rebel T5i version available with a “Video Creator Kit” for $649 that includes a Rode VIDEOMIC GO and a 32GB SD memory card. The bundle also includes extra batteries and a carrying bag. For just $50 more on the Best Buy bundle, you’ll step up in sensor quality (see below) but give up a battery and a carrying bag.

The biggest difference between the T6i and T5i is the sensor, with the T6i featuring 24.2 megapixels and the T5i at 18 megapixels. Honestly, if you’re uploading video you shoot in 1080 HD to YouTube, you’re probably not going to see a noticeable difference between the two. But if you plan on using the camera for filming in front of a green screen, you’ll want to go with the bigger sensor of the T6i (with the caveat that perhaps a completely other camera is in order for green screen work with a full-frame sensor, lower compression, and on and on, but that will cost thousands of dollars).

Both the T6i and the T5i come with the standard 18-55mm lens, which is fine to first get to know how to use the camera, but you’ll likely want to purchase a wide angle lens (like this Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 for $449) that works with this camera.

Mevo by livestream

You can get the Mevo bundle from livestream this week for $549 which includes the camera, Mevo Boost external battery and network adapter, and a carrying case.

If you don’t know how you could use the Mevo in your business, watch the video below I made at the livestream booth the 2016 NAB Show.

Apple MacBook

My 13″ MacBook Pro is a workhorse, supporting real-time video editing and uploading while on the road. For Black Friday, Best Buy has select MacBooks up to $200 off, so check their website and see if any of their deals are ones you can’t pass up.

LED Lighting

The Fotodiox Black Friday deals were only available on Friday, so I’ve removed the links to the LED lighting that was on sale.


Best Buy has this Sunpak TravelLite Pro 63″ tripod for $49 this week (view the Best Buy ad). While not as high quality as a MeFOTO or Manfrotto collapsible tripod, the Sunpak doesn’t come with the $200 price tag.

Speaking of Manfrotto, they have Black Friday specials including the BeFree One tripod for $99 (a great deal while supplies last, but I didn’t see any inventory when I checked Thursday at 9:35 AM) and $100 off select carbon fiber tripods.

Exclusive tour of Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future

Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future shows how an adviser’s future office may not be a physical office at all

Recently I was invited to tour Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future, the company’s bold statement on where it believes the adviser’s future workplace is headed.

Irony notwithstanding, Fidelity Institutional’s Office of the Future does, in fact, occupy a physical space in the company’s Smithfield, RI campus located about an hour’s drive south of its Boston, Mass. headquarters.

Ed O’Brien, head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional, gave me a personal tour of the Office of the Future to highlight tools and technology advisers can use to invest in their own progressive workplace. A virtual Office of the Future tour is available on Fidelity’s website at https://fidelityinstitutional.fidelity.com/fi/campaigns/office-of-future/fidelity.html

The Office of the Future is segmented into four distinct areas, each highlighting specific concepts and tools in technology that advisers can deploy in their office: the briefing room, the “anywhere adviser” zone, the collaborative office, and the home environment.

Briefing Room


In the briefing room, advisers will find large, HD displays connected to a virtual conferencing system. Advisers can use HD video conferencing to create an interactive bridge with colleagues in remote offices, back office support at the home office, or even with clients (but more on that in the home environment).

In addition, the briefing room is not filled with large, encroaching conference tables. Instead, advisers will find an inviting circle of chairs surrounding a large Lenovo Horizon II 27-Inch All-in-One Touchscreen Desktop where they can sit on the same side of the table with clients and begin to navigate through documents, reports, and other on-screen information in an engaging, dynamic setting.

“Anywhere Advisor” Zone


Fidelity’s O’Brien understands that the adviser no longer does 100% of his or her work in the physical office, and has the need to be productive no matter where his or her travels may lead. So Fidelity’s second room is nicknamed the “anywhere advisor” zone, where advisers can try technology that supports productivity while away from the traditional office.

O’Brien demonstrated the presentation apps on tablet devices that synchronize annotations and markup to any virtual meeting attendee, a Celluon EPIC Virtual Keyboard for the ability to type on any flat surface, a Pebble Steel Smart Watch to view notifications and incoming call information without taking one’s phone out of a pocket or handbag, and the arguably controversial Google Glass.

Collaborative Office


In the collaborative office, O’Brien is quick to point out that there are no physical servers supporting the devices in the office. Instead, the collaborative office features three different styles of workstations, from the low-cost tablet and virtual desktop configuration up to the fully-loaded multiple monitor and HD video conferencing equipment from Cisco.

In addition, the collaborative office features a green screen backdrop that advisers can use to create their own video content for clients and prospects, and use the video to add their own background images, graphics, and other information to make compelling content for their audience (much like I do with my own FPPad Bits and Bytes broadcasts).

The Home Environment


Finally, the last stop on the Office of the Future tour is the home environment, where O’Brien says more and more of the adviser-client interactions will take place.

Clients are increasingly seeking convenient options to work with financial advisers, and that includes the ability to chat and engage with an adviser from the comfort of their own living room.

Video chat services like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple FaceTime allow clients to have productive, meaningful conversations with their adviser, without dealing with the hassles of driving to an adviser’s office or even identifying advisor they want to work with that happens to have an office near their home.  Using this technology, clients are free to work with an adviser anywhere in the United States and conduct those meetings at times convenient to them.

YouTube secrets for financial advisers

YouTube Zero

Effective video thumbnails, annotations, and hyperlinks are the biggest missed opportunities on YouTube for financial advisers

I recently connected with Joe and Luke Simonds of Advisor Internet Marketing (http://www.advisorinternetmarketing.com/) to talk about the top YouTube secrets for financial advisers.

The Simonds brothers are hosting 31 live Google+ Hangout events in 31 days (a tall order for anyone to deliver!), and I was the guest on March 12 to talk about YouTube secrets.

Here are some of the highlights from our 35 minute broadcast.

Why YouTube?

You likely already know that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine right behind Google. And because Google owns YouTube, Google often seeds Internet search results with content uploaded to YouTube.

Advisers who are wondering why uploading content to YouTube is worth the time and effort need to know that if they have zero content on YouTube, they have zero chance at showing up in those coveted YouTube slots in Google search results.

At 4:30, Simonds and I talk about why this is so important for anyone in financial services.

It doesn’t cost a lot to get started

Yes, advisers can record a video with their iPhone and upload it to YouTube, but there are a number of reasons why this may not be the best strategy for creating YouTube content.

Fortunately, the total cost for “prosumer” video and studio equipment is a lot lower than some might think. I have a list of gear advisers can buy to create their own studio that is free for anyone who signs up to the free FPPad newsletter.

At 7:25, we talk about how important good audio and video quality is in creating the right impression for one’s audience.

The biggest mistake to avoid

One of the biggest mistakes I see advisers making is not going through the process of creating a transcript. Many advisers sit in their office, press record on their iPhone or webcam, and ad lib about a topic.

Big mistake!

One reason why this is a mistake is that for any adviser under compliance requirements for their content, advisers might have to scrap their video altogether if compliance doesn’t approve the content.

So the mistake to avoid is filming a video without a transcript.

Write a script, submit it to compliance prior to filming, and then after the video is uploaded to YouTube, upload the transcript so YouTube can add closed captions to the video. Not only does that decrease the risk of scrapping a video, transcripts increase the video’s search engine ranking as Google uses the transcript to identify what the video is about.

At 12:35, we discuss the big mistakes to avoid and how using transcripts solves those big risks.

Key secrets to boosting YouTube ROI

Filming a video and uploading it to YouTube isn’t going to guarantee success. Fortunately there are some super easy techniques and secrets that can boost an adviser’s YouTube ROI.

First, create a custom thumbnail image for your video and use that instead of allowing YouTube to pick a random frame from your video.

Second, use YouTube annotations to make it super easy for viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel or to go watch a related video on your channel.

And third, use hyperlinks, complete with the “http://” prefix in the video’s description box on YouTube to help your viewers navigate to relevant websites.

At 14:40, we talk about all of these super easy secrets that few advisers know about that can really boost the ROI of YouTube.

How to look good on camera

With your YouTube video, you’re asking your viewers to give up some amount of time in the hopes that they’ll learn something, get a valuable takeaway, or be entertained. Don’t blow the opportunity by looking nervous or shifty on camera!

How have I become so comfortable filming all my videos?

I hired a coach.

Regular viewers of FPPad Bits and Bits might notice @CMS2020 in the credits as Executive Producer. That’s Steve Biermann, founder of Creative Marketing Solutions and my producer and coach for all of my video content.

At 22:11, we talk about the lessons I learned when I hired a coach and how he’s helped me improve my on camera presence.

End with a call to action

As with any good content online, finish the content with a call to action. What should the viewer do next? What resources are available to help the viewer answer their questions. The answer is in your call to action.

At 31:57, we end the Google+ Hangout with our respective calls to action, which includes my prompt to get my free guide to awesome video you will receive when you subscribe to the free FPPad newsletter. So subscribe right now!

I hope that you have time to watch the Hangout with Joe and Luke Simonds, or even jump in at the various time points provided above to get the most important takeaways.

And if you have any questions about getting started or your experience with video, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Learn YouTube secrets for financial advisors

FPPad Bits and Bytes for October 11

On this week’s broadcast, learn which broker-dealers are stepping up their game in technology, the industry’s first native financial planning app for Salesforce is introduced, what to do when someone steals your online videos, and more. So get ready, Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch on YouTube)

Today’s episode is brought to you by the 2013 T3 Enterprise Conference, exclusively designed for the technology needs of broker-dealers and financial enterprises.


You have less than one month before this event kicks off on November 3rd in Chicago, so if you’re looking for the best place to monitor trends in broker-dealer technology, you need register today at t3enterpriseconference.com

Upping the Ante from Financial Advisor Magazine

[Continuing with the theme of broker-dealer technology, this week’s lead story comes from Joel Bruckenstein, whose “Upping the Ante” column for Financial Advisor magazine provides a terrific overview at what broker-dealers are doing to deliver leading technology to their representatives.

Bruckenstein covers updates from leading BDs like Raymond James, LPL Financial, United Planners, Commonwealth, and Wells Fargo Advisors. Even if your firm is not affiliated with a broker-dealer, you need to read this column to find out what technology you should be adding to your business so you don’t fall behind in this continuously evolving marketplace.] With advisors’ business models constantly evolving, the pressure on independent broker-dealers to continually enhance their technology platforms has never been more intense. From portfolio management to client relationships, advisors are demanding that competitive brokerage firms up their tech games. This article looks at how five broker-dealers are trying to satisfy those demands.

Advisor Software, Inc. Launches goalgamiPro On salesforce.com’s AppExchange, The World’s Leading Business Apps Marketplace from PRNewswire.com

[Now notably absent from an article on broker-dealer technology is any update on Salesforce, the 800-pound gorilla of enterprise CRM. But one company expanding its support of Salesforce is Advisor Software, creators of goalgamiPro, a quick financial planning software application that I’ve highlighted in the past on my YouTube channel.

Advisor Software just launched a new app in the Salesforce AppExchange for goalgamiPro, giving advisors who use Salesforce the industry’s first native financial planning app for the CRM platform. You can watch a 7-minute demo video of goalgamiPro for Salesforce in action embedded along side the links to this week’s top stories.] Advisor Software, Inc., a provider of wealth management solutions for the financial advisor market, today announced it has launched its goalgamiPro quick planning solution on salesforce.com’s AppExchange, empowering businesses to connect with customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways.

Video theft: the latest threat to online financial adviser content from FPPad

[Switching gears now, a lot of you have asked me how you can create and post videos online to market your firm and generate organic search traffic to your business. But when you post videos online, you need to know that other people with dubious intentions can steal your videos and use them for their own benefit.

This week I discovered two episodes of Bits and Bytes had been reposted to another channel on YouTube and were being used to generate advertising revenue for that channel owner. So what can you do if you find someone allegedly infringing your copyrighted videos? YouTube makes it very easy to file an infringement claim, and when I filled one out for the two Bits and Bytes videos that were stolen, YouTube removed them in less than 24 hours.

Here is the link to access the YouTube Copyright Infringement Notification form.] Content thieves are stealing popular advisor videos to draw visitors to their questionable channels. Find out how to stop them.

Orion Advisor Services, LLC Achieves ISO 27001 Certification from PRNewswire.com

[Finishing up this week’s broadcast is a security update from Orion Advisor Services, the nation’s largest privately held portfolio accounting service bureau and, full disclosure, past sponsor of Bits and Bytes. Earlier this week, Orion announced that it achieved the ISO 27001 certification for meeting rigorous standards required for internal security controls.

The ISO 27001 certification is not easy to achieve, as the audit process is both time consuming and expensive. Orion becomes just the second company in all of Nebraska to receive the certification and joins industry heavyweights like Salesforce and Broadridge as the few financial services firms that are ISO 27001 certified.

But if you seek the gold standard in security controls from your vendors and providers to keep your information safe, ISO 27001 is the benchmark that distinguishes the top companies from all the rest.] Orion Advisor Services, LLC, a premier portfolio accounting service provider, recently completed an independent audit in accordance with the global security certification standards outlined by the ISO/IEC 27001:2005 report (“ISO 27001”).


20131011 episode thumbnail 590

Video theft: the latest threat to online financial adviser content

Remove your stolen videos from YouTube and enforce your copyright

Remove your stolen videos from YouTube and enforce your copyright

Content thieves are stealing popular advisor videos to draw visitors to their questionable channels. Find out how to stop them.

Online video is still a blue ocean in the realm of financial advisor marketing, but content thieves are already stealing popular advisor videos to promote their own channels.

FPPad subscribers know that I started creating video content back in February 2012, beginning with interviews of industry technology leaders from the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference and T3 2012 Conference.

And this summer, I launched FPPad Bits and Bytes, the industry’s only video broadcast devoted to covering the best technology news of the past week.

Thieves Like Popular Content, Too

I put a lot of energy and effort into creating videos for you with the objective of providing insight and commentary on a variety of technology solutions you can use in your business. With currently over 25,000 views on the FPPad YouTube channel, you are validating that this type of content delivery is useful.

So when I discovered content thieves were stealing my popular videos, I was irate.

You see, like most Google services, YouTube allows content publishers to participate in online advertising via Google AdWords for video. So if content on your YouTube channel receives a lot of views and you opt in to the AdWords program, you stand to earn a small amount of income in the form of advertising revenue.

But the downside to this is content thieves know this all too well, so they want to maximize their own channel’s ad revenue without publishing any original content of their own.

So they steal it.

How to Find Your Stolen Videos

Metrics are an important part of any content distribution, so I regularly monitor YouTube video analytics to see how well my videos are being received.

Part of that process includes searching for my channel and related videos on YouTube using specific keywords to see how they rank among similar content on YouTube. I’ll use common search phrases like FPPad, financial planning technology, financial advisor apps, and so on to determine what I can do to make my videos show up near the top of YouTube’s search results.

But imagine my surprise when not long ago, a search displayed one of my videos that was NOT part of my YouTube channel.

By searching YouTube for FPPad, I found several episodes of FPPad Bits and Bytes were posted to a channel called “financial websites”. View their YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-AMsCUZ4Mqib9B9YnrEPLQ?feature=watch

Note: I did not want to post the “financial websites” channel at all and send any traffic to it, but if you have uploaded video online, it’s worth searching through the 400+ videos to see if any of them are yours.

Stolen Video Search Technique

Fortunately, “financial websites” is a lazy thief. They simply download original videos from another source, re-upload them to their channel, and copy and paste the video title and description.

This laziness on their part makes it easier for you to find your stolen videos.

So search for the exact titles of videos you post online, including any keywords that you often use, such as your company name or episode series title.

If the thief simply copies and pastes your content, then you have a high likelihood your stolen video will appear using a very specific search query.

How to Remove Your Stolen Video from YouTube

If you do find one (or more) of your videos uploaded to another channel, here is what you need to do to get the video removed from YouTube.

YouTube provides an online Copyright Infringement Notification form that you can complete in just a few minutes.

YouTube offers an online Copyright Infringement Notification form you can complete in several minutes

Complete the YouTube online Copyright Infringement Notification form to have your stolen video removed

You’ll need the URL of your original video (the work allegedly infringed) as well as the URL of the allegedly infringing video to be removed.

You will also need to provide your legal name and address and attest that you are the content owner along with other standard claims required of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act‎ (DMCA) copyright violation notice.

What’s nice is you can use the completed form for a single video violation, or add multiple videos to the same form, saving time if multiple videos you created have been stolen.

Copyright Takedown Turnaround

In my case, two of my videos had been uploaded to the “financial websites” channel, and within about 24 hours of submitting my notice to YouTube, I received confirmation that both infringing videos had been removed.

So again, if you publish video online, on YouTube or elsewhere, here’s what you need to do to protect your content.

Search YouTube for the exact title of your most popular videos. Also search using keywords that appear in many of your video descriptions.

When you find an allegedly infringing video, complete the online Copyright Infringement Notification form.

And if you find a different YouTube channel using your videos online, post the channel name in the comments below so others can search it for alleged violations of their copyrighted material.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for September 6

On this week’s broadcast, a peek at Junxure’s new cloud CRM for advisers, a custom built workflow system is coming to MoneyGuide Pro, why it’s time you should stop asking clients for referrals, and more. So get ready, Bits and Bytes begins now.

(Watch on YouTube) This week’s episode is brought to you by Shareholders Service Group, offering custodial services, advanced technology, and superior client service to nearly 1,100 independent RIAs nationwide.

Shareholders Service Group

Access leading technology from Black Diamond, MoneyGuide Pro, Redtail, TRX and Envestnet through the SSG open architecture platform. You personally handle your clients’ financial needs, so let SSG be the custodian that personally serves you. For more information, visit fppad.com/ssg

Here are the links to this week’s stories of interest:

Tech Review: Junxure Cloud Reaches for the Sky from Financial-Planning.com

[Leading off is an update on Junxure CRM, as their long-awaited transition to the cloud is just about ready for prime time. Financial Planning magazine technology editor Joel Bruckenstein recently reviewed Junxure Cloud, but hesitated to issue a resounding endorsement of the product. Bruckenstein praised Junxure Cloud’s modern design, reminiscent of tiles found in Windows 8, but cited a lack of functional widgets and live integrations as reasons to wait before fully embracing Junxure Cloud. Those issues, combined with minimum retail pricing of $2,700/year for 3 users, will likely put advisers in a wait-and-see mode to determine if Junxure Cloud eventually lives up to its potential.] Over the years, Junxure has added a few additional products, including ClientView, a client portal service, and Junxure Mobile. But the one component it’s been lacking is a cloud-based CRM product, which it’s been working on for about two years. Those efforts are about to bear fruit.

Financial Planning Software Experts at Money Guide Pro Select Fox Financial Planning Network To Develop Integrated Workflow System from eReleases.com

[Next up is news from MoneyGuide Pro, the most popular web-based financial planning software program used by advisers today. This week, MoneyGuide Pro announced that it selected the Fox Financial Planning Network to develop a custom workflow system to streamline the financial plan creation process. The Fox Financial Planning Network already provides pre-built workflow templates for popular CRMs like Redtail and Grendel, but this development marks the first time a workflow system addresses the steps unique to financial planning software. With over 300 adviser members to date, the Fox Financial Planning Network has clearly positioned itself as one of the go-to providers as advisers seek comprehensive workflow systems for their business.] PIEtech, maker of Money Guide Pro (MGP), the leading financial planning software for financial advisors, officially announced today the selection of Fox Financial Planning Network (FFPN) to develop a custom workflow system to enable MGP subscribers to create financial plans more efficiently as well as to drive adoption of recently added valuable features.

This tiny Irvine company built a pro video-conf product for millions — on top of Google Hangouts from VentureBeat.com

[Now Fox Financial Planning Network is a great example of a company that uses video conferencing and webinars to share information and build their profile. So you’ve probably considered using video conferencing yourself for similar activity with clients and prospects, but have yet to find the right platform. Webex and GoToMeeting might be too cumbersome for some clients use, and Google+ Hangouts might just be a little too informal for your tastes.

One new service attempting to bridge the gap is called Business Hangouts, which claims to be the enterprise-friendly app for Google+ Hangouts. Users get all the useful features of Google+ Hangouts video chats, but also a number of add-ons like event registration, email reminders, virtual 3D rooms, and more that are attractive to enterprise users. Paid versions start at just $9 a month for up to 50 attendees, which is a very steep discount from many of the other online video conference services.] Video-conferencing is a massively turbulent space right now. Large incumbents like WebEx and GoToMeeting are fighting smaller, nimbler, and cheaper options like Blue Jeans Network and the company that actually powers Google Hangouts, Vidyo. But an tiny upstart company in Irvine, California just might unseat them all.

Stop asking for referrals and use technology to drive growth from FPPad.com

[Finally, you are well aware how important referrals are in the organic growth of your business. But one industry consultant insists that it’s time advisers stop asking their clients for referrals. Stephen Wershing, president of The Client Driven Practice and author of book Stop Asking For Referrals, recently sat down with me to talk about the things advisers *should* do to create an effective referral strategy, which includes a few technology tips as well.] Asking clients for referrals can be damaging says one expert; use technology instead to drive your business growth.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 16

On this week’s broadcast, Fidelity shows what Google Glass might do to change wealth management, a startup looks to tame the onslaught of digital statements, controversy over GMail’s privacy policy, and more.

(Watch on YouTube) This week’s edition of Bits and Bytes is brought to you by Orion Advisor Services, the nation’s largest privately held portfolio accounting service bureau.

Orion Advisor Services

Providing full-service data reconciliation, advisory fee billing, Salesforce integration, mobile apps and more, Orion believes it’s time for you to enjoy your business again.

Visit fppad.com/orion for more information.

Fidelity Market Monitor for Glass from Fidelity Labs

[First up this week is news from Fidelity Labs which just developed, oh wait, I just got a stock alert from my glasses. Right! Fidelity Labs developed an app for Google Glass, Google’s entry into the wearable computing market. Using the app, anyone donning Google’s controversial glasses can log in to their Fidelity account with voice authentication, get real time quotes by taking a picture of a company logo, and receive trading alerts. While the app is a glimpse of the not-too-distant future of mobile computing, I would not be surprised to see many of the quote and news-related updates provided by default in the Google Glass operating system. Still, the ability to perform account-related functions without having to hold a device in your hand can prove to be very popular, especially as wearable computing devices mature and become more socially acceptable.] Fidelity Labs is participating in a Google early developer program, and is working with a prototype of Google Glass to better understand the technology and how it may benefit our customers.

FileThis Fetch iPhone app available from FileThis

[Next up is news from a start-up in California called FileThis, which is new to my radar. Many of you are slowly making the transition to a paperless office, but you also should recognize how you can help clients make the transition to a paperless home. Nearly all of the major financial institutions provide statements we can download, but with ten or twenty accounts spread across banks, credit cards, and investments, it can easily take hours on the weekend to download and organize everything. This is where FileThis comes in. This week, FileThis released a free app for iPhone and iPad called FileThis Fetch. Within a few minutes of creating a free account, users connect their financial accounts and FileThis will automatically Fetch electronic statements and PDF files, and then route them to the user’s destination of choice, including Evernote, Dropbox, Personal, and Google Drive. Six connections are available for free, and users can purchase up to 30 connections for just $5 a month.] FileThis, a Marin, California-based startup, today announced the availability of an iPhone app for its award-winning FileThis Fetch service that lets consumers go paperless

No, Google did not say that there is no privacy in Gmail from TheNextWeb.com

[In online privacy news, Google’s GMail service made headlines this week as the company’s lawyers cited case law where, now I’m summarizing here, users of web-based email services cannot have a legitimate expectation of privacy when voluntarily turning over information to third parties. Websites like Consumer Watchdog and Gizmodo crafted pretty sensational headlines this week, making it sound as if Google had all but given up on protecting users’ privacy when they use the company’s free GMail service. But that’s not entirely true. Josh Ong at The Next Web helped clarify what Google’s lawyers actually said, and pointed out how their quote was taken out of context and blown out of proportion. But as an advisor, you should be concerned about how much information you volunteer to third party services, and would be well served by using business-class providers that have clear and explicit privacy policies. This means using email from Google Apps for Business, Redtail Email, Smarsh, and many more.] Earlier on Tuesday, Google was quoted by Consumer Watchdog, RT.com (Russia Today) and Gizmodo as having argued in a legal motion that customers have “no legitimate expectation of privacy”, but the quote has been taken out of context.

Video Creation 101 for Advisors – Join the Webinar! from Advisor Websites

[And finally, if this is the first Bits and Bytes broadcast you’ve watched, or you caught all three, you might be inspired to start your own broadcast to raise your own online profile or communicate with clients in new ways. If so, you’re in luck, because I’m teaming up with Advisor Websites to broadcast a free webinar about Video 101 for Financial Advisors. So clear your calendar for Tuesday, August 27th at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific, and sign up for this free webinar.] Advisor Websites is thrilled to announce that we’ll be presenting a brand new, action-packed webinar with our friend and trusted financial technology expert, Bill Winterberg! Join us as we present a comprehensive and simplified explanation designed to help you begin creating and sharing video content online.

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)

Attend this adviser-led workshop on creating video content for free

Thinking of incorporating video into your marketing and communication strategy? Then this free workshop may be just the thing you need.

Andy Millard is an adviser in Tryon, North Carolina, but he has a global presence.


He’s an avid user of video content, and uses his YouTube channel to reach a large audience from the humble town of Tryon.

Go ahead, look it up on Google Maps. Not exactly the hotbed of potential financial planning clients!

But that doesn’t matter. Millard uses video content to transcend geographical barriers.

Millard is now leveraging his experience by teaching other advisers how to do the same things he does with video.

Watch Millard’s invitation (again, a nice clever use of video) and get the details below.

  • Where: Tryon, North Carolina (nearest major airport: Greenville Spartanburg International Airport, GSP, served by most major carriers. Asheville, AVI, is also an option.)
  • When: Friday, July 12 – Sunday July 14, 2013
  • Price: FREE for the first six registrants (so act NOW because these spots will fill up fast!)
  • Contact: Email Michele@low-stress-investing.com and say you found the workshop info on FPPad.

If you do attend, come back to share the video(s) you created and provide feedback about the things you learned.