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Tool to evaluate rate of return vs. benchmark to be unveiled

Feb 4, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

By Joyce Hanson

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A new software tool that helps advisers learn quickly whether a fund's rate of return meets a client's performance expectations relative to a benchmark will be launched next week at the T3 Technology Tools for Today adviser conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Developed by E-Valuator, the new tool uses data from Thomson Reuters Corp.'s Lipper service and can be used by individual investors, although the company's primary focus is advisers.

The E-Valuator's dials can be set to indicate what percentage below (or above) the benchmark's return the investor is willing to tolerate and how many months the investment can lag the benchmark, according to E-Valuator founder Kevin Miller. Performance zones are color coded green, yellow or red, indicating whether an investment should be kept, watched or replaced.

“We update data daily,” said Mr. Miller, a financial adviser with about 25 years of experience in the securities industry. “We connect investors' [performance] expectations with an adviser's responsibilities. We provide easy-to-read monthly status reports, which are generated automatically and e-mailed.”

Mr. Miller is also president and chief executive of Fringe Benefits Design of Minnesota Inc., a third-party administrator of retirement plans with approximately $600 million in plan assets. He said Fringe Benefits also maintains a collective investment fund with another $300 million in assets, and that his firm has used the E-Valuator software for more than two years to analyze the fund.

During development, Mr. Miller met with fi360 Inc. founder Don Trone, as well as officials from Lipper, Morningstar Inc., TD Ameritrade Institutional and Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., to determine if the E-Valuator was a viable product.

“I met with Kevin about eight months ago to review his software,” Mr. Trone wrote in an e-mail. “What I can tell you is that I remember he had advanced the capabilities of due diligence beyond what I had developed for fi360 — quite a feat considering he and his son are doing this development on a part-time basis.”

E-Valuator will cost $5 for an individual investor per month and a flat fee of $130 per month for advisers and their clients.

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