InvestmentNews takes advisers through the developments and innovations in technology that’ll change the way you do business today—and tomorrow.

Aug 22, 2014

Will LPL's back-office technology set a new bar for adviser productivity?

By Bill Winterberg

LPL Financial unveils next generation ClientWorks platform for advisers at focus14 annual conference from Marketwatch. LPL Financial, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer, an RIA custodian, and a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc., today unveiled ClientWorksSM, a next-generation technology solution for advisers and institutions that will seamlessly integrate and expand its offerings. LPL Financial announces expansion of CRM offering for advisers at focus14 annual conference through new relationship with Redtail Technology from PRNewswire. LPL Financial, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer, an RIA custodian, and a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc., today announced a new relationship with Redtail Technology, Inc.Laser App software sees continued growth with new custodian and broker-dealer clients from Marketwired. From its 2014 Financial Services Conference, Laser App Software ... Read full post

Aug 13, 2014

How will LPL's new tech platform measure up against the competition?

By Sheryl Rowling

LPL has announced its new ClientWorks technology platform offering with great fanfare.According to LPL Financial president Robert Moore, "Advisers will be able to run their practices more efficiently than before, through improved client management, digital account opening, streamlined trading, enhanced cash management and collaboration capabilities." LPL is hoping to create a workflow system that will allow an adviser to run their back-office from anywhere. While I applaud all forms of technology advances for financial advisers, I am not sure if this not-yet-released offering is truly new or just new to LPL. Is LPL playing catch-up with other platforms that are already out there?For example, Shareholders Service Group believes in open integration of its technology to allow advisers the freedom to choose best-of-breed. "Through our partnerships with top providers, we can help our advisers find the right fit with either integrated or... Read full post

Aug 11, 2014

What role should advisers play in protecting clients from Internet fraud?

By Sheryl Rowling

As financial advisers, what role can and should we play in helping our clients avoid Internet fraud? Certainly we must safeguard our internal structures so that private client information is not exposed to unintended parties, meaning we must physically protect client files as well as encrypt or utilize secure portals when emailing sensitive information. When it comes to clients' own internet use, is it appropriate for advisers to get involved?In my humble opinion, the answer is yes and no. Yes, it is our responsibility to inform our clients to the extent it relates to their financial well-being. No, it is not our responsibility — or within our ability — to advise on technical aspects or hold ourselves out as cybersecurity experts. Our clients look to us for guidance in achieving their financial goals, and for assistance in keeping them on track. In the area of Internet security, I believe we must educate clients in three... Read full post

Aug 8, 2014

3 questions advisers should ask themselves before buying new technology

By Ed O'Brien

You hear it everywhere. Technology is evolving rapidly and to stay ahead you must jump in or your business will stumble. It's true that technology available for advisers today can make an incredible difference in their businesses — from creating a paperless office using straight-through processing and e-signatures, to sitting with a client in their living room while you scroll through their portfolio together on your iPad. But as much as technology creates opportunities to streamline business processes and enhance the client experience, doing this successfully is easier said than done. Advisers feel the push and pull. While eight in 10 advisers reported in Fidelity's 2013 Insights on Advice Study that they wanted to increase their technology usage, 95% are still challenged by integrating and utilizing it. The last thing you want is to make a large investment in new technology only to find out that no one is using it. (Related... Read full post

Jul 28, 2014

How technology is transforming financial advice: Schwab's Hathi

By Neesha Hathi

The independent registered investment adviser industry is experiencing a major shift that is being driven by advisers' recognition and adoption of new technologies.Many forces are driving the changes under way: The mobile lifestyle of the increasingly affluent “Generation Now” (high net worth 30-45 year olds), evolving models and new competition for the delivery of financial advice, and the wave of retiring boomer-generation advisers transitioning their firms to the next generation. This combination of factors is compelling independent advisers to adopt and integrate technology across all facets of their firms. Advisers are moving beyond seeing technology as a back office support function and are beginning to take advantage of the power of technology in enhancing the client experience and ultimately supporting smart, sustainable business models with legacy value.According to the 2014 RIA Benchmarking Study from Charles... Read full post

Jul 25, 2014

6 lessons traditional advisers can learn from robos

By Megan Graf

Many questions have been raised by traditional financial advisers about their robo-peers. Any time a digital investment adviser hits the headlines, somewhere on social media you can be sure someone is wondering aloud about robo-advisors' business models, investment strategies, and ability to personalize their services.Instead of questioning whether robo-advisers serve clients' needs and can even survive, traditional advisers might ask themselves: what can I learn from this new brand of financial service? In a few months at FutureAdvisor, I've absorbed an enormous amount, which I've tried to condense to a few points.1) The great unbundling is here. It happened to newspapers years ago, when each of their sections became a blog, classifieds went to Craigslist and advertising went to the search engines. It's happening to banks as we speak. Institutions that once purveyed a variety of goods and services are seeing each vertical tackled one... Read full post

Jul 18, 2014

5 ways to improve your tech evaluation process

By Nathan Berk

Without careful planning, your technology can become more of a “ball and chain” than a means of growing your practice. Before you know it, you'll have several very different applications, a web of data passing between systems and a list of impressively marketed features you don't really need. You can handle this situation in a more effective, inexpensive way.Having been a former business owner of a technology consulting company to large, fast-growing RIAs, I have insight into the industry that a typical technology manufacturer doesn't. Technology is about solving problems and creating efficiency — not just about bells, whistles and integrations; those are the means to the end. My experience has been that each RIA is unique and has business requirements driven by numerous factors that were developed without consideration for the current technology landscape. The burden of selecting the correct technology for an RIA... Read full post

Jul 11, 2014

Will Junxure Cloud's release prove worth the wait?

By Bill Winterberg

Junxure Announces Wide Release of Junxure Cloud CRM for Financial Advisors from PRNewswire. Junxure CRM, an industry-leading practice improvement firm for financial advisers that integrates CRM technology, consulting and training, announced the general release of Junxure Cloud, its comprehensive, cloud-based CRM/office management solution for financial advisers.ProTracker pulls cloud-based CRM back into beta from InvestmentNews. Eight months after announcing the launch of a cloud-based customer relationship management product for advisers, ProTracker Software Inc. has stopped selling its ProTracker Cloud CRM while the company fixes some kinks in the product.Wealth Access Experiencing Rapid Growth and Momentum in Wealth Management Industry from PRWeb. Wealth Access, an innovative high net worth personal financial management platform for advisers, announced today several milestones that represent fast growth and adoption of its industry... Read full post

Jul 10, 2014

Wanted: Advisers to take tech survey

By Joyce Hanson

Here are a few technology questions for tablet users out there: Do Android-based tablets have any chance this year of overtaking the Apple iPad in popularity among advisers? And what about Microsoft's Surface Pro 3? Is it really “a true laptop killer,” as VentureBeat claims?There's only one way to achieve statistically valid answers to these questions: A large number of advisers must take InvestmentNews' 2014 Tech Trends survey of adviser applications, products and software. All it takes from you is a couple of minutes to click through your tech preferences.Go here to take the survey by end of day, July 14. Last year, more than 1,300 advisers participated in the survey, and we're trailing that number as of today, so consider this blog post my personal plea to you to take the survey. A significant adviser sampling will serve as an excellent snapshot showing where the industry is headed in terms of tech.The survey will... Read full post

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