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

Sep 23, 2014

3 major changes taking place in wealth management technology

By Nathan Berk

It's an exciting time to be a leader of a technology company in the financial services space, specifically in the wealth management realm. As the chief executive of Interactive Advisory Software, I have witnessed in recent months some key players get acquired. Envestnet first purchased Tamarac for $54 million and then Placemark for $66 million. Morningstar Inc.acquired By All Accounts for $28 million, and FolioDynamix was just acquired for $199 million. Having acquired an existing software company, Interactive Advisory Software in 2012, I have a unique perspective. These acquisitions should make leaders of a wealth management firm pause and reflect on what is occurring in the wealth management technology space. Doing so will ensure that your firm's technology vision is focused in the right direction. What I see are three major trends that the wealth management technology industry is rapidly moving toward:1. Providing an integrated... Read full post

Sep 22, 2014

Ways to get uninterrupted time through technology

By Sheryl Rowling

We all have millions of things to do. Maybe it's not really millions, but it's certainly a lot. In and among all that, we have phone calls and e-mails. Or do we have it reversed? Do we try to do our work in between phone calls and e-mails?Besides not overscheduling meetings, there are ways to control your technology to help give you the uninterrupted time to actually finish projects.To make this work, you must accept one basic rule: You don't have to answer every phone call and e-mail immediately. This might seem like an obvious concept. Yet, many of us fall into the trap of jumping on each communication as if waiting an hour could result in the loss of the client. To accept the rule, you must truly believe that no client will think less of you if you return their call later in the day rather than answering on the first ring. (More: Top mobile apps used by advisers)The goal is to group your phone calls and e-mails into two or three... Read full post

Sep 18, 2014

Technology's role in deepening adviser-client relationships

By Stuart DePina

Advisers face complex challenges as they seek to build relationships with clients who increasingly rely on web-based technology in many areas of their lives. Although long-lasting relationships always depend on providing clients with effective investment services, this goal can be facilitated, or hindered, by the technology advisers use. This is true when working with established, perhaps older, clients, but it is especially salient for new investors who have grown up accustomed to having access to instant, direct, and comprehensive online services. There are now technology offerings that enable advisers to access comprehensive, back-office capabilities and effective end-to-end solutions. These suites of interconnected portfolio accounting services not only can deliver significant gains in client satisfaction, but they can also improve efficiency, compliance, and overall profitability for the adviser. In addition, the new products... Read full post

Sep 17, 2014

Debunking 3 big myths about robo-advisers

By Megan Graf

“Robo-adviser.” The phrase prompts mixed reactions, and its emotional overtones vary wildly in the minds of readers. A traditional adviser, spitting the word out with derision, can make “robo” sound like the “near” in “near beer.” On the other hand, a breathless tech reporter can make it sound full of mysterious power and impending disruption. Even among the robo-advisers themselves, its interpretations are mixed. Wealthfront, for example, has opted for the more precise and neutral phrase, “automated investment service.” Betterment calls itself an online financial adviser. Both terms are fair, but both are also a mouthful. If Strunk & White teach us anything, it's to never use three words where one will do. More words don't always lead to more clarity. At FutureAdvisor, we think “robo-adviser” works just fine, but the debates raging around the sector in the last... Read full post

Sep 2, 2014

How technology can transform an RIA

By Brian H. Vendig

The investment advisory business is constantly evolving. Among the many moving parts of this dynamic industry, technology continues to alter the way advisory firms interact with and manage their client relationships. Accordingly, the services and the tools necessary for firms to conduct and grow their businesses must change as well. Firms must adapt to the market and understand that the technology revolution is here to stay, rapidly surpassing our wildest dreams of how technology could benefit us. What firms must understand is that they need not only a technology provider, but a relationship with that provider that is based on mutual benefits from the partnership.My firm, MJP Associates, is an independent registered investment advisory firm that wanted to provide more efficient and effective investment solutions for our clients, while enhancing our day-to-day client service and operational objectives. In order to accomplish this, we... Read full post

Aug 29, 2014

How advisers can get the most out of video

By Kristen Luke

In the past few years, online video has become an entrenched part of the marketing landscape. In January, 85% of U.S. Internet users watched online video, according to ComScore, and companies large and small are intent on capturing the attention of those viewers.But in an environment dominated by the viral video and the clever ad campaign, can financial advisers stand out? Yes, but you need to be smart about how you integrate video into your marketing efforts. For advisers just starting out with video, here are five ideas to consider: 1. Introduce yourself and your company: These days, having a video on your website is de rigueur. Hire a professional videographer to produce a 30-second or one-minute video that describes what your firm does, how you do it and who you do it for. If you're comfortable on camera and don't mind talking about yourself, you may also want to do a more personal “bio” video where you tell a story... Read full post

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

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