InvestmentNews takes advisers through the developments and innovations in technology that’ll change the way you do business today—and tomorrow.
Nov 12, 2013
If you are living in the 21st century as a business owner and a financial adviser, you spend time networking on LinkedIn. The social network has become the place for business. If you are on it, be prepared to be solicited, because this is where online business is initiated, groomed and done. Your profile page has to be a clear and concise explanation of who you are, what you do and what you do well. The last part is, of course, not allowed, which is ridiculous. Most of you have stripped-down and incomplete profiles because you are so afraid your broker-dealer's vague regulations on what is allowed on LinkedIn and other social media. Some of you are just flat-out not following the rules, and have endorsements and testimonials on your profile. While I agree you should be able to have them, you cannot, and that is something I think is unfair and wrong. Every day I log on, I am bombarded with endorsements and requests for endorsements. I... Read full post
Nov 11, 2013
On this week's broadcast, get up to speed on all the developments from the T3 Enterprise Conference, find out which portfolio rebalancing company just acquired a portfolio management software provider, and another CRM with a long history with advisors gets a fresh start in the cloud.Joel Bruckenstein convenes a wholesale version of T3 for IBD execs who choose software for thousands of reps from RIABiz.com; Trying to harness the power of big data for advisers from InvestmentNews.com, Live from T3: Deploying Tech at the B/D Level and Day Two at T3: A Lack of Data Standards from WealthManagement.com. Joel Bruckenstein and his co-producers, David Drucker and Bill Winterberg made it a two-day event geared toward broker-dealers and large RIAs looking to enhance their advisers' productivity and simplify the many day-to-day processes of providing advice.Total Rebalance Expert Acquires PowerAdvisor from Cornerstone Revolutions from PRNewswire.... Read full post
Nov 8, 2013
Financial advisers generally groan when walking past newsstands with headlines blazing, "What Stocks to Buy NOW!" The usual suspects in the pop-financial press expend a lot of ink on exactly where the public shouldn't fixate.Why do those magazines continue to whip up a frenzy over the Twitter IPO price or the best dividend-paying funds? Because it sells. The same can be said for our industry when it comes to technology. "How the New iPad will Transform Advisers Lives" and "Top Ten Apps for Advisers" are catchy headlines, but advisers' focus should not be on the shiny new product, it should be their process.There are certainly temptations to buy the newest gadget. But just as we want our clients to focus on how to best achieve their long-term goals, our business focus should be on the long term as well. Advisers must understand that the answer to transforming their day, year or business is not in a technology product, it is through... Read full post
Nov 7, 2013
I attended the T3 Enterprise conference in Chicago earlier this week. Advertised as the industry's premier technology event for broker-dealers, attendees were exclusively broker-dealer executives, chief technology officers and heads of larger RIA firms, while the vendors were invitation-only technology companies. Key components of the conference were networking, vendor educational sessions and vendors’ exhibiting their newest product innovations. Vendors included MoneyGuidePro, Redtail Technology Inc., Laserfiche, Junxure CRM Software Inc., MacroRisk Analytics, ProTracker Software Inc., Orion Adviser Services and Total Rebalance Expert.So what's new? I'll give you a few highlights. MoneyGuidePro sees a movement among advisers and broker-dealers away from investment-centric to greater focus on planning and advice. The software company is introducing more robust investor-initiated online planning tools. (Chad and his wife are... Read full post
Nov 6, 2013
A “robo-adviser” joined MoneyGuidePro founder and chief executive Bob Curtis on stage at this week's T3 Enterprise conference and proceeded to melt down when Mr. Curtis asked it qualitative questions like “I'm worried I won't be able to retire when I planned, can you help me with that?”During his opening keynote, Mr. Curtis was speaking about the future of advice delivery and digital disruption, when a colleague in a silver robot costume shuffled to the stage as rock band Styx's “Mr. Roboto” provided the appropriate theme music. The robo-adviser recited its advantages such as “You can call me at 3 a.m., I never sleep.” In a robotic voice, naturally. I suspect that many advisers were initially chuckling in comfort as Mr. Curtis overloaded the droid's circuits by asking follow-up questions, but that comfort didn't last long. He then warned of the constantly improving capabilities of the... Read full post
2:40 pm EST
I get so many e-mails, and I bet everyone reading this blog does too. Over time, the volume of e-mails has increased, so I had to develop ways of dealing with them. My methods are not high-tech and they might not be “best practices” but they seem to work for me – at least somewhat!Here are my three simple techniques:1) Delete irrelevant emails immediately. These are from sources that you might want to read sometimes, just not all of them, all the time. For example, I get regular e-mails from the California Society of CPAs with daily informational tidbits. If the headings don't interest me, I delete the message. If something catches my eye, I will read it. 2) Delete junk e-mails — after unsubscribing. This might seem like a waste of time, but believe it or not, this really does cut down on the volume of unwanted e-mails. Just look for the fine print at the bottom of the e-mail and click on “unsubscribe.... Read full post
Oct 30, 2013
We find ourselves in a perpetual review that stems from finding the right balance of technological efficiency and maximizing warm, personalized client interactions. We review roles, responsibilities and client workflows, and assess where improvements can be made. The kicking and screaming occurs when we consider pushing off work to the client.In the name of efficiency, we are tempted to ask clients to fill out all kinds of electronic forms, data packets, and anything else that is somewhat clerical that we do not want to do ourselves. If we interact with 40 prospects, we figure we can save two hours of work per prospect per year. That efficiency adds up, and we have also potentially avoided data entry mistakes. Lastly, we go on to pat ourselves on the back because we are using technology to scale our business. While it is great to have core technological efficiencies as they relate to under the surface business functions, at McLean, we ... Read full post
Oct 29, 2013
Microsoft has released its first major update for Windows 8, the Windows 8.1 upgrade, with a slew of fixes intended to improve features and address many usability issues and concerns with the original release.Perhaps most notable is the return of the Windows Start button, which was removed from the original launch of Windows 8, much to the dismay of users who have been accustomed to it for more than a decade of Windows use. In point of fact, though, the interface is still a bit different… instead of the words “Start” the icon is now the Windows logo, as shown below, and clicking on it does not bring up the familiar start menu from the prior days of Windows, but instead launches the Windows Metro interface where you can click on the Tile for the application you want.Beyond the return of the start button, the new Windows 8.1 upgrade also allows users to boot their computers directly to the familiar Windows desktop,... Read full post
Oct 28, 2013
I have been quoted as saying that my computer is both my best friend and my worst enemy. Now I feel that way about Wi-Fi on a plane. Not that I fly every week, but I do fly plenty. And as a busy business owner, work seems to take over much of my life – often eclipsing sleep time.Getting on a long flight typically used to give me the opportunity to catch some much needed shut-eye. There's something about the gentle movement and sound of the jets that work better than a sleeping pill. An extended reclining seat nap would leave me refreshed while making the trip “fly” by.When planes first began to offer Wi-Fi, it was kind of exciting – and it was free. How cool was it to answer e-mails and play Word with Friends at 30,000 feet? But then it all changed.Wi-Fi was available on more flights. It was like a lottery – would my plane have it or not? When I saw that my plane had Wi-Fi on board, it meant that I... Read full post
Oct 28, 2013
On this week's broadcast, get the rundown of all the announcements from Apple this week, the trend of quick financial planning expands to a new software provider, and how you can impress clients with a survey. Yes, I said survey!From iPad Air to Mac Pro: everything you need to know about Apple's fall event from TheVerge.com. After a year in which Apple's product announcements have largely leaked out ahead of time, today the company delivered something of a surprise: a redesigned tablet, the iPad Air, that is the lightest full-size iPad to date at just 1 pound.SunGard Launches a Financial Planning Solution that Helps Advisors Quickly Create Holistic, Client-Friendly Plans from Sungard. SunGard has launched WealthStation CompAct, a new financial planning solution that gives advisors the ability to produce results-based, holistic financial plans quickly, simply and interactively.Use Surveys to Impress Clients. Yes, Surveys! from... Read full post
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Dorothy Weaver Founder & CEO, Collins Capital
Sandy Lincoln Managing Director and Chief Market Strategist, BMO Asset Management U.S.