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Tool provides college-planning edge

January 9, 2011

College planning is one area where financial advisers can really stand out from the crowd. Pity, then, that helping families with their educational needs is so complex and so few tools are available to help. Stratagee Corp. is out to change...

TD Ameritrade Institutional reporting progress on its open API initiative

January 6, 2011

Attempting to build buzz before a national conference with press releases lacking in — ahem — real news impact is nothing new, but when it comes to big technology initiatives I'm following closely I am happy to oblige by covering them if...

What the heck are rare earth elements -- and why should you care?

January 4, 2011

I found myself ruminating over the subject of rare earth elements a good deal over the holiday season. What with everyone desiring an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab or e-reader as a present and in the last few days all the talk about the burgeoning...

A different approach to high-tech planning

January 2, 2011

Providing scalable high-tech, high-touch financial advice to the mass affluent has been a goal of adviser entrepreneurs since the days of MS-DOS. While the technology and knowledge certainly exist to make it happen, doing so successfully and...

The new Client 360 brings it all together

December 19, 2010

Client 360 has been officially reborn. I recently took the first outsider's look at the updated technology engine and platform of independent broker-dealer Commonwealth Financial Network and found that it now integrates all client management...

Cyberattacks: A clear and present danger

December 19, 2010

The technology that makes financial transactions as easy as swiping a card or tapping a few keys also makes firms and their clients vulnerable to attack by cyberterrorists. A couple of events over the past few months should put everyone on alert....

Fund marketers embrace a print link to video

December 19, 2010

Trying to attract the attention of advisers, OppenheimerFunds Inc., Ivy Funds and MFS Investment Management are among the first mutual fund companies to embed “quick response” codes in their print ads and marketing materials — and experts...

First Look: The new Client 360 brings it all together

December 17, 2010

Client 360 has been officially reborn. I recently took the first outsider's look at the updated technology engine and platform of independent broker-dealer Commonwealth Financial Network and found that it now integrates all client management...

Advisers viewing videos in new ways

December 12, 2010

Their numbers are small, but more and more advisers are starting to see value in recording video commentary for use on their websites, as well as in communications with clients. Simplifying video use for advisers is a new wrinkle in the business...

MSSB provides advisers with internal social network

December 10, 2010

Morgan Stanley (Smith Barney) has launched a limited internal social network for its 18,000 brokers and advisers. Rolled out five weeks ago and called Advisor Insights, the online community currently features the completed (or nearly completed)...

NaviPlan and Profiles are updated by EISI

December 5, 2010

Those crafty Canadians at Emerging Information Systems Inc. know how to keep financial advisers coming back for more. Last week, EISI introduced new feature- and module-packed versions of NaviPlan and Profiles, their venerable financial planning...

Twitter, Facebook rules leave reps with little to say

December 3, 2010

Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter are redefining the way businesses reach their customers. Securities firms are largely absent from the revolution. Regulators and company rules at brokerages have slowed the adoption of social media...

JPMorgan gives bankers iPads

November 30, 2010

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will give its investment bankers iPads to provide an additional mobile tool as Apple Inc. expands its domain to Wall Street, threatening Research in Motion Ltd. in a market it traditionally dominated. “We believe there...

To Mac or not to Mac?

November 28, 2010

Thanks to the incredible popularity of Apple Inc.'s iPad, an increasing number of financial advisers have been asking me if it is possible to run their businesses on Apple computers instead of those designed only for Microsoft Windows. The answer...

Asset managers hiring tech execs to streamline processes

November 23, 2010

Investment management firms have a little bit more money to spend on hiring this year, and they are using those dollars to tap technology executives who are charged with cutting costs, according to executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates...

eFileCabinet rolls out latest version of SecureDrawer

November 23, 2010

Advisers are finding it increasingly convenient to use secure online portals and storage services as a means for sharing client documents instead of e-mail. eFileCabinet, Inc., a content management provider (which includes document management),...

A new tool kit to help advisers track household wealth

November 21, 2010

Envestnet Inc., a turnkey technology and wealth management provider that went public in July, is adding several unified-managed-household features to its platform this week. In a lengthy demo, I counted 18 new features I would consider significant....

Tech under the tree: Apricorn Aegis Padlock secure portable hard drive

November 17, 2010

In this week's Tech Update column I referred to a new series I'm running here on the blog (and we will mention them in print if space allows) for the holidays that the editors decided to call “Tech under the tree.” The first new product...

How a small custodian competes

November 14, 2010

With all the big technology initiatives at the major custodians, I found refreshing a conversation I had recently with Dennis Noto, chief information officer at Trust Company of America. With 120 advisory firms using its custody services and...

Fiserv gives APL managed-account platform a new look with OneView

November 10, 2010

The folks at Fiserv Inc. announced today the release of a new front end for their venerable APL managed account platform. Called OneView, the new interface adds “roles-based” management features, workflow, and exception reporting among other...

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