IN Daily Opinion/Column

Self-service account aggregation from CashEdge; Financial application for the Droid

Nov 6, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

By Davis D. Janowski

Self-service account aggregation launched by CashEdge

CashEdge Inc. is now making its AllData Advisor account aggregation service available to financial advisers via a self-service online subscription.

Tom Roberts, senior vice president and general manager of wealth management for CashEdge, said the company has seen increased interest from independent advisers, especially registered investment advisers, for direct access to its CashEdge product.

“We haven't focused on the independent adviser in the past because they historically have represented only about 10% of our customer population — the majority has been through our resale partners,” said Mr. Roberts. With more and more advisers going independent, the company has had a significant uptick in requests for access to the product via the web.

For those unfamiliar with account aggregation, CashEdge can provide advisers with a holistic view of all a client's assets, even those held with multiple custodians and other financial institutions.

AllData's service covers more than 10,000 aggregation sources, including access to data from annuity, banking, credit card, insurance, investment and retirement accounts.

With the new service, Mr. Roberts said advisers would either send clients an AllData link where they could input their account credentials and information, or advisers and their support staff could input this information themselves, when appropriate.

“It all depends on the sort of relationship or level of trust they have with their clients and how they typically interact with them,” said Mr. Roberts.

He added that most advisers typically have clients start using the service with their core retirement accounts. Over time, however, they gradually end up expanding the service so that their clients end up aggregating an average of roughly 10 accounts in one place.

About half of the data is collected using the HTML harvesting method, also known as screen scraping, and the other half is via direct downloads from the sources. With HTML harvesting, the aggregation company's software logs in securely to a client's account at a custodian or other institution, and copies the financial data from web pages.

CashEdge competes with similar services from ByAllAccounts and the largest player in the space, Advent Software Inc. and its Advent Custodial Data service.

For more information visit the CashEdge AllData page online.

List price for the CashEdge service is $1,500 per adviser each year, but during the next several months some promotional price-breaks from CashEdge's partners are expected to drop the cost to about $1,200.

There is no cap on the number of clients an adviser can get aggregated data for, or on the amount of client assets.

Currently, 6,000 advisers are using the CashEdge service, many through relationships with their broker-dealers or an application provider. AllData Advisor has integrations with several wealth management applications familiar to advisers, including the Albridge Wealth Reporting platform from Albridge Solutions, the eMoney 360 management and planning system from eMoney Advisor Inc., and the MoneyGuidePro goal-based financial planning program from PIE Technologies Inc.

Related stories:

Financial advisers sing the praises of account aggregation services

TechUpdate Part 2: Tracking spending

Broker-dealers get an upgrade option for data-sharing

Advisers face the challenge of data consolidation

New software promises users an all-in-one experience

Droid can now hit TheStreet.com

Advisers looking for any even slightly business-related reason to get the new Droid smart phone may now have a decent excuse: A subscription to TheStreet.com is now available, for free, on Mobile Android devices.

The application can push real-time market data and a customized stock portfolio, as well as articles and commentary from — you guessed it — Jim Cramer — out to smart phones running the Android operating system from Google. This, of course, includes the just-released and heavily-hyped Droid, which is running the second version of the Android O.S.

No, it won't be delivered to you by a now retired (though still cool-looking) Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter (see the latest Droid ad if you don't know what I'm talking about), but you can download it.

TheStreet.com is also available on the BlackBerry and iPhone.

TheStreet.com Mobile joins the very slick Finance application from Google as the only other “popular” quasi-professional application available on the platform, according to the Android Market general webpage. You'll have to search the 10,000 other applications available on the Droid itself to find more.

Download the new app via m.thestreet.com, or search “TheStreet” in the Android Market from your Android-powered smart phone.

Related stories:

Smart phones: It's all in the apps

iPhones are 'in,' but advisers should consider all their options

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