Tech and practice management news you should know.
Easy As Pie
Written by Joel Bruckenstein, FA Magazine Friday, 14 September 2012
In my first review of PieTech’s MoneyGuidePro over a decade ago, I was impressed by how smart yet easy to use the application was. This new cloud-based version seeks to get back to the simplicity of the original while adding functionality. For the most part, MGP: G3 succeeds. It is a better and smarter and more intuitive financial planning application than the previous version.
There are at least eight new features and eight major enhancements to the application. There’s also a great deal of functionality hidden below the surface that can be leveraged to create financial plans that are better aligned with client needs. Perhaps the best way to understand the magnitude of the changes that MoneyGuide has undergone is to walk through the creation of a quick and simple retirement plan.
Generally speaking, financial planners deal with affluent Americans. Historically, the cost of producing comprehensive financial plans is high and the public perception is that financial planning is only for the rich. As an industry, we have not done a good job of refuting this perception. Read More..
Money management, Silicon Valley-style
Written by Adam Lashinsky, Forbes Friday, 14 September 2012
Joe Lonsdale is what an earlier generation would have called a young man in a hurry. A protégé of investor Peter Thiel, Lonsdale helped him build Clarium Capital into a multibillion-dollar hedge fund. Then, again with Thiel, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies, a security analytics software firm.
Having made a small fortune in his twenties -- he recently treated himself to a 30th birthday party at Hearst Castle on California's Central Coast -- Lonsdale has set his sights on a new challenge: designing software for the ultrawealthy. Addepar, his three-year-old startup, aims to apply Silicon Valley smarts to the increasing complexities faced by the super-rich in tracking, analyzing, transferring, and reporting their finances. (The name is Latin wordplay based on a line in Ovid's Metamorphoses meaning "Add a little to a little and you'll have a great amount.")
For a fee of 0.05% of assets under management, Addepar connects family offices or endowments with the various entities that manage their money, facilitating fund transfers, generating speedy reports, tracking currency conversions, and cutting down on data-entry errors. With the first handful of clients representing more than $100 billion in assets, Addepar says it generates annual revenue of about $25 million. Read More..
New Apps for the Mobile Financial Adviser
Written by Daisy Maxey, The Wall Street Journal Friday, 14 September 2012
When financial adviser Chris Buck hits the road to visit clients, his laptop stays behind. Instead, he packs his iPad.
Mr. Buck, a senior adviser at LifePlan Financial Group of Dayton, Ohio, uses the tablet to run presentations, take notes during meetings and even make trades on the go, thanks to an app from his custodian, TD Ameritrade.
Smart gadgets packed with apps are changing the way financial advisers do business and relate to their clients. As more advisers snap up mobile devices like iPads, the investment firms they work with are offering up apps that let them do their jobs from a small screen. Among other things, advisers can research investments, check clients' accounts and execute trades—and more innovation is on the way.
"Advisers want to replicate all of their business functions, but do it on a device that's mobile, lasts for 10 hours on a single battery charge and that they can use from almost anywhere in the world with a 4G connection," says Bill Winterberg, owner of FPPad.com, an Atlanta-based technology consultant to advisers. Read More..
LearnVest Becomes an RIA, Plans to Hire Advisors
Written by Elizabeth Wine, Financial Planning Magazine Friday, 14 September 2012
LearnVest, a financial management website that was built as an electronic financial advisor for mass market investors, will announce Tuesday morning that it is now a registered investment advisor and will be hiring more advisors in the coming months.
In addition the New York-based firm has significantly beefed up its existing online tools. The moves expand upon the tech start-up's model of providing clients with financial advice augmented by online educational and planning tools.
"Our clear mission is to make financial planning not a luxury," said Alexa von Tobel, LearnVest's chief executive officer. "We think technology can improve this, not only for planners, but customers," she said.
The company expects to have 50 advisors, who must be certified financial planners, on staff by the fall, both full and part-time. Part of the appeal to advisors who might be considering moonlighting is simple: not having to find clients. Plus, unlike some of its competitors that have set up shop as broker/dealers, LearnVest will not be selling financial products, leaving advisors with one job: providing financial advice. Read More..
An App for Your High Net Worth Clients
Written by Bill Winterberg, Morningstar Advisor Friday, 14 September 2012
Online personal finance applications are proving to be very popular with investors. Millions of investors today use websites and mobile apps such as Mint.com, Personal Capital, and Blueleaf to aggregate and view all of their household accounts and investments in a consolidated, easy-to-use dashboard.
When considering whether to engage the services of a personal financial advisor, investors often discover that many advisors aren't capable of providing the kind of online access to their financial information to which they are accustomed. Many of the tools used by financial advisors don't deliver such capabilities directly to investors.
To compete with the new generation of personal finance applications, advisors want to provide their high net worth clients with comparable solutions. Only a handful of options exist today, including aforementioned Blueleaf as well as eMoney Advisor, but a new entrant to the field specifically targets advisors' high net worth clients. That solution is Wealth Access. Read More..
- Advent envisions a cloud-based world under stormy Las Vegas skies at the software giant's annual confab
- After a year under wraps, Laser App unveils a new "anywhere" product at its sixth annual conference in San Diego
- Revamping its trading platform, Schwab at long last is poised to catch up with its smaller peers
- iRebal-Veo integration is enviable
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