Timely Technology Questions And Answers For RIAs


  • Do you have a reliable way to archive and retrieve emails if you’re inspected?

  • Do you systematically archive all your firm’s social media content?

  • Is your practice using cloud-based vesions of Microsoft Office or Google Apps?

  • Can you batch process and deliver any type of document to clients securely?

  • Can you stream financial news to your social networks?


If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” please join us Thursday at 4 p.m. EST for a webinar with better answers.

Advisor Products has been in business since 1996 but solutions we’re launching now are more helpful than ever.

Our unrelenting focus on client communications for RIAs makes us unique and more valuable than ever to investment advisors.

What we are doing is high quality, priced well, and  good for RIAs.

Feedback from our clients is very positive these days because our service team is stronger, but these new solutions will add to our already-strong platform.
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Two Minute Video Shows Social Media Content Stream For Financial Advisors

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Erado, An Advisor Products Compliance Partner, Named To Gartner's "Cool Vendor" List

You just don’t see vendors to advisors get named to Gartner’s list of “cool vendors.” Sorry, I know RIAs think they are really a big deal but in the enterprise world covered by Gartner, the RIA segment of the financial services industry just does not matter much.

So when Craig Brauff, founder and CEO of Erado Message Control Solutions, an email and social media compliance solution, sent me a copy of Gartner’s research naming his company a “cool vendor” today, I was thrilled.

Erado was on my radar screen for the last few years but did not get on my personal list of “cool vendors” until about three months ago, when Brauff came to visit me here in Long Island.

Brauff is an economist who taught himself programming. In his early 50s now, he’s an entrepreneur with a track record of success.  He’s a hands on guy, totally obsessed with doing great work. For instance, Brauff built his own data center because he decided that was a requirement for building a world-class advisor compliance business.

With an intensity that matches my own, Brauff and I are kindred spirits. When we sat down together in my home office after dinner one evening and got to know each other, we almost immediately became excited about one another’s work.

Erado was making technology simpler for advisors. For example, other social media compliance vendors had created proxies for logging into social networks. Big social media vendors have been requiring that advisors log into a compliant version of Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter and use that to post content to their social networks. That means those other vendors have to support software proxies for smartphones, desktops , tablets, Androids, Macs, and PCs. I have learned from personal experience that ths is a bad approach.

Erado’s approach is different. It does not create a proxy to log into social networks in order to enforce compliance. It rids advisors of the need to use a proxy. Erado capture what is posted and turns it into an email where it can be reviewed by compliance officers and archived. Brauff went in a different direction from most vendors gaining momentum with enterprises. And it has paid off.

Gartner’s recognition is fantastic but the real recognition that Erado is doing something better it that its systems are getting adopted by large institutions. Erado now provides email and social media archiving for tens of thousands of advisors, and it is the compliance vendor chosen by many large BDs, including LPL Financial.

When Brauff told me about his ideas for advisor email and social media compliance three months ago, I knew right away that Erado was a cool vendor. But what was really cool is that Brauff felt the same way about Advisor Products!

I showed Brauff how the Financial Advisor Social Media Content Stream from Advisor Products would work. (It just went live recently and we are looking for beta testers.) Brauff got it. While other vendors offered content, Brauff on the spot that evening validated that what Advisor Products is doing would be better.  Advisor Products, Brauff understood, was dong something really cool!

It was at that moment when we decided Erado and Advisor Products would work together.

In a few days, Advisor Products and Erado will start providing RIAs with Erado compliance solutions — email archiving and encryption as well as social media archiving.

The price will be 20% below what Erado charges RIAs for its compliance solutions. Erado is treating Advisor Products like a large enterprise buyer and Advisor Products is passing on the savings to RIAs.

RIAs will be able to buy cloud solutions for Office 365 and Google Apps bundled with email and social media compliance.

Advisor Products has been in search of a compliance vendor that could meet the needs of RIAs for about five years. But Erado really is a cool vendor and that’s why we chose Erado.

Congratulations Craig!
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Seeking Beta Testers For Financial Advisor Social Media Content Stream

Tonight, at long last, we’re going live with a financial advisor social media dashboard (SMD.

People who have seen SMD say it’s like HooteSuite for advisors.

We create content — articles and videos — and we write three status updates (tweets) about each topic. You use SMD to send your tweets.

SMD is an ingenuous way for a wealth manager to post updates to social networks once a day on topics high-net-worth individuals need to know about: how the improving financial condition of state governments might affect muni bonds, utilizing “stretch” IRAs, how not to spoil their kids, and asset protection strategies for doctors.

The beauty of the SMD is that Advisor Products does the heavy lifting by writing about these strategies authoritatively. All you do is rewrite the tweets we provide to target it to you social networks.

The SMD is included free with all Platinum-licensed websites. You can add the social media content stream and our content to any website for $1337 annually.

If you’re interested in becoming a beta tester, please email service@advisorproducts.com and let us know.

 
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RIA Best Practices In Using Consumer File Sharing Apps

The ease of use of consumer file sharing apps like Dropbox and Box makes them so convenient, but advisors must be thoughtful about using consumer file-sharing apps in their practice.

Dropbox and Box are best-in-class file sharing apps, but they are not built expressly for investment advisors.

I recently interviewed Chris Winn, founder of AdvisorAssist, a leading operations and compliance consultancy, about use of Dropbox and other consumer file-sharing apps by RIAs and registered reps. I honestly did not know where Winn was going to come out on this issue. His response is important because investment advisors are obliged legally to take care with a client’s personally identifiable information. Liability and regulatory issues are involved, and Winn is an independent expert.

To hear Winn advise against using Dropbox and other file sharing consumer apps with clients in favor of a system like AdvisorVault validated my thoughts in creating a secure client communications portal to meet the specific needs of RIAs.

Informed by Winn's comments, here are a few of the issues advisors must consider as consumer file-sharing apps grow in popularity with consumers:

Compliance-Configuration. Dropbox, Google Docs, and other file sharing apps may have the features necessary to enable a configuration that forces prudent practices by clients. For example, clients sharing documents with you should be forced to create create password at least eight characters in length (preferably 10) and that use at least one non-alphanumeric and one upper-case character. But you must configure consumer apps to enforce such policies.

Internal Versus External. Winn says using Dropbox and other consumer file-sharing apps are okay for use with staff but not with other professionals or clients. If a client is using his own Dropbox account with you, you do not control the security policies of the client or outside professional.

Fast And Easy But Not Carefree. The near-instant access ease of file sharing apps makes it easy to give little thought to security. Yet people are posting personally identifiable data in many places more often.
Supporting Consumer Apps. Advisors who do not create their own dedicated client portal will find that their clients have done so and that it is scattered across the World Wide Web, which means advisors will often find themselves supporting an array of file-sharing apps. Instead of spending quality time with clients, you spend time time supporting clients with tech problems.

One Client Portal. Unless you do it for them, your clients over the next few years are probably going to create their own online vaults. You’ll have lost the opportunity to organize your clients’ personal financial information on your firm’s website.

Winn and I have collaborated together on A4A webinars and other projects for nearly three years, but he never brings up solutions made by Advisor Products and I’ve never asked him to do so. In this instance, however, the growing popularity of online file-sharing apps made the question inevitable and his answer important.
The three-minute video below is actually a short snippet from a longer interview with Winn posted to Advisors4Advisors. Because Winn spoke about Dropbox versus a solution from Advisor Products — AdvisorVault — I removed this portion of the video from A4A and  posted it here because it’s basically an endorsement of AdvisorVault. However, getting an endorsement from an independent  compliance consultant I really respect makes me proud.
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AdvisorVault For iPad

With more advisors and their clients using the iPad to access to the Web, it’s good to know the popular tablet is compatible with AdvisorVault.

With an iPad you touch any folder icon to drill into a folder or touch any document to pop it open.

AdvisorVault's dynamic HTML reports, which work with Schwab PortfolioCenter, Advent Axyx, AssetBook, Orion, Albridge, TD Ameritrade VEO, and other systems, look great on the iPad. Ticker symbols in performance reports can be opened by touching them and you can navigate across the reports.

Clients and collaboration partners, whether they're on an iPad, iPhone, or Android device can view files securely in AdvisorVault.

With clients increasingly using Web-based file storage systems like DropBox, establishing a client financial portal that you can brand and control is wise. It will be compliant, integrated with professional systems, and include the security features needed investment advisors. And it's compatible with the latest mobile devices used by you and your clients.

AdvisorVault For iPad
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Naysayers “Stunned” By Strengthening American Economy, Says Investment Strategist Fritz Meyer

Financial economist Fritz Meyer yesterday showed RIAs evidence that the American economy is showing surprising signs of strength. “The naysayers are stunned,”  Meyer said yesterday in his monthly economic research release.

About 30% of the investment advisors who attended yesterday’s session rated Meyer’s presentation with 4.56 on A4A’s five-star review system.

I've produced more than 200 webinars over the past three years. For any speaker month after month to receive such high ratings from our audience of curmudgeons is unprecedented. Below are all of the comments from advisors who attended yesterday’s session.

You can subscribe to Fritz Meyer’s monthly slide presentations for $300 a year. After hearing Fritz deliver the presentation, you can use the slides to create your own webinars, seminars blog posts, newsletters, Slidecasts, and social media content.(If you are an A4A member, you can replay Fritz’s webinar 24/7 and get CFP CE credit for it for free.)

Using Fritz Meyer’s research as the basis for your own content can be crucial to successful search engine optimization and social networking. By writing a blog, posting a webinar or tweeting about Fritz’s slides, you can personalize and put your own unique spin on economic and investment topics, demonstrating your expertise. And you can target the content to your niches—doctors in Jacksonville, Florida, airline pilots, or other clients that would be “ideal” for you.

However, if you’re too busy to create your own content consistently, Advisor Products provides you with a social media content stream.

Articles we write about the highlights of Fritz’s monthly presentation are posted to your website along with two-minute videos of Fritz making a point. Those timely articles and videos are FINRA-reviewed and can be shown to clients and prospects.  We also write three tweets about each article, and you use our Social Media Dashboard to rewrite the tweets, and personalize to your target market, and distribute the tweets to your social networks on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can schedule personalized tweets to go out daily for the next month based on our articles or automate the entire process.

You can add our content to any existing website for $1,337 annually, and that includes the social media content stream. If you want AdvisorVault for secure client portals, eight hours of service from our help desk, website archiving, and additional content, it costs $2,337 annually.

In addition to Fritz Meyer’s research about the economy, we are offering the same content services for advisors who need content about tax and estate planning and IRAs for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and ultra-HNWIs, via a partnership Keebler Tax And Wealth Education.

 

  • Excellent.  Will attend next month.

  • Good info, but lengthy.

  • Overall it was interesting and very worthwhile.  As a non-economist some of it made my head spin (just a little) but the content was something that we think we can use and adapt for our clients.

  • Some problems with the audio.

  • As usual; great data point checks from Fritz; puts economy in perspective

  • Fritz is incredible. Need to listen to again and again.

  • Good insights.  I like that Fritz shook it up a bit from the past few months. For the first time, I noticed some technical difficulties (besides the other voice on the call early on).  The audio froze for a second or two throughout the presentation, usually accompanied by a slight buzzing sound.  I don't think there was an issue on my end, so just an FYI.

  • great info as always; sound quality was a little iffy on this one (but may be an issue on my end)

  • Excellent as always.

  • As always: excellent. Very timely, pertinent and useful.

  • Thanks Andy.

  • Very glitchy this time around. Could just be my system, though.

  • Great timely information as usual!

  • Fritz is always on target and relevant. Thank you!

  • Another solid webinar. Paints an improving short term picture while cognizant of long term obstacles.

  • Excellent content for advisors.  I'm not sure that many clients would be interested in sitting through a one-hour presentation of this type, so it would clearly have to be condensed or, perhaps, broken into several 10 - 15 minute presentations.

  • Would like an expanded global orientation

  • Excellent presentation

  • Really great!  Confirms what we have been advising clients.

  • Very good.  Thank you.

  • My memory says I subscribed at a much higher price.  Can I receive a credit for this?  Thanks.  I will look up proof of purchase if needed.

  • Great update!


 
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Add Wealth Management Content And A Social Stream To Any Advisor Website

If you already have a website, you can now add Advisor Products articles and videos for high-net-worth individuals to it and get our stream of social media status updates for $1,337 annually, plus a set-up fee of $300.

Many advisors develop a website on WordPress or some other free or inexpensive content management and hosting service.

They do it figuring they don’t need wealth management content on their website or they are planning to create their own articles and videos. They learn that producing website content is not only important to a financial advisor but difficult to produce.

We provide a great solution.  Advisor Products content addresses issues that will help you retain clients and market to prospects. Here’s how:

Panic Protection. After the stock market declines by 10% or more, you receive a special edition of articles and videos. This content reinforces the need to retain a long-term investment perspective in times of market volatility.

Social. Our $1,337 content-only package includes our social media dashboard, which lets you send, edit, and schedule status updates (tweets) to your social networks. Each tweet links back to the full aticle.

Fritz Meyer. Financial economist Fritz Meyer gets rave reviews from investment advisors for his analysis of fundamentals driving investment markets. We write articles monthly explaining the latest trends Meyer is focusing on.

Bob Keebler. Bob Keebler is one of the nation’s leading experts on IRA, estate, and income tax strategies and we write articles monthly to introduce his ideas concisely and simply to clients and prospects.

Videos. Meyer and Keebler provide monthly webinars offering you professional continuing education credit that you can attend for free. We edit their webinars into two-minute highlight clips that accompany our articles.

Automated. Once you are set up to display our content on your website, your website can be automatically updated with new content monthly. (Or you can select your stories monthly.) The social media can also automate sending tweets.

FINRA-Reviewed. All of our articles, tweets, and videos are FINRA-reviewed before they are posted for use on your website. (However, panic protection articles are sent to you via email before review by FINRA for timeliness.)

Setting up your website to include Advisor Products articles and videos is simple. We provide documentation for our application programming interface with example code. A web developer can add our content to any website in two and six hours, depending on your site and developer.

If you want us to host your site, you get AdvisorVault, six hours of service from our help desk, and much more for $2,377 with our AdvisorSites Platinum.
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Retain Clients And Market To Prospects Using The Latest Technology And Content Marketing Techniques

Don’t let the low price fool you. Advisor Products technology and content marketing system is cutting-edge and very powerful, and enables advisors to create a stream of status updates about wealth management that can easily be personalized and shared on social networks.

Our system and our content is different from anything else out there and helps wealth managers retain clients and market to prospects. Here’s how:

Panic Protection. After the stock market declines by 10% or more, you receive a special edition of articles and videos. This content reinforces the need to retain a long-term investment perspective in times of market volatility.

Investment News. Financial economist Fritz Meyer gets rave reviews from investment advisors for his analysis of fundamentals driving investment markets. We provide articles monthly explaining the latest trends Meyer is focusing on.

Wealth Management News. Bob Keebler is one of the nation’s leading experts on IRA, estate, and income tax strategies. Based on his research, we write articles monthly to introduce his ideas concisely and simply to clients and prospects.

Videos. Meyer and Keebler provide monthly webinars offering you professional continuing education credit that you can attend for free. We edit their webinars into two-minute highlight clips that accompany our articles.

Easy. Once you are set up to display our content on your website, your website can be automatically updated with new content monthly. (Or you can select your stories monthly.)

FINRA-Reviewed. All of our articles and videos are FINRA-reviewed before they are posted for use on your website. (However, panic protection articles are sent to you via email before review by FINRA for timeliness.)

Social. You get a social stream about wealth management — status updates that we write and you can edit and share with your social networks — that link back to articles and videos on your website.

All of the features described here -- plus a lot more -- are are part of AdvisorSites Platinum, which costs $2,337 and includes AdvisorVault.

I’m hosting a webinar Thursday, March 8 at 4 p.m. ET to explain how wealth managers can use our innovative system for content marketing and secure client communications.

 

 
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AdvisorVault Desktop Connector In General Release

AdvisorVault Desktop Connector has moved to general release. Advisors and support staff at the 750 firms using AdvisorVault for secure client communications are invited to download the app.

Download AdvisorVault Desktop ConnectorTo download AdvisorVault Desktop Connector, log in to the AdvisorSitesBackOffice and click on the “Get Desktop Connector” button on the left-side navigation menu.  You’ll find the download link as well as an FAQ and an AVDC manual.

AdvisorVault Desktop Connector puts all of your client vaults on your desktop in a familiar Windows Explorer-style interface.  You no longer need to open a browser, log in to AdvisorVault, and browse to client folders to upload documents to a client’s vault, enhancing usability significantly.

AdvisorVault Desktop Connector is similar to desktop apps from web-based document storage apps like DropBox. The big difference is AdvisorVault is created exclusively for financial advisors. It is integrated with popular portfolio management systems used by advisors and contains communication features and workflows advisors need to support communication with clients and collaboration with accountants and attorneys. Plus, it meets security and compliance requirements of major broker-dealers and custodians.

 
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