Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors


Archive for April, 2008

Advisor Products Releases Interface For Black Diamond Reporting

Advisor Products added an interface for Black Diamond Reporting to its Personal Client Portal platform this past week, allowing financial advisors to securely stream holdings, asset allocation, and performance data to individual clients automatically daily. Using the latest technology for integration, an XML Web Service, the interface between Black Diamond and Advisor Products feeds each client of an advisor continuously updated performance reports with no work required by the advisor.

The Black Diamond report displayed on your clients’ Personal Client Portals has three tabs.

The Top Holdings tab shows your client his 10 largest holdings. The name of the security is shown along with the number of shares held and the security’s price as well the position’s value. The security’s ticker symbol is linked to detailed 20-minute-delayed market quote. Historical prices as well as charts for the last 10-day, one month, and one-, three-, and five-year periods are available along with the company’s profile, the latest SEC filings, press releases, and news coverage.

The Asset Allocation tab displays a pie chart with the asset class names you havedesignated in Black Diamond Reporting.The Web Service feeds AdvisorProducts raw asset allocation data and we render the pie chart on the fly on the portal system.The asset allocation data, along with the holdings and performance data are not saved on our system, ensuring the security and privacy for your client data. In addition, Advisor Products provides template forms for your client portals’ Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can use these documents free of charge to write your Privacy Policy andTerms of Service for your client portals.

The Performance tab on the Black Diamond report displays a portfolio’s performance data as well as a bogey you havechosen to use in Black Diamond. The performance is shown for the last calendar quarter and year-to-date as well as for the last one, three, and five years-to-date.Performance data from the inception of the client’s portfolio are also displayed. And all of the performance data is accompanied by performance againstthe index you have selected in BlackDiamond to measure the portfolio’s performance against.

Easier Workflow. With desktop applications, advisors must run their reports andthen upload the files to the Internet. This time-consuming is averted using the Web Service. There are no daily uploads required by you. Whenever a client logs in to his personal portal, the Black Diamond database is automatically queried for the latest daily data.

The integration of Black Diamond and Advisor Products’ Personal Client Portal platform represents state of the art usage of technology for advisors and illustrates how Web Services are making workflows easier for advisors and saving them money, while allowing advisors to provide superior client service and compete more effectively.

Savings. With no uploads required, you save time and labor—that can translate into thousands of dollars of savings a year. Moreover, the interface between Advisor Products Personal Client Portal platform the Black Diamond is free with your portal license.

Superior Client Service. Providing client your clients with access to their daily updated reports anytime, 24/7, demonstrates a commitment to client service that is substantial, and it supports transparency in your client relationships, which promotes trust. By providing the reports in the context of the Personal Client Portal platform, you put performance data in perspective. Since the portal platform contains information about financial planning, feature articles about long-term strategic personal finance issues, and continuously displays information about the many tasks you perform on behalf of your clients, the performance reports are shown to be just one aspect of your client relationships.

Compete Effectively. Advisors who provide client reporting via the Web in this cost efficient manner are able to compete more effectively. The reports become one of a number of differentiators brought to you by the portal system than other advisors do not offer. The client portal offers a secure online vault for storage of key client documents, a To-Do Manager for assigning action items to clients and receiving action items from clients, a To-Do feature for collaborating with outside professionals such as attorneys and tax advisors, FINRA-reviewed articles personalized to each individual’s client interests, and much more. This set of features is available only via the Advisor Products Personal Client Portal platform, which lets you compete more effectively for ultra-high-net-worth clients served by trust companies, private banks, the private-client-services division at large brokerages and other large institutions.

For more information about Advisor Products Personal Client Portal Platform, please contact Barry Weinstein at (888) 274-5744.

Visit Black Diamond Reporting’s website or call (904) 241-2444 for more information about the company’s reporting solutions.

New Blog Service Launched

Blogs are an excellent way to market. But can you do it? You’re no writer. And even if you are a decent writer, is writing a blog the best use of your time?
For $2,400, one of our financial writers interviews you and writes 12 blogs. Or you can buy a package of 26 blogs for $4,800. The writer can focus on your specialties, such as advising executives with stock options from the local power company, owners of beauty salons from across the nation, or pilots at Northwest Airlines.
The more focused your blog, the better. The idea is to raise your search engine rankings by writing about specific types of clients you serve and niche services you provide. While we obviously cannot guarantee search-engine visibility, advisors and others who write blogs have praised their effectiveness.
We  post the blog for you and choose a picture to go with it. For more information, please call Barry Weinstein at (888)274-5755.

Teams Supported On Portal Platform

If you work with estate planning attorneys, tax specialists, and other allied professionals, we’ve added a valuable new feature to our Personal Client Portal (PCP) platform to support your practice.

The PCP platform offers you a To-Do Manager so you can assign action items to your clients—such as “Send in your account form,” “Schedule a review,” or “Get your will written.” You have a dashboard where you can see all of your clients’ to-dos and assign one or all of your clients a new to-do. For more details, see my previous post.

We’ve now added a feature letting you permission other professionals so that they can give your client (or clients) to-dos. This feature puts you in the central role in advising the client. You’re quarterbacking the work of all professionals on behalf of a high-net-worth individual.

With this new feature, the To-Do Manager, which comes free with all Personal Client Portals, now lets you assign to-dos to the other professionals and vice versa. The client sees all the to-dos and can comment on them. All comments associated with each to-do are viewable to you, the other professionals, and the client as a discussion thread. Whenever a new to-do is posted, you and your client receive an email notification.

Another new feature is that clients can now also send you to-dos. They can also send to-dos to the other professionals on the system. This feature can be disabled by you, if you do not wish to allow clients and other professionals to send you to-dos.

Allowing you to send to-dos to clients and other advisors, and vice versa, supports transparency in client relationships and, thus, builds trust. It is consistent with the Web 2.0 customer-service trend being adopted throughout the economy. No other technology provider offers such a system at this time.

This innovative new feature will let you provide superior client service, and is a differentiator that can be used by your firm when marketing to prospects. It will allow you to grow your business by increasing your firm’s efficiency and scalability.

We’ve made support for professional teams an important aspect of our Personal Client Portal platform because we recognize that independent advisors must rely on a network of allied professionals to serve high-net-worth individuals. Being able to easily coordinate with your clients’ other professionals puts you on equal footing with private banks, trust companies, and large institutions. Moreover, coordinating a group of professionals is a critical but often unheralded behind-the-scenes role of a financial advisor. So displaying your contribution in this role shows a client how you are central to his success. Other parts of our PCP platform will also similarly promote professional teamwork.

To-Do Manager is being integrated with other professional applications, including Redtail, the industry’s largest CRM application, and Money Tree Silver Online, an easy-to-use planning application.

Check back here soon for more details about how our Personal Client Portal platform is changing the business of professional financial advisors and will transform the way you practice.

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