Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors


Archive for September, 2009

Email Templates For AdvisorVault Released

Advisor Products today released Email Templates For AdvisorVault, enabling automatic email notifications to clients when portfolio reports and other documents are posted.

You can customize and save these template emails in AdvisorVault, and they'll be branded with your firm logo and each client's name merged into the salutation. This enterprise-wide console for communicating to clients en masse streamlines required recordkeeping for financial advisors.

With advisory firms battered by the global financial crisis, increasing efficiency is a central focus and Email Templates For AdvisorVault saves time and money.

With Email Templates for AdvisorVault, an advisory firm sets up a mass email to its clients one time and then uses it over and over again. This streamlines notifications when posting a batch of documents or reports. For example, if an advisory firm uploads all of its clients’ reports from Schwab PortfolioCenter or Advent Axys to AdvisorVault, a template email can be sent in seconds to all clients at once. The same branded email also can be sent when a single client’s report is posted.

AdvisorVault is integrated with Advent Axys and Schwab PortfolioCenter, the two most popular portfolio management software applications used by independent advisory firms. When an advisory firm using Advent Axys or Schwab PortfolioCenter batch prints all of its clients’ reports to Adobe PDFs, the resulting file can be uploaded using AdvisorVault’s 256-bit high encryption. Based on an identification code unique to each client, each report automatically posts to each client’s vault. In addition to PortfolioCenter and Axys, many other applications used by advisors can leverage AdvisorVault’s batch-document capability.

Advisory firms can also batch upload a custom report in Axys or PortfolioCenter and AdvisorVault converts that data into HTML reports that contain links and are more dynamic than PDF reports. Email templates can also be set up to notify clients en masse whenever these reports are uploaded.

In addition saving the template text and firm logo, an advisory firm can set up a disclosure that will automatically be inserted into the bottom of every template email as well as an introduction. An advisory firm can define the “reply to” and “from” addresses that are displayed in each template email. In addition, all template emails can be previewed before they are sent and all mass template emails must be confirmed and approved before they are sent.

Email Templates For AdvisorVault includes text for common client communications associated with AdvisorVault, such as resetting a client’s password, enabling a vault for a new client, and provisioning an outside professional, such as an accountant or attorney, to access specified folders of a client’s vault. The dashboard for Email Templates For AdvisorVault allows an advisory firm to associate specific workflows or tasks with a specified email template. Features in Email Templates For AdvisorVault are explained in a 2½-minute help video.

AdvisorVault can be added to any advisory firm’s website for $1,000 a year. It is also bundled with a marketing website that includes a database of wealth management news articles, 10 email accounts, eight hours of support, and a website content management system for $2,100 a year. Online Portfolio Reporting for Axys or PortfolioCenter is an additional $1,500 annually.

Advent Axys is a registered trademark of Advent Software Corp.

Schwab PortfolioCenter is a product of Schwab Performace Technologies, a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation.

Visit Us At Schwab IMPACT

Please stop by the Advisor Products booth (No. 145) at the Schwab IMPACT® Conference next week to say hello.

We'll be talking about advisor marketing and practice management and showing demos of new features in AdvisorVault, Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter® and Axys®, and our Video Library System.

· AdvisorVault enables secure document sharing with clients and other professionals.

· Online Reporting for PortfolioCenter or Axys dramatically streamlines batch uploads of reports at a low price.

· Advisor Video Library automatically private labels videos about wealth management that we produce and posts them to your website.

Schwab PorfolioCenter On A4A

Schwab PortfollioCenter, a leading portfolio accounting and reporting application used by about 3,500 independent advisory firms, has posted its specifications to the Advisor Software Database at advisorsforadvisors (A4A).

A4A is a new practice management portal for independent advisors. A4A features an Advisor Software Database that allows advisors to compare the most popular professional software applications side-by-side and feature-by-feature. Just about all of the major software vendors in the industry are now participating in the Advisor Software Database by posting detailed specifications of their products. Advisors can write reviews and rate all of the software packages.

I’ve wanted to create the Advisor Software Database for about 10 years. It’s a totally unique tool that is not available anywhere else. It summarizes in minutes everything you need to know about different practice management applications. Basically, If you like my magazine column or this blog, you’ll find A4A helpful.

PortfolioCenter, a desktop application, owns a major share of the portfolio management software market among advisors serving high-net-worth individuals. According to the specifications Schwab filled in the Advisor Software Database, PortfolioCenter has 70 reports, including 10 graphical reports. You can run a report showing a client’s current asset allocation versus the target allocation, and you can report on Treasurys, corporates, zeroes, and mortgage-backs but not TIPS.

Schwab executives are going to be showing enhanced client reporting tools at the upcoming Schwab conference. We’ll keep you updated on details.

If you click on the screen shots in this post you’ll see an enlarged view of the Advisor Software Database showing you a comparison of PortfolioCenter, InterActive Advisory Software, and Portfolio Director. A4A is still in beta and we’re giving advisors a 30-day free trial right now.

Recovering From The Meltdown

One year ago, America’s financial system teetered on the edge of ruin. Happily, we avoided the worst. However, in the year since the crisis erupted and securities prices collapsed, even the most successful advisory firms suffered decimated fees and are earning a lot less. Worse still, confidence in all things financial—including advisors—has been similarly debased. Are you planning your comeback yet?

With Labor Day behind you and the final quarter of 2009 closing in, it’s time to start planning your firm’s recovery. It’s a good time to think strategically about you’re going to make 2010 a better year.

Part of your 2010 recovery plan is likely to focus on serving existing clients, and that what this post is about. It’s about making sure you know what your clients think about you and aligning your services and marketing with what clients want.

Julie Littlechild, the CEO of Advisor Impact, took me on a tour of Client Audit, a tool to systematize the client feedback process. Click on the image to the right to see a two-minute video about Client Audit or see my full review and a nine-minute demo at A4A.

SunGard WealthStation On Advisors4Advisors

SunGard WealthStation, a leading financial planning application with 125,000 users, has posted its specifications on advisorsforadvisors, a practice management website for independent advisors.

Posting of the specifications enables advisors to compare WealthStation to 10 other financial planning apps feature by feature, side-by-side.

With annual revenue exceeding $5 billion, 20,000 employees and customers in 70 countries, SunGard is the world’s largest financial services technology firm. Its WealthStation product for financial planning is used by many banks and brokerages as well as about 1,500 RIAs.

According to the specifications SunGard posted, WealthStation:

· Provides an interface that is meant to be shared with clients

· Allows advisors to display three “what-ifs” in financial plans

· Includes data interfaces with 25 BDs, custodians and institutions

· Models Credit Shelter Trusts as well as ILITs, CRTs, QPRTs, and QTIPs

· Can be used for filling in Schedules A, B, C and D of federal tax forms

advisorsforadvisors is a portal for advisors providing:

· Links to all the market and industry news you need to read every business day by 8:30 EDT.

· Analysis of all key practice management issues by industry experts.

· Connections to a social network of advisors who practice just like you.

· A tool to compare advisor applications feature-by-feature, side-by-side.

· Access to advisor reviews of applications and independent software user groups.

· A way to find firms best-suited to be your disaster recovery site.

· Free CE credit 24/7 for replays of the Financial Advisor Webinar Series.

Please register for a free trial of advisorsforadvisors.

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