Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors

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Archive for June, 2010

Bug Fix Coming For Collaboration With Outside Professionals In AdvisorVault

A fix is on the way for a bug in AdvisorVault that will enable advisors to share a single file with an allied professional.

AdvisorVault was developed principally to enable financial advisors to securely store files they want to share with clients, but it also enables advisors to collaborate with professionals outside your firm–CPAs, attorneys, geriatric care managers, personal coaches, business consultants and other professionals with which clients work.

You can enable an allied professional to have permission to view and upload a client's entire vault or just a single folder in a client's vault. You can also enable an allied professional to access his or her own vault and only see what you post in that vault. These collaboration features are working fine.

However, we have discovered a bug in the app that is preventing advisors from sharing a single file in a vault. We expect that bug to be fixed in the next upgrade release at the end of July.

We've been releasing upgrades and bug fixes monthly and just last week issued the latest release. That last release cleaned up a problem with moving an advisor's clients.

Now, if an advisor leaves your firm or if you want to switch the advisor for a client, it works smoothly.

We also fixed sporadic problems with creating a folder structure for firms using our online reporting solution for Advent Axys and Schwab PortfolioCenter.

While these are minor bugs, we know they are annoying and we apologize for the inconvenience.

The collaboration feature in AdvisortVault is important and we want to give you the ability to share just a single file with an attorney or accountant as badly as you do.

Collaborating with outside professionals is a key way for advisors to get referrals. We're seeing AdvisorVault users share folders and vaults with more and more outside professionals.

What we're hearing from advisors is that the collaboration feature widens their referral network.

A couple of advisory firms using AdvisorVault have actively encouraged their clients to enable file-sharing with their accountants and estate planning attorneys.

Clients logged into AdvisorVault have a link that lets them "Create a Professional." When a client clicks on that link, it prompts him to provide the name and email address of an allied professional who they want to grant access to their vault.

When clients fill in that professional's contact information, it sends their advisor a request to enable that outside professional's access to the client's vault.

What we're seeing is that advisors find those other professionals good referral sources.

Moreover, by just doing your routine work–sharing a spreadsheet with realized investment gains and losses–with an accountant, for example, advisors are building their referral network while improving their client service and abiding by security and privacy rules.

Yes, we have some bugs in AdvisorVault. But we're fixing them and advisors are getting important benefits by using the vault to securely share files with clients and allied professionals.

Just Got This Angry Email Message Firing My Company

“Please cancel my subscription immediately,” said the email message. “I am requesting a one-month refund due to the very poor service that I received. In fact, I sent emails and phone messages with no response and a one week delayed response to a phone call message that I sent.”

Advisor Products is not perfect. We can always do better. But this was over the top! What did we do?

Even though it was 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night, I had to get to the bottom of this right away.

I checked our CRM and could find no notes about her calls this past week or anything about her company.

I called her right away and left a voicemail message.

“Whatever we did, I'm sorry,” I said on the voicemail. “I can’t find any record about this project we’re doing for you. So please call me back and let me know what happened.”

She called back thirty-minutes later.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “You don’t host my website. It’s a competitor of yours but I called you back because you sounded upset about my complaint.”

I thanked her for calling back and couldn’t resist:

“You can see the difference between us and our competitors," I said. "On a Friday night at 8 p.m., you have the owner of the company calling you back to respond to you.”

Advisor Products service is good. We're not perfect, but we return your calls promptly–almost always the same day that you call us.

We're the No. 1 choice for financial advisor websites and secure client communications that is integrated with your CRM, portfolio management and financial planning software.

Content Management System Passwords Expired

To improve security, Advisor Products today killed passwords advisors use to access our content management system.

The next time your firm logs in, you'll be required to create a new password.

The new password requires a combination upper and lower case letters, numbers, and non-alphanumeric characters. Such passwords are harder to remember, but they’re also harder to hack.

This change was not made in response to any incident. It is one of numerous new policies we have implemented company-wide.

When you log in, please read the new password requirements carefully. They’re just a few lines but you need to read them to understand what to do.

Here’s a post I wrote about creating strong passwords and another post about the password app I use. Chrome users may also want to consider LastPass.

Please call our help desk if you have any problems at (888) 274-5755.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

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