Reporting Performance Daily

An article in today's issue of Investment News, entitled "Performance Reporting Isn't Cutting It For Clients," contains some good points but also contains some confusing information.

The story is about how important it’s been for advisors to be able to post performance reports online daily. Since the market crisis erupted in early October, the need has become acute.

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Advisors Eschewing Conventional Wisdom

During last Friday’s webinar with guest speakers Bill Bengen and Greg Brousseau, we conducted a series of polls. The results are surprising.

Based on answers to our polls, advisors are sticking with the traditional buy-and-hold asset allocation doctrine that has dominated the profession for two decades. Advisors say they have not reduced equity allocations. But they are looking for a less dogmatic approach. Here are the results of the poll from the webinar attended by about 120 advisors.

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Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter Moves Forward

Beta testing of the Advisor Products Inc.'s (API) application for Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter has been a great success and we are now focused on improving web reporting for advisory firms using PortfolioCenter.

Beta testers gave API Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter rave reviews and some great suggestions for improving the application. Seven advisory firms participated in the beta test by uploading their client reports to our server, which successfully parsed client reports and deposited them into secure folders accessible to clients. Click For Large Screenshot of Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter

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Free Client Updates On Financial Crisis Daily

When the stock market plunged last week—bottoming with a loss of 40% from the all-time high reached October 9, 2007—we began a free service to help financial advisors manage client communications: a daily market update that you can copy, paste, and email to your clients.

The daily updates contain a summary of thoughtful stories covering the day’s events. These short takes on the financial tumult are intended to be used as a daily reminder to clients that you are in touch with them and on top of the situation.

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Why Do We Charge Less? Because We Can!

We recently found ourselves in a peculiar position. It happened when we launched dynamic online performance reporting for PortfolioCenter and a new online vault. Ironically, offering more features at lower prices than our competitors inspired skepticism. While advisors were thrilled to hear that we can save them money—especially since financial crisis has pummeled asset prices and, thus, advisory fees—their enthusiasm is tempered by suspicion.

Charging low prices raised a question in the minds of some advisors: If their firm for years had been paying twice as much for online reporting, why is Advisor Products charging so much less?

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Online Reporting For PortfolioCenter™ In Beta Test

If you’re one of the 3,400 advisory firms using Schwab PortfolioCenter™, we have some good news about sharing performance reports with your clients online. Online Reporting for PortfolioCenter, a new system now being beta tested by Advisor Products Inc. (API), is less costly, better designed, and easier to use than previous solutions for providing PortfolioCenter reports to clients online.

Online Reporting for PortfolioCenter costs about half as much as other such offerings, is built using a .NET framework with 256-bit encryption, and allows you to upload reports daily in just minutes. Online Reporting is simple:

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Tell Vendors What You Think About Integration

Financial advisors for years have clamored for an all-in-one solution combining portfolio management, customer relationship management, and financial planning software into a single platform. Combining these three functions, which are essential to any advisory firm that wants to adhere to best industry practices, has been an elusive goal. Years ago, I branded the long-sought breakthrough application “The Silver Bullet,” evoking the legendary powers of the only weapon capable of killing a werewolf.

But the all-in-one application has proved elusive. So persnickety is the typical independent advisor (IA), he couldn’t work for anyone but himself. That’s why he chose to be an independent advisor. No single application incorporating portfolio management software (PMS), financial planning software (FPS), and customer relationship management (CRM) could ever be widely adopted. Uncompromising entrepreneurs don’t want a Veg-O-Matic—the kitchen appliance that sliced, diced, broiled, and boiled. A Swiss-Army-knife approach would be unacceptable.

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Albridge-Portals Alliance May Transform Financial Planning

The recent integration of Albridge Solutions’ portfolio performance reporting application and Advisor Products Inc.’s Personal Client Portals™ system makes any advisory firm more scalable, efficient, and client-centric. But what’s more exciting is that it will promote financial planning to millions of American households by making it easier for them to understand, measure, and manage their progress toward achieving long-term financial goals. Personal Portal Tour

Since the early 1980s, thought leaders, professional membership associations, and governing bodies have strived to professionalize personal financial planning so it can be embraced by the mass affluent. The elusive but irresistible goal has been to deliver financial planning advice within a prescribed, systematic, and ethical framework to the masses. The challenge has been that providing financial planning services while adhering to best practices articulated by the FPA, CFP Board, NAPFA, Fiduciary 360, and other such groups is extremely labor intensive.

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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.

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An Entirely New Software Category For Advisors

If you’ve been yearning for a way to use the Internet more effectively with clients, check out our new Personal Client Portal platform. It fills a gap between your firm’s existing software applications and your clients. This is a new type of application, and there is nothing else like it.

Your financial planning, performance reporting, and customer relationship management applications are disconnected from your clients right now. Our new portal system bridges the gap between your applications and your clients.

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