Top 10 WMToday Posts from 2017

This post usually comes out at the end of December, but life got a little busy for us around the holidays. Better late than never, right?

The list below is a handy resource for our regular readers who might have missed a post or two during the year.  It’s also quite useful for visitors who might be new to the industry (welcome!) and want to get up to speed.

We’re here to help everyone who is as interested in this space as we are, so please enjoy these top 10 posts from 2017.

10. Envestnet Expands Their TAMP Empire with FolioDynamix Deal

Kicking off our top 10 is an example of the wave of consolidation going on in wealth management technology and turnkey asset manager platforms (TAMPs).  While there are firms that fall into one category or the other, this deal is an example of two that cover both spaces, although not equally.

9. Can Big Data Make Risk Tolerance Questionnaires Obsolete?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a larger role in the daily work of advisors whether they are at banks, broker-dealers, or RIA’s.  In the case of risk profiling, can an algorithm combined with tremendous amounts of consumer and financial data do a better job of determining an investor’s risk tolerance than a simple questionnaire?

8. Can Retail Model Marketplaces Challenge TAMPs for Assets?

We’re always trying to spot new industry trends and this one has been exciting to watch unfold.  Technology vendors have seen their profit margins squeezed by increased competition as well as by their wealth management clients trying to reduce costs.  More and more companies are launching their own integrated exchanges where advisors can purchase investment models in order to develop new revenue streams. Whether or not they succeed and if so, whether this impacts the business of traditional TAMPs remains to be seen.

7. Orion Advisor Tries to Eclipse the Competition With New Portfolio Rebalancer

It’s common for technology vendors to start as point solutions and then expanding into other areas after they have some success. Orion Advisor starts out as a portfolio accounting outsourcer and slowly added additional components and services. They were still missing core portfolio management functionality until last February’s launch of Eclipse, their trading and rebalancing system.

6. Riskalyze Expands Beyond Profiling to Become a TAMP Supermarket

Our second top 10 post on risk profiling demonstrates the interest this topic has for the industry.  This post examines Riskalyze’s announcement at T3 that they are launching their own model marketplace along with basic portfolio management functionality for their advisors.

6. 7 Model Hubs Battle for SMA Managers & Sponsors

This is a companion piece to #8, which was about retail hubs, while this one focuses on institutional. The popularity of an in-depth analysis of model management and distribution showed that our readers appreciate long-form articles. Coming in at almost 3,500 words, this post is also one of the top 10 in length. But this amount of content is necessary to properly explain and compare a key infrastructure component that is part of every wealth management technology platform.

5. Why Acorns is the Only Roboadvisor That Could Be Worth $1 Billion

We noticed the downward trend of roboadvisors a long time ago and have since cut back on our coverage.  However, some posts continue to attract viewers who are curious to learn more about different business models that are leveraging this technology. Now that digital advice has become a ubiquitous part of almost every wealth management platform, it will be incumbent on firms to find news ways to differentiate their offerings.

3. Acorns vs. Stash: Why Micro-Savings Apps Are The Wave of the Future

Coincidentally, another article on micro-investing made the top 10. As we stated above, the business model is now more important than the technology when attracting assets from younger and more tech-savvy demographics. These two apps have gained the most traction and the comparison between their diametrically opposite approaches is an interesting read.

2. Redtail vs Salesforce FSC: Which is the best CRM for Financial Advisors?

Our first foray into product comparisons in the CRM space.  As a market leader for more than a decade, Redtail has seen competitors come and go.  But none have the enormous CRM user base, infrastructure scale and technology chops like Salesforce.  Their FSC product with a modern, intuitive U/X is a refreshing change from the drab, monotonous experience Salesforce has delivered.  The rapid climb up the ranks for FSC shows that Redtail may be in danger of losing their crown as the top advisor CRM.

And now the #1 most viewed post in 2017…

1. Four Top Financial Planning Software Apps for Advisors

This post was update to one of the most popular WMToday posts of all time, eMoney Advisor vs. MoneyGuidePro: Which is the Best Financial Planning Software?  As part of the update, we expanded the comparison to include popular vendors Naviplan and Advizr.

With a seemingly overwhelming amount of information available about the major finplan apps, choosing between them can be a tiresome chore for advisors who are already beset with a multitude of duties. In this review, we cut through the noise and provide a detailed analysis of the top four applications on the market.

Wishing all of our readers a happy, healthy and successful 2018!