For release: March 15, 2011
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) today released the “FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Reports: Portfolio Management Edition”, a research report that highlights the key issues financial professionals face when dealing with portfolio management software and provides an unbiased review of 10 different software solutions. The research was conducted by FPA and ActiFi Inc. and sponsored by TD Ameritrade Institutional.1
The FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Reports: Portfolio Management Edition, the fourth in a series of seven technology research reports published by FPA Press, takes the guesswork out of technology purchases for financial professionals.
Through comprehensive software, technology and business best-practices research, FPA and ActiFi identify which technologies are best for a specific type of practice, thus empowering advisers to make smart technology purchasing decisions. The FPA-ActiFi Compass scores each software solution on 9 different areas of functionality, such as data management and investment reporting, and 8 different benefit areas including price and customer services/support.
According to the survey, 63 percent of advisers use portfolio management software in their practice, with most using it for investment reporting for clients, followed by investment reporting for internal use.
The survey found that the more functionality a professional uses, the more likely they are to report receiving business benefits as a result of using the software. Notably, those that are considered heavy users (use the software for six or more functions) are more than twice as likely to report that the software enabled them to save money by decreasing their expenses compared to users that use the software for three or fewer functions.
Advisers reported that they are most likely to report increased productivity, less concern over things “falling through the cracks”, increased capacity to serve more clients, and better client service if they use the rebalancing functionality of their portfolio management software. Those who use compliance reporting functionality are most likely to say their expenses have decreased as a result of using the portfolio management software.
“FPA is excited to participate in this research program that provides much-needed insight and analysis regarding technology,” said Marv Tuttle, executive director and CEO of the Financial Planning Association. “Software and technology are often challenging areas for financial planning professionals when determining what’s best for their practice. Having the tools and resources needed to compare the attributes of various software and technology offerings is integral to determining the best package for a firm’s business operations.”
“Technology is a key driver for adviser efficiency and thus adviser profitability and making the right technology decisions may be one of the more important choices an adviser can make for his or her business,” said Spenser Segal, CEO of ActiFi. “We’re excited to work with the Financial Planning Association to provide advisers clarity, objectivity, and easy-to-use information for making these critical decisions.”
“Registered investment advisers are poised for continued growth and technology is a key enabler,” said Jon Patullo, director, Technology Product Management, TD Ameritrade Institutional. “Having easy access to high-quality, objective comparisons of various portfolio management tools helps advisers cut through the clutter, saving valuable time better spent serving clients.”
A free copy of the report will be distributed to FPA members and is available for purchase by non-members ($495) through the FPA Research Center.
About FPA Research Center
FPA has conducted research since its inception in 2000. The FPA Research Center was officially formed in 2007 to further empower the financial services sector with knowledge and an understanding of the financial planning process, including how it affects consumers, planners and firms.
ActiFi™ is a software and solutions company focused on delivering scalable business execution programs to the financial services industry. By implementing our proven people, process, and technology solutions based on research, best-practices, and industry benchmarks, ActiFi clients run more effective and profitable businesses. Learn more at www.actifi.com.
About TD Ameritrade Institutional
TD Ameritrade Institutional is a leading provider of comprehensive brokerage and custody services to over 4,000 fee-based, independent registered investment advisers and their clients.2 Our advanced technology platform, coupled with personal support from our dedicated service teams, allows investment advisers to run their practices more efficiently and effectively while optimizing time with clients.
1TD Ameritrade participated as a custodian respondent in the study. TD Ameritrade is separate and not affiliated with Financial Planning Association or ActiFi and is not responsible for the policies or services of any third-party. TD Ameritrade does not guarantee nor is it responsible for the completeness or accuracy of the data provided or for the quality of any third-party product or service. TD Ameritrade makes no warranty or representation with respect to the service as to suitability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no instance should the listing of a third party be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by TD Ameritrade.
2TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade Inc., member FINRA (www.FINRA.org) / SIPC (www.SIPC.org) / NFA (www.nfa.futures.org). TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission.