June 2, 2009

Upgrading Technology: A Report From the Field

Office Space

As you probably know by now, I am settled in my new office, but there are a few outstanding items to address. I plan to purchase a computer tower with a wireless keyboard & mouse so I won't have to move my laptop into the conference room every time I want to use the plasma TV. I know it's just a small convenience, but it will be nice to have something more permanent there. I plan to wait until the markets improve before doing this.

Web Site

There is a little more work to do here. The "front end" or public portion of the site is nearly complete. I plan to add a series of videos at some point. One video will be an introduction to my company. Another would explain my financial planning service and a third will provide an overview of my approach to the investment process.

The back end of the site is under development. It will contain a private, password-protected portal where I (or my clients) will be able to upload certain documents such as tax returns, wills, etc. This will serve as a kind of central repository for important documents. Once it is completed, I will have to decide if I'll continue using my current CMS software.

Although I like ACT and find it easy to use, it is not very integrated with the rest of my technology. Therefore, I will probably switch to Salesforce.com sometime later this year or early 2010. Salesforce.com will integrate extremely well with the back end of my Web site and will open up some tremendous possibilities.

The company I am using for this development is called Manage-Trak; its proprietary technology is very impressive.

Encrypted E-mail, Anyone?

Manage-Trak also offers a service which will allow me to send sensitive data via e-mail. The data is encrypted and thus protected from theft. For a mere $50 per month, I can further protect the confidentiality of my client's information. It's also very easy to use. I'll write more on this as I become more familiar with the service.

New Custodian

I have received a number of requests from advisors who are considering switching custodians. I read recently that there will probably be a large numbers of brokers migrating from the wirehouse and bank platforms as the economy recovers. I am still pleased with my choice, but I do have a few comments which I will share in my next blog.

Thanks for reading!

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