As 2014 comes to an end, it’s time to assess my business and consider next year’s changes. As I’ve been writing lately, my current financial planning solution may be robust and unique, but it’s also more time consuming than it should be and, as a result, I find myself with less time to do other things. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the changes I’ll be considering as we head into 2015. 

Seamless Integration

The larger an advisory practice becomes, the more important it is to integrate technology. As my practice grows, integration is becoming more and more essential because I’ll need to do more in the same amount of time. Therefore, I have been assessing my technology and looking for solutions which are best in class and that provide a higher level of integration. One tool I’m looking at for financial planning is eMoney. Although it’s too early to say for sure, I suspect eMoney may be one of those best-in-class solutions, plus it integrates with my custodian, TradePMR. As a result, I will be able to download client accounts and with eMoney’s aggregation feature, it will update my client’s outside data on a daily basis. This will make financial plan updates much easier and less time consuming. 

I’m also using Morningstar’s Advisor Workstation which allows me to download client account data from TradePMR and create portfolio reports. Because I have performance reporting directly through TradePMR, Advisor Workstation is adequate. However, adequate may not be good enough going forward. Therefore, I am considering a change here as well. I could move up to Morningstar Office, a product I’ve used in the past, but I find the cost is too high for what I would use.

I’m currently looking at Thomson Select to replace Advisor Workstation. I’ve been told it will integrate with TradePMR, but I haven’t seen it yet so I’ll reserve judgment. Thomson’s product does have a very nice charting tool, much like QuoteStream from QuoteMedia or QuoteSpeed from Morningstar. If the Thomson product will integrate with Trade’s platform the way I hope it will, and if its portfolio reports are good, since it has a great deal of depth in other areas, I will likely use Thomson Select rather than Advisor Workstation. We’ll see. 

This would be a substantial change and a steep learning curve. But as soon as I learn the new tools, this higher level of integration will make things so much easier. It will also provide great value to clients. 

Until next week, thanks for reading and have a great week!