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Portfolio > Portfolio Construction

In Search of the Best Financial Planning Software: A Road Block

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During the past few months, I’ve been searching for ways to improve the efficiency of my business. My primary focus has been on identifying technology which will aid this effort. Specifically, I’ve been reviewing financial planning and portfolio management software.

As I mentioned last week, I am fairly confident that eMoney will be my choice for financial planning. On the portfolio management front, although I really like the offering from Thomson Reuters, if an agreement cannot be reached between Thomson and my custodian TradePMR to integrate Thomson’s software, I will have some decisions to make. Before I explain, here’s an explanation of what I am seeking.

Every advisor must have an efficient process to manage their business. In my case, I need a more efficient tool for financial planning and another for investment research. To capture this efficiency, both tools must be integrated with my custodian’s portal. Without the integration, the efficiency I seek would be lost. Here are some details on my current situation.

I understand there are two perspectives at play. There’s the perspective of the advisor who finds a product, likes it, and needs to be able to download client data to it. However, any download requires integration. Then there’s the perspective of the custodian who must consider all of its advisors and any costs which may be associated with creating the integration.

In short, if the product isn’t adopted by a minimum number of its advisors, then allocating the man hours necessary to create an integration may not be a wise decision. That said, if the product in question is solid and offered at a competitive price, creating an integration may help attract new advisors to its platform. In my situation, I have no idea if TradePMR will move forward with integrating Thomson’s product. If so, problem solved. If not, well, as I said, I’ll have to make some decisions.

To summarize, Option A is that a successful integration will be created. If not, Option B is to find a software to replace Thomson’s (and Workstation), but again, integration will likely be an issue. Also, if no integration is created, Option C would be to continue using Morningstar Advisor Workstation (which integrates with Trade’s platform) and select YCharts. Because of time, I will discuss YCharts in a subsequent post. For now, I’ll  wait and see if Trade and Thomson reach an agreement on the integration.

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

– See all the articles in this series: In Search of the Best Financial Planning Software.


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