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TD Ameritrade Makes More Thinkorswim Enhancements: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • TD Ameritrade made more enhancements to its thinkorswim trading platform, adding new features and services.
  • Schwab Advisor Services introduced enhancements to its digital onboarding capabilities.
  • TIFIN's Magnifi investment marketplace platform acquired fintech startup SharingAlpha to establish an international presence.

As the integration with Schwab continues, TD Ameritrade said Thursday it has made more enhancements to its thinkorswim trading platform, adding new features and services.

Traders using thinkorswim can now gain more customization on desktops through new charting and programming capabilities, “integrated news features to contextualize market moves on mobile, and a more robust and streamlined trading offering” on the web, according to the company.

Charles Schwab completed its $22 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade in October 2020. In August 2020, Schwab announced plans to adopt thinkorswim and integrate its trading platforms, education and tools into its trader offerings for clients.

“We know how important thinkorswim and the consistent innovation at the platforms’ core are to clients,” Barry Metzger, head of trading and education at Charles Schwab, said in a news release. “These recently released feature enhancements are an excellent example of how we are continuing to innovate and improve upon the experience while the integration moves forward.”

New thinkorswim enhancements for desktop include the addition of 11 new charting studies and the release of the thinkscript Integrated Development Environment, an advanced code editor that the company said enables users to create, edit and manage their own studies and strategies or build on existing studies within the thinkorswim platform for an expanded customizable experience.

Meanwhile, in an early example of how TD Ameritrade trader clients will “benefit from the integration and the breadth and depth of what the combined firm will offer,” TD Ameritrade also launched a virtual Active Trader Branch in April.

Within Active Trader Financial, consultants focus on trader “coaching” and wealth management to “help meet the unique needs of their self-directed traders,” the company said.

The new Active Trader Branch “builds on the success of a similar service already available to Schwab trader clients,” TD Ameritrade pointed out.

Schwab Advisor Services Boosts Digital Onboarding

Schwab Advisor Services introduced enhancements to its digital onboarding capabilities, allowing independent advisors to open and fund up to 10 new client accounts in one “digital envelope” that clients can authorize with only a few clicks on their desktop or mobile device, the company said Tuesday.

Building on the digital account open tool that Schwab first introduced in 2018, the latest enhancement comes in response to requests made by advisors who said they often needed to open multiple accounts when bringing on new households, Schwab said.

In early usage of the new tool, more than 50% of new account-opening transactions involved multiple accounts and some as many as eight accounts, it noted.

As Schwab nears completion of its integration with TD Ameritrade, the company said it’s “leveraging its combined strength to accelerate investment in advisor services technology — at a pace 3 times what it spent before the acquisition.”

Looking to the year ahead, Schwab said “digital onboarding will be further enhanced to support even more account types and registrations, including separately managed accounts.”

More digital capabilities to allow firms to manage existing client accounts, including support for a wider range of asset transfers and adding IRA beneficiaries, are coming later this year, Schwab added.

TIFIN’s Magnifi Buys SharingAlpha

TIFIN’s Magnifi investment marketplace platform acquired fintech startup SharingAlpha to establish an international presence outside the U.S., it said Thursday.

The company has not provided financial terms of the transaction and didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The acquisition follows TIFIN’s announcement last month that it hired former Envestnet executive Jason O’Shaughnessy to serve as head of its international business.

The acquisition of SharingAlpha, which has a community of more than 15,000 professional fund investors and analysts globally, including a large percentage in the U.K. and Western Europe, establishes TIFIN’s international presence.

SharingAlpha was co-founded six years ago by Israeli brothers Oren and Yuval Kaplan.

TIFIN’s fintech platform uses artificial intelligence and investment-driven personalization, After the acquisition, SharingAlpha “will be fully integrated into TIFIN’s Magnifi platform,” the company said.

“The integration will offer both retail and professional investors from all over the globe unique digital tools to enhance their personal investment experience leveraging the AI-powered investment intelligence on Magnifi’s existing platform now augmented with SharingAlpha’s proprietary community intelligence insights,” the company explained.

Oren Kaplan will also join Magnifi as a partner and work closely with O’Shaughnessy on the integration of the platforms, the company added.

TIFIN is funded by JP Morgan Asset Management, Broadridge, Morningstar, Franklin Templeton Hamilton Lane and Motive Partners. The fintech firm has 3.5 million retail investors and 7,000 advisors users. TIFIN recently closed a $109 million funding round, it said.

IAA Forms Joint Venture

Hybrid RIA Independent Advisor Alliance said it partnered with We Handle Tech to create a technology firm dedicated to supporting financial advisors.

We Handle Tech: 4 Advisors “caters to independent financial advisors and RIA firms to manage IT solutions and software, proactively mitigate cybersecurity risks and ensure firms are SEC and FINRA compliant,” IAA said.

“Whether it’s back-office support, data security, client engagement, or portfolio management, technology is an integral part of every advisor’s business,” according to Robert Russo, IAA CEO and founder.

“However, many lack the staff, tools, budget, and knowledge needed to integrate a proactive tech solution to support their firm,” Russo said in a statement. “We looked out into the marketplace for a comprehensive solution to solve for this service gap. When we couldn’t find one, we built it.”

We Handle Tech: 4 Advisors “leverages IAA’s knowledge and expertise in broker/dealer, RIA, and regulatory body requirements and combines it with We Handle Tech’s cost-saving tech solutions, ensuring every advisor’s practice is efficient, compliant, and secure,” IAA said.

A tiered pricing model is being used. “From an independent advisor starting out or an established firm with more complicated requirements, there is an affordable support package to fit each budget,” IAA added.