What Charles Schwab selling PortfolioCenter to Envestnet Tamarac Means for You

What happened?

In a move anticipated by a number in the industry, Charles Schwab is selling its PortfolioCenter product to Envestnet Tamarac. PortfolioCenter, which is a portfolio management and reporting engine, is used by over 3,000 registered investment advisory firms who will now be searching to replace a product that they have come to rely on.

For the uninitiated, PortfolioCenter was originally introduced in 2010 as a core element in Schwab Advisor Services’ plan for a “cloud-based, multi-custodial portfolio manager” set to compete with companies like AssetBook, Tamarac, and Orion. However, when SVP of Digital Adviser Solutions, Andrew Salesky took over in the summer of 2018, the company shifted gears to partner with third-party vendors while debuting their PortfolioConnect product.

Envestnet announced this acquisition without reporting terms of the deal in late February while reporting its fourth quarter earnings for 2018.

What does it mean for you?

Tamarac and Schwab have a number of synergies; however, it remains to be seen whether or not the group can actually do enough to meet the needs of current PortfolioCenter users. Already, the team at Tamarac has tried to prevent the exodus of financial advisors currently using the PortfolioConnect product by offering to honor the contracts of current users.

“We will not force anyone to switch portfolio management applications,” said Andina Anderson, Executive Managing Director at Envestnet | Tamarac. To support this statement, Envestnet | Tamarac shared the discounted deals to advisors who in turn shared those details with news outlet, Financial Planning. They reported that those deals “offer a year free for Outsourced Solutions if advisors sign a four-year deal, or two years free if advisors sign a seven-year deal.”

They also shared that  “the basic PortfolioCenter package, which does not include the added on tools, costs roughly $3,000 per year, according to one advisor. To put this figure in perspective, it was also reported that the cost for current Tamarac services for a group with “$200 million in AUM and 200 accounts would cost approximately $16,000 a year.” This is a steep climb from what users were previously paying for their portfolio management and performance reporting.

These figures were shared by a PortfolioCenter user, Erica Safran of NY-based Safran Wealth Advisors, who declined the upsell for Tamarac services but decided to continue using PortfolioCenter through the honored contract. The same source also commented that “The platform would best suit advisors who use multiple custodians, don’t use model portfolios and can’t do operations in-house.”

It’s plain to see that the multi-year (7 years!!) contracts that Tamarac is offering current PorfolioCenter users to stay onboard is simply a strategy to keep them in the fold long enough to upsell them. However, going back to PortfolioCenter user Erica Safran, she said that “the premium tools would not have provided enough value to her firm…and the length of the contract was disconcerting.” She continues, “for your home mortgage, lock yourself in,” Safran says. “But, in terms of technology, being locked in for long periods of time just doesn’t make sense. Seven years would have been a lifetime.” A lifetime of being hounded by the upsell machine and rising costs indeed.

Our Take

While there is and will be plenty of debate on what the top portfolio management or performance reporting platform is “the best”; many of these larger companies miss the mark on what’s really important. That’s providing a tool and a technology that seamlessly fits the need of the user without pressuring them into paying more for capabilities and services that they don’t really need.

Often times more isn’t always better. If you have a process that is working and need capabilities that specifically fit or enhance that workflow, be weary of the upsell. After all, you’re in the business of making money, not burning it.

The Future of Finance: Top 5 Fintech Trends to Watch in 2019

Traditionally, the financial sector has been slow to invest in and adopt groundbreaking technologies. However, in 2018 we saw a number of well-established institutions kick “tradition” out the door to make way for the real world results produced by a number of fintech applications that have established their proof of concept as well as their viability in today’s market.

Continue reading The Future of Finance: Top 5 Fintech Trends to Watch in 2019

Winter Conference Update

TD Ameritrade Link 2017 National Conference

Conference Dates: February 1-3, San Diego, CA

Please come and see David Robertson and Frank Taylor at our kiosk in Veo Village at the TD Ameritrade Link national conference in San Diego, CA.

We’ll be demonstrating everything new at AssetBook at the kiosk.

T3 (Technology Tools for Today) Conference

Conference Dates: February 14-17, Orange County, CA

Later this month, Rob Major and Jimmy Wilkes will be manning the AssetBook booth at the T3 conference in Orange County, CA.

If you are attending the show, please come by our booth in the exhibit hall.

Rob Major will also be speaking about identity fraud on Friday, February 17th at 8:40 am.  Please join him for his presentation, “The $100,000 lesson learned”.

Happy New Year! – Holiday Hours

In observance of the New Year’s holiday, our office will be closing at 2:00 pm on Friday, December 30, 2016, and will be closed Monday, January 2nd, 2017.

We will reopen for normal hours starting January 3rd, 2017 for end of quarter/year processing.

At the close of another great year, we gratefully pause to wish you a New Year filled with Peace, Prosperity, and Happiness!

Quarterly Webinar – Dec 14, 2016 at 4PM EST

Webinar Details

AssetBook will be conducting a quarterly webinar where Rob Major, CEO will discuss recent development, company updates and give you some tips on best practices for the upcoming quarter end. We hope to see you there!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
If you have any problems registering, please contact Sarah Flanagan at

Holiday Hours

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AssetBook!

Our office will be closed on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

We will resume normal business hours on Monday, November 28th.

Upcoming InvestorView Webinars in November

Our client portal partners, ModestSpark, will be holding several webinars this month. These webinars focus on key features, best practices, and deep-dives on specific topics.

Here’s what is coming in November:

2-Factor Authentication (2FA) – Sneak Peek

Audience: Administrators and Advisors
Description: 2-factor auth is coming to Modestspark! With security for you and clients always a top priority, 2FA is a great feature you should know about. Learn more about the upcoming release containing 2FA and how to use these new capabilities.

Wednesday, November 30 @ 10:00am PST


Document Center – Deep Dive & Best Practices

Audience: Administrators and Advisors
Description: The Document Center is a key feature within Modestpark. With unlimited storage and easy access for you and clients, the Document Center is a vital place to securely store quarterly reports, invoices, and other important documents. Learn more about the use of Document Center, tips/tricks to increase adoption and migration of documents into Document Center.

Tuesday, November 22 @ 8:00am PST


On-boarding QuickStart

Audience: New Customers (Administrators)
Description: This session walks new customers through the onboarding process. From data imports to configuration and rollout activities, we’ll cover the basics to get you started!

Tuesday, November 29 @ 10:00am PST


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PowerUp with AssetBook!

Are you using all of RADAR’s superpowers? Join AssetBook’s team of heroes at the 2016 PowerUp Conference and become a Power User!

Be the Hero Your Firm Needs

No radioactive waste or spider bites required!

PowerUp will help users familiarize themselves with features they may not be using and receive best practice advice to improve operational efficiency. PowerUp provides a great way to receive hands-on tips and techniques. Not just from our team but other advisors that use the system every day.

 

How to use the FTP

What is an FTP site?

FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. As the name suggests, FTP is used to transfer files between computers on a network. You can use FTP to exchange files between computer accounts, transfer files between an account and a desktop computer, or access online software archives. This is a secure way to upload and download documents between you and AssetBook.

Why should I use it?

We use this site to exchange confidential information with you including uploading daily account maintenance files, client billing files, SEC audit results, etc. Maybe you have a support request where we need to look at certain account numbers. We recommend that you do not send account numbers in an insecure email. You can upload a spreadsheet to the FTP site with those account numbers.

Mac User?

To access the FTP site on a Mac use the “Command + K” function. This will open the FTP site and allow you to access or download the files. However, to upload files to the FTP site via a Mac you must install software such as Filezilla or Cyberduck.

What are my username and password?

Your username and password will be assigned to you once you have access to your database. A member of our team will relay this information to you once it is available.

For detailed instructions download our whitepaper by clicking below:

FTP Access

 

PowerUp! Employee Training

Do you have a new employee in your office?

Send them to our PowerUp! User Training and Seminar for a hands-on overview of our entire system and a chance to meet our team.

Already feel like you know your way around Radar?

Our PowerUp! User Training and Seminar is perfect for you too. With breakout sessions, that split the users into beginner and advanced groups, you too have the opportunity to become a power user!

You also have the opportunity to network with other users of our system. Learn how they use Radar to improve their operational workflow every day.

Conference Info:

Rocky Gap Resort and Casino
in Cumberland, Maryland
August 24th – 26th, 2016

Registration Deadline
August 15th, 2016

Rocky Gap Resort and Casino
16701 Lakeview Rd. NE
Cumberland, MD 21502

Conference fees:
$499 per attendee for Conference Fee
$139 per night Room Rate

For a Full Agenda of Training and Events Click Here