Welcome to the October 2023 issue of the Latest News in Financial #AdvisorTech – where we look at the big news, announcements, and underlying trends and developments that are emerging in the world of technology solutions for financial advisors!
This month’s edition kicks off with the news that custodial platform Altruist is eliminating the $1 per account monthly fee for its portfolio management and reporting technology for advisors on its platform, which on the one hand suggests that the economies of scale Altruist has achieved in the wake of its move to become a fully self-clearing custodian have been such that it can now afford to ‘give away’ its software, while on the other hand serves as an ominous sign for standalone portfolio management technology platforms that they could stand to be disrupted if more custodial platforms decide to compete on their technology offerings and eliminate the need for advisors to pay $5,000-$10,000 each year for a separate provider.
From there, the latest highlights also feature a number of other interesting advisor technology announcements, including:
- Holistiplan, after achieving success with its tax planning and analysis software, has announced an investment from Lead Edge Capital, signaling that it may be ready to expand into other financial planning areas beyond tax – but with a slew of new ‘Holistiplan for X’ startups in the marketplace, it may have a harder time repeating the exponential growth of its early years and as it seeks to fulfill the original ‘holistic’ aspirations of its founders.
- FMG Suite has acquired compliant texting solution MyRepChat to integrate into its full-service tech stack, underscoring the potential of text-based communication as a marketing tool – but also highlighting advisors’ challenges with integrating texting into their marketing and client communications workflows, as well as the fine line between texting as an effective communication method and one that’s disruptive and irritating to both the client and advisor.
- Investment analytics platform YCharts has launched a new feature for building and generating proposals for prospective clients, becoming the 2nd most popular analytics and recommendation tool this year (after Nitrogen’s rebranding earlier in 2023) to expand into the increasingly competitive category of sales enablement – underscoring the idea that as advisors use technology to provide more and more value for their clients, there’s increasing demand for tools that help advisors sell that value as well.
Read the analysis about these announcements in this month’s column, and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, including:
- Brand design consultancy firm Intention.ly has launched Advisor Brand Builder, a tech-enabled service solution that automates much of the process of designing a unique advisory firm brand at a lower cost than a full-service branding process – showing how, when a provider ‘tech-ifies’ a service by automating everything possible and applying human expertise only when it’s needed most, the resulting product can often be spun off and sold on a standalone basis.
- Testimonial IQ has launched the latest solution for advisors to gather and showcase client reviews and testimonials in the wake of the new SEC Marketing Rule – but it remains to be seen whether clients will let themselves be directed to a third-party site to leave a review, or if they’ll instead naturally gravitate towards the general sites (like Google and Yelp) that they already use to search for other businesses.
And be certain to read to the end, where we have provided an update to our popular “Financial AdvisorTech Solutions Map” (and also added the changes to our AdvisorTech Directory) as well!
*And for #AdvisorTech companies who want to submit their tech announcements for consideration in future issues, please submit to TechNews@kitces.com!