The Latest In Financial Advisor #FinTech (October 2019)
Welcome to the October 2019 issue of the Latest News in Financial Advisor #FinTech – 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 and wealth management!
This month’s edition kicks off with the news that a new startup RIA custodian called Altruist is entering the fray to compete against the existing incumbents, leading with next-generation digital tools for portfolio reporting and management overlaid onto a modern RIA custodian so much less expensive to operate that it will provide all trades commission-free… only to witness a total collapse of trading commissions at multiple RIA custodians at Schwab decides to set the price of trading at zero for the broader market of online discount brokers, forcing most competitors to follow almost immediately (and almost immediately undermining the cost differentiator that Altruist was launching with?).
From there, the latest highlights also include a number of other interesting advisor technology announcements, including:
Fidelity partners with Ethic Investing to bring a direct-indexing-style ESG solution to its RIAs
Orion fully integrates its ASTRO direct indexing solution into Eclipse for firms that want to implement it themselves
Morningstar launches its own ‘financial planning lite’ solution dubbed Goal Bridge for brokers using its Advisor Workstation platform
Holistiplan wins the XY Planning Network FinTech competition with a new tax planning software that digitally reads tax return PDFs and identifies the planning opportunities automatically
CFP Board changes the rules to permit some (client-relevant) technology content to become eligible for CFP CE credit
Read the analysis about these announcements in this month’s column, and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, including RIA compliance provider SmartRIA acquiring GreyTwist and ComplianceHero to round out its cybersecurity and website/social media/email archiving capabilities, WiserAdviser buys out the OG digital lead generation platform Paladin Registry, Investopedia Advisor Insights shuts down its advisor platform, Zoe Financial raises $3M of capital to scale up its lead generation service, and Wealthfront catapulting to $20B of ‘assets’ but with most of its growth in its new non-managed cash offering (which may not be growing Wealthfront’s revenue, but could shave a whopping $100M to $200M of profits off competing banks and brokerage firms!) as the battle for cash gets increasingly active.
And be certain to read to the end, where we have provided an update to our popular new “Financial Advisor FinTech Solutions Map” as well!
I hope you’re continuing to find this new column on financial advisor technology to be helpful! Please share your comments at the end and let me know what you think!
*And for #AdvisorTech companies who want to submit their tech announcements for consideration in future issues, please submit to TechNews@kitces.com!