Advisor Products completed the first phase of its integration with TD Ameritrade Insitutional, enabling clients of advisors to securely view account balances, holdings, and transactions from their advisor’s website.
Advisor Products, which hosts websites for about 1200 advisory firms, automcatically pulls the account data into AdvisorVault.
When an advisor client logs into his vault, his account data is automatically pulled from TD Ameritrade’s servers.
The name of each security in his account and its ticker symbol are displayed in an HTML page along with the holding’s price, quantity, asset-type, and value. The ticker symbol is a link that displays news about the security, analysts reports, company announcements, dynamic historical charts, SEC filings, and other data.
In addition, the client can click on a tab for transactions and see transactions in accounts managed by his advisor at TD Ameritrade Institutional. The client sets a date range and the transaction data is pulled direclty from TDAI’s servers.
The integration represents a major advance in advisor technology, made possible by TD Ameritrade’s recent release of an application programming interface (API).
Last month, in my column in Financial Advisor magazine, I wrote a column saying that TDAI’s decision to publish an API to its custodiian service for advisors represented a “game changer.”
While the column is not going to help me win any popularity contests with other custodians, it had to be written. While other custodians are integrating with portfolio reporting, CRM, financial planning and other advisor applications, releasing an API is a totally different — and open — approach.
Unlike point-to-point interfaces being developed one at a time with a few apps chosen by a custodian, TDAI has basically created an app store. Vendors that can pass its security audit, which is no small feat, can get access to its API.
Advisor Products got access to the API only a few weeks ago. But it took our developers only about 120 hours to write the program that pulls the data from TDAI into AdvisorVault. That’s because we have written more than 20 interfaces over the past three years and have experience, but also because programming off the documentation provided with an API is far easier than writing point to point interfaces with apps that don’t have APIs.
That’s why this is a “game changer.” TDAI’s move is going to put compeitive pressure on other custodians to open their databases and creae APIs to allow advisor apps to create integrations with them. It will foster independence of RIAs and enable advisors to choose the apps with which they wish to work–rather than allowing a custodian to limit choice and push advisors toward limited platform.
AdvisorVault is a secure system that is fully encrypted, meaning data is not only encrypted when it is uploaded but also when downloaded, and any data stored in AdvisorVault is also encrypted. So even Advisor Products employees cannot view the stored data.
AdvisorVault is intergated with PortfolioCenter, Advent Axys, MoneyGuide Pro, Albridge Solutions and other apps used by advisors. In addition, advisors can upload documents to their clients’ vaults and set permissions to enable lawyes and accountants to view selected documents or folders.
Next week, we begin beta testing an app allowng advisors to drag and drop any document on their desktop to a client’s vault without having to use a browser.
The next phase of the TDAI integration is expected to enable Advisor Products to automatically pull into AdvisorVault monthly PDF brokerage statements, 1099s, confirmations, and other client documents.