Sneak Preview Of Schwab Advisor Services New Trading Platform For RIAs

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 12:53
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Sneak Preview Of Schwab Advisor Services New Trading Platform For RIAs

At an online press event today, Schwab Advisor Services previewed its new trading application, which aims to streamline trading tasks including order entry and block trading.

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“We’ve redesigned trading workflow,” said Kevin Kraus, Director of Trading Platforms at Schwab. Kraus said the new trading platform is in beta testing with a small group of advisors who are already using it to place trades. He said the trading app overhaul would be released in stages to advisors and fully launched in the third quarter of 2013. The new features sound like a dramatic upgrade.

 
“On Schwab AdvisorCenter, clients (advisors) can launch our app,” said Kraus. “But now an advisor will be able to perform trade-related tasks on AdvisorCenter. We’ve redesigned the order entry dashboard to support decisions when placing a trade.”
 
Kraus said an advisor will be able to vew information about balances and positions, order status, and other data advisors deem as important when executing trades.
 
Putting that kind of aggregatd client data on your screen to be viewed at the time you are entering trade orders should make an advisor's job easier, increae your efficiency, and help you make better-informed decisions. It's one of those clear examples where technology increases effiiciency and helps advisors, and the 6,000 RIAs clearing through Schwab will find the upgrade helpful. 
 
 “We’re also developing the ability to trade at the position-view level,” Kraus said, “to look at a position and trade across accounts, in and out of a position.”
 
Today's event is part of a new series of periodic calls Schwab Advisor Servcies began conducting in June for press outlets covering advisor technology and practice management.
 
Adam Moseley, Schwab Advisors Services’ lead technology consultant, opened the web-based meeting by saying that advisors are increasingly using iPads and mobile technology. He said Schwab Advisor Services iPhone app that allows advisors to access client balances and positions online has been downloaded 3,000 times. He added that an iPad version of the app was expected to be released by year end.
 
Moseley indicated iPads were about the only tablet being used by advisors, as opposed to the myriad Android tabletstrying to crack business users. (I expect that to change in the next few months, as Microsoft starts selling its Surface tablet.)
 
Moseley also said advisors are switching to cloud-based applications at a quick pace. “Firms I never would have guessed would go there,” said Moseley, are moving their apps and data to the cloud.
 
Moseley said RIAs' fears about their Internet connection going down appears to be much less of a concern than it was a few years ago. He said the debate as to whether data are more secure in the cloud or in an advisor’s office is still going on, but more and more advisors are outsourcing data management and utilizing cloud-based systems.
 

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