At a recent session of the Financial Advisor Webinar Series, Mike Williams of Schwab Performance Technologies (SPT) talked about developments in PortfolioCenter and PortfolioServices. While we usually don’t invite vendors to talk about their products at our webinars, we made an exception because Schwab is so influential; SPT is used by 3,300 advisory firms and its parent provides custodial services to 6,000 RIAs. Despite allotting 25 minutes for questions, attendees at the session had more questions than Williams could answer. So we passed along to Williams the unanswered questions chatted in by attendees. In this post, Williams answers those questions.
Do you use ByAll Accounts to connect to custodians that you do not have direct interfaces with?
Yes. Both our PortfolioCenter and PortfolioServices products can leverage ByAllAccounts to acquire account information from financial institutions with which there is no available direct data feed.
When will the custom report enhancements you talked about at the webinar be available?
The first general release of the new report presentations will be in mid-2010. Subsequent releases will occur later this year and throughout 2011.
For the new graphical reporting: will a PortfolioCenter user need the Enhanced Reporting Module (ERM), and what is the cost of the ERM for a current PC user?
Yes, the new report presentations require a PortfolioCenter Enhanced license. The Enhanced Reporting Module is $1,500 year one and carries an annual maintenance fee of $500. Please contact SPT Sales at (800) 528-9595, option 2 for further information.
Is there any more functionality (especially in client reporting) between PortfolioCenter vs. your outsourced offering?
Currently, the PortfolioServices platform features an enhanced report. As new reporting enhancements are deployed for PortfolioCenter, they will eventually be available within the PortfolioServices platform.
How does Schwab Portfolio Services compare to Black Diamond? Do you have any document that summarizes the key differentiating factors?
Both Black Diamond and PortfolioServices are both outsource solutions that provide a variety of reporting solutions for advisors. We'd be happy to set up a demo of the platform and discuss the specifics of the offering.
Can you review portfolio services pricing again for an emerging, start up firm? Is there just a fixed charge per year? Or is there a variable charge as well based on AUM?
PortfolioServices starts at $3,500/quarter, based on the number of accounts on the platform. For more specific pricing information, based on your business, please contact SPT Sales.
Are you considering adding more rebalancing functionality within PortfolioCenter? Are you considering such functionality with your outsourcing system?
While the addition of direct rebalancing functionality is not on the near-term roadmap for PortfolioCenter, it is a priority to continue to tighten integration with third-party, industry-leading trading solutions.
Do you know if it's possible to upload batched client reports to the ProTracker CRM?
At this time, only asset data is able to be exported out of PortfolioCenter and imported into ProTracker.
Do you pay for each custodian you want feeds from? Is SEI one of your currently available feeds?
Direct custodial data feeds are available for purchase, including SEI.
Please address some of the main differences between the Schwab PortfolioCenter and Advent Axys?
Both PortfolioCenter and Advent Axys are high-quality desktop portfolio management solutions. Although the user experience will differ, both systems offer a similar range of reporting and functionality.
Do you have updated presentation graphics for PortfolioCenter? If so, how do I get access to them?
To view samples of the new report presentations, and to learn more about future reporting enhancements, please visit our website at: https://schwabpt.com/presentations/
Do any of your reports illustrate portfolio performance compared to a benchmark or to the major indexes?
Most of our performance reports allow for comparison of the portfolio return to a number of benchmarks or blended benchmarks.
The last I heard, Schwab Performance Technologies levied an add-on charge for graphic reports. As I recall, the cost was around $1,500 (after $3,000 for the license and interface charges). What is the charge for enhanced graphics?
For those who are considering PortfolioCenter for the first time, the enhanced reporting module is now built into the cost of PortfolioCenter. For existing users that do not already have the Enhanced Reporting Module, it is $1,500 year one and carries an annual maintenance fee of $500.
Are your service techs located in another country?
No. Our technical support and service team representatives are located in Raleigh, NC and Overland Park, KS.
How much is PortfolioCenter again?
The cost for PortfolioCenter starts at $8,000 and is dependent upon custodial data feeds and the number of simultaneous user access.
What is the status on getting current and target allocations in one graph? i.e., bar chart with the large cap value allocations next to each other.
The Asset Allocation report currently has the ability to show a bar chart comparing the actual asset classes within the portfolio against the target model components for that portfolio.