How To Make Your Most-Frequently Used Documents More Accessible
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:57

Tags: how to | microsoft | productivity

Financial advisors use a lot of the same documents all the time. Sure, you also create new documents, but you probably have a few Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher documents that you must refer to or update frequently. Here’s how to make them more easily accessible, assuming you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.

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First, some basics: At the bottom of the screen, your Taskbar displays which apps are open on your computer.


You may know that you can "pin" apps to make them always appear in your taskbar. Simply right click on an icon in the taskbar and choose "Pin this program to taskbar," as shown above, and that app will always appear in your taskbar.


You may also know that when you right click on any Office icon in your taskbar, a box like the one shown above pops up listing your most recently used documents in that Office application.


What you may not know, however, is that when you right click on any document in the recent documents list, you can pin it to the recent documents list. Just click on "Pin to this list" and the document will always show up atop of your recent documents list.

What Do You Do If Your Cloud Service Is Discontinued, Obsolete or Sold?
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 13:13

Tags: Cloud providers | discontinued cloud provider | email | file sync

As the cloud matures, the services being offered are rapidly changing. What happens when the services you use are no longer available? Below are some tips to protect yourself organized by on the service you may use?

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Even if you choose to go with a big company like Google or Yahoo, you still run the chance of the service being discontinued.  Currently Google has discontinued a total of 29 services, while Yahoo has discontinued 50 services.  Once the service is discontinued and shut down there is no way for you to get your information back.


Here is a list of typical cloud hosted services and what you can do to protect yourself


Email, Calendar and Contacts – There are utilities available that make switching Exchange (mail) providers is relatively easy.  This becomes more difficult when using web only systems. 


File Sharing – To avoid losing your information you should regularly sync those files to a computer or server that you control.


Phone System –  For example, in 2005 MCI was sold to Verizon.  To avoid losing your information, have an up-to-date backup listing of your phone numbers.


Social Media –  For example, on December 15, 2011 Google discontinued Google Buzz.  To help users avoid losing their information Google provided users with a way to download their existing content.


Instant Messaging – For example, on April 30, 2013 Microsoft discontinued Windows Live Messenger.  To avoid losing your contacts, know who you are connected to.  Keep an up-to-date backup list.


Imaging – The workflows and security can make this one tricky.  There is no set industry standard on imaging; the best advice is to use a well-known service provider and hope future service providers will have a conversion process in place.


CRM – To avoid losing your data you should export the key information you need to run your business on a regular basis.  Be sure to capture the unique ID’s so the information may be usable in the case where you need to move into a new CRM.


Until the day comes when all data, applications and cloud service standards become universal there is no absolute guarantee you will be able to work around the unavailability of your cloud provider.  What is here today can be gone tomorrow.



Slowly, Microsoft's Tablets And Phones Are Getting Adopted And That's Good News For The Vast Majority Of Advisors
Friday, May 03, 2013 18:05

While the torrent of information about advisor technology usually focuses on all of this really cool stuff, most advisors are using Outlook for email and Office for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. So you may be happy to hear that Microsoft's answer to Apple and Google is finally taking shape.

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According to a post on Forbes today, Microsoft Says Windows Phone 8 App Downloads Have Doubled And Revenue Up 140%, the number of app downloads doubled and paid app revenue was up 140% increase. Neither Forbes nor Micorosoft said over what period these remarkable results were achieved, but it respresents the almost daily drumbeat of good news coming out of Microsoft lately.



Whenever I speak at a conference, I ask advisors in the audience if they're using Windows to run their business. Last week, I was in Connecticut but it does not matter where I ask this question. The answers across the U.S. seem always the same. Maybe 10% of advisors have switched their businesses to Apple's operating system and fewer than 5% have switched to Google's operating system.


Advisors may use iPads on the road and love them. They may buy Android phones. But the software they use  to run their operation is Microsoft, and they're almost all are reliant on Outlook for email.



Apple's charge at Microsoft's domination among advisors seems to have peaked, and Google's effort at becoming a serious operating system that can compete with Microsoft in RIAs remains in its infancy. Meanwhile, Microsoft is finally offering some competition to iPads, iPhones and Android phones.

Windows 8 lets an advisor run a tablet, phone, and desktop using the same operating system. It's good for touchscreen and mouse navigation. It's a complicated platform but a powerful one, and Windows 8 is stable.

Point is, you don't need to spend too much time chasing down systems not integrated with Microsoft products. In the end, Microsoft will remain a reliable operating system for running an advisory firm and it is closing the gap in competing against tablets and phones from Apple and Google.







Just Released! Return On Technology White Paper
Monday, April 29, 2013 23:05

Tags: advisor technology | rebalancing | tax efficient investing | technology

Would you buy software that returns over 46 times the cost of the system? Would you pay for software that can net you an average of almost $600,000 of savings and revenue each year?  According to a new industry white paper, this describes the return on investment achieved by automating the portfolio rebalancing process.

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The report, “Measuring the Return on Technology Investment: Total Rebalance Expert” is an update to an earlier study on the cost savings, capacity increases and business development opportunities of using technology to streamline portfolio rebalancing. The report documents various areas of savings and revenue opportunities including,


  • Reduction of personnel hoursR
  • Reduction of errors
  • Greater quality control and consistency
  • Greater responsiveness to client needs and market changes
  • Greater tax efficiency
  • Increased client satisfaction
  • Increased client base and revenue


Based on these efficiencies and translating them into direct cost savings, increased capacity and incremental revenue opportunities, advisors can achieve on average $587,000 in savings and revenues, according to the report.


The white paper points out that “ most advisors attempt rebalancing using only rudimentary spreadsheets and hand calculationsWhen rebalancing by hand, advisors are limited by capacity. The advisor must choose between increased complexity and time-consuming calculations, rebalancing less frequently or even simplifying the calculations (for example, by ignoring tax saving strategies).


Despite the evidence of the benefits of automating rebalancing, the majority of advisors are not using a portfolio rebalancing technology solution.  According to several industry studies; the usage is less than 5-10% industry wide.  Based on the results of the study, use of automated rebalancing should be growing at an accelerated pace. The white paper clearly shows that advisors can feel comfortable in adopting rebalancing technology, knowing that it will pay them back many times over.


The report, based on in-depth interviews with TRX users and a quantification of the many benefits of automated portfolio rebalancing, is available on the TRX website: .

Windows XP Is Retiring
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 13:01

Tags: microsoft | Windows XP

As of April 8, 2014 Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid support for Windows XP.

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Microsoft is urging current Windows XP users to take action to move off of this operating system. “before it’s too late.”  Windows XP will still work after April 2014; however running this system after the end of the support date can expose you to potential risks.  One such potential risk is a hacker finding a flaw in the system that gives them access to your computer.


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