Custodians don’t just hold client assets. They also need to hold an advisor’s attention.

Some of them are doing just that, according to Financial Planning’s annual Tech Survey. Other custodians might need to step up their game.

When we asked advisors to share their experiences with their custodians’ tech offerings, such as risk assessment software or client portals, they told us they were either overwhelmed with the number of features, or disappointed in the lack of time taken to explain how to use them.

Planners also said they wanted to go paperless, they desired more mobile tools and longed for more time-sensitive — and friendly — customer service.

Of the more than 300 advisors who took the survey, nearly 250 left comments. A review of their notes paints an honest and critical picture of what custodians are doing well — and not doing so well. Scroll through to see the highlights.

The list is not ranked as the number of reviews per custodian is disproportionate.

TD Ameritrade

Advisors told us they were happy with the tech offerings at TD Ameritrade, reporting excellent tools, open architecture and a user-friendly platform that was easy to navigate.

“We like their affinity services and iRebal,” noted one advisor. “They also have great integration with our other software platforms. I like that they are updating the advisorclient.com website.”

Said another advisor: “I’ve had very, very few problems working with TDAI over 15 years. Excellent service.”

Still, one advisor requested better rebalancing software. Others who left comments throughout the survey said they would have liked to have more training.



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