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SFM 2023 Technology - Better or Bother?

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The first nine months of 2023 has seen a lot of change for our clients—and our team. The change with the most impact on everyone’s daily routines is in regard to our technology platforms. 

This summer we changed our client performance and document portal from Advyzon to GDX360; and we recently changed custodians from TD Ameritrade to Schwab (not our choice, but because of the acquisition of TD Ameritrade by Schwab). 

What remains the same with our technology are the three most important platforms the SFM team utilizes daily to add value to our clients: Our Client Relationship Management software, our Financial Planning software, and our Investment Management software.  

After 21 years using the TD Ameritrade system, the change to the Schwab platform has been the most jarring to me. However, over the past few weeks our team has become more comfortable finding forms, learning how to process service requests, and how to track progress of outstanding work items in the Schwab system. We hope your experience from the client perspective has been enjoyable so far. Schwab is very proud of how they were able to transition $1.3 trillion and 3.6 million accounts over Labor Day weekend with minimal heartache. 

As for how we communicate and serve our clients, our CRM system remains steadfast with our internal processes and procedures, our calendar of tasks and appointments, as well as client notes and email history. 

We want our clients to understand that I still build and manage the SFM investment portfolios. Joyce, Blaine and I are still your trusted advisors. We are committed to best-in-class review processes. Each quarter we will continue to focus on a crucial aspect of your financial plan: investments, tax-efficiency, goal setting, and estate planning. So while some things have changed, we are still dedicated to providing our clients with world-class performance and service.  

I will continue using the investment management system that both Wealthcare and Schwab encourage me to utilize—a tool that TD Ameritrade first provided us back in 2016. In fact, this piece of technology was one of the key acquisition targets of Schwab when it purchased TD Ameritrade. It allows for tax-aware trading and household rebalancing—both key to investing efficiently.

The second thing we’d like to stress with all of this ‘newness’ is that we continue to use the same financial planning tool we upgraded to in 2016. Our quarterly financial planning process and the software that supports it remains the same. We think it’s the best financial planning platform out there: elegant, efficient, powerful, yet easy-to-use for both clients and our team.

We think our ‘technology stack’ is the best of breed—even if learning and integrating new systems and remembering new logins is no fun (#truth).  

For clients who are investment-focused, we recommend logging in to the new GDX360 portal to see daily performance and portfolio updates. 

For clients who are planning-focused, we recommend logging in to your financial plan and checking on your plan via the “Snapshot”. 

Logging onto the Schwab platform and/or downloading the Schwab mobile app is important for all of our clients. They are your custodian/broker (independent from us) and are required to communicate with you the happenings with regard to your accounts. 

Please let us know if you need assistance with any of our new or old tech—we will try our best to help!