The results are in—here’s our T3 Advisor Software Survey recap

The start of a new year brings one of the most anticipated events in wealth management technology—the release of the Technology Tools for Today/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey.

If you’re not familiar with the Survey, it’s one of the most widely respected and referenced attempts to quantify what technology advisors are using, what they want to see more of, and which solutions they like best. 

This year, you again rated Kwanti as one of the favorite investment analytics and economic analysis tools, and we’re thankful for it. 

In this blog we’ll recap how we ranked in this year’s 2021 T3 Advisor Software Survey and why that matters for advisors looking for better investment analysis technology. 

Investment Data and Analytics Tools

Kwanti placed in two categories: Investment Data and Analytics Tools, and also Economic Analysis and Stress-Testing. 

In the first category, Investment Analytics, we’re grateful to say that we again achieved one of the highest user ratings in the category and came in with the fourth-highest market share—with a higher share than last year’s survey.

When it comes to advisors looking for a new analytics tool, you picked us as the third-leading tool under consideration.

“Every year, Kwanti earns one of the highest user ratings in the category.”

Economic Analysis and Stress-testing

In the Stress-Testing category, Kwanti again picked up an improved market share over last year that brought us firmly into the top ten solutions.

And just like with Investment Analytics, you gave us a great rating—the second-highest among any of the most-used tools, in fact.

In addition to our core rankings in these categories, we were also honored to receive mention as a Portfolio Reporting Tool that advisors are considering.

Why Does Kwanti Rank High in the T3 Advisor Software Survey?

The T3 survey commentary itself notes that Kwanti is perennially one of the highest rated solutions in our respective categories.

Why is that?

We believe it’s because we approach development and innovation with an advisor-first mindset. While many software solutions will talk about how much they listen to advisor requests, we follow through and put the most asked-for items into action.

Recent enhancements like an SMA analysis tool and Folder organization are only two examples of how we put our advisors first.

 

To read the complete T3 Advisor Software Survey, click here.

Ready to see why advisors consistently give Kwanti one of the industry’s best user ratings? Start a free 30-day trial of Kwanti.


Need a new SMA analysis tool? Kwanti has you covered

You’ve always been able to use Kwanti to analyze the details to find hidden truths in mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and fixed income holdings, and today we’re expanding your investment world.

Starting right now, you can get portfolio analytics on the Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) your firm uses.

If you currently use an SMA, or your firm is considering it, you’ll want to read on to discover how you can easily incorporate SMA analysis into your analytics process. 

What is an SMA?

If an investment professional, we’re sure you’re familiar with SMAs, but let’s take a brief moment to define them.

An SMA is an investment account that’s managed by a professional money manager. It directly holds the stocks and other assets, unlike an ETF, which bundles the asset ownership for anyone who’s invested in the product.

If you’re an advisor who’s been considering SMAs in your firm, the main advantage is the ability to outsource at least some part of your investment management to another professional. That ability to outsource gives financial advisors the time to prospect, meet with clients, or otherwise on the business instead of investments.

And now, you can analyze how the various SMA managers you may be using are performing when you log into Kwanti.

Why We’re Adding SMA Analysis

SMA analysis has been one of our most requested features and we’re thrilled that we can bring this type of data to you now.

Our SMA data feeds include information on more than 10,000 SMAs. The feeds provide you with all the same data points you’ve come to expect when analyzing mutual funds and ETFs. 

You’ll be able to pull up an SMA from the data feed list and get right to comparing its level of risk, asset allocations, and performance returns against your other portfolios in no time at all. 

SMA analysis isn’t limited to those who already subscribe to a professional money manager. If you’re considering adding SMAs to your firm so you can take advantage of more robust investment methodologies, you can use Kwanti’s analysis tools to compare the SMA you’re considering to your current portfolio lineup. 

In addition to enhanced analytics, you can give yourself the ability to make more informed business decisions for you and your clients.

Analyzing SMAs in Kwanti 

It’s easy and fast to get started with SMA analysis. 

Once the ability has been turned on for your database, you can find SMAs in the Asset Finder, right alongside mutual funds, ETFs, and stocks.

The analysis tools available in Kwanti do not include individual holdings analysis for the assets held within an SMA. (Learn more about Holdings X-Ray analysis in Kwanti here.)

In most cases, an SMA does not make their holdings publicly available. However, that does not in any way affect the level of analysis and tools you can use when reviewing the SMA as a whole.  

Get started with SMA analysis in Kwanti right away. Add this feature to your account for only $75 a month. 

Click here to contact Kwanti support to add SMA analysis today.


Cybersecurity 101: Top 4 Tips for Financial Advisors

Data breaches are on the rise, especially in the financial services industry. From large organizations like BlackRock to smaller state-registered advisors, everyone is vulnerable. 

All RIAs need to establish and follow cybersecurity policies, but as a small business you likely don’t have a dedicated IT manager who can constantly monitor threats.

If you want to limit your exposure and be reasonably certain that you’re doing what is necessary to keep client data safe, follow these four cybersecurity best practices.

1. Manage Your Passwords

Many data hacks occur because of the use of repeat passwords. The best practice is to switch up your passwords. This will help ensure that if one password is compromised, that breach can be isolated. It’s a good idea to remind your clients about password best practices whenever you give them a new login, like to your client portal.

Of course, many RIAs have a plethora of technology that they use internally as well, so remembering all of those different passwords can seem daunting. 

Using another piece of technology called a password manager will help you remember them all without burdening your memory.

Password managers securely store usernames and passwords, as well as URL links, to help you stay organized. They also will generate strong passwords for you. No more “password123” or “ihatepasswords”. 

Some of the most popular and highly rated password managers according to PCWorld and G2Crowd are:

  • 1Password
  • Keeper Password Manager
  • LastPass
  • RoboForm
  • Zoho Vault

2. Know Your Vendors

Your technology stack is in place to help you work more efficiently. But without the right security in place, your tech vendors can be a huge security risk for you.

As part of the due diligence process, contact your vendor(s) to obtain information on their security practices. Information security policy, business continuity plan, cyber-security insurance are the most important items to consider.

Security certifications provide additional confidence. Your fintech partners should be SSAE16 certified and PCI-DSS compliant just like Kwanti. These are essential security designations every fintech company should have. 

SSAE16 is short for Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16, which was created by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. It is a set of standards and guidelines to be used when auditing how service companies report on their compliance controls. To be SSAE16 certified, vendors have to have a program in place for making sure their security processes and procedures are working and sensitive information is being safeguarded.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is a set of standards and requirements for companies that store, process, or personal information. To be compliant, a vendor security environment is audited by a third-party company.

Check in with your current vendors to see what security measures they have in place, and be sure to include cybersecurity as a part of your vetting process going forward.

3. Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Even with strong passwords saved securely in a password manager, it is best practice to also set up two-factor authentication. This additional layer of security is becoming increasingly widespread as we use our devices more and data breaches keep rising.

Most of us are familiar with two-factor authentication even if we don’t know the name for it. For example, you use a username and password to sign into your bank’s website. Before you can access your account, you have to enter a code that was sent to you via text message or answer a personal security question, such as the first name of your oldest niece or the street you lived on in third grade. 

The first factor is your password; the second is the code or security answer. More advanced two-factor authentication can call for a fingerprint or a security badge with a chip to be inserted into a device that hooks up to your computer.

Conduct an audit of all of the systems you are signing into and turn on two-factor authentication where you can. 

4. Train Your Staff

All of the other cybersecurity measures can be rendered useless if you don’t properly train your staff. 

Here are a few best practices to follow:

  • Annual training: At a minimum, you should hold annual training sessions to go through policies, procedures, and anything new. Be sure to take attendance to ensure everyone is trained. Challenge yourself to switch things up so that people don’t get bored, tune out, and miss important information.
  • Post reminders: Posters outlining cybersecurity best practices—like these ones from the Department of Homeland Security—can serve as good reminders for your staff on a daily basis. They also can also be a good tool for demonstrating compliance efforts.
  • Run some tests: IT professionals like Align or fintech companies like RIA in a Box offer training and services that can help you run a test to see if your employees are staying vigilant, especially for phishing. Phishing occurs when an email that looks like it is from a reputable source is sent to individuals or a whole group of people in your company to entice someone to share their personal information (such as passwords, credit card numbers, etc.) or to click on a link that allows someone else to gain access to your network. Tests can help you identify employees who need retraining.

Getting Started

Financial advisors are especially big targets for cybersecurity criminals because of the amount of financial and personal information you handle and store. Protect your business and your clients by establishing and maintaining cybersecurity best practices today.

Get advanced portfolio analytics in a secure software solution. Sign up for your free 30-day, no risk trial of Kwanti today.


How to Assess Risk and Stress Test Portfolios

It’s not every year that you get to add a new Stress Test model to the list of financial crises to compare portfolios against, but 2020 was that year. 

While 2020 might have been a year to forget for many, the economic downturn will be a moment that advisors will want to remember from a risk assessment and portfolio stress testing standpoint. 

Creating portfolios that are built with a strong awareness of risk and the downside potential of investments is one of the most important jobs of an advisor—and it’s one that advisors can easily complete with Kwanti.

In today’s blog, we’ll share with you all the ways you can assess risk and stress test portfolios in the app. 

Let’s get started. 

How to Assess Asset-Level Risk in Kwanti

We’ll start with showing you to quickly look at the risk level each holding presents in a given portfolio.

You can access risk analytics by selecting a portfolio and navigating to the Risk tab.

On this tab, you can view Risk Allocation by individual holdings, or assess a portfolio with Stress Tests. 

When selecting Risk Allocation, you’ll see holdings listed in descending order, with the highest-risk asset listed first in terms of the percentage of risk it holds in the total portfolio.

From here, you can quickly gain additional insights to understand why each holding presents the amount of risk that it does. 

In our example image, SAM (The Boston Beer Company) contributes 50% of the total portfolio risk. If we click over to view allocations and correlated holdings, it quickly becomes apparent why.

SAM is by far the heaviest-weighted holding in this example portfolio, making up almost 14% of the total assets owned. It’s also correlated at some level with 11 other assets the portfolio holds.

While Sam Adams might be relaxing to drink, it doesn’t look like it’s going to add much relaxation to an advisor or client’s life if this were a portfolio in real life.

 

Performing Portfolio Stress Testing to Safeguard Against the Next Downturn

While assessing risk on individual holdings is a necessary step in building a well-balanced portfolio, it’s also sometimes necessary to look at how a portfolio would perform on a larger level.

Kwanti allows you to take a step back and look at historically stressful periods in the market so you can get a better idea of how your portfolios might perform if a similar event occurs in the future. 

Stress testing in Kwanti is a dynamic and flexible solution that can give you a quick snapshot of a portfolio’s performance during a number of scenarios.

By default, we offer these pre-built scenarios:

  • Asian Crisis of 1997
  • Russian Long-Term Capital Management Collapse of 1998
  • Tech Bubble Deflation of 2000-2001
  • World Trade Center Attack of 2001
  • Subprime Lending Crisis of 2008-2009
  • Debt Ceiling Crisis of 2011
  • Chinese Economic Slowdown of 2015
  • The 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

You can also create your own custom scenarios. The creation can be done in seconds; choose a name, add a description, and set a date range to analyze the market during a particular time period.

If you want to get even deeper analysis, you can add multiple portfolios to a single simulation to compare and contrast how different allocations might impact results, or add an index to the comparison chart to gauge performance against the overall market.

Even though the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may not repeat itself in our lifetimes, it’s likely that the markets will experience an event with similar downward trend at some point in the future. 

One of the best ways to protect portfolios against crippling losses in such a situation is to perform regular stress tests to analyze their historical performance—and use that insight to make future judgements that balance their risk levels appropriately.

When you do it in Kwanti, the entire process can be completed in a matter of minutes and you can be better prepared with quantitative evidence to present to your clients that supports your investment recommendations.

In the end, it all results in better conversations and more confident clients.

Ready to try out Kwanti for yourself? Click here to start your free 30-day trial right now.


The Most-Read Kwanti Blogs of 2020

From a business planning perspective, the end of the year is always a good time to look back at what worked and what didn’t to chart a better path ahead.

This year has been one unlike any other, and we don’t know quite how different life will be in 2021, but one thing we do know is that advisors will play a critical role in helping to shape their clients’ perceptions of how well their finances are helping them to move forward in an uncertain time.

For today’s blog, we’ve assembled a list of our top 5 most-read blogs from the past year—most of which focus on ways that advisors can better engage with clients and keep them pointed in the right direction.

So while these posts were published in 2020, the topics they cover will still be relevant as head into a new year.

5. How to Win More Business with Kwanti Analytics

What It’s About:

Convincing more people to work with your firm is a constant concern for RIA owners, and there’s no shortage of advice about how to win more business. Most of today’s current advice centers on digital marketing strategies that can pull more people into your website, but once you get them in a meeting, we know that there are few ways to demonstrate your value faster than with a thorough portfolio analysis. This blog looks at how the analytics tools in Kwanti can help you close business, not just make investment decisions after a client has signed.

 

4. Get X-Ray Vision with a Detailed Holdings Analysis

What It’s About:

In-depth analysis doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process; in fact, it’s best if it’s not so you can move past your analysis stage and start taking action instead. Kwanti’s holdings analysis makes it easy for advisors to get an “x-ray” view of a portfolio to quickly identify asset correlation and find hidden risk that might not be so obvious in an account that holds mostly ETFs or mutual funds.

 

3. How to Talk to Your Clients About Weathering the Storm

What It’s About:

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic had us thinking about ways to help advisors communicate with clients about the market volatility that few saw coming. While this blog was written with pandemic communication in mind, the recommendations are evergreen. Knowing how to show clients the long-term effects of staying invested, building diversified portfolios, and setting realistic expectations about performance returns are topics of conversation that never go out of style. Sometimes, events simply back them back to the forefront. 

2. Product Update: Folders are Now Available

What It’s About:

Not everyone organizes the same way, but nearly everyone has at least a unique way they like to organize their closet, kitchen, and yes—even their portfolio data. Our release of folders was one of more talked-about product updates in 2020, and this blog quicks a 60-second snapshot of why so many advisors asked for this feature. 

 

1. The One Thing Investors Want to Talk About More Than Anything Else

What It’s About:

Financial planning may be king in today’s advice-driven world, but investments are still the car that will drive your clients to their goals. Surveys among investors showed that while they do need to discuss goals and plans, talking about and understanding their investments is still their number one priority when it comes to a relationship with their financial advisor. This blog looks at why investment-driven discussions are important, and offers some tips for how Kwanti can accelerate those types of dialogues.

 

Start your new year with a 30-day free trial of Kwanti and use portfolio analytics to offer data-driven investment advice to help you create confident clients in 2021.