-Distance Relationships"> AdvisorVision also has the capability to collaborate with clients online, allowing advisers to manage long-distance relationships. The collaboration capability also allows an adviser to share information with colleagues, such as a trust department or an insurance expert. Advisers also can invoke controlled sharing of a plan, allowing limited access to specific experts for the planning period. Willis said the company plans an upgrade in the near term that will allow advising firms to filter their client list to find clients with certain types of assets. For instance, an advising firm could find all of its customers who hold more than a certain level of cash, or who own a particular stock or mutual fund. According to Willis, AdviceAmerica has also created a version of the software that banks and credit unions are putting on their Web sites. It gets their customers engaged and educated on what their needs are.When clients identify their shortfalls, theyre passed to advisers or Web pages that solve their needs. "This feature has been successful with banks and credit unions who are trying to pull customers in to show off their range of services," Willis said, adding that its especially successful with financial institutions that are trying to change their brand perception to show theyre a full-service entity. "The program takes customers to appropriate product information when the software makes a recommendation," he said. CJM Planning, a New Jersey-based, full-service financial-planning firm, has made the AdvisorVision system available to its advisers through its Web site. According to Matt Bogan, the companys vice president of marketing, "AdvisorVisions advice-generation engine was designed by experienced financial planners and offers a significant competitive advantage to our advisers." "The system helps us to provide clients with a full wealth-management plan quickly and easily," Bogan said. "With dynamic data updates from Pershing, the online plan is always up to date. Also, it doesnt just calculate goal shortages like other systems; it generates knowledgeable advice that recommends specific products to the client, saving our advisers significant analytical effort." Because the system is an ASP or hosted service, advisers do not need to worry about buying servers, operating systems, data back-up or security, or about hiring IT people to manage the system. The multigoal planning system can be connected to clearing or aggregated data sources such as DST Systems or Pershing, or linked to Lipper market data. There are three functionality options priced from $495 to $1,495 per user per year. Subscribers can register on the Web site and pay with a credit card to begin using the system. AdviceAmerica was founded in 1999 in Silicon Valley by financial services professionals with wealth-planning experience. Recognizing the productivity, accuracy and compliance consistency that automation can bring to the financial advice-generation process, they teamed with entrepreneurs who have built enterprise software and Internet companies. The result has been the introduction of a Web-based product suite designed by planning professionals for financial planning professionals. Check out eWEEK.coms Finance Center at http://finance.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on financial applications and services for the enterprise and small businesses.
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