Portfolio Management Software: 8 Things to Look For

December 21, 2020 - Samrat Malakar

Portfolio management software should work for you, not the other way around.

As technology gets better and better, investment advisors have more options to improve their current setup.

Data Integration

With the pandemic and the increase in remote work, advisors are increasingly aware they have options.

According to a Broadridge survey, nearly half of financial services firms surveyed said they “expected to improve their ability to quickly gather and analyze data moving forward.”

What’s more, nearly 70% of the respondents said “fintech providers’ ability to offer innovative uses of next-generation tech was now more important due to the pandemic.”

With that said, below are some things for RIAs to consider when evaluating their portfolio management and accounting platforms.

What to Look For in Portfolio Management Software for Advisors

Functionality

This one is a no-brainer. Functions and features are some of the main reasons you’re considering new software after all.

At a minimum, start with cloud-based solutions. Legacy systems and locally stored applications are not viable, long-term solutions.

After that, you can look at reporting, analytics, data views and storage, etc. Such information should appear in easy-to-digest, customizable formats.

Consolidation

As an extension of functionality, see if the new platform combines features of your existing systems.

As we mentioned in one of our recent posts about vendor management for RIAs, there is no need to double pay when one system handles everything, or at least handles the main things you’re looking for.

Ease of Use

Find a platform that makes your life easier, a platform where you don’t feel like you deserve a trophy for learning how to use it.

Seriously, with some of the older systems out there, it takes months just to be passably proficient. And there is a reason why that software doesn’t get better.

Thankfully, the newer portfolio management software is much easier to use.

Consider the user interface, or how the information is displayed on your screen.

Think about customization. Look for a system like TAMP1 that lets you display reports and various info as you wish.

Even if you don’t know the in’s and out’s right away, the software should be user-friendly enough to where you can explore the features and functions yourself.

Long-Term Usage

Portfolio management software is a long-term investment.

Yes, there will be a cost upfront, but the right system will pay for itself over the long run.

As mentioned before, start with a cloud-based solution. Locally stored applications are the past.

In a remote work environment like we see during the pandemic, it’s easier accessing things in the cloud rather than relying on a physical device in a physical location.

Cloud-based options are good because the software provider handles the maintenance and updates for you.

It’s not like the old days, when the burden was on you to maintain and update yourself.

In short, think long term.

Scalability

As part of the long-term view, think about a portfolio management systems that facilitate your growth.

When you bring in new business, it means more portfolios and data to manage.

This is a problem for many investment firms because they lack the capacity and resources to serve existing clients while bringing on new ones.

Part of the reason they can’t handle both well simultaneously is because their existing technology makes it hard to scale.

So, find a solution that lets you grow your business without sacrificing your time and compromising quality of service to existing clients.

Integration Capabilities

A good portfolio management platform should be able to integrate and communicate with other systems.

Advisors save a lot of time when their system can easily pull in data from multiple sources. It means less time hunting down details scattered across different platforms, and more time focusing on clients and investing.

The challenge with some systems, legacy in particular, is that they’re incompatible with others.

In some cases, the software is so old it doesn’t recognize new systems and data formats. In others, the system is simply poorly constructed.

We mentioned above to consider platforms that consolidate functionality. However, not every system can do everything, or at least not do everything equally well.

In those situations, you’ll at least want your new system to be able to interact with the others, be it a trade order management system or portfolio risk and rebalancing tools.

Pricing

Different vendors have different ways of charging. Many charge on basis points, which may or may not serve your best interests.

Others, like Empaxis, look at your specific requirements to determine accurate pricing. In other words, you only pay for what you need.

Migration Assistance

So you’ve found the right portfolio management and accounting platform.

Functionality, consolidation, ease of use, long-term viability, integration, scalability, and pricing structure all meet your requirements.

Don’t forget about migration. Check how much the platform service provider will help you and what their procedures are like.

Moving historical data from one system to another is often a pain, and it’s one the main reasons investment advisors choose not to switch platforms.

At Empaxis, we understand that pain. We built our TAMP1 platform to address those very challenges, making migration an easier and faster process for advisors. We also help you every step of the way in migrating.

Find the Right Portfolio Management Platform

The technology is always improving, and the pandemic has only made investment advisors more aware of that fact.

RIAs have many options to choose from, and with our recommendations on what to look for in a portfolio management software, you’ll find the right system.

The ideal platform works for you, not the other way around. You shouldn’t have to create numerous workarounds or sacrifice your time and effort to make something work.

Empaxis helps investment advisors looking for a long-term, modern technology solution through the TAMP1 platform. TAMP1 is cloud-based and user-friendly, complete with a data warehouse, reporting, analytics and advisor-client communication tools.

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