Posted by Doug Morris on June 7, 2014
We get this question all the time. Sharesight Pro was originally built for accountants so they could setup client portfolios from an historical point and then track them alongside their clients automatically. They love the time saved and tax planning discussions Sharesight facilitates. The admin-made-easy, CGT, and FIF reporting alone are worth the $12 price. Not to mention our free connection to Xero. But last year we began to notice that financial advisers were signing up and adding client portfolios by the dozens. Why? Four primary reasons:
We love hearing from our clients. You don’t shy away from telling us what you like, what you don’t, and what to build. So, naturally, we asked, and our adviser clients told us.
Our largest client base is DIY investors using the retail version of Sharesight, which given sheer numbers will always be true. People on the Investor or Expert plans are free to share their portfolios with anyone they like, including their financial advisers. Think about the pain you’ve probably gone through when hiring an adviser. Transferring assets, paperwork, logins, custodial forms, all that tedious stuff. If you’re in a generous mood, you’d chalk that up to working within the established boundaries of legacy financial systems. If you’re being pessimistic, you’d say that switching is purposefully painful and expensive. Reality is probably somewhere in between.
With Sharesight, investors can send their adviser a login in 10 seconds for no additional cost.
Our DIY population tends to be investors in-the-know. They use Sharesight because they understand the tracking and reporting shortfalls of online brokers and watchlists. When an adviser is given Sharesight access, they begin asking questions about what the product is and what it does. After all, they’re supposed to be the expert!
This one is the inverse of Client Demand. With Sharesight Pro, financial advisers can create client logins and determine the level of access (read-only, read & write, admin). Within the client portfolio they can draft and send an invite email. When the client logs in they can follow along with their portfolio, check trades, and even run reports.
Ring-fencing clients doesn’t work anymore and quarterly statements that look like they were spooled off a dot-matrix printer are unacceptable in 2014. Switched-on financial advisers know that bringing their clients into the fold is the recipe for an informed and successful client relationship.
Sharesight’s client access feature goes way beyond what wraps and platforms offer. After all, we’re in the business of developing a killer portfolio app using cutting-edge technology. They’re in the business of gathering assets and managing money. If you were a software developer where would you rather work?
Platforms and wraps are certainly appropriate for some clients. But we don’t think portfolio admin alone should be the determining factor in choosing to put client assets on one. In the past there wasn’t a choice. An adviser couldn’t risk tracking client holdings on a spreadsheet. Unfortunately, for investors this meant paying asset management fees for a portfolio reporting service. Madness! Now with Sharesight, an adviser can spend $144 per year (or less), record unlimited trades, and not worry about assets under management or portfolio size. We don’t care if a portfolio is made up of 100 penny stocks or $100M in Berkshire Hathaway.
When you put a portfolio on Sharesight you also have access to our growing ecosystem of connected apps. We ingest trades from 50 brokers and we push data to apps like Xero. In fact, we encourage this kind of client sharing. Now, the adviser can choose from a range of best-of-breed services.
The Data Umbrella
Ultimately, Sharesight is a passport for the client’s portfolio data. Just like you “Login with Facebook” we’re trying to do the same for portfolio data. Plus, an adviser can create multiple entities for a client or family. Maybe there’s an SMSF, an online brokerage account, an old corporate super – all can be tracked (and consolidated) within Sharesight.
What the adviser and client choose to do with the data is up to them. We’re an independent company with a laser-focus on portfolio tracking. We don’t sell investment products, we don’t provide advice or research, and we don’t offer trade execution. Our goal is to make it easy for financial advisers and their clients to use Sharesight and then hook-in to those who provide other best-of-breed services.