Advyzon: One of the Industry’s Best Kept Secrets

It is rare in this industry to come across a well built, intuitive platform for advisors that is value priced, yet relatively unknown; that’s exactly what Advyzon is. The platform, developed and distributed by yHLsoft, Inc., a Chicago-based firm, was founded in 2012 by Hailin Li.

Prior to founding yHLsoft, Inc., Li was Senior Vice President, Advisor Solutions at Morningstar, where he was responsible for Morningstar’s global advisor market. He joined Morningstar in 1996; he first served as Technical Lead for Principia, then Morningstar ClearFuture in 1999. In 2000, he led the team to launch Morningstar Advisor Workstation. He served as Product Manager for Morningstar Office until 2010.

Li holds an MBA degree from Northwestern University-Kellogg School of Management and Ph.D. in Physics from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He holds a BS degree in Physics from Peking University, China.

Advyzon offers a comprehensive set of applications that are integrated in a single platform. These include CRM (with workflow capabilities in beta), email synchronization, calendaring, portfolio management, portfolio modeling, some basic goal based planning tools, an intuitive report builder, client portal, billing, and more. There are several customizable dashboards that help advisors operate more efficiently.

The first time you log in to the Advyzon platform, you can customize your user settings. You can customize your profile by adding a photo, including preferred contact information and website, etc. If necessary, you can also customize things like location, language (currently English and Chinese are supported), currency, and more. You can choose to synch your email, so you can send and receive email from within Advyzon, and so the email is captured in the client record. You can also synch the calendar (MS Office 365 and G Suite) and contacts (MS Office 365 only).  Advyzon recently added the capability to color code elements on the calendar, so meetings can show up as one color, while tasks are a distinct color.

You can customize your disclosures, the client portal experience for clients, set various alerts (portfolio alerts, service alerts, etc.), and create tags, or keywords that can be applied throughout the platform.

You can set systemwide defaults for asset allocations, model portfolios, benchmarks, billing conventions, and fee schedules. You can set defaults for the order in which holdings, sectors, asset allocations, and accounts are displayed. You can also create groups, and apply a collection of settings to that group. You can also enable integrations, where available. My sample version included single sign on capabilities with MoneyGuidePro and TD Ameritrade’s VEO platform. It also provided API access to TD Ameritrade, Laser App Anywhere, By All Accounts, and Kwanti. Additional integrations will become available soon.

Upon log in, Advyzon offers four home screens. The first is the App screen. This screen allows the user to access an individual app, or subset of Advyzon features. For example, you can access the client the contact app, which exposes a list of contacts in the database. You can filter this list using a dropdown box so that only active contacts, inactive contacts, deceased contacts, individual contacts or institutional contacts are displayed. If you client on the client list, you’ll see a list of clients at the household level, with the individual members listed within the household. Each client record displays the primary member of the household, including a picture and contact information. Below that is a list of every household member with contact information and birthdate. The record includes a list of recent notes, recent activities and recent emails. At the top of the record, Advyzon recently added two new fields: Last Contacted and Last Client Action. This allows the advisor to see, at a glance, when was the last client touch. Currently, you cannot run a report across all accounts or set alerts to proactively identify all relationships that require action; you must view them individually. Advyzon plans to add alerts and reporting soon.

A client portal can be activated right within the client record. You can also preview the client portal from here, so, if a client calls up with a question, you can see exactly what the client sees.

There are icons on the client page that link to accounts, notes, activities, email, billing and allocation, groups, documents, and other. The accounts icon has a number overlay indicating the number of accounts associated with the household. Click on the icon, to the right a current asset allocation chart displays to the right. Next to it, the default chart on my version was a target allocation graph, but you can use a drop-down menu to display account value vs. net investment or a net worth summary graph here.

Below these graphics are summaries of each individual account. Click on one to drill down to a similar looking screen that contains account type, current allocation and target allocation (or another appropriate graph). The icons on this page link to positions within the account (with the number of positions displayed), transactions, beneficiaries, contributions, return series, notes, activities and documents. You can also generate various reports right from this screen.

The billing module looks to be quite robust. You can set system wide fees, create a billing schedule and apply it to a group of accounts, and the like.  You can bill in advance, or in arrears.  You can bill on the ending balance, the average daily balance, or the average month end balance. You can discount by a dollar amount or a percentage. You can prorate cash flows and new accounts. The system handles tiered fees, flat dollar fees and performance fees. It can bill by categories such as security type of asset class. Annual minimum or annual additional fees can be specified.

The report builder is easy to use. You can simply select a page layout template, then you drag and drop report elements onto the template. The software calculates the numbers and draws the report for you. You can run ad hoc reports, or you can run batch reports on a predetermined schedule.

Another home screen available from the list running across the top of the home screen is Today’s Details.” Here, you have various widgets that help you to manage your day. My default view contained the following: Upcoming meetings, Today’s Appointments, Today’s Tasks, Upcoming Calls, Workflows in Progress, and Projects in Progress.

The third home screen is simply labeled Dashboard. Here, we find widgets that provide key information that can be displayed at the advisor or firm level. These include AUM, Calculated Fees, Asset Allocation, AUM Value Change, New and Closed Accounts, Investment Performance, and Advisor Calculated Fees. The final view is Business Intelligence. Here we find, again at the advisor or firm level, Top 10 Most Purchased Securities, Top 10 Securities in Client Accounts, Top 10 Securities by Performance, Top 10 Clients by Assets, Top 10 Accounts by Performance, and Top 10 Clients by Performance.

Advyzon has several other valuable features. For example, it has a RMD module that calculates RMD for all applicable accounts. It also has the capability of calculating RMD for inherited accounts. The document vault is a nice feature. The user interface is easy to navigate and learn. It provides multiple ways to access most widely used features. Adyson recently added two factor SMS only verification.

There area few areas where Advyzon is lacking. The goal based planning module is very light, but advisors who want true financial planning capabilities and leverage the platform’s integration with MoneyGuidePro. As of yet, there are no automated rebalancing capabilities to speak of, but I expect Advyzon will add them in the future.

The pricing is very attractive. The base price for a single advisor is $6,000. That includes the software and reconciliation. Volume discounts are available. Data conversions for a single user typically start at about $1,500. Costs vary depending on the volume and nature of the data to be converted.

Advyzon has a great deal of appeal. It is well suited for smaller firms starting out on a budget and Gen X/Gen Y planners, but it is equally well suited for larger firms looking for a unified platform at a reasonable price.

To register for a demo and a free trial, visit: https://main.yhlsoft.com/main/index.html

Joel Bruckenstein
Joel Bruckenstein
Joel P. Bruckenstein, CFP®, is Publisher of the T3 Tech Hub (formerly the T3 newsletter) and the producer of the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Advisor Conference, the only annual technology conference for independent advisors, as well as the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Enterprise Conference. Bruckenstein is an internationally acclaimed expert on applied technology as it relates to the financial service industry. He is the co-author of three books: Virtual Office Tools for a High Margin Practice, Tools and Techniques of Practice Management, and Technology Tools for Today’s High Margin Practice. Joel’s monthly technology columns appear in Financial Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine. In addition, he compiles the annual technology survey for Financial Planning magazine. Bruckenstein has for more than twenty years advised financial service firms of all sizes on improving their technologies, processes and workflows. For more information about Joel Bruckenstein and the services his firm offers, please visit www.JoelBruckenstein.com

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