I am now working for an indy firm where we have such things as Salesforce integration with the phone system. What do you use for CRM? Planning tools? Trading platform?

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Don't believe someone who tells you this. They have about 40% of the capability that other people have. In THEIR small world, it's fantastic for what they do but don't let them fool you. They aren't even allowed to use Microsoft Office. There are some people who have it (usually regional leaders, etc) but it's a stripped down version thats run remotely off EDJ's server. Their CRM, client portal and calendar is all integrated which is nice and probably the best thing that they have. However, you can't sync it to Outlook or your phone's calendar or email. It's also not cloud based. It's all remote, which is a pain in the ass and that alone removes half of the capabilities. They have a nice portfolio building system, but only for what they do, which is take someone's money and present a portfolio of funds. Client has $100,000, they are a ""Growth and Income"" investor, and boom here are the 6 funds you use. A true independent advisor couldn't use it. There are no model management capabilities, there are not re-balancing capabilities, there is not any automatic tax loss harvesting capabilities, no performance and structural analytics, no risk analytics. If you are a full blown independent advisor i'd compare it to driving a Moped vs. an Explorer. Sure, the moped is cool at first. We all laugh, have a good time and it gets me where i wanna go but only if i take side streets,only across town, and you have to give it back by dark. If i want to take the freeway and go somewhere amazing, i'd better have the Explorer.




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The big advantage at Jones is that everything is perfectly integrated. Even when I was there, they may not have had the BEST tools, but I actually liked their CRM a lot, and it was completely wrapped in with their back-office system. The CRM was proprietary.The planning tool was SunGard. Pretty standard type tool. I think SunGard mostly licenses the tool to 3rd parties like B/D's (as opposed to selling directly to individual advisors), who then do their own custom integrations.I don't think the trading platform is anything exciting (unless it has changed significantly).

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Jones uses a lot of internal software or software that we've purchased but melded into our system. Our CRM is a proprietary thing. Every client's account has a screen. From that screen we can not only access all of our trading screens, but also our contact notes, appointment schedule both past and future, plus a bunch of other things. Once we pull up that client's screen, we really don't need to access anything else. It's all seamlessly integrated. We have multiple tools for planning, from very basic proprietary Jones stuff to somewhat advanced stuff from a company whose name I can't remember. We can kill quite a few trees with the amount of planning charts we could print for a client. Our trading platform is also proprietary. Mostly that is because our trading system, until the last couple of years, has been on an old DOS based system. It was probably something fancier than DOS, but that's what it looked like. Are you old enough to know what DOS is? Today our trading systems are also integrated into that client's account. Click a tab, get a dropdown menu, and pick what you want to trade. Or, you can just click the box next to the holding and tell the system to buy or sell that holding. I know a guy who left Jones last summer to go to Wells Fargo. He told me at lunch one day that it took him a few days to figure out how to place a stock trade. He wasn't a fan of their system having come from Jones. I can't say whether our technology is better than anyone else. It's probably not. But it is incredibly user friendly. The big difference between Jones and everyone else is that they have worked really hard to make sure everything works together. We have zero issues with one piece of software not talking to another piece of software. That's one thing I'd miss if I ever left Jones. I'll add this because I just read CLAB's post. In the 15 years I've been doing this I've never really felt the need to use Microsoft Office. Maybe once or twice when I've thought that I should send a letter to a client. I'm sure there's a reason I might want to use Excel, but I'm not sure what it is. Oh, and as to the other stuff about portfolio building and risk analytics - 90% of the Jones FAs that I know don't know how to interpret those analytic reports anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

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Away from this spat...we use Black Diamond as our reporting software, Salesforce for CRM, and Schwab's Model Management for trading...all software speaks to each other nicely. Let me know if you have questions

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D.B. Root - are you familiar with Pipedrive as a CRM - highly recommend it

Not aware of it. How would you compare against Salesforce?

Redtail CRM and document management. Plays well with just about everything.

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