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Oct 10, 2016 6:48 pm

I am researching cloud storage solutions for my boss who recently established a new RIA and currently has a few (under 10) clients. She uses eMoney for financial planning software, and that service has file storage and "vault" for clients and advisers to use. She also signed up for a "team" plan.

Which cloud storage services do you all use and like, and why? How do you pass private files back and forth with clients? We are looking for a secure but easy way to do that, including with some clients who are not too technologically savvy. We also probably need online collaboration, mostly between us two, but possibly with other people in the future as well, including clients and other employees.

ShareFile offers 2-factor authentication and encryption, but no encrypted email at our level of service. They also do not offer online collaboration, where 2+ users can all look and edit the same file at the same time, and see each other's edits in real time, sort of like Google Drive does (l use it in my other job and love it for that).

I personally also use in my private life, mostly for their generous 50 GB of free storage, but they also sell their service on security and encryption, so I wonder if THAT is a good option for financial advisors.

Compliance-wise, what do we need to look for? Does it matter which countries their servers are in? Mega, for example, is a New Zealand based company, as you can see from the URL. Do US regulators care?

Apr 6, 2017 8:06 pm

I would take a look at Box.Com. Their business plans require paying for a minimum of three users (even if you have fewer) but will probably check all of your boxes. I think all of the business tiers allow for 2-Factor, in-firm document collaboration, MS Office Word and Excel integrations, viewing of multiple filetypes without downloading, and the ability to generate a folder url for sharing documents with clients. They also allow firm branding. One issue you'll have to work out is how you choose to have prospects send back, say, a filled out questionnaire. My preference is to have them download it from Box and then email it back to me once filled out. I'd then resave to the folder. Currently, I store all other docs on Box as well (Policies, Checklists, Investment Due Diligence, Trade Blotters, email records from Outlook, etc.). At the top level I have 2 box folders: Firm and Backup. Quarterly, I backup the Firm Folder and all in it to Backup/Date. You could also probably back-up the whole Firm folder to DVD rom onside and drop it in a fireproof / waterproof safe.