Be careful with envision

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Feb 20, 2009 9:31 pm

Kind of strange that in the same conference call Ludeman tells you that you get zero retention, he pushes the financial planning software.  If I worked there I would be afraid that the bank will use the data you put in their to target your customers for "banking services."  How do you know that WFC won't use the data, maybe even sell the data on credit card usage, loans etc?  Is there anything in the contract that prohibits other channels in the bank from using the data?  I would be worried that at some point when Wells sells or spins off the securities side, that they would still have that very personal data, which is way more detailed then a regular brokerage account card.  Be careful, don't trust them.

Feb 20, 2009 9:50 pm

The data, when the envision plan is saved, is then transmitted to big brother. 

Feb 20, 2009 10:50 pm

Envision is a great tool in many aspects. It helps the client focus on their goals in terms most people can understand, instead of how did I do against a benchmark. It has also been very successful in helping brokers gather assets and build better relationships with their clients.

There are two issues you need to be aware of:
1) Make sure you fully understand how the simulation engine runs and how the risk return for the asset classes and the asset allocation models are derived. These types of systems blew clients up in the 90s. The whole Markowitz efficient frontier economic theory. These systems can work but the devil is in the details. I cannot stress enough for you to do your own research, do not just buy their sales pitch. A system like that is only as good as the assumptions put in them, and you need to know those assumptions and their limits.

2) Once your client buys in to the Envision system, they want to know where their dot is. They become very trusting / dependent on the system. This makes them very sticky as clients to the firm and harder to move if you decide to leave. That is one of the reasons DL likes the system.

Hope this info helps.

Feb 21, 2009 8:23 am
"Several brokers said the 4Front program isn't going to make up for the lack of retention package, because many brokers don't want to establish loyalty with the company among their clients. If a broker moves to a new organization, it is vital that his clients are more loyal to him than the original company."     The agenda is to get their tentacles deeper and deeper into your business.  Envision plans when saved, then go off to compliance where big brother keeps a watchful eye on your accounts.  If the market corrects or a client pulls out money you may find yourself getting contacted by compliance telling you to call those clients.     Correct me if I am wrong but the 4front plan minumum is $250k and must be new money, and must represent a majority of their housholded value in managed accounts.    It is a ruse.   PS. AGE guys.  If you had your picture and bio on your web page for clients to see each time they log into their account... you may not have noticed but on the new WS site you have been vaporized.  Why doesn't WS want your clients to see you anymore?