Kelley Rating (one asterisk = lowest, five asterisks = highest):
- Ease of navigation, design of interface and learning curve ****
- Instructional documentation and help system ***
- Carries out the goal of the product as advertised *****
- Overall usefulness ****
BigFoot Investments is an online investment management system designed to provide financial advisors with the necessary information to build portfolios and manage risk dispassionately. It provides advisors with an in-house system of portfolio management that assists in the analysis of investment and risk management.
It gives advisors extensive investment research analysis and provides objective assistance to those who lack the internal resources to conduct thorough investment management operations.
BigFoot provides tools that are designed to provide objective client portfolio management. It’s intended to remove emotional bias from investment decisions and to create objective yes/no signals for responding to market movement.
The BigFoot system also provides subscribers with the training and ongoing support needed to achieve proficiency with the system and ensure a platform setup addressing their particular needs.
In addition to its trading system, advisors can follow turnkey portfolios developed by the Bigfoot Investments research team, or they can also build and test their own portfolios.
What’s It All About?
BigFootoffers a trading system that provides objective recommendations on when to buy, sell or wait for Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), mutual funds, individual stocks and actual variable annuity sub-accounts. It provides turnkey portfolios for growth, dividend and ETF, but also allows you to customize your own portfolios with BigFoot trading signals through an optimized trading system that selects the best algorithm for each individual security. It also provides PowerPoint presentations that enable you to educate your clients and weekly informational webinars on the markets, the economy and stocks of interest.
How it Works
Subscribers are given access to line charts for major market indexes, funds, variable annuity sub-accounts and individual stocks, which are priced weekly for market signals.
You may also create a model portfolio of your own (net of fees) for charting. Additionally, you can monitor an existing portfolio or create a new portfolio based on an existing one and track the weekly signals by going to “Weekly Orders” and selecting “Portfolio” from the “My Practice” area of the navigation bar. You then click on a chart symbol to view the chart and performance for that portfolio.
The charts can be set to one, three, five or ten year timelines. Blue vertical lines reflect periods when the signal indicates investors should have their assets committed and red vertical lines represent periods when investors should be out. Intermediate action signals appear on the line consisting of up or down arrows, with yellow arrows signaling wait and green arrows signaling go. These arrows detail when investors should consider adding to existing positions or can help an advisor in transitioning new clients into investments by scaling into assets that are favorable.
The software that generates the investment graph with position signals is described, with sample graphs, on the Bigfoot Investments website at Investment Toolbox/Software. Available strategies and portfolio recommendations are described at Investment Toolbox/Bigfoot Portfolios.
This initial screen on which the line graph appears is called the “Dashboard” and includes a horizontal navigation bar with selections for Research, My Practice/Portfolios, Team Blog (comments from the publisher), Bigfoot Strategies and Tools (training videos, talking points, webinars, favorite websites and performance reports of the market).
Under the selection Research, you may research mutual funds or individual securities by symbol and enter a start date and initial investment. A graph then appears representing that individual entry with action recommendations.
Portfolios includes portfolio selection, creation and management. Through the tabs “Detail” and “Architect,” you may enter the portfolio name, dollar value, allocations, fees and charges and add securities to the portfolio. At the “Manager” tab, you may manage the portfolio using the Bigfoot signals and signal prices and view its “Data” through an additional tab. The system keeps track of the portfolios you enter and will display the individual investments included in each portfolio. You may select the tab “Performance” to display the performance of the portfolio over time versus the S & P 500.
Bigfoot Strategies develops investment picks by the publisher as follows:
- Top 25 Stocks–the publisher’s current picks for the month
- Weekly Stock Signals–summary of scoring in Excel or PDF.
- Stock Descriptions—A PowerPoint and PDF slide show reflecting the publisher’s top 25 individual stock picks for the current month with graphs of sectors in the portfolio, financial industries in the portfolio, health care industries in the portfolio and detailed information on individual stocks.
- ETF Strategy–allocation of investments in the ETF for the current month and a presentation on the ETF in PowerPoint and PDF.
- Top 25 Dividends–dividend stocks selected for the current quarter along with a PowerPoint and PDF presentation.
- Dividend Stock Signals–dividend stocks scored on a monthly basis with emphasis on fundamentals, including Excel spreadsheets.
- Dividend Stock Descriptions–dividend stocks recommended for the quarter displayed in PowerPoint and PDF.
Under Tools, Bigfoot provides access to selected webinar slides and modules relating to the market and to the Bigfoot processes. “Tools” also gives access to selected favorite websites and performance reports.
Bigfoot also furnishes periodic Advisor Webinars and a daily market blog called Daily Digits.
What About Help and Support?
The subscribers’ website will eventually offer training videos that are presently under development and that will cover introduction to the Bigfoot strategy, the screening process, the weekly scoring table, execution, the ETF strategy and the dividend strategy.
Where Do You Get This Facility?
BigFoot is available from:
6300 Ridglea Place, Suite 1020
Fort Worth, TX 76116
E-mail: [email protected]
A 30-day free trial is offered.
Pricing: Advisors can access the BigFoot platform through four flat-fee subscription tiers that feature elements tailored by investment vehicle. The elements are:
- Turnkey Portfolios: Regularly updated blueprints for growth, dividend and ETF portfolios.
- Trading System: Recommendations on when to buy, sell or hold, with back-tested results, on individual stocks and ETFs.
- Portfolio Architect: Research, customize and back-test portfolios based on BigFoot trading signals.
- Customizable Educational Materials: Research and commentary that advisors can private label to educate clients about investment decisions and market outlook.
- Weekly Informational Webinars: The BigFoot team’s outlook on markets, the economy and the processes that underlie their portfolio construction methodology.
BigFoot Variable Annuity Sub-account and Mutual Fund Platforms is $150 per month for the trading system, portfolio architect and weekly informational webinars.
BigFoot Individual Stock and ETF Platform features the stock and ETF trading facility, portfolio architect and weekly informational webinars, plus turnkey and custom portfolio tools for $300 per month.
BigFoot Bundled Platform covers stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and sub-accounts integrating all elements for $400 per month.
The publisher asserts that the BigFoot flat-fee subscription model offers a cost advantage to advisors seeking an alternative to the basis points model employed by third-party money managers.
BigFoot offers investment services that are designed to be responsive to objectively created action recommendations based on exhaustive research with detailed and helpful explanatory materials.
Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthly Technology Reviewby Donald H. Kelley—a respected connoisseur of the software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.
Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner Software, (Thomson – West 2004). He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Section and the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestions for articles directly to him at [email protected].