Blog

A day in the Yarra with Vanguard

by Doug Morris, CEO, Sharesight

We were invited to the Yarra Valley on February 6th to speak at a Vanguard conference attended by their senior execs and distribution teams.

Vanguard is well-known for low-cost, indexed investment options, be they managed funds or ETFs. Jack Bogle, their founder, basically invented this philosophy. They also do a lot in the way of thought leadership, for both financial advisers and self-directed investors.

Joining us on stage were Matthew Prouse from Xero and a Sharesight Pro Partner, Peter Small from Fluid Financial Planning based in Sydney.

Yarra Valley - featured

Our session covered the ground swell of DIY investors joining Sharesight and why financial advisers are opting to harness this wave of informed investors via our Pro Partner program. We touched on a few of the trends we’re seeing based on the financial advisers joining Sharesight. And covered a few regarding those who don’t.

The primary use case for financial advisers using Sharesight is pretty obvious — a portfolio administration service. But by sharing access with their clients, who then have a real-time window onto their portfolio, these advisers are strengthening their value proposition. They’re signalling that they’re confident and transparent enough to stand by the portfolios they’ve constructed for their clients and that they’re not threatened by their clients’ ability to connect those portfolios into other services.

Based on the take-up we’re experiencing in our retail business, we also mentioned that financial advisers should be, at the very least, positioned to field question on services like Sharesight, Stockspot, Nimble, Xero, Robinhood, and so on — even if they don’t endorse them.

An effective client engagement strategy does not include pretending that clients don’t have access to Google. On their mobiles. While sitting in the adviser’s office.

Matthew from Xero covered why financial advisers are embracing Xero and reminded the audience that financial planning at its heart should begin with household cash flow management. Platforms, wraps, risk, mortgages - all that should be based on your cash inflows and outflows. Not to mention that Xero is a great solution for the business side of dealer groups as well.

Fluid + Xero

And Peter’s session was excellent. He explained that even as an adviser, his business model is constantly changing. His firm has embraced a scaled and fragmented approach to the cloud services he uses on behalf of his clients, and he’s not afraid to encourage them to get involved in this ecosystem. He outlined the carousel of services he uses based on client needs: Sharesight, Xero, retail brokerage accounts, mFund, ETFs, platforms, direct managed funds, wraps, LICs, etc.

He also called out the current state of performance reporting from institutional-grade, expensive systems by comparing one of their reports to ours.

And he brought up a great point that we didn’t fully appreciate. He can scale up his usage of products like Sharesight and Xero and be invoiced accordingly. This lets him avoid big, annual outlays for old-school enterprise software.

A big thank you to Vanguard for their offer - having such a well-respected brand involve Sharesight is humbling!