Author's Posts

April 2015 Trends & Highlights: Mobile Apps, Foreign Languages and Tax Refunds

May 12, 2015 by
TRENDING: Brokerage Firms Release New Mobile Apps – In addition to the Apple Watch apps released by Fidelity, Charles Schwab and E*TRADE at the end of April, two firms – Morgan Stanley and UBS – released new apps for the Android platform and iPad/iPhone, respectively. Morgan Stanley’s first Android offering features identical capabilities to those […]

March 2015 Trends & Highlights: Apple Watch, Retirement and Basketball

April 08, 2015 by
TRENDING: Firms Announce Upcoming Apple Watch Apps – Both Citibank and Fidelity announced that they will be releasing apps for the upcoming Apple Watch. The Citi Mobile Lite app will allow clients to view summary information and balances for checking accounts, savings accounts and credit cards. Fidelity’s launch day app, known as Fidelity Mobile for […]

February 2015 Trends & Highlights: Contests, Super Bowl Ads and Biometrics

March 04, 2015 by
February was a big month for promotions, as four firms across all our Monitor groups announced new contests and giveaways. Public site revamps were also popular, with two firms in our eMonitor group featuring tiled images and responsive design. Super Bowl ads from Esurance and Nationwide created buzz.

Around the Brokerage Industry: Acorns

February 23, 2015 by
Acorns is an innovative investment app that allows users to invest their spare change in a diversified portfolio. There is currently no web-based platform (though a website with background and help information is provided) and all investments are made solely through the free smartphone app, which is available for iOS 7 and 8, and on any Android device running 4.1 and higher.

January 2015 Trends & Highlights: Taxes, Mobile Tools and Rebranding

February 04, 2015 by
January marked the beginning of tax season, with many firms in our e-Monitor, Bank Monitor, and Mutual Fund Monitor offering tax-related content and updated private site centers. The month was also big for new microsites, with four firms covered by our Mutual Fund Advisor Monitor releasing microsites for investment forecasting.

December 2014 Trends & Highlights: Message Centers, Responsive Design and Plush Ponies

January 07, 2015 by
In December, our e-Monitor reported on several technological enhancements, including easier bill pay services by Fidelity and PNC. Security continues to be a theme with Vanguard’s new voice verification system. Life Insurance was also big this month, with Northwestern Mutual, The Principal Financial, and Nationwide featuring mobile-friendly designs on their public and private sites.

November 2014 Trends & Highlights: Annuities, Thanksgiving and Global Adventures

December 04, 2014 by
November was the month of annuity as our Annuity Monitor reported four new annuity products were introduced by Allianz Life, New York Life and Voya. It was also a big month for Vanguard with our E-Monitor, Annuity Monitor and Mutual Fund Monitor each reported enhancements made to Vanguard’s public site homepage, Security Center and My Accounts page.

“Invested” In Finding a Cure for Ebola

November 14, 2014 by
As previously discussed in the Around the Brokerage Industry: Motif Investing blog post from September 10, 2014, Motif Investing is a unique online brokerage firm that offers inexpensive bundles of individual stocks developed based on a unifying theme or “motif” for an initial investment of as little as $250. In mid-October, the firm used its distinctive business model to create a very relevant, and even more importantly, necessary new motif: “Fighting Ebola.”

October 2014 Trends & Highlights: Continued Revamp Activity, Apple Pay and Promotions

November 05, 2014 by
October was another busy month for site revamps across all Monitor groups. Apple Pay once again takes center stage as five firms in our Credit Card Monitor introduces the much-anticipated service to clients. Firms across various monitor groups introduced enticing promotions and sweepstakes this month.

Around the Brokerage Industry: LOYAL3

October 30, 2014 by
LOYAL3 is an untraditional San Francisco-based brokerage firm with a unique business model that offers fee-free investing to the average investor. By partnering with public companies and selling their stocks, LOYAL3 receives compensation from its partners as opposed to investors. Individual stocks can be purchased for as little as $10, and IPO stocks can be bought for as little as $100. The firm’s main “claim to fame” is its ability to offer IPOs to small investors at the same time as the traditional high net-worth and institutional investors.