February 2018 Trends & Highlights: Market Volatility, Security Updates, TD Ameritrade’s New Tool and Chatbot

by on Mar 15, 2018


Market Volatility – Twenty-eight firms across multiple industries responded to the February 5 market plunge, with many providing insight into what happened and others offering advice on how to respond. AB claimed that the recent market volatility forecasts rising inflation and interest rates while American Century, Legg Mason and Lord Abbett predicted that the market correction reflects fears of inflation. Fidelity discussed what caused the pullback—including bond yields and high stock valuations—and made predictions on what could follow. Franklin Templeton and American Funds promoted videos related to the sell-off while MassMutual released a podcast on the firm’s perspective. Ameriprise, Charles Schwab, Hartford Funds, John Hancock, Fidelity and Vanguard promoted their existing site resources related to market shifts. J.P. Morgan listed three facts that everyone should know about volatility. Janus Henderson and Vanguard illustrated the cycle of markets to convey the normalcy of the sell-off. Invesco and Wells Fargo specifically examined the impact for fixed income. Morgan Stanley, MFS and OppenheimerFunds advised investors that a market turning point is unlikely. T. Rowe Price attributed the volatility to concerns about the Federal Reserve policy move. TD Ameritrade, Voya and UBS Wealth Management forecasted more uncertainty to come.

Eaton Vance promoted in-house funds with moderate downside risk. Janus’s director of global equity strategies addressed clients on the login page. Principal, Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch emphasized the importance of long-term goals and UBS Wealth Management noted that market sell-offs present opportunities for investors to review and rebalance portfolios.

Security Updates – Six firms promoted or made changes to their site security or the pages that promote it. TIAA, Fidelity and Morgan Stanley now let clients add trusted contacts in response to a new FINRA regulation. Citibank now allows account holders to reset forgotten PINs with a one-time passcode on its website, and Morgan Stanley lets clients recover their credentials through a verification code. While security offerings remained the same, Lincoln added a new Security page and Bank of America redesigned its Privacy and Security page.


TD Ameritrade Launches 401(k) Fee Analyzer Tool and Twitter Chatbot

TD Ameritrade launched a new 401(k) Fee Analyzer Tool—powered by FeeX—which provides a breakdown of all fees associated with a client’s account. The tool is findable via multiple links on a new public site 401k Fee Analyzer page, featuring a banner image and a description of the tool. The page provides images and benefits of the tool and details  steps to get started. For access, clients must create a FeeX account and link a 401(k) account to the platform.

New Public Site 401(k) Fee Analyzer Page (Truncated)

TD Ameritrade also introduced a Twitter messenger chatbot that answers inquiries about accounts, markets, news and education and lets users place stock and ETF trades. The Message link on the Twitter page reveals a pop-up window with a question entry field as well as 12 links for learning about the Scottrade transition, viewing quotes, tracking the markets, checking user accounts, chatting with an agent and more. The chatbot displays information directly in the message.


New Twitter Chatbot Messenger Screens