Using technology to advise on the “Big Picture”

At Altavista we believe in seeing the “big picture” to provide quality advice to our clients on their planning and investment goals.  To this end, we can leverage technology to monitor and report on assets that are not held directly with our custodians.

In the industry this is known as “data aggregation”.  It is a relatively straightforward process and service we offer to clients.  In short, if you have a login and direct connection to an outside account, we can usually import the account data into our reporting system. We do not keep these login credentials after the data import is created and do not have any access to the outside account beyond this secure one-way data feed into our reporting system.

Accounts that can be aggregated include outside investment accounts, retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, annuity/insurance policies, and other assets that are not directly managed.  We can also manually track outside illiquid assets such as private equity partnership interests, family limited partnerships, tangible assets and direct investments in real estate.

The benefits for using data aggregation are numerous.  Seeing all accounts with updated values allows the advisor and team the insight to provide holistic advice and timely planning.  It provides better collaboration with other strategic advisors such as estate attorneys, CPAs, and trustees.  It also helps simplify the complexity of managing various accounts by having everything in one location for integrated reporting.

For investments held in taxable accounts with multiple custodians, aggregation can also provide an opportunity for better tax management.  Your advisor can help monitor and proactively manage capital gains and losses across the various taxable accounts.  Data aggregation also allows for the advisor to see how assets are allocated across the client’s entire portfolio, monitor total allocation, sector concentration and overlap for risk management as well as track total performance.

In closing, data aggregation technology allows for a comprehensive view of a client’s financial position.  In the upcoming meetings and conversations, talk to your advisor about how data aggregation can be implemented to bring into focus the “big picture”.

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