Focus12 - What it Means to You!
If you’ve ever worked for a large company and attended a National Convention, you were a step ahead of me...until now. This past week I was fortunate enough to attend the LPL Financial Focus12 Convention in San Diego, California. Now, I have always known that having LPL Financial as our broker-dealer meant that we have a wealth of resources and experts at our fingertips, but I didn’t realize just how many until I could experience it in person.
The “production” of the three-day conference was amazing in and of itself. Working in Marketing and Event Planning, I always pay particular attention to the details. They had every last detail handled. From a quick and easy registration process, to smiling faces around every corner asking if you needed any help, the production of the convention itself flowed very smoothly.
Beyond the typical “pump you up” talks of the executives that I think anyone would expect to see, LPL Financial provided a multitude of breakout sessions offering everything from new investment ideas, to social media training, to changes in systems, and technology releases. For me, I found it very helpful to talk to other advisors and staff members from across the country and share ideas and learn from them. I was able to bring back some new and exciting ideas that other offices have used when working with their clients, that you will begin to see rolled out later this year.
Of course the majority of what I learned will help us internally to become more efficient and knowledgeable in different areas. But, I did learn a few things that will directly impact you – our clients. Of all the improvements LPL Financial has planned for the coming year, the one that affects you the most is the release of the NEW Account View.
Now, I have spoken to many of you over the past few months and shared in your complaints about the current Account View system and the inability to access it from Mac based products, Google Chrome, or on mobile phones. Trust me, that we are not alone in this frustration. LPL Financial has made it a priority to bring in top design experts to completely redesign Account View. We had expected this upgrade to happen in May of 2012, but unfortunately it did not happen. What I was told is that they released an upgrade to a small test group and found out that the technology wasn’t functioning the way they had hoped. They went back to development and will be soon releasing a new version to the test group. They do anticipate this new release will have fixed many of the original issues.
So, what does that mean for you? The short answer is that we are being told that the New Account View will be released in May 2013. I know, I can hear the groan all the way over here, and trust me, I was one of many expressing my displeasure with this release date. It comes down to the fact that LPL Financial is under a great deal of pressure to release a new Account View for the consumer, but they don’t want to put out “junk” software. They want their new release to be a product they can be proud of, and that clients will be able to use and enjoy.
I can tell you that I was able to use a simulation mode of the new Account View and it is going to be SO MUCH BETTER! The new Account View will have a totally new look and design. There will be big graphs, easy to navigate screens, and easy to access and understand drop-down menus. You will be able to bring up 2 years of account history versus the current 90 days which is available. Plus, the new version will be available on ALL web browsers (Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.) AND you will also be able to view it from your tablet / iPad, and even on your iPhone/Android phone.
I wish I had better news about the release date, but I would much rather it be fixed and wonderful when they release it to everyone, rather than have more troubles and headaches.
Do not worry, as soon as Account View is released for use, we will let you know! I will provide on-site training sessions and one-on-one training when needed. I will continue to talk with LPL Financial on a regular basis and we’ll be sure to let you know if the release date should get moved up.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about your account, please call our office and any of our staff will be happy to help you. We thank you for your patience with this and know that in the end it will be worth the wait!
All in all it was a very educational trip and I am excited about what I learned. A special thanks to Gib and John for sending me… It was truly a fun and educational experience!