Virginia Estate and Retirement Planning: Getting Ahead with Folio’s Cutting-Edge Technology
Tom Marshall learned about Folio in a rather roundabout way, and, for that, he’s grateful. Marshall, president of Virginia Estate and Retirement Planning Advisors Inc., got to see Folio in action before becoming a client.
“When we first got started, we were working with another firm that used Folio, and we really liked the functionality that Folio brought to our practice,” said Marshall, whose Richmond, VA.-based firm counts about 160 families as its clients. “What we realized, after a few short months, was that we could actually go directly with Folio, and that would make it easier to service our clients.”
Account Opening and Management Made Easy
What first struck Marshall about Folio was the ease and swiftness with which the Folio platform enables his team to open and modify client accounts.
“When we used other platforms, it was just a painful process for us to make changes,” Marshall said. “With Folio, it’s just wonderful because I can save on administrative expenses. And once the accounts are set up, you just have to update them when you change a model, with the click of a button. It’s great to have this functionality.”
What Makes Folio Stand Out from the Competition
When asked how Folio stands out from competitors, Marshall honed in on three different advantages: the account-opening process, model management, and Folio’s tax-management tools. Marshall also cited Folio’s automated billing and window trading as key differentiators.
Online Account Processing Executed with Maximum Efficiency
Opening new client accounts on Folio’s platform, Marshall explained, is a “piece of cake,” compared to what’s required when working with other custodians. And Folio’s streamlined account funding process, he said, means that he and his team can sit back and confidently know that the client’s funds will arrive shortly.
“With other custodians, the account opening process demands all sorts of paperwork, and everything moves so slowly,” said Marshall. “But with Folio, the process and the e-signature feature you have in place, I can have a new client walk into my office, sign their forms electronically, and the account goes live almost immediately. It’s really unparalleled, in this business.”
Dynamic Model Management that Syncs to Every Client Account
Model management is the second category in which Folio shines, in Marshall’s view. Virginia Estate and Retirement Planning Advisors maintains 15 investment models on Folio’s platform. The firm’s investment team needs a simple, dynamic way to update models and have the changes seamlessly sync to clients’ accounts. And then there’s the need, Marshall explained, for the firm to be able to easily switch a particular client to another model when market conditions warrant.
“The great thing is that, at some point, we’ll know that a client needs to be in a different model, and it’s so easy to make that happen,” Marshall said. “You push a few buttons, and the client is unsubscribed to one model and synced up to another one. It’s just wonderful to have those changes flow through so seamlessly.”
Tax Management Simplified and Streamlined
The third main advantage of using Folio, in Marshall’s view, is the exceptional value of its tax-management software—tools that ensure clients aren’t racking up unwanted tax bills at year-end.
The firm gets the most value, Marshall said, by using Tax Football™, Folio’s patented software program that helps advisors harvest losses and gains to arrive at the best possible tax outcome for a particular trade. Calling it a “wonderful tool,” Marshall said he uses Tax Football to precisely identify the tax strategy the client needs—usually it’s tax-loss harvesting—and then he knows the precise amount of shares that need to be sold to achieve that goal. He’s also impressed by the speed at which Tax Football crunches the numbers.
“With Tax Football, you get tax-lot data directly from the engine, push a button and all the selected securities automatically trade in the next trading window,” Marshall said. “With other custodians, you have to do manual tax-loss harvesting, juggle between screens, and constantly make sure there are no errors. If you don’t use Folio’s Tax Football, tax optimization is a more cumbersome process.”
Value Delivered through Automated Billing
While Marshall ticked off account opening, model management, and Tax Football as the “big three,” he also talked about how Folio’s automated billing service makes life easier for his firm. Not only does it reduce staff workload, but it also helps him to remain in compliance with regulators. Folio, he said, makes sure it’s all done electronically, done right, and that there’s a complete record.
“With Folio, we don’t have to do our own billing,” he said. “As those of us in the industry well know, billing is one of the first things that’s audited by regulators. With Folio, we know that come the 12th or 13th of the month, the billing is done, the records are clean, and that the money is in our accounts. It’s one less thing we have to worry about.”
Virginia Estate and Retirement Planning Advisors Inc. (VERPA) is an independent, registered investment advisor that offers portfolio management, and financial and tax planning services to individuals and families. The Richmond, VA-based firm, which was founded in 2003, currently works with more than 160 families, serving them as an investment manager, tax specialist and financial planner. VERPA is not a broker-dealer and, as a result, does not sell securities, but rather embraces its role as a fiduciary by choosing financial products and services that are in the best interests of its clients.
Folio's Model Management
Value of Folio's Tax Management Software
Convenience of Automated Billing
While the stories conveyed by our customers in the testimonials that appear on our website represent the actual experience of the individual or their firm, we do not represent that every customer will have a similar experience or that the testimonial is representative of the experiences of our other customers. None of our customers was paid for their testimonial. The firm uses our services but has no affiliation with Folio.