Having seen comments on A4A earlier this week about free file-sharing apps that advisors could use with clients and referral sources, I created a presentation to explain what you get in AdvisorVault that you won't get in those free apps.
AdvisorVault is a file-sharing app made by Advisor Products, which I founded in 1996. (To be clear, in addition to A4A, I own a marketing-technology company called Advisor Products, which makes advisor websites and tech tools.)
While free web apps are great, many don't have the features a professional needs.
Client communications and security are crucial to advisors, and using a free app to handle personal client data is a risk. Free apps don't give you much service, if any. So if something goes wrong, you're probably on your own.
In addition, if you're building a business and want to be efficient, placing a long-term bet on a free or super-cheap app could ultimately end up costing you more than paying for the right tool from the start.
What happens if the free app goes out of business or radically changes its business model -- events far more likely to occur than with specialized industry-focused solutions.
Moreover, if you are willing to pay for a "pro" version of some of these freemium vault solutions, using the industry focused solution probably won't even cost you much more.
Apart from explaining the many benefits of AdvisorVault, the presentation could also serve to give you ideas about how you will be handling secure client communications in 2012.
Incidentally, for those of you interested in making a presentation like this, it's a time consuming process. You create PowerPoint slides, narrate a sound track to go along with it and then upload to SlideShare, BrainShark and similar apps. I posted about SlideShare previously.