What four beta testers of Black Diamond's new software have to say about it
Testers of Blue Sky say that the product saves them time and effort
Oisín's Bits: Wealthfront drops old mission statement, declares war on institutions and emphasizes banking future • Seeking Utah charter, Edward Jones may become largest bank in US by branch count • After Advent chief leaves, Black Diamond head steps up
Andy Rachleff cans the old 'democratizing' mission statement at his robo; The 14,200 one-man Ed Jones branches may become branch banks; Steve Leivent consolidates power at SS&C.
July 3, 2020 – 1:12 AM
Addepar hires Advent genius then launches 'Advent Converter' to court the RIAs still on Axys and APX ; PortfolioCenter 'easy button' comes next
The tactic by the Mountain View, Calif. firm and Advent co-founder and code avatar Steve Strand comes a decade after Orion, Black Diamond and Tamarac began feasting on the legacy corpses, but Addepar insists meat remains on the bone.
March 3, 2020 – 5:05 PM
Pete Giza and Damon Deru go for Holy Grail of portfolio rebalancing with software that shuffles stocks, bonds... and asset classes; Believe it?
The RedBlack and TradeWarrior executives see old systems as 'archaic' yet know that the Black Diamonds, Morningstars, Orions and Tamaracs see rebalancing as a loss leader
June 11, 2019 – 9:49 PM
Funny that one of the quotes in your Black Diamond “Blue Sky” article mentions “scalability”. I understand that they are speaking from the point of software functionality, but I would claim that Black Diamond as an offering, and as a business model is not scalable. In fact, from the RIA perspective, they are the very definition of not-scalable. What I mean by that is their AUM BPS based pricing model. We’re at $1B AUM and planning to grow to 3 to 5x that. My software (or SaaS) costs should NOT rise 1:1 with my AUM increase — that’s the very definition of not scalable. I do think they need a scalable pricing model before the large RIAs (1 to 5 Billion) will take them seriously as an alternative. I’d love to see more competition for Advent, but it must offer true scalability for our business.
Have any of you larger RIAs been able to negotiate a pricing structure with them that isn’t BPS based? Would love to hear about that if so.
Interim Chief Operating Officer
Sand Hill Global Advisors, LLC (Palo Alto, CA). LKogen@shadv.com
Reed Colley (Black Diamond)
Thank you for your comment and I agree that a scalable pricing model is important to all advisors! At Black Diamond, we exist to make advisors great and are committed to being a partner with our clients through their practice growth. Not only do we believe we offer an extremely high level of value in our solution and platform at a very reasonable cost (resulting in substantially increased ROI for our advisor) but we also offer all of our clients a tiered fee model to accommodate their growing practices. While most of our advisors are on a basis points model, we do have some clients in which it makes more sense for both parties to price the service on a per account model.
We appreciate the feedback and are always looking to enhance our offering so that we can help advisors do something great today!
CEO & Founder
Black Diamond Performance Reporting, LLC
I’ll take some blame for any confusion here. In the future, when I use a word like “scalability”, I might make an effort to define it.
It didn’t really exist in normal dictionaries and there were references to mountains that could be climbed and the surface of lizards and fish.
I persevered to Wikipedia and found this excerpt:
In telecommunications and software engineering, scalability is a desirable property of a system, a network, or a process, which indicates its ability to either handle growing amounts of work in a graceful manner or to be readily enlarged.<sup class="footnote"><a href="#fn801f69d5-fc70-4cb5-af94-dd0ef6bab197" rel="nofollow">1</a></sup> For example, it can refer to the capability of a system to increase total throughput under an increased load when resources (typically hardware) are added. An analogous meaning is implied when the word is used in a commercial context, where scalability of a company implies that the underlying business model offers the potential for economic growth within the company.
Scalability, as a property of systems, is generally difficult to define <sup class="footnote"><a href="#fn35ae1992-5310-40c4-85a6-41d6332f24c2" rel="nofollow">2</a></sup> and in any particular case it is necessary to define the specific requirements for scalability on those dimensions which are deemed important. It is a highly significant issue in electronics systems, database, routers, and networking. A system whose performance improves after adding hardware, proportionally to the capacity added, is said to be a scalable system.
I hope this helps to better understand what the speaker, I believe, was alluding to when he referred to scalability.