Whelan Financial Leverages YCharts to Align Team Workflows and Enhance Investment Research
For years Whelan Financial was subjected to bogged-down research processes due to clunky data providers and cumbersome user interfaces. Their previous research platform made it difficult to visualize and analyze data, so rather than focusing on investment research, they spent valuable time maneuvering tricky data outputs.
The firm also encountered bottlenecks from a lack of standardized, repeatable workflows. “Every single time we began our fund research, we’d have to start from square one. Plus, the account manager from our previous data provider offered only generalized advice with no real support for our specific needs,” says Taylor Whelan, CFP®.
“Our biggest pain point was an inability to access the data we needed. Functionality was so limited, that it took way too long to perform the research we wanted to do. Not only that, but we weren’t able to use the data for client presentations either,” adds Portia White, CFP®.
Every single time we began our fund research, we’d have to start from square one. Plus, the account manager from our previous data provider offered only generalized advice with no real support for our specific needs.
As the contract with their previous platform was nearing an end, Whelan Financial turned to Michael Kitces’ Financial Advisor FinTech Solutions Map, where they discovered YCharts. Kitces.com and its FinTech guides serve as reliable resources for countless financial professionals looking to build a top-tier technology stack.
“YCharts has been a game changer for us. It’s so dynamic yet so easy to use. The ease with which you can build, modify, and share anything within the tool is great,” says White.
Not only was Whelan Financial immediately impressed by YCharts’ intuitive functionality, but they’ve continued to praise the platform's commitment to ongoing innovation, with an emphasis on the advisor experience.
“YCharts is evolving to meet our needs much more rapidly than our prior research platform. I see the new product announcements, the new Dashboard, new Scatter Plot functionality – it hits on all cylinders and is beyond what we’ve come to expect in the industry,” says Whelan.
“The new holdings integration with Orion, for instance, has helped us analyze portfolio holdings seamlessly and was a huge value-add that complemented our existing tech stack.”
Taylor also notes that during their initial onboarding, he was struck by the array of options for how he and the team could best utilize YCharts. “It’s a blessing and a curse to have a platform that’s a blank slate yet so customizable. The beauty of it is we only had to get set up once and now have access to hundreds of insights at our fingertips,” says Whelan.
White and Whelan also commend their YCharts account manager for both taking the time to understand the firm’s use case and his commitment to finding the right solution for all their research needs.
This included scheduling monthly calls to catch up on the newest YCharts features and how they might fit into Whelan Financial’s workflows. Now, the investment committee makes it a priority to regroup around new YCharts tools regularly, and to learn how to best utilize their functionality for improved collaboration—both with clients and internally with the investment committee.
YCharts has been a game changer for us. It’s so dynamic yet so easy to use. The ease with which you can build, modify, and share anything within the tool is great.
Today, with easy access to data and a uniform, collaborative workflow, Whelan Financial investment research operates smoothly. “We’ve standardized our research process now. Everybody at the firm looks at the same Dashboards – all of the same charts and modules are there. We also have a standard method of screening out funds using the YCharts Fund Screener. This is great from an investment committee standpoint because any proposal to change vehicles is made knowing that our foundational research process has been approved by the committee. YCharts has been so beneficial in terms of uniformity and providing comprehensive research that’s accessible to the entire team,” says Whelan.
In the past, the firm struggled to create client-facing reports using tools and data from its previous provider. YCharts now bridges that gap. With the Orion Portfolio Holdings integration, Whelan Financial saves time within its workflows, especially those meant to prepare for client and prospect meetings. “I love the FINRA-approved reports, we can show net-of-fee performance and know that those disclosures have been approved which is huge for us in maintaining compliance uniformity,” says Whelan.
The firm's commitment to aligning and expediting its research workflow has led them to use nearly every tool on the YCharts platform.
“The automated Excel Add-in and Timeseries Analysis are often starting points for research, and visual narratives created in Fundamental Charts help hammer home the value that Whelan Financial is providing their clients,” says White.
“Once we established our workflows, we saved so much time. The way we used to have to do our portfolio analysis was much more involved than it is now. Having the ease [of YCharts] at your fingertips allows for higher quality investment research. YCharts is the next step in the evolutionary process of being able to research investments, construct portfolios, and make optimal decisions for our clients and their financial goals,” says White.
YCharts is the next step in the evolutionary process of being able to research investments, construct portfolios, and make optimal decisions for our clients and their financial goals.