An Index to the Smartleaf Blog

An inventory of our blog posts, organized by subject matter.

blog index

On Smartleaf

Smartleaf Demo from In|Vest 2018
A six-minute demo of the Smartleaf system from the In|Vest 2018 conference.

An Inside Look at Automated Rebalancing Systems 
What we do and how we do it.

Automated Household-Level Rebalancing 
Tax Optimization at the household level and how we plan to implement it.

Smartleaf Demo: Portfolio Customization 
An account-level look at customized trades within the Smartleaf system.

Smartleaf's Top Blog Posts of 2018
From new wealth management to sleeve-based investing, here are our top five blog posts of 2018.

2018 Taxes Saved: Documenting the Value of Tax Management
How much Smartleaf users saved their clients in 2018.

Video: Smartleaf Architecture - How We Do It 
A video animation of portfolio management using the Smartleaf system.

Spotlight: Smartleaf Client Services
We talk with Bob McKinley, head of client services, about the role of client services in a software firm.

Smartleaf InVest 2019 Demo: Householding
A seven-minute demo of Smartleaf's householding functionality.

Smartleaf's Top Blog Posts of 2019
Smartleaf’s top posts of 2019: wealth management myths, peer commentary, demos — and more.

Smartleaf Demo: Automated Customized Trades
An account-level look at customized trades within the Smartleaf system

Why Smartleaf Isn't the Right Fit for Everyone 
We re-engineer wealth management workflows. It's not always the right fit for everyone.

2019 Smartleaf Taxes Saved Report
How much Smartleaf users saved their clients in taxes in 2019.

What's Next for Smartleaf: The Smartleaf Advisor Portal
Smartleaf is expanding its mission beyond scalable customization: helping advisors and clients understand the implications of their choices.

Automated Rebalancing

The Difference Between Smartleaf and an Optimizer
The nuts and bolts of an optimization-based rebalancing automation system.

A Guide to Choosing a Rebalancing System
A look at two key architectural differences that fundamentally set rebalancing systems apart: sleeve vs. sleeveless, and rules vs. optimization.

Don't Be Afraid of the Black Box
Sophisticated rebalancing analytics can be too complicated for advisors to understand. That’s a problem. The solution: optimization within your guidelines.

Stop. It’s Time to Rethink Rebalancing
A comparison of traditional event-driven rebalancing and automated rebalancing using cost-benefit analytics.

Automated Rebalancing Workflows that Work For You 
How automated is automated rebalancing?

Bad Data and Automated Rebalancing
How automated rebalancing systems handle bad data.
The Limits of Automation: Why Not Infinity?
What prevents automation from being infinitely scalable?
An Insider's Guide to Optimizers
How optimizers work.

An Inside look at Cost-Benefit Rebalancing
How cost-benefit scores and cost-benefit rebalancing works. 
Tax-Optimized Householding
What is householding and what's required to do it well?
Modern-day “rebalancing systems” are complex decisioning systems that automate customization, tax management and compliance.
What you can accomplish for your clients in a crisis when you have rebalancing automation: a look at the data.
A recording of our “Rebalancing Automation: Lessons from the Crisis” webinar with Greg Slater, CIO of Altum Wealth, and Bill Martin, CIO of Intrust Bank.

The Implications of Automated Rebalancing

Old vs. New Wealth Management
Changes in wealth management and the forces driving them.

Old vs. New Wealth Management Part II: Role Changes
The biggest change happening in wealth management is in functional roles.

Webinar: Old vs. New Wealth Management
Smartleaf and Windham Labs discuss the future of wealth management in a webinar.

To Increase Customization: Centralize
There is no trade-off between customization and scale.

The Art of Centralized Rebalancing
A guide to creating a central rebalancing group.

Fintech and Change Management: A Guide
Four paths for implementing a major fintech project.

Can Compliance be Automated?
How automated rebalancing enables wealth management firms to “build in” compliance, with a double win of both lower costs and superior compliance.

Why the Days of Calendar-Based Rebalancing are Numbered
Calendar-based rebalancing is inefficient and bad for clients.

Automated Rebalancing & Specialization
Automated rebalancing supports specialization of function.

Are CIOs in Trouble?
The CIO job isn’t going anywhere, but rebalancing technology is changing the role of the CIO.

Four Reasons to Rethink Your Service Model
Four strategic initiatives powered by automated rebalancing

Three Ways Rebalancing Tech is Disrupting Wealth Management
Three predictions about radical rebalancing technology

Is Rebalancing Automation Good for Advisors?
Rebalancing automation changes the advisor’s role. Whether this is good or bad for advisors depends on your vision of the purpose of wealth management.

From Our Mailbox: The 'Black Box Problem'
We answer a question from a reader about rebalancing automation and transparency.


Direct Indexes & SMAs

Direct Indexes: Cheaper than ETFs?
Direct indexes have the potential to be less expensive than ETFs.

Direct Indexes are better than ETFs 
Direct Indexes are customizable and outperform ETFs on an expected after-tax basis.

A Guide to Mutual Funds vs. SMAs
SMAs are better than mutual funds for most assets. But they won't replace funds entirely.

Video: Direct Indexes are Better than ETFs
Direct Indexes are customizable and outperform ETFs on an expected after-tax basis.

Video: A Guide to SMAs
The past, present and future of SMAs

Why Not Direct Indexes? 
A look at common objections to direct indexing.

Sleeves vs. No Sleeves

Video: The Sleeves Conundrum
Sleeves were created for one purpose, but now they’re used for another. It’s not a good idea.

The Case Against Sleeves
A detailed look at the drawbacks of sleeve-level reporting.

Q&A: The Case Against Sleeves
Answering the questions that arise from considering the drawbacks of sleeve-level reporting.

The Ultimate Guide to Sleeves, Part I
We want to talk about sleeves. Not the things on your shirt, but sleeve-based portfolio management, sometimes called partitioned portfolio management.

The Ultimate Guide to Sleeves, Part II
Between a rock and hard place: managing client interests versus client expectations when it comes to sleeve-level accounting, rebalancing and reporting.

Don’t Treat Individual Investors like Institutions
Why the institutional model of asset management doesn’t serve the needs of individual investors.

A Guide to Choosing a Rebalancing System
A look at two key architectural differences that fundamentally set rebalancing systems apart: sleeve vs. sleeveless, and rules vs. optimization.

Video: The Downside of Sleeves
Sleeves are mainly used to help generate sleeve-level performance reports, but they have some pretty big downsides.

Tax Management & Customization

A Guide to Tax Management
We break it down and describe some of the challenges.

A User's Guide to Portfolio Customization
What is it and what is it good for?

Why Tax Loss Harvesting Really Matters
We address common objections to loss harvesting.

Gains Deferral: The Core of Tax Management
Loss harvesting gets all the attention, but it's gains deferral that does most of the work.

Video: What to Look for in a Tax Management System
The six tools you should have in your tax management toolkit.

Terminology Guides

Video : A Guide to SMAs
The past, present, and future of SMAs.

Video: A Guide to UMAs
The evolution of SMAs and UMAs.

A Guide to SMAs and UMAs
The history and current meaning(s) of SMA and UMA.

A Model of Miscommunication
A guide to the confusion-causing multiple meanings of common terms in wealth management.

Choose Your Words Carefully
The negative connotations of "investment model."

Demystifying Artificial Intelligence
Everything you always wanted to know about AI, but were too afraid to ask.

The State of the Industry

The Three Types of Wealth Management Firms
The three kinds of wealth management firms: Product Vendors, Customized Traders and Planner/Coaches.

ESGs: An Ugly Duckling No More
ESG takes its place as a standard form of customization.

Are Your Portfolios Noisy?
Most drift is not the result of customization or tax management. It’s just noise, and it’s avoidable.

Householding: Time to Get Your House in Order
"Householding” means managing multiple accounts to a single goal, leveraging tax-advantaged accounts where possible. The point is not just to manage each account well. It’s to manage the accounts as a whole well.

Security Selection via the Random Feline Walk Method 
Unbelievable performance from a simple stock selection approach.

Q&A: ESG Investing
Q&A from a talk at Cambridge's Venture Cafe on "ESG and Technology."

Advisor Autonomy or a Consistent Client Experience?
The pros and cons of each and where the industry is headed.

Risky Business: The Art of Risk Profiling
Risk profiling may seem scientific, but it's really more art than science.

What Your Peers Are Saying
What senior wealth and asset management executives think are the industry's biggest threats and opportunities.

Mutual Funds and ETFs Are Dead
$0 stock commissions are another nail in the coffin of mutual funds and ETFs.

Jack Bogle, Smartleaf and the Low Cost Revolution
Smartleaf's foundation was built on Jack Bogle's low cost and low tax revolution.


On where the wealth industry is heading:

On the wealth industry today:

On direct indexes:

On tax management:

On automation:


AdvisorEngine Enhances Rebalancing and Trading Capabilities, Integrates with Smartleaf
Smartleaf automated intelligent rebalancing is now available to AdvisorEngine clients at no additional cost

Raptor Trading Systems Announces Successful Trading Platform Integration with Smartleaf
Raptor Trading Systems and Smartleaf successfully integrate their systems to create an industry-leading automated rebalancing and trade order management solution

Smartleaf Featured in WealthTech Club
Gerard Michael, Co-Founder and President of Smartleaf, was featured in WealthTech Club's latest research and analysis report

Smartleaf Powers High Service, High Growth Strategy for Altium Wealth
Smartleaf technology enables Altium to bring ultra-high net worth portfolio operations in-house and deliver highly customized, tax-optimized solutions at scale. 

Smartleaf Introduces Automated Household-Level Rebalancing at User Group
Smartleaf unveiled its upcoming automated household rebalancing functionality at the Smartleaf Summit user conference

First Western Trust Chooses Smartleaf to Enrich Its Boutique Wealth Management Offering
First Western Trust leverages Smartleaf to offer clients the highest level of customization and tax management services, an important component of First Western Trust’s vision to be the best private bank for the western wealth management client

Smartleaf Launches New Direct Indexes with IDX Insights Partnership
Smartleaf partners with IDX Insights to deliver a broad range of direct index models to Smartleaf’s clients.

Holiday Posts

Security Selection via the Random Feline Walk Method
Unbelievable performance from a simple stock selection approach

Thank You From Smartleaf (and the lobsters)
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Smartleaf.

In Praise of Revolution
The American revolution is close to home.

Smartleaf Announces the Release of NexGen Social Screens
Smartleaf expands its social screen list in response to evolving investor demands

A Wealth Management Horror Story
The (not actually so scary) story of an IRS audit.

Happy Holidays from Smartleaf
From Smartleaf to you and yours, a holiday poem.

Three Innovations That Will Change Wealth Management Forever
We survey three technical innovations in wealth management that will fundamentally change the industry.

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