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A Software Solution to Investment Policy Statements

Step by step, IPS AdvisorPro helps you create an effective client-relationship document. 

Joel P. Bruckenstein, 05/11/2006

It has been a long wait, a very long wait, but IPS AdvisorPro is finally here. This Web-based application that creates investment policy statements was developed by two prominent, highly gifted financial planning professionals, Norm Boone and Linda Lubitz.

Boone is founder and principal of Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco. He has been cited by numerous periodicals as one of the best financial planners in the country. Boone has served on the National Board of the Financial Planning Association, the TIAA-CREF Institutional Advisory Board, and the advisory council for Schwab Institutional. His articles have appeared in CCH's Journal of Retirement Planning, Journal of Financial Planning, and Wealth Manager.

Lubitz is the founder of the Lubitz Group in Miami. She also serves as managing director of Mosaic Financial Partners East Bay Region. Like Boone, she is regularly cited as one of the best financial planners in the country. She has served on the National Board of the Financial Planning Association, and she is an emeritus member of the TIAA-CREF Institute Advisory Board.

Introduction

IPS AdvisorPro only does one thing, but it does it well: It helps advisors craft unique, professional investment policy statements. If you are not familiar with the investment policy statement (IPS), you should be. An IPS is a written document that explains the relationship between an investment advisor and a client. It should include, among other things, the client's goals, the investment procedures that will be followed by the advisor, the responsibilities of the client, and the responsibilities of the investment professional. An IPS is not a contract; it is more like a blueprint that will govern the behavior of the investor and the advisor, with regard to one or more investment portfolios.

Two versions of the software are available: Professional has an annual license fee of $495; Standard's annual license fee is $395. A licensee can create 100 new investment policy statements per year and maintain an unlimited number of them. If you create more than 100 new statements within a year, an additional charge applies. For large firms, institutional pricing is available.

IPS AdvisorPro is the second iteration of the Boone/Lubitz investment policy statement product. The first one, The Investment Policy Statement Guidebook, was distributed by Ibbotson Associates, which was recently acquired by Morningstar.

The first product was essentially a Microsoft Word template with specialized tools and macros built in. It was effective and fairly priced. I used it in my own practice. The only problem was that when Microsoft patched, upgraded, or otherwise altered Word, it sometimes caused problems with the operation of the IPS template. By going to the Web with this latest version, Boone and Lubitz allow users to sidestep the update issue because the developer can take care of any upgrading and patching behind the scenes.

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