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Author Archives: Jared Jollensten

Jared Jollensten serves as a Trading Product Manager for Orion’s Trading team. Jared was born and raised in Nebraska and won’t be caught rooting for any team other than the Huskers.
Here’s How to Add FIX Execution to Your Trading Workflow

Eliminating all manual work as part of the trading process, contrary to what the latest robo-advisor service might say, will never be completely possible. However, there are areas of the trading process that can and should be refined by every advisory firm, and one of the most important steps that should be removed in every advisor’s trading workflow is the manual manipulation of trade files.

Through Orion’s integration with FIX Flyer, you can not only send equities and ETF trades in real-time to your custodian, but you can also send mutual fund trades with select custodians.

In today’s blog post, we’ll look at how you can eliminate trade files and add FIX execution instead to your trading workflow.

The Manual Way of Trading

Without FIX trading, placing trades is largely a manual and sometimes time-intensive process.

Right now if you are using Orion’s Eclipse™ trading tool to place trades without FIX, you would need to create a trade file, login into the custodian(s) website, upload that file, validate those trades with the custodian, and then finally execute those trades.

While it is possible to get into a routine with downloading and uploading your trade files, it’s still true that you can eliminate no less than four additional steps in your trading workflow when you switch over to using FIX execution, and that means time saved, full stop.

How to Set up FIX in Your Database

It’s pretty easy to use FIX trading for those custodians set up through FIX Flyer. If you’d like to request the addition of FIX to your database, please ask the SME Trading team and we’ll handle it from there. We will send your request in to FIX Flyer who will then work with your custodian, who will reach out to you with the agreement.

It is up to each individual custodian to approve or reject the FIX request, and some do have AUM requirements to allow this type of execution.

While the time frame for setup is largely dependent on the custodians you use, we can usually get a database set up on FIX within a week or two.

Using FIX to Execute Trades

Once enabled, you’ll be able to execute trades directly from our Eclipse™ trading tool and trades will go straight-through to your custodian. One the most important advantages to switching over to a FIX connection is in the time difference of processing your orders; there is virtually no time difference from the time you process an order to the time it reaches your custodian.

The best part is how simple it all is to use. Simply navigate to Actions and Process to send your trades through to your custodians with an enabled FIX connection.

While not all custodians support FIX right now, Orion is pursuing the goal of having all major custodians on FIX in the near future.

If you’re just getting started with Orion and using Eclipse™ remember that Ascent and AssistMe are here to help. Don’t forget about the Trading Best Practices guides available to you before you get started.

Please contact the SME Trading Team with any questions about using FIX or to inquire about the custodians who currently support the technology.


Portfolios: The Foundation of Trading in Eclipse™

The most important part of building a home is the foundation. Without a structurally sound base, none of the above-ground features like windows, trim, hardwood floors, or a wraparound porch can stand.

When starting out with a new technology system, getting the foundation right is equally as important. When building your foundation with Orion’s Eclipse™, our tax-efficient trading and rebalancing platform, you’ll need to decide how you want to trade—at the household, account, or sleeve level. How you structure portfolios will affect all the trading decisions you make in Eclipse™.

In this post, we’ll look at the importance of how you chose to construct portfolios in Eclipse™, and then dig into the features and preferences you can set within Orion Connect.

The Foundation of Trading in Eclipse™

When you work in financial services, you hear the word “portfolio” everywhere.

When used in Eclipse™, the term “Portfolio” simply means all the different ways accounts can be grouped to generate trades.

Because Eclipse™ is built to be a tax-efficient system at its foundation, how accounts are grouped or not grouped when building portfolios will affect the system’s logic. For example, features like asset location optimization where the platform will decide on placing assets in taxable, tax-deferred, or tax-exempt account types for the best-tax scenario in a given portfolio.

Building Portfolios and Setting Preferences

Before you use Eclipse™ for the first time, you’ll first need to sync your account data from Orion Connect. But before that data sync, you need to choose from one of two options on how you’d like portfolios to be constructed:

  • As a Household structure, in which multiple accounts are grouped together based on the households set up in Orion Connect, or
  • As an Account structure, where each account is loaded into Eclipse™ as its own individual portfolio

User Tip: If you have set up sleeves in Orion Connect, accounts or registrations that have been sleeved will always be in their own separate portfolio in Eclipse™. Sleeved accounts cannot be moved between portfolios.

From your Overview Dashboard in Eclipse™, click on “Start New Full Import” to begin the sync from Orion Connect. And one more thing: the Portfolio number in Eclipse™ will differ from your Household numbers in Orion Connect. However, you can still search by account numbers or household names.

Once your initial sync is complete, you can always move accounts between portfolios, or to a new manually created portfolio, depending on your firm’s needs.

For instance, you may sync all of a clients’ accounts together as a Household, but then decide to move a Trust that’s in a more conservative model to its own portfolio. Or maybe your client wants their grandchildren’s 529 accounts in a more aggressive model than their own accounts. In these cases, it makes sense to split accounts into separate portfolios.

The “Assign Portfolios” tool can help you easily make these kinds of changes.

With your portfolio structure set, it’s time to personalize Eclipse™ to fit your firm’s unique preferences.

Personalizing the Details

Using the Portfolio Details screen, you can view individual information about a selected portfolio and also make updates and edits to how that portfolio is traded.

Some of the editable fields on the Portfolio Details screen include:

  • Trading Instructions: These are custom notes viewable in the Orders grid when trades are created that can be entered one at a time or in mass. In addition, Trading Instructions will sync from Orion Connect, so there’s no need to maintain them in multiple locations.
  • Tags: Add custom tags to filter information or add nicknames or other custom terms your team uses to identify certain portfolios.
  • Do Not Trade: Set a portfolio as Do Not Trade, and you won’t be able to trade that portfolio. Pretty simple, right? Eclipse™ also puts safeguards in place such as removing trade tools as selectable menu items when this setting is turned on.

For view-only information from the Portfolio Details screen, you can find information such as the assigned model, trading instructions, tags, a management summary, and realized gain/loss details.

Incorporating Separately Managed Accounts in Eclipse™

One of the most helpful features of Eclipse™ is its ability to include Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) as part of your portfolio value, without including those accounts in trades.

Marking an account as an SMA in Orion Connect will sync that information to Eclipse™ when you import the account.

Once this information has been synced to Eclipse™, the account will be flagged as “Separately Managed.” This option tells the system that you are not managing the funds in the account but rather, an outside manager is overseeing its trades.

However, you still want to consider that account’s value towards your clients’ portfolio model allocation so you can create a comprehensive overall strategy. As such, the Eclipse™ rebalancing engine will buy positions in a portfolio’s other accounts while taking the SMA weightings into consideration.

Key Takeaways for Creating Portfolios in Eclipse™

In summary:

  • You can create portfolios in Eclipse™ as a group of accounts in one household, or a portfolio can contain just a single account.
  • Once your initial full sync is complete, you can customize portfolios by creating your own and you can assign any account to any portfolio, with the exception of those accounts that are sleeved out.  
  • Eclipse™ can include an SMA account’s value in a rebalance (without trading it) and structure trades from your model around it.
  • Choosing to build portfolios as Household-based or Account-based will impact the trading logic built into Eclipse™, including features such as asset location optimization.

If you would like to learn more about Eclipse™, click here to sign up for our next open webinar.

Not working with Orion yet? Click here to get in touch with us.


New Trading Feature: Multi-Asset Class Securities Now in Orion Eclipse™

Here at Orion, helping firms enhance their own value proposition and offer a better client experience is at the core of what we do. Our commitment to consultative customization is why we built Eclipse™, our tax-efficient trading and rebalancing platform that enables firms to tailor nearly every part of their firm’s unique trading workflows.

Since launching Eclipse™ over a year ago, we’ve continued in our pursuit of innovation and customization and today, here is one more reason why Eclipse™ is the trading platform of choice for advisors looking to provide greater value to their clients:  

Now, you can take advantage of our new multi-asset class securities feature, enabling you to:

  • Take more control over your models by better reflecting how your firm views the true weighting of a security
  • Find flexibility in how your firm wants to classify products and get closer to the targets you desire
  • Experience even greater customization when it comes to running your firm’s unique trading workflows

In this post, we’ll dive more into multi-asset class securities and how you can set them up in Orion Eclipse™!

Who Benefits From Multi-Asset Class Securities

Multi-asset class (MAC) securities are products weighted across multiple asset classes. Think of MAC securities as a tool you can use to more accurately reflect the true weighting of a security based on how you assign asset classes to securities.

This functionality is typically used if you are trading at the Household level, and is most commonly applied to mutual funds.

MAC securities are most useful for advisors looking to gain more control over their models by creating a more custom weighting of their preferred securities.

And now, with Orion’s latest enhancement to Eclipse™, you can assign MAC securities at the Security level and each can be weighted with either: Asset Category, Asset Class, or Sub-Class classification levels.

User Tip: If you need more information about asset classification in Orion, open the Orion Social app and start a chat with the SME Trading Team about this important feature.

Here’s a simple use case for using MAC securities:  

There may be a product in your database classified as International Equity by one of the automatic asset classification providers we offer, such as Morningstar or Lipper.

While automatic classifications do exactly what most advisors require, you may decide this particular product can be more accurately classified as both International Equities U.S. Equities.

If your firm has run into situations in the past where you’ve created custom asset classes to designate this type of split in name only, then MAC securities will have an important place in your product classification workflow.

Why Multi-Asset Class Securities are Important

When you create MAC securities, you give yourself more control over trading logic in Eclipse™.=

Eclipse™ will place trades and allocate to MAC securities as its first priority, placing them higher than pure asset class securities. So if you want more control over how a security is broken down, you’ll want to take full advantage of this new functionality.

The core benefit of using MAC securities is to increase your trading accuracy, based on how your firm wants to classify products.

By applying a weighting breakdown, you are able to make your trades more accurate and closer to the targets you desire.

Using our previous use case of an International Equity product, let’s look at a quick example to see how trading accuracy can be improved when you use MAC securities for tighter control over rebalancing logic.

Once you classify the product as a MAC security, however, the Eclipse™ rebalancing logic will begin to trade it appropriately to help fill the tolerances you have set for each asset class.

Your trades will now be more accurately aligned with how your firm views this product and how it should be included in models.

How to Set Up Multi-Asset Class Securities in Orion Eclipse™

MAC securities are assigned at the security level in Eclipse™ and can be assigned to teams, portfolios, accounts, and models. Additionally, you must set them up as equivalents to other products.

When setting up a MAC security it is important to know that preferences can be set at the firm, team, and portfolio level. As with all Eclipse™ preference hierarchy the lowest level will override a higher level. For example, the portfolio level will override the firm-level preferences.

If you’re not already using Eclipse™ for your firm’s trading and rebalancing needs, click here to sign up for our next demo.

For Orion advisors already trading with Eclipse™, we’ll be adding more documentation and training materials about Multi-Asset Class Securities to Orion Social in the coming weeks. In the meantime log into Orion Social and start a chat with the SME Trading Team.


Behind the Scenes: What’s Included in an Eclipse™ Consulting Session

For years, education followed a predictable format. A teacher prepared a single lesson for all students and expected the entire class to follow along.

More commonly, though, modern education emphasizes personalized instruction, where the learning environment is tailored to each individual’s needs, interests, and skills. At Orion, when we deliver platform training to our advisors, we provide best practices based on these real educational principles.

We’ve even hired former educators to join our team and help us build a training environment that scales to meet the unique needs of each user.

One of the ways we create personalized training opportunities is through one-on-one consultations at our two-day Eclipse™ + Communities Summits, which provide training and consultation opportunities on Eclipse™, our trading and rebalancing platform, and Communities, our peer-to-peer model marketplace.

On the second day, we save time for those who are looking to build their expertise and gain advanced insight from our subject matter experts.

In this post, we’ll show you what you can expect from a personal Eclipse™ consultation and why it  can be beneficial for your firm.

Who Benefits Most From an Eclipse™ One-on-One?

One-on-one sessions during our Eclipse™ + Communities Summits are intended to answer specific questions for current Orion advisors who are either using our trading tools or preparing to implement them in their firm.

Non-Orion advisors can request one-on-one sessions, but those sessions typically cover more introductory content due to the nature of their usage of Orion.   

Why Should  Advisors Schedule a One-on-One Session?

The training resources available through Orion Ascent form a great foundation for learning how to use Orion’s trading tools, but sometimes there are customizations or firm-specific questions that can only be answered in a more personal setting.

Many of our advisors are new to Eclipse™, so these sessions allow them to dig deeper into the intricacies of the system. Through personalized training, we can help our advisors learn more about how Eclipse™ can create more efficient trading workflows for their firm.

What Do Advisors Need to do to Prepare for a Consultation?

Our one-on-one consultations are entirely advisor-directed, so all an advisor needs to do is bring specific questions about how they can best use Eclipse™ in their firm’s daily routine.

A session can consist of detailed training on a particular tool, or it can be as simple as a personalized demo of Eclipse™ using an advisor’s firm-specific workflows.

Because it’s one-on-one, these personal sessions can cover any number of questions an advisor has about how to put Orion’s trading tools to their best use.

How Long Do Consulting Sessions Last?

Each consultation session at the Eclipse™ + Communities Summits is one hour. However, advisors can schedule multiple sessions to focus on different topics during each. One-on-one consultations are offered on both days of our two-day Summits.

How to Join the Next Eclipse™ + Communities Summit

Our next Summit will be held in Seattle, Washington, on July 31 and August 1. We’ve created three separate learning tracks so you can choose the right path for you:

Non-Orion Advisors: Lunch & Learn
We’ve built a special introductory course for advisors who aren’t yet using Orion.

You’ll receive an overview of Orion’s portfolio accounting software, learn more about the Orion Communities model marketplace, and discover our new portfolio optimization tool, ASTRO.

Orion Advisors: Eclipse™ Essentials
If you’re an Orion advisor who wants to implement Eclipse™ or Communities but hasn’t taken steps to begin, this track is for you. Our team will give you a high-level overview of how these tools can positively impact your trading operations.

Orion Advisors: Advanced Training
If you’re a current Eclipse™ user, this track gives you the chance to schedule the type of in-depth consulting we covered in this post.

Due to the highly-customized nature of the Advanced Training track, you can use this time to address any categories important to you—from cash buckets, to trade execution best practices, to tax logic and more—so bring everything on your mind to cover with our subject matter experts.

Click here to sign up for the next Eclipse™ + Communities Summit in Seattle on July 31.

Got questions about what we covered in today’s post?
Log in to Orion Social to chat with our SME Trading team if you use Orion today, or click here to chat with our sales team if you don’t work with us yet.


Key Takeaways From the Eclipse™ + Communities Summit: Omaha

The first day of our 2018 Eclipse™ + Communities Summit in Omaha, Nebraska offered our 40 attendees a deep dive into how to utilize and customize our trading tools to meet their firm’s unique trading workflows.

If you couldn’t make it to this event, we’ve pulled together some of the key takeaways from our training session covering Orion Eclipse™ basics, platform terminology, preference personalization, and much, much more:

Session 1: Orion Eclipse™ Basics

In our first session of the day, we answered the most fundamental question: “What is Eclipse™?” From there, we moved on to reviewing the platform’s six key features: Household Level Rebalancing, Tax Loss Harvesting, Interactive Dashboards, Cash Management, Multi-Level Modeling, and Trade Order Execution.

Key Takeaway:
We designed Eclipse™ to be a Household Rebalancing Platform, however, you can use the platform with full functionality at the account level and the sleeve level as well. Many trading systems only allow account-by-account trading, but Household rebalancing offers more efficient trading. Fewer trades need to be made overall, and a particular security only has to be held in one location in the portfolio, instead of in potentially multiple accounts.

Session 2: Eclipse™ Terminology

Every platform has its own unique set of terms and language that are necessary to understand before you can use the tool to its fullest potential. In our second session of the day, our experts covered all the phrases Orion’s advisors need understand when getting started with Eclipse™.

Key Takeaway:
One of the most important terms to understand is “Asset Location” because of the immense impact the strategy can have on tax savings. In Eclipse™, asset location optimization (or how assets are distributed between taxable accounts, tax-exempt accounts, or tax-deferred accounts to get the most favorable tax treatment for each) can only be utilized when trading at the Household level.

Session 3: Portfolio Setup in Eclipse™

Next, we spend time walking attendings through the various options for building a portfolio in Eclipse™, and how those choices affect how the platform calculates trades.

Key Takeaway:
If you choose to include SMA accounts in Eclipse™, our platform has the intelligence to automatically exclude those accounts from trading while still recognizing their values and assets when performing a portfolio rebalance. Eclipse™ understands how to trade around the assets in an SMA account to maintain overall tax efficiency and asset location optimization for all accounts in a portfolio.

Session 4: Eclipse™ Preferences

We built Eclipse™ to best serve the needs of advisors and this means offering complete personalization as a general framework of the platform. Advisors using Eclipse™ can tailor their preferences to fit their firm’s specific workflows and maximize their ability to create efficiencies within their daily trading routine.

Key Takeaway:
When it comes to setting preferences, there’s one key to keep in mind: In the Eclipse™ Preference Hierarchy, lowest level always wins. That means if you set rules at a portfolio-level and then later set a different preference on an account, that account-level setting overrides your higher firm-level settings.

Session 5: Eclipse™ Dashboards

In this session, we looked at why it’s so important to use Eclipse™ Dashboards to automate much of your daily data review. Dashboards put the information you need front and center so you can maximize your time spent in the platform.  

Key Takeaway:
Customizing your dashboard views and setting up a repeatable routine for checking them can speed up the daily review process and help you quickly identify if there are any issues you need to resolve before you start trading each day.

Session 6: Trade Tools

There are a number of tools in Eclipse™ that accomplish similar objectives, like swapping securities or adjusting cash balances, but were created for either global or one-off scenarios. We reviewed each of these different tools and identified situations for use to help our attendees identify the right tool for the job.

Key Takeaway:
While our “Tax-Loss Harvester” tool and “Tax Harvester” tool share very similar names,  each has its own unique purpose. You’ll want to review the Tax-Loss Harvester tool for daily tax-loss harvesting opportunities identified by the Eclipse™ platform, while the Tax Harvester tool should be used for setting manual gain/loss parameters for a specific, single trade.

Session 7: Trade Execution

Every firm is unique, but there are still best practices each advisor should know when it’s time to use Eclipse™ in their day-to-day practice. In the last session of the day, we gave attendees tips on which tools can make order review simple, and how custom views can create more efficiency when reviewing and executing trades.

Key Takeaway:
The Model Analyzer and Tactical Trade tools within Eclipse™ provide you with pre- and post-trade information before trade execution. Both of these tools offer additional analysis tools so you can review the details and larger impact of the trades you want to place.

In addition to each of the core training sessions, attendees also received an overview of two other trading tools in the Orion portfolio accounting platform, the Communities and ASTRO apps.

Communities gives you the chance to subscribe to models offered by other advisors and industry-leading fund companies, or you can sign up as a Strategist to offer your own models and add another possible revenue stream to your firm. Click here to see how easy it is to become a Communities Strategist.

ASTRO gives you a powerful portfolio optimization tool to create portfolios that track closely with an index, or automatically address legacy holdings or ESG (environment, social, governance) concerns that clients may have. See how ASTRO can help your firm optimize your portfolios.

Want to Experience Advanced Trading Like This for Yourself?
Click here to sign up for our next Eclipse™ + Communities Summit, July 31 – August 1 in Seattle, Washington, to get your own hands-on training with Orion’s trading solutions.

3 Reasons You’ll Want to Attend Orion’s Eclipse™ + Communities Summit

Some things just go better together. Sonny and Cher. Baseball and summer afternoons. Spaghetti and meatballs. And now, you can add Orion’s Eclipse™ and Communities apps to that list.

In case you need a reminder, Eclipse™ is our tax-efficient trading and rebalancing platform that gives you all the advanced tools you need to create customizable trading processes that improve day-to-day operations for your team while helping you provide more strategic portfolio solutions to your clients.

Communities, our peer-to-peer model exchange, offers two distinct user experiences. You can either sign up and subscribe to models offered by strategists on the platform like CLS Investments, BlackRock, Russell Investments, and more; or, you can become a strategist yourself and add a new line of revenue to your business by offering your own models to other advisors for a subscription fee.

We’ve hosted in-person Eclipse™ + Communities Summits across the country this year to make training easy and accessible for advisors interested in learning more about the tax-efficient features of these two trading-focused apps.

On June 26 and 27, we’re bringing our Eclipse™ + Communities Summit home to Omaha, Nebraska—the city of Orion’s headquarters.

If you’re looking to get more out of Eclipse™ and Communities, this is one event you won’t want to miss. Here are three reasons why you need to attend our Eclipse™ + Communities Summit next month.

Top Three Reasons to Attend

1. Become an Orion Trading & Tax-loss Harvesting Expert through Our Custom Training Tracks

Let’s start with the most important benefit of what you’ll take away after the two-day Summit: Once it’s over, you’ll be on your way to becoming an Orion trading and tax-loss expert.

To get there, you can choose one of three ways to experience Eclipse™ and Communities during the Summit. We’ve developed one track especially for advisors who don’t currently use Orion, while the other two tracks focus on meeting the specific needs of Orion users.

Non-Orion Advisors: Lunch & Learn
We’ve built a special introductory course for advisors who aren’t yet using Orion. Join us on June 26 to discover how Orion helps some of the top advisors in the country enjoy their business again. You’ll receive an overview of Orion’s portfolio accounting software, learn more about the Orion Communities model marketplace, and discover our new portfolio optimization tool, ASTRO.

Orion Advisors: Eclipse™ Essentials
If you’re an Orion advisor who wants to implement Eclipse™ or Communities but haven’t taken the steps to start, this track is for you. Our team will give you a high-level overview of how these tools can positively impact your trading operations. You’ll learn about portfolio setup, customization and preferences, models, dashboards, trade tools and more.

Orion Advisors: Advanced Training
If you’re a current Eclipse™ user, you’ll receive customized, in-depth consulting in Eclipse™, while also learning how the Communities platform can be a true differentiator. Due to the highly customized nature of this track, you’ll schedule time to learn about cash buckets, trade execution best practices, tax logic, system preferences, and much more.

2. Get Personal and Meet the Full Team

Speaking of Orion’s staff, we’ve assembled the dream team of trading experts in our organization. The Eclipse™ + Communities Summit is the only event where they’ll all be together in one place to give you the essential and advanced training you need to get your firm fully running on Orion’s trading apps.

The Summit is your chance to:

  • Learn about tax-loss harvesting from Orion’s Trading Product Managers
  • Hear from Communities expert Katie Muldoon about adding industry-best investment strategies to increase client choice
  • Discuss the efficiencies you can gain through integrated trading technology with VP of Managed Accounts, Sean Hollingshead

In addition to hearing from our team, you’ll get the chance to receive hands-on training and consultation to help you finetune your use of our apps with your firm’s unique setup in mind.

3. Experience The College World Series Championship Game

We saved one of the most exciting reasons for last! Come to the Summit and you’ll receive a complimentary ticket to attend the College World Series Championship game on Tuesday June 26th at TD Ameritrade Park. This perk makes the Summit a must for any baseball fan. The game will also be a great opportunity to enjoy additional relationship building with your Summit peers.

The College World Series for men’s baseball has been an Omaha summer tradition since 1950, and TD Ameritrade Park hosts the action in a major-league class venue. Beginning on June 16th, this year’s tournament culminates in a best-of-three championship game series held June 25th through 27th. Our group will attend the second game in the championship series.

Space is limited at the Eclipse™ + Communities Summit, so click here now to select your training agenda and reserve your seat at this can’t-miss event.

Want to learn more about the apps covered in this article? Download our white paper on using tax alpha and Eclipse™ to set your firm apart from the competition, or read more about Communities on the Orion blog.


The Advantage to Having Your Trading System as Part of Your Portfolio Accounting Platform

As a country, it seems that we’re obsessed with buying gadgets that can help us save us time. How many times have you seen a television infomercial for an offer you simply can’t refuse, or that Facebook ad for the product that everybody swears by? Take this past holiday season’s must-have item: the Instant Pot. I bet there are more than a few still sitting in their box.

See, if you’re going to add something to your life that promises to save time, it has to be something you’ll actually use, and that means it needs to have lasting value.

This rule also applies when purchasing tools and products for your advisory firm. Trading and rebalancing is one activity that takes up a significant amount of work and hours. Adding Orion Eclipse™ as your trading and rebalancing system of choice can help you save time and also give you more confidence that your data is clean and accurate when you trade

Because it’s a part of Orion Connect, our portfolio accounting platform, Eclipse™ syncs data back and forth between systems to help ease the amount of data entry your team does and ensure consistency between your portfolio accounting and trading platforms.

Today we’ll look at the top reasons why it’s an advantage to have your trading system be part of your portfolio accounting platform.

Portfolio Accounting and Trading Integrations: An Overview

If you’ve known Orion for any length of time, you know that our platform is designed to integrate with others, including various trading platforms.

In a typical trading integration, you’ll set up a schedule for relevant data to sync from your Orion platform to your trading system. Usually this is a once daily sync that happens after reconciliation has updated your portfolios for the day. It’s automated, and after you set it up, you only need to verify it’s complete before you start trading for the day.

Orion User Tip: Use the Interface Reconciliation app to confirm that your reconciliation is complete each day.

In a typical trading integration, data won’t sync back from your trading platform to Orion Connect. What this means is that if you update or maintain models in your trading system, but want to report on them in Orion, you have to maintain them in two systems.

Eclipse™ alleviates the pain of maintaining trading information in separate systems with a two-way data sync.

How Eclipse™ Syncs to Orion Connect

Eclipse™ is the only integration that uses two-way sync functionality so that certain data sets updated in Eclipse™ can flow back to Orion Connect.

Because models maintained in Eclipse™ sync back to Orion Connect, you can assign and report on all of your models without losing any data integrity or spending additional time to verify a match between the two systems.

Also, if you are trading at a Household or Asset Class level, your model’s target allocation data is also synced back from Eclipse™.

Let’s look at an example of target allocation data and how it can affect reporting.

If you have a household with a target allocation of 40% equity large cap, 30% international stocks, and 30% bonds, and you don’t use Eclipse™, you will need to ensure that you maintain a model with that specific allocation balance so you can use Orion’s Current vs Target Portfolio Model allocation reports and let clients know how their portfolio compares to the model they’ve selected.

If you do maintain models in Eclipse™, however, you can include a client’s actual target allocation in reporting instead of taking additional steps to manually set it up and track it on those critical target vs. current allocation reports.

What Data Orion Connect Syncs to Eclipse™

Orion Connect also syncs data to Eclipse™. When you’re working in Eclipse™, you’ll find some of the most important information you need for trading is already loaded and ready so you won’t duplicate efforts between systems.

1. Product Classifications

Data syncs to Eclipse™ on a scheduled sync to import full data—from households to tax lots to often overlooked product classifications.

The product classification sync is important because it ensures that how you report assets to clients matches exactly with how you trade them. Keeping classifications in sync between a portfolio accounting and trading integration can cost your team a lot of time and headaches, but with Eclipse™, it matches.

2. Systematics

The two-way sync also includes a notification that you have an upcoming systematic, such as a monthly distribution from a custodian, in an account. These notifications help to keep your team up-to-date on what’s happening in any given account.

3. SMA Account

Eclipse™ can see and utilize accounts you’ve marked as SMA accounts in Orion. As an example, you may have a household with three retirement accounts, and a 401k. In Orion, you can mark that 401k account as an SMA because it can’t be traded by your team. Eclipse™ will see this, and won’t trade it.

Even when marked as SMA, though, the account will still sync to Eclipse™ and the system will take it into consideration for modeling purposes. This means your clients can get the most appropriate trades for their overall portfolio, even when you have one account that won’t be traded. Other trades that the system calculates will be adjusted knowing it can’t trade the SMA account.

4. Trading Instructions

If an account is trade blocked, that information syncs over as well. Eclipse™ has many features beyond the data sync with Orion Connect that can add efficiency and scale to your firm’s trading process such as:

  • Bringing tax alpha to your firm
  • Trading at a portfolio level
  • Implementing FIX for straight-through processing
  • And much more

Want to see more of Eclipse™? Register for one of our bi-weekly demos held each Tuesday and Thursday. Click here to see our list of upcoming events.


Extend Your Capabilities with Cloud-based Trading

The cloud might be an ethereal concept, but the technology behind this catch phrase is rock solid hardware. When we talk about a cloud-based software solution, it’s powered by heavy-duty servers that do the hard work to provide the computational power you need for trading on a mass scale.

When we talk about cloud-based trading with the Eclipse™ trading platform, we have our feet set firmly on the ground with tried-and-tested solutions that result in speed and performance enhancements for you.

In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at why cloud-based trading is important, and how it helps your firm to scale up as you grow without adding additional overhead or personnel to your team.

The Need for Speed

From its inception in its development cycle, Eclipse™ was built with speed in mind. Because whether you’ve thought about it or not, when we’re using software, we all have a little bit of Maverick in us.


If you rely only on your computer’s power, your experience with software will depend on the computer you’re using at the time.

Running a fully loaded 2017 model? You’re going to be blazing fast.

Stuck on a 1995 PowerBook? You can probably brew a cup of coffee in the time it takes even a simple website to load.

While creating Eclipse™, we wanted to make sure to give you the best experience possible, so we went the extra step and built Eclipse™ with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its foundation.

When we say we wanted to focus on speed with Eclipse™, we’re serious.

Syncing in the Cloud

Cloud-based apps, like Orion Connect and Eclipse™, allow you access to your data from any Internet connected device because there’s no software for you to install.

In addition to enhanced access, the capabilities that Eclipse™ receives from AWS are also numerous from a connectivity standpoint. Regardless of the amount of trades you need to place or accounts you need to rebalance, there will be space on the servers and the computational power you need for a fast process.

The AWS backend automatically clears server space, and adds memory to handle the orders you need to place. It’s all done in real-time, out of sight, and you never have to worry about placing too many trades at once – the system scales up to handle your amount of trades.

The system will know how to allocate resources, and how much you need at any given time. Because of this, Eclipse™ should run at optimal speeds, all the time.

(Because we’re in financial services, please accept our disclaimer here that we cannot guarantee optimal speeds for every database, though we believe our tests and data to be reliable.)

The sync of data into Eclipse™ has also been beefed up because of the AWS foundation. Orion Connect and Eclipse™ are built on a separate back-end platform, so when you use Eclipse™, we are syncing data from your Orion database into the trading platform. Essentially, Eclipse™ acts as a standalone app within Orion Connect.

What does this mean for you? If in the event that Orion Connect should have a rare service disruption, Eclipse™ as a stand-alone trading app will not be affected because it is set up on a different foundation.

Getting Started

Eclipse™ will launch later this year and will be available to all Orion clients*. If you have any questions about our cloud-based trading platform and what your team needs to do to prepare, please contact our SME Trading Team.

*Additional fees apply.

Why you should use Household Trading

One of the features we are most excited to bring to you with the release of Orion Eclipse™ is our enhanced household trading capabilities. But the question becomes: How will this assist your clients?

In today’s blog, we are going to answer that question.


Tax-Sensitivity Preferences in Eclipse™

Household trading allows you to minimize taxes and reduce trading costs. Using Eclipse’s™ tax-sensitivity preferences you can change the logic of the rebalance and the cash needs trade tool to perform optimal trades for each selection.

Additional tax-minimizing features include disallowing short-term gains, avoiding wash sales, and adding location optimization. The tax sensitivity preference, tax implications, and reduced trade costs all add to the Eclipse™ rebalance capabilities.

By avoiding short-term gain, you can help minimize the tax burden at the end of each year for your clients; this is accomplished by avoiding the higher, ordinary income tax and taking gains when they will be taxed at a lower capital gain rate. Eclipse™ has the short-term gain preference for the firm, custodian, team and portfolio, to give you a custom rebalance for each client’s needs.

Avoiding wash sales will also help to assist with taxes for your clients. When a wash sale is triggered, any loss from the sell can’t be used to offset other taxes.

By employing location optimization, you have the ability to hold tax-efficient securities in tax-inefficient account types. Eclipse™ has three account options: taxable, tax deferred, and tax exempt. When you set the priority to 1, 2, 3, or never, you instruct the system to buy the asset classes in the appropriate taxable, tax deferred, or tax exempt account types.

Minimizing trade costs (fund redemption fees, custodian redemption fees, and transaction fees) aids your clients entering their model risk profile with the lowest upfront expense. By entering security-specific trade costs into Eclipse™, you can direct the rebalancer to choose optimal trades.


How to Set Up Household Trading

A portfolio in Eclipse™ can be comprised of multiple accounts. Below is a portfolio with tax deferred, tax exempt, and taxable account types.

The model “70/30 Eclipse™ Model Sample” is assigned to the entire portfolio, aggregating the values of each account and comparing it to the model allocations.

The rebalance preferences can be customized at the firm, team, model, or portfolio level. The preferences also include the tax-sensitivity setting for the rebalance. Tax sensitivity can be set to none, low, medium and high.

Eclipse™ also allows you to set “Allow Short Term Gains” and “Allow Wash Sales” preferences. “Allow short term gains” can be set to allow, full position disallow, or tax lot disallow. The “Allow Wash Sales” setting can check across multiple portfolios if a tax identifier is set in all related portfolios.

Set the location optimization preference by choosing the optimal account type to purchase specific classes. Location optimization removes the need to hold all securities targeted in the model in all the accounts of the portfolio.

While purchasing or selling a security in a portfolio, the added expense of a short term redemption fee could change the decision of which security to sell. Eclipse™ makes that decision easier by including it as part of the trade selection logic in the rebalance trade tool.

Tax sensitivity, short term gain and wash sale avoidance, and reduced trading costs are just a few of the benefits available in Eclipse™.  Orion looks forward to working with your household trading using the new Eclipse™ platform (scheduled to launch later this summer).

If you have any questions about Eclipse™ and what it can do for your firm, please use the Orion Social app to reach out to the Orion SME Trading Team.