Financial planners seeking to rebalance client portfolios can do so in "near-zero" time, according to Ben Welch, director of business development for TD Ameritrade Institutional's iRebal system.

"We introduced enhancements to several advisors in the last couple of months," Welch told Financial Planning. "They said they cut the time it takes to execute trades by 80÷0%."

Moreover, such time savings are not necessarily limited to rebalancing. Virtually any type of trade, such as tax loss harvesting for individual clients, can enjoy this type of efficiency, according to Welch. The benefits are available only for assets custodied at TD Ameritrade.

Besides making the process faster, enhancements to iRebal improve the accuracy and efficiency of the portfolio rebalancing process. Planners who want to take immediate action on rebalancing, cash management, or tactical trading decisions in client portfolios can now enter orders directly from iRebal to Veo, TD Ameritrade Institutional's advisor trading platform. Trades are processed within the rebalancing tool, which helps minimizes the risk of errors that may occur when moving trade data between multiple disconnected platforms.

"It's no longer necessary to export trade files and import them back for reconciliation," Welch said. "The entire process can be executed with one click, all taking place on the iRebal screen."

In this process, iRebal leverages TD Ameritrade Institutional's open API (application programming interface).

"Using an API approach to integrate iRebal with Veo has allowed us to reinvent the rebalancing process on the TD Ameritrade Institutional platform," said Chris Valleley, director of technology solutions at TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Valleley told Financial Planning that the enhanced process focuses on applications that advisors use most, such as portfolio management, CRM, and trading. "Other features are included as well," he said, "such as on-boarding new clients and billing. If a client moves and has a new address, for instance, this system provides protection from errors that may arise from entering the same data multiple times. To build a safer environment, we're eliminating repetitive efforts that can lead to errors."

TD Ameritrade also announced a new iRebal feature-customizable client portfolio reports. In these reports, planners can create graphics showing a client's portfolio allocation with a breakdown of investment positions, including cash. Planners can add company logos, disclaimers, notes and contact information to put their own brand on each report. "The emphasis is on usability," Welch said, "and making the user interface more intuitive."

Donald Jay Korn writes for Financial Planning.