Schwab Performance Technologies recently announced the release of a new, enhanced version of PortfolioCenter, the portfolio management system that has more than 3,000 users.

   This latest update, the fourth since PortfolioCenter's launch about two years ago, focuses primarily on automation and customization.

   The most noteworthy feature of the new release is the introduction of Smart Sets-dynamic, rules based groupings which update automatically. They can offer significant benefits over static sets such as time savings and improved accuracy.

   With a static set, the user must manually select each member of the group, so, if a user wanted to create a group of all IRA accounts, each account would have to be manually added to the group. Each time a new IRA account was opened, that too would have to be added. With Smart Sets, the user would create a rule saying that each time the account type field said "IRA," it would automatically be put in the IRA group.  

   The other major upgrade is the addition of Custom Portfolio Fields. With custom fields, advisors will no longer be limited to default PortfolioCenter fields. They will be able to create fields for things like "all accounts subject to monthly withdrawals" or "all accounts that pay by check."

   "This is a feature that our clients have been requesting," said Dan Skiles, vice president of Schwab Institutional Technology.

   Custom fields can be used in conjunction with Smart Sets to further enhance productivity. For example, an advisor could create a Smart Set of all accounts that pay by check to batch process those bills, or create a Smart Set of monthly withdrawal accounts to make sure the withdrawals are properly processed.
For further information about PortfolioCenter, visit