What are portals and why are they one of the hottest technologies in client service?While definitions differ, to me a portal is a secure Web site where clients can store, access and retrieve business content.

The content can be produced by the client, the client's advisors, or business systems such as brokerage firms and accounting systems. Aggregation, or assembling related data from multiple sources, is another way. The portal may contain analytic tools, as well as content, and be accessed by authorized advisors such as bankers, attorneys, doctors, insurance agents and financial planners.

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