Today, in a world where the coronavirus has resulted in a (or just amplified an already coming) economic recession, many people worry about how the crisis may affect their lives and how they can best handle changes and return to normal. Under these circumstances, more financial advisors and private investors should consider using available financial planning tools.
In this piece, I am going to review different financial planning software programs, outline the functionality features they offer, and provide suggestions for how companies can best respond to the current situation. The platforms are listed in the order from the biggest market share to the lowest, according to the T3 2020 report.
Named the #1 financial planning software 11 years in a row, MoneyGuidePro provides sophisticated solutions and smart assumptions to help advisors navigate the complex financial elements of their clients’ lives. MoneyGuidePro compiles these advanced solutions and smart assumptions based on extensive data, best-in-class technology, and wealth management services.
The MoneyGuidePro financial planning software includes the following features:
- Risk tolerance assessment and risk management
- Holistic stress testing
- Test variables in the Play Zone
- Allocation comparison
- Social security optimization strategies
- Estate planning
- Detailed plan analytics
The list of integrations is comprehensive. It consists of account aggregators (Envestnet|Yodlee, Morningstar, Quovo, etc.), custodian trade platforms (E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, TradePMR, etc.), CRMs (Envestnet|Tamarac, Advyzon, Junxure, etc.), risk analytics tools (AdvisoryWorld, FinaMetrica, HiddenLevers, Riskalyze), and many more.
Pricing starts at $125 per advisor/month.
MyBlocks by MoneyGuide
MyBlocks is another MoneyGuide solution. It helps advisors create meaningful and personal experiences for their clients to promote productive financial conversations and showcase their value. Using MyBlocks enables advisors to meet the needs of their clients, their families, extended families, and even friends.
In addition to addressing common financial needs, such as paying off credit cards and college loans, starting an emergency fund, or defining experience goals, MyBlocks helps advisors provide solutions to secure their clients for a lifetime.
Pricing starts at $125 per advisor/month. In April, Envestnet announced a special free offer of its MyBlocks™ financial planning tool to give consumers access to planning solutions that they can explore on their own through a financial advisor.
“While we cannot manufacture masks or ventilators, we want to do our part to help as many Americans as possible during this time of crisis. We are providing the broader advisor community with free access to our MyBlocks planning tool to help more people across the country navigate through this turbulent time.”—Bill Crager, CEO of Envestnet
The eMoney Pro platform offers advanced planning and analytics with a comprehensive set of cash-flow-based capabilities to accommodate clients’ most complex planning needs. The platform is designed to meet the growing needs of independent financial advisors and large enterprises.
eMoney Pro provides a user-centric, digital-first experience for advisors and their clients, and it allows advisors to manage operations and maintain oversight over their clients to drive optimal engagement and ROI.
It is integrated with Addepar, Albridge, Black Diamond, Envestnet, Envestnet|Tamarac, Fidelity, HiddenLevers, MoneyGuidePro, Redtail, Riskalyze, Orion, Box, Brinker Capital, Digital Fortress, iRetire, Morningstar, Wealthbox, Salesforce, and other tools used by advisors.
Pricing is provided via a custom quote only.
eMoney supports most provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which aims to support businesses and keep individuals afloat during this unprecedented time. The company is updating its system to reflect the changes that are not supported yet.
The eMoney Plus platform provides access to the financial planning tools the advisory business needs. The platform enables advisors to easily create robust financial plans to help their clients and prospects achieve their life goals.
The foundational planning solution included in eMoney Plus allows advisors to extend planning across their client base and serve a variety of planning needs. A straightforward, guided workflow—from data gathering to plan output—makes it possible to efficiently produce more plans for more clients and deepen client engagement by delivering an interactive experience that facilitates planning and drives enhanced client interactions.
eMoney Plus also includes the following features:
- Account Aggregation
- Advanced Planning
- Advisor Assurance
- Client Experience
- Data Security
- eMoney Access
- Firm Administration
To help financial advisors navigate their clients through the current pandemic challenge, eMoney is offering new clients three months of free access to any of eMoney’s planning packages as part of their initial contract.
“We believe in the power of holistic planning and know advisors who deliver planning-led advice are better positioned than those who do not, especially during times of market volatility and disruption. We remain deeply committed to providing our 70,000 clients—and the industry—with the tools they need to deliver exceptional client experiences and overcome these unparalleled challenges and hope that even more advisors adopt planning moving forward.”—Ed O’Brien, CEO of eMoney
RightCapital provides an innovative financial planning solution to differentiate its services through intuitive financial and tax planning. The platform includes the following features:
- Retirement Planning. Advisors can use interactive projection tools to help their clients understand how prepared they are for retirement, compare multiple scenarios, and illustrate stress tests.
- Tax Efficient Distribution Strategies. Advisors and their clients can benefit from a smart tax strategy and choose optimal withdrawal strategies, including Roth conversions.
- Social Security Optimization. Advisors can show their clients the impact of their decision on when to start receiving Social Security benefits and the optimal solutions for maximizing their Social Security income.
- Student Loan Planning. RightCapital’s unique student loan module illustrates different scenarios to reduce payments.
- Medicare Planning. Clients approaching age 65 may review their options for enrolling in Medicare. Advisors assist them with the sign-up process.
- Estate Planning. Advisors can help clients understand the flow of assets at the end of life, including any possible estate tax ramifications.
To increase advisors’ efficiency in financial planning, RightCapital is integrated with CRMs (Redtail, Wealthbox), performance reporting tools (Orion, Black Diamond, Albridge, Advyzon, Blueleaf, etc.), custodians (TD Ameritrade, Schwab, Pershing, Fidelity, Folio Institutional, etc.), and the risk assessment tool Riskalyze.
Pricing starts at $124.95 per advisor/month.
Money Tree is a financial planning and investment management service provider with a track record of accurate results, innovation, and outstanding support. The company offers two planning solutions:
- Silver, an interactive big-picture planning solution that supports important conversations about clients’ financial future.
- Total, an in-depth planning solution that captures and analyzes clients’ current financial situation and illustrates the impacts of important decisions on their financial future.
The Total edition is integrated with Albridge, Morningstar, and Redtail. Money Tree offers discounts to members of those organizations that use their products, such as LPL, TD Ameritrade, AdvisorIntelligence, ACP, CommonWealth, Investors Security, and more.
Yearly pricing starts at $495 per advisor.
Advicent provides a comprehensive financial planning platform, NaviPlan, which equips financial advisors with the ability to offer their clients everything they need, from simple goals-based assessments to advanced retirement income scenarios and estate planning.
NaviPlan includes the following features:
- Account aggregation
- Advanced tax planning
- Asset allocation and risk tolerance
- Business planning
- Cash flow planning
- Client portal
- Collaborative planning
- Compliance workflows
- Customizable client reports
- Digital fact finder
- Equity compensation
- Estate planning
- Goals-based planning
- Guided retirement
- Insurance planning
- Monte Carlo analysis
- Retirement income modeling
- Scenario manager
To deliver the most accessible tools in the market to wealth managers, advisors, and planners; save their time; reduce the likelihood of errors; and allow them to spend more time in front of clients and prospects, Advicent is integrated with leading technology providers, such as Quovo, Albridge, AppCrown, Envestnet, Morningstar, Orion, Redtail, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Pershing, and SmartOffice.
In these times of uncertainty, Advicent decided to provide all financial advisors, including current client portal users, with free access to the NaviPlan client portal through December 2021.
“Now more than ever, advisors and their clients need to work closely to calmly and strategically navigate volatile market conditions using flexible, intuitive financial plans. The NaviPlan client portal, and our advisor marketing materials, mitigate the impact on advisory practices during these extraordinary times—and enable investors to fully understand, and act upon, their financial plans in concert with their trusted advisors.”—Angela Pecoraro, CEO of Advicent
Advizr (Orion Planning)
After Advizr was acquired by Orion, its name was changed to Orion Planning. Orion Planning allows advisors to connect their clients’ financial goals with investment performance data to create actionable plans.
Relying on Orion’s powerful software that gathers tons of data, Orion Planning performs goal-based or cash-flow planning and runs robust simulations to illustrate the probability of success. Flexible, modular workflows allow advisors to quickly capture information related to their clients’ unique goals and align progress toward those goals with investment performance data to better understand how asset allocation affects their financial plans.
Considering the current volatile situation, Orion is making access to Orion Planning free to noncustomers. The company wants also to help advisors reach out to people impacted by the coronavirus crisis, even on a pro bono basis, and thus it is providing marketing materials on the benefits of planning.
“We hope advisors use [Orion Planning] for people affected, people who filed for unemployment claims . . . prospective clients who potentially have retirement savings and want to know if they’ll be ok.”—Kyle Hiatt, CRO of Orion
Asset-Map is a fast growing company that aims to help advisors connect with their clients and turn comprehensive data into actionable decisions for entire households. With Asset-Map, financial advisors and their clients may identify new opportunities, prioritize financial goals, create plans, and take actions to realize clients’ benefits.
The list of Asset-Map features includes the following:
- An Asset-Map Report is a visual experience that displays all of a household’s members, entities, financial assets, liabilities, cash-flows, and insurance policies.
- A Target-Map helps financial advisors and their clients identify funding gaps toward financial goals in mere moments and then track their progress (and required actions).
- The Household Index is a dynamic reporting of financial parameters that helps to better understand client segments and drive opportunities for targeted conversations.
- The Stencil adds suggestions for typical financial instruments that a household’s peers may have to make it easier for financial advisors to elevate their condition.
Asset-Map is integrated with Riskalyze, Orion, Envestnet|MoneyGuide, Redtail, TD Ameritrade, Black Diamond, SmartOffice, and AI Labs.
Pricing starts at $99/month.
Above, I gathered information for about half of the financial planning platforms included in the T3 report. When the report was first compiled, just two-thirds of the advisors were using financial planning software. Because of the pandemic, however, millions of people are feeling the need to come up with new financial plans to overcome this crisis. Some of the companies above are providing deep discounts on their financial planning software, or even offering it for free to help advisors, their clients, and prospects make informed decisions. Anyone looking to secure their financial future should consider signing up for a financial