In the past month, two articles have appeared in the industry press suggesting that the traditional financial planning software platforms many of us use are out of touch with consumers’ increasing preference for education and interaction in the planning process.
The first article was in Financial Planning magazine’s 2020 Tech Survey. The headline for the article reads, “Advisors losing faith in planning software.” An excerpt from the article reads as follows,
“Clients are demanding advice that can help them in the here and now, says Erin Wood, vice president of wealth planning at Carson Wealth. While planning tools on the market are great for long-term projections,” she says, “they fall short when it comes to immediate advice.”
With respect to the expensive, comprehensive back-end planning solutions many of us use, including MoneyGuide Pro, Riskalyze, eMoney, Advizr and the like, the article observes,
“Advisors end up only using a fraction of the available capabilities, even though they are paying for the whole product. Keltner agrees. “Sometimes you only need a Ford and you’re getting a Ferrari…The vendors say they’ve heard this criticism and are investing toward making the products easier to use.”
The second article to riff on this theme was Sam Steinberger’s June 10th WealthManagement.com piece, Wealth Management Apps Are Terrible. The gist of the article is that the independent financial advisor technology space is behind in recognizing the need for affordable client-facing software–
“The [wealth management] industry’s technological capabilities remain immature … especially in comparison to retail banks. Improvement in retail banks’ client-facing digital capabilities has been driven by evolving client expectations and a strong need to reduce cost-to-serve to protect profitability. Wealth managers have not yet experienced similar levels of urgency.”
My reason for sharing all of this is that we have been preaching this message for years! As it says on our home page, we make affordable client-facing software to help educate and engage clients and prospects and to help build sticker client relationships. This is also why we produced entertaining videos such as this one from 2015 –
The future is here, and it is called Nest Egg Guru! As noted in the last issue of this newsletter, more client-relationship apps are in the works, including Password Guru, which we expect to release in beta format later this year.
Sidebar: As the owner/founder of Financial Planning Hawaii, I am a longtime subscriber to eMoney. eMoney founder Edmond Walters was really the pioneer in client-facing apps, and I have found it to be an extremely valuable tool for maintaining ongoing engagement with clients. However, to the afore-referenced articles’ point, I am paying just over $8,000 per year for eMoney and I use the comprehensive, back-end planning software component at most 2-3 times per year.
Cover photo courtesy of Scott Graham