Over a century ago, Emmert Wolf wrote that “a man is only as good as his tools”. This remains true to this very day. If you’ve ever tried to fix something in your house and not had the right tools for the job, you know how frustrating and time consuming it can be!
But it’s also true that a tool is only as good as the person using it. If you don’t know how to use a tool well, then it doesn’t matter how much it cost or how many functions and features it has to offer – you just won’t get the most out of it.
I found the passage above on the Adaptavist blog and just had to share it and how it relates and resonates with my thoughts on financial planner software.
Whether you’re an Advisor at a dealer-broker, an independent RIA, or somewhere in between you need the right tools to do your job effectively. Delivering value and providing meaningful advice will be far easier if you have the right means to get it done.
So, what tools am I referring to? Financial Planner Software!
Financial Advisors can no longer rely on cumbersome spreadsheets and filing cabinets stuffed with paperwork to practice efficiently. These traditional yet dated methods of running a practice create tedious admin that can really bog down a business.
Instead, you need to find the right technology to take your practice into the 21st century to provide an amazing experience while leading with advice.
You may be wondering what software you should be using and how much you should be prepared to spend on tech per month. Today, I’m going to share some insight into some financial planner software options and what I’ve learned about tech throughout my journey as an Advisor.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive so please feel free to add a comment below. What is your favorite financial planning tech and why?
Founded by my co-host on the Rethink: Financial Advice Podcast, Adam Holt, Asset Map is the ultimate Financial Advisor client engagement software.
Now, you may think I’m plugging this software because Adam and I are buddies, but this really isn’t the case. Asset Map is the real deal!
Literally, for millions of years, people have communicated visually. Pictures, art, drawings, etc. We are wired to communicate with each other this way. Asset Map took this core human communication style and turned it into a brilliant tech solution to help people understand (visualize) their financial lives.
This software helps you organize a client’s finances in a clear graphical layout, allowing you to provide real-time professional insight. You can also track the progress of each of your clients with extensive dashboards known as Target-Maps. And, using their AI powered tool called Signals, you can determine if there are any gaps in planning that should be addressed.
These are just some of the features & benefits of Asset Map.
At the end of the day Asset Map puts you in the driver’s seat. You get to manage your advisory practice while empowering your clients. You get to show them how they’re doing and ways they can accomplish their goals in a visually appealing and simple way.
The MoneyGuide suite of software products includes web-based financial planning and retirement planning products. They allow for simple and fast prioritization of your client’s goals and help you give them perspective on their financial decisions.
This software has interactive features that you can offer your clients to plan the various elements they have within their control, and they will immediately see the impact of these decisions.
Another great feature is the dynamic presentation that allows you to plan factors outside of your client’s control and answer tough questions in a simple and straightforward way.
eMoney Financial Planning Software
I was actually an eMoney user for years. They’ve been serving the advisor community since 2000 and currently serve over 100,000 advisors.
For advisors who enjoy getting technical and working through very complex financial situations eMoney can be a great tool. They have a variety of customizations, reports, and even a client facing portal that allows your clients to add accounts from other institutions via a live link so they can see everything in one place.
eMoney tends to be a bit more expensive than some of the other options but they are a solid company with a proven product. Depending on your preference for tech and the type of ideal clients you work with I would definitely suggest you check eMoney out to see if it’s the right fit for you and your clients.
XY Planning Network
If you want to work with Gen X and Gen Y clients or are planning to in the future, the XY Planning Network is worth considering.
Co-Founders Alan Moore and Michael Kitces developed XY Planning Network to help support Financial Advisors who want to take on more clients within these age groups and to help them run a more successful business. They are not technically a planning software but more of a network you can plug into. They have a list of tools which includes fpPATHFINDER (See below).
Advisors who join XYPN will also get a free NAFPA membership at no additional cost.
A network of over 1,600 fellow Financial Advisors currently use XY Planning which includeds access to customized coaching, educational resources, and webinars.
Additionally, if you are a CFP, you’ll get a profile on their portal where your ideal clients can find you.
Designed specifically for Financial Advisors, fpPATHFINDER lets you use dynamic and thoughtfully designed flowcharts and checklists to present complex financial planning concepts to your clients in a way that they can understand.
As Advisors, it’s easy to forget that our clients don’t necessarily know much about finance or how to manage their assets. After all, that’s why they’re using your services, right?
You need to be able to present data to your clients in a way that makes sense to them. In my opinion, a visual approach works best – so that they can understand and act on your advice.
Using fpPATHFINDER, you can use various visual elements to display common financial planning strategies, quickly analyze your client’s data, and answer tough questions.
What to keep in mind when choosing financial planner software
Here are my top tips for using new software and taking your advisory practice into the digital era.
Take it slow
Any tech you plan to use within your practice should be brought on slowly. Adopting too much new tech at once can bring about all kinds of issues, especially if you’re working with a team of people.
Take it one platform at a time and slowly integrate all your systems and processes to create one efficient machine.
You need time to learn new software – as does your team – and how you can best leverage it to provide an advice-led approach to your work.
Know your ultimate goal
Regardless of what financial planning software you choose, the most important role it should play is to facilitate better human connection. Being able to present complex financial topics in a simple way to clients so they understand and can execute your recommendations is vital.
Consider the cost
Software platforms that are available for Financial Advisors should be considered an investment. But it’s worth keeping in mind this investment will have a delayed ROI as you provide advice to your clients.
Your monthly tech will likely cost you anything between $99 and $500, depending on how many users you will need on each platform and so on.
Wrapping up on financial planner software
Now that you know more about some financial planning software options for Financial Advisors, you can start putting together your tech stack. It’s time to run your practice in a way that makes sense to you while delivering better advice to your clients.
If you want more information on the tech I use to run my firm, check out this blog post.
My online coaching course for Financial Advisors, Conneqtor, can help you. I designed it to teach you how to use technology to bring your practice into the 21st century and deliver an mazing advice-led experience to your clients. Visit my website to learn more about Conneqtor.
Sending positive vibes your way,
Derek, your blogs are consistently filled with practical information for financial professionals like me. Thank you.
Do you have any recommendations regarding software tools for your insurance-only professionals?
Hi Lee, thank you so much for the kind words! Some of the tech mentioned can be used for Insurance based advisors, like Asset Map for example which is a great tool to help position & place more insurance.