Foundational Planning: Helping Advisors Deliver More Plans to More Clients

Last month, you heard from my colleague, Josh Belfiore, who prior to joining eMoney was a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch. In his blog post, he asked the question “How can we help advisors do more for their clients?”

With 55 percent of client households valuing an advisor who takes the time to understand their needs and goals1, the need for personalized, dynamic plans that help clients prepare for every life stage continues to grow.  Advisors are responding by projecting to offer comprehensive ongoing planning advice to nearly 60% of their clients in 2019.2

To help advisors address this need and deliver more plans to more clients, we are excited to add Foundational Planning to our product offering in 2019. We recently announced this newest planning solution at our 2018 Summit last month.

Financial planning remains at the core of eMoney’s mission, and we strive to create a single platform that serves a wide variety of planning needs across the full spectrum of advisors and clients.

Foundational Planning enables advisors and firms of all sizes to engage more clients in planning-led relationships through an intuitive and scalable solution.  As comprehensive planning advice is expected to grow across all client segments2, advisors will need to find profitable ways to serve a variety of clients, particularly those in mass market / mass affluent segments whose current financial situations might not require a complex analysis. Foundational Planning can be an efficient starting point for a planning-led relationship.

However, we realize individuals’ financial needs are not static. Advisors not only need to be able to provide services to various client segments, but also throughout the client lifecycle.

In their attempts to meet clients’ varying needs, many firms have added technology system after system to their offerings which results in complexity, increased expenses, and decreased quality of service. In fact, the top reasons why firms have implemented multiple systems include3:

  • No single financial planning tool supports planning from simple to comprehensive,
  • A variety of tools are needed to address all aspects of the plan, and
  • The mismatch between many tools’ capabilities and user experiences—a high degree of capability and a poor user experience, or a low degree of capability and a very good user experience.

These findings reveal that financial planning tools must be flexible, scalable, and able to meet a broad range of client needs—all while providing an intuitive and efficient process for firms, and an interactive, engaging experience for clients. This data, which is consistent with what we heard from clients and prospects, served as the guiding light during the development of Foundational Planning.

With Foundational Planning built on the same engine and platform that powers eMoney today, this ultimately provides firms and advisors the opportunity to seamlessly transition clients to our more comprehensive tools as their financial planning needs evolve – eliminating the need for multiple planning technologies. This is particularly important as 68% of wealth managers state that learning about and keeping up with new technology is their number one challenge.4

Since our inception, eMoney has always based its success on that of our clients. And with 55,000 clients on our platform representing a wide range of advisors, firms and enterprises who each have different business models, we continually strive to create new products that help them stay competitive as the industry evolves.

1Cerulli Associates, The New Generation of Planning, 2017
2Cerulli Associates, Advisor Metrics 2017
3Aite 2018, Financial Planning at the Core: Current and Future Developments
4 Thomas Reuters in collaboration with Forbes Insight Q417 Survey
Matt Glazer

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