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- Annuities: Variable Annuities Annuities are hot. The tax rules vary with the circumstances. Advisors must be aware of these intricacies when discussing annuities with clients.
H.D. Vest Investment Services has launched a new financial-planning software program that lets its nearly 5,000 affiliated advisors work with information on client assets, including those not held at the independent broker-dealer.
The program, VestVision, also shows the progress clients are making toward their financial goals, “stress-tested against the simulation of 1,000 potential market environments,” H.D. Vest said Thursday. Such details, the firm says, can help advisors and clients make portfolio and other adjustments as the financial markets shift and changes occur in clients’ professional and personal lives.
“Today, the overwhelming concern of most financial advisory clients is not how well their investments are performing against any particular index or market-related benchmark, but rather, on a personal level, whether they will have the money they need in order to meet their life goals and how they can best achieve that objective,” explained Scott Rawlins, managing sales director, in a press release.
The VestVision software, he says, “is completely oriented to respond to those concerns, and to assist our advisors in keeping their clients fully focused on their individual financial plans and avoid being distracted by extraneous developments.”
In a pilot program, H.D. Vest advisors using VestVision boosted their productivity by 20% to 30% and gained a higher share of client assets over a 12-month period, according to the privately owned independent broker-dealer.
VestVision works with H.D. Vest’s other platform tools, such as V4 Client Experience and 1040 Analyst, which let advisors develop financial plans based on clients’ tax returns. H.D. Vest introduced V4 Client Experience at CONNECT2014, its annual conference, in June.
“We recognize that tax-savvy wealth management can add appreciably to a client’s overall financial health, and that no professional understands the totality of a client’s financial picture as completely as his or her tax advisor,” Rawlins said in a statement at the time.
V4 gives H.D. Vest’s financial advisors “a competitive advantage by being unique, indispensable and repeatable,” he noted. Each year, clients receive an updated 1040 Analyst report, “renewing the process to identify important issues as a client’s financial situation, family dynamics and goals continue to evolve.”
Last year, H.D. Vest tapped Ruth Papazian, a former executive of LPL Financial (LPLA), as the firm’s chief marketing officer and head of business development/recruiting. It also named Adi Garg, previously with Cash America (CSH), as its chief information officer.
In addition, it uses Hearsay Social for its social-media platform.
Check out 10 Things to Know About How Investments Are Taxed on ThinkAdvisor.