Imagine being to make a movie about the financial impact of significant events in a client’s life. Imagine, too, doing this on your own — no actors, stage set hands or extras needed — and showing the client the filming subsequent to a fact-finding on their financial situation.
Imagine no more, for the technology exists. Software debuted at the annual meeting of the Million Dollar Round Table in June lets advisors create an animated, visual simulation of an individual’s financial life. The product of CiFiCo LLC (an abbreviation of Cinematic Financial Concepts), the software aims to simplify the presentation of financial information and, thereby, ease the understanding of a client’s financial situation —and of measures needed to enhance it.
“After inputting a client’s financial data, the advisor simply clicks ‘play’ and produces a visualization of the information,” says Rick Indelicato, a financial advisor and co-inventor of the CiFiCo software. “The product goes a step beyond conventional illustration software that generates static pie and bar charts.
“We call CiFiCo software single visual language for finance, one in which an advisor can express any financial concept,” he adds. “Anyone who watches the resulting movie would have an instant understanding of the concept.”
To that end, the software leverage several graphical elements to represent financial data. Among them: icons that represent wealth eroding factors or WEFs; “defense membranes” through which WEFs are eliminated or reduced; and “asset tanks” or divisible spheres of liquid money/value that can mimic an account.
The software also features “cost membranes” through which asset tanks pass and are divided; an “income river” of liquid money/value used to feed asset tanks and represent income; plus a “timeline” representing the lifespan of an entity.
The interaction of these visual elements can be used, for example, to represent how life insurance can preserve estate assets. Or they might show the effect on an individual’s 401(k) or 529 college savings plan as a result of a civil lawsuit or ill-conceived wealth transfer planning.
“Whereas a static picture is worth a thousand words, a CiFiCo movie is worth a million,” says Indelicato. “That’s what we deliver.”
Perhaps. Indelicato and the investors (all unnamed) who are financing the product’s development and launch are betting the software will establish a niche in a crowded field of apps targeted to life insurance and financial service professionals.