This past week I attended a three-hour online demonstration of the financial planning software MoneyGuidePro. This was an interactive session in which participants were allowed to input a case to get a better feel for the tool. Then I had a one-hour follow-up session. Here’s what I learned.
MoneyGuidePro is an amazing tool in many respects. In addition to the typical inputs, there is a great “what if” tool with numerous real-time alternatives. It also features a client-specific, pre-populated recommendations section covering areas such as retirement, cash flow, risk management, etc., based on the data entered. It’s also quite intuitive, unlike some planning software I’ve seen.
I was particularly impressed with the data input. It seems as though they’ve thought of just about every possible situation. It also contains a life expectancy calculator where you can enter a few variables such as smoker/non-smoker; general health condition (good, poor, etc.), and other factors. Then, it will provide a probability of living to various ages. If the client is married, it will forecast the probable life expectancy of both spouses. Yes, it is quite impressive.
I learned that MoneyGuidePro integrates with several custodial platforms. This interface will allow the advisor to download the client’s portfolio with a few clicks, then it will read the ticker symbols and determine each investment’s sub-category.
One of the most impressive things I found was the presentation tool. After creating a client’s plan, it converts it to a Power-Point type presentation. It also contains a feature called Star Track, which allows an advisor user to save each year’s plan and compare it with past plans. However, it only compares certain metrics, not the entire plan.
MoneyGuidePro has a unique Social Security optimization tool where the advisor can check various strategies such as file and suspend to determine the best option for the client.