In past blogs, we have discussed the pros and cons of various software applications relating to financial services. Moreover, when writing about a particular piece of software, I have always been candid in my assessments. This hasn’t always set well with those who offer the program, but as the baseball umpire says, “I call ‘em as I see ‘em.” I also seem to have a tendency to find issues that need to be improved, much like a proofreader of a soon-to-be-released book. In this post, I will update my experience with eMoney’s financial planning system.
Why I Changed My Software
As 2014 was ending, it became clear that I needed a different financial planning tool. For the previous 10 years, I used Excel with a $1,500 add in called Crystal Ball. Crystal Ball provided Monte Carlo simulation, decision analysis, and optimization on any input or output of the financial plan. In short, it was an open-architecture system.
However, it was far too labor intensive, and if you have ever created a software application, you know there are always little bugs to fix. Because I increased my number of financial planning clients, a change was inevitable, and eMoney was my choice. Why eMoney? I chose it because its planning tool was robust and the program offered additional attractive features.
eMoney: Overview, Issues and Solutions
If you are unfamiliar with eMoney, the platform includes an impressive financial planning application, the ability to link outside assets and liabilities, a secure vault to store documents online, the capability to conduct online presentations and a personal website where clients can log in to view their entire financial situation, access documents, run reports, and more.
There is no such thing as perfect software that will meet every need of every advisor. I have found that eMoney does a nice job of modeling various situations. Here’s an example. A married couple decides to buy a parcel of land in 2016, finance it with a one-year, interest-only loan, and build a new residence on the land in 2017. They will use the net proceeds from the sale of another property to pay off most of the interest-only loan. eMoney does a nice job of modeling this through its buy-sell transactions and gives the user the option of paying cash or financing the new residence (or any future purchase).
Another common situation is the couple who wants to buy a different automobile every five to 10 years. The program will easily model this whether paying cash or financing each new vehicle. You can also input a negative annual return to reflect the declining value of each auto and an inflation rate to increase the purchase price of each new vehicle.
Despite all of the great features eMoney offers, there are still some needed enhancements. However, with the ability to link assets and liabilities, store documents online, and provide each client with a secure login to their personal website, in my opinion, eMoney is one of the better options.
Until next time, thanks for reading and have a great week!