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Morningstar Launches Goals-Based Software for Planning, Investments

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Morningstar has launched new software for advisors that puts clients’ goals front and center in the planning process. Goal Bridge allows advisors to collaborate with clients to identify the different purposes for their investments, connecting those goals to personalized investment plans within a single dynamic workflow.

For each client goal, Goal Bridge provides tools to help an advisor and investor determine a suitable allocation based on a client’s time horizon and risk tolerance. Potential rewards and trade-offs are identified along with investment risks so that advisors can implement plans that their clients are more likely to stick with.

“Investors can sit side-by-side with their advisors to set the right expectations and buy into their plans,” said Dermot O’Mahony, head of software products at Morningstar, in a statement. ”When investment choices are clearly rooted in investors’ intrinsic motivations, investors are more likely to stay on track to achieve their goals.”

Goal Bridge also saves advisors time required for goal-based planning compared with traditional financial planning methods, according to Morningstar.

Goal Bridge is currently available as an add-on for Morningstar Advisor Workstation, which provides broker-dealers and IBDs web-based client presentation, portfolio analysis and investment research tools, and it is expected to be available as a standalone enterprise component that can connect to third party platforms in early 2020, says Jason Stipp, director of project management at Morningstar.

No date has been set for integrating Goal Bridge with Morningstar Office, which provides practice and portfolio management system for RIAs.

Goal Bridge uses a list of 12 different client goals, including retirement, college, travel and home improvement, plus an unspecified custom goal, for which an advisor and client together can determine a suitable asset allocation to achieve that goal.

Morningstar chose the master list approach after recent behavioral science research it conducted showed that 73% of investors changed at least one of three top goals they had previously identified after reviewing and prioritizing financial goals from a master list.

Sustainable investing goals are not included in Goal Bridge, but a “sustainability overlay” is under consideration, says Stipp.

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