Most advisers can use all the help they can get to expand their practices. That includes assistance with tedious and error-prone daily tasks such as prospecting, data entry and filling out client forms. So why not assign clients some of the work? Who is more likely to enter the correct information than the clients themselves?
Along those same lines, why not use teasers on your home page to other services that could add value and benefits —in other words, that could generate revenue for your practice?
What follows are some applications, many discussed in the cover story to this special report but with their nuts and bolts and web locations for further exploration.
Amp from Boulevard R
The beginnings of what has become the Amp process date back to 2005, when co-founder Matt Iverson was helping his father to determine how best to begin withdrawing from his various retirement accounts.
The system they worked out became the Starter Roadmap, which is basically an online wizard for undertaking that process. It has evolved quite a bit and now is just one piece of the Amp system.
Advisers who sign up for Amp receive specific codes that they provide to prospects, who then can go to iTunes to download the iPad application. Clients are taken through an initial goal assessment related to their retirement.
In addition, advisers get a suite of web-based software to which they can link from their website, as well as unlimited e-mail campaigns and an online profile with some search engine optimization from Boulevard R.
The suite includes the interactive goal-setting process, online Dashboard and Starter Roadmap.
Advisers receive an e-mail alert whenever a new prospect signs up. A management interface lets the adviser customize automated e-mails that Amp generates. Here, advisers can also review data from a client or a prospect, as well as set the calculation assumptions for the Roadmap and goal-setting features.
Price: Not published; contact through the site to get a quote.
At least initially, Omyen is targeting advisers who have not performed retirement planning for their clients but who know they probably should be doing it.
The Omyen website features a “New: Retirement in a Box” button, which leads advisers to a list of several tools.
The Personal Financial Index gets the process going.
The index, to which advisers can supply a customized link from their own site, provides a personal financial health benchmark that can be completed within 10 minutes, according to founder Dinesh Sharma.
The concept is that, once hooked, clients will want an adviser to take them through the other tools, including the Risk Capacity Index, Retirement Savings Planner and Sustainable Retirement Income Planner.
Price: $149 a month per adviser
In a nutshell, PreciseFP offers intuitive, SSL-encrypted online questionnaires that get the client to do the data entry for the adviser.
The firm also has integrations with several other third-party advisory technology providers, such as the popular Junxure and Redtail Technology CRM systems, and MoneyGuidePro financial planning. In addition, advisers can export client data securely using nonproprietary XML features and create encrypted PDF documents.
An upcoming release will support tablets and be based on HTML5, thus precluding the need to create native versions for each tablet operating system.
Price: 14-day free trial. $19.95 per month per adviser for an annual subscription. Discounts offered for additional advisers.
Retire Logix mobile application
First came the Retire Logix application for the iPhone, which claims more than 40,000 downloads. Now there also is an Android version and a version optimized for the iPad. There is a new marketing twist for advisers, too, in the form of digital business cards. Advisers who sign up with the software provider can get cards made with QR codes on the back. After scanning the code with their iPad or iPhone, prospects end up at a customized adviser website where they can download the Retire Logix application for free.
Essentially, Retire Logix is an interactive financial planning app that investors can use to get a quick overview of whether their assets, pension and Social Security benefits will cover their expected wants and needs during retirement. Projections take into account investment returns, taxes and inflation. Users also can adjust their assumptions to change their predicted outcome with sliders and see an immediate effect.
Price: Free for investors, $1.99 downloadable pro version with additional collaborative features for advisers.
Riskalyze Pro began life as a free tool for investors that made it simple for them to build and manage a portfolio based on their own risk tolerance. The firm patented its Risk Fingerprint technology and worked out the kinks for thousands of investors. Now advisers can make use of those developments as a prospecting tool.
Advisers sign up with the service and then can share a link with clients on their website. Clients add information that quantitatively measures their risk tolerance, and the output generates a report that the adviser can share with clients when building an appropriate portfolio.
In case of an audit, the adviser also can generate client risk tolerance reports easily for regulators.
Price: Riskalyze Pro rolled out a set of free tools for advisers but with limited features; most advisers will probably prefer going with the $99 per month full-feature set.
Raj Udeshi, a master marketer and co-founder of HiddenLevers, tells advisers to turn risk management into a profit center.
The plucky little firm has a new offering — a “stress-test your portfolio” button that advisers can display on their website. The button takes prospects to HiddenLevers, where they can quickly see how their portfolios would perform in the context of macroeconomic scenarios such as the fiscal cliff, eurozone crisis and U.S. housing rebound. Advisers, in turn, can showcase how their hedging strategies, wealth preservation models and re-balancing decisions perform in various environments.
Price: Packages range from a basic setup for $300 per month to an elite package, with many additional features, for $1,200 per month.
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