inStream moves to for-pay model as it expands financial planning platform

New tools include improved daily alerts and Wade Pfau's 'safe savings rate' function

Jan 6, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Joyce Hanson

inStream, financial planning, Wade Pfau
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Wade Pfau, professor at the American College. (American College)

Executives at inStream Solutions said Monday that they are moving to a for-pay business model for the formerly free financial planning platform as they improve and expand the wealth management tools on offer to financial advisers.

Updates to inStream's tools include improved daily alerts when clients require attention, “mind mapping” software for adviser-client interactions and a “safe savings rate” function from Wade Pfau, a professor of retirement income at the American College of Financial Services who also serves as inStream's chief financial planning scientist on a project basis.

The company will offer the platform to its 2,000 users at an annual rate of $1,000. New inStream users will be charged $1,200, with volume-based discounts.

The price will include all additional releases, a number of which are due out in the coming months, according to inStream founder and chief executive Alex Murguia.

The second release will include a sustainable withdrawal rate function, he said.

“The first release is a … sea change of what will be available to advisers in the world of financial planning,” Mr. Murguia said. “The big news is that we're moving from vision to execution.”

inStream had its beginnings two years ago two years ago when Mr. Murguia was a principal at McLean Asset Management Corp. and looking to improve the firm's own wealth management platform.

The original tool was offered for free to other advisers as he sought beta testers to use the platform and provide feedback. As inStream grew in popularity, it separated from McLean and became a firm in its own right.

Integration partners working with inStream include Orion Advisor Services, Redtail Technology and TD Ameritrade Inc.

Before announcing the price change publicly, inStream in October notified users of its plans to start charging for the platform, Mr. Murguia said.

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