New financial planning software tries to win market share in a crowded field

Newly launched service provider RightCapital thinks it has created a better mousetrap and is undaunted by the hypercompetitive market

Sep 16, 2015 @ 11:59 am

By Alessandra Malito

Financial planning is becoming an increasingly competitive market for software providers, but regardless, another new platform has launched with an adviser-targeted offering that it touts as different.

RightCapital, a financial planning software provider specifically for advisers, announced its launch Tuesday during the XY Planning Network Conference in Charlotte, N.C. The web-based platform already has integrations with Morningstar Inc, Yodlee Inc., a data aggregator, and Redtail, a client relationship management software provider.

Advisers will be charged $49.95 per month for the basic planning platform or $74.95 per month for the planning platform with account aggregation.

"We think financial planning is going to be a key component for wealth management going forward," said Shuang Chen, co-founder and chief executive of RightCapital.

Indeed, it will be. Although financial advisers have been creating financial plans for years, only recently has there been a significant emphasis on looking at clients' overall financial picture. Many cite robo-advisers as one reason for the increased focus on digital platforms. Some argue that automated investment services have commoditized investment advice.

"It is becoming the hallmark for being a financial adviser," said Lorraine Ell, president and director of training at Excellat Consulting, a technology firm for advisers. "The days of just selling mutual funds or collecting assets to manage are quickly becoming obsolete."

Ms. Ell said what financial planning software providers can do to help advisers is make the process for creating financial plans smoother.

"The whole financial planning process right now is very time-consuming," she said. "It takes hours and hours to create and enter the data accurately."

Then someone must review and maintain the data to ensure that everything is up-to-date and the system generates the same, accurate output every time.

A platform for advisers, rather than one targeting nvestors,seems to be a safer option for financial planning startups.

Recently, another financial planning software startup, Plumvo, closed its doors because its business model, primarily geared toward consumers, was too tough a sell.

RightCapital's platform offers a client portal, as well as integrated functions for retirement, investments, insurance, education and budgeting. It incorporates financial information on taxes and Social Security, as well.

Mr. Chen has been in the industry for more than 15 years, and prior to starting RightCapital was vice president at Prudential Financial, where he was responsible for product development for the annuity business.

Co-founder Song Chen, the chief technology officer of RightCapital, has also been in the industry for more than a decade. Prior to the launch of the financial technology startup, Mr. Chen was vice president at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., where he focused on design and implementation technology for trading systems.

They believe their platform is different than what the industry already uses because RightCapital focuses on enabling adviser-client interactivity.

"We see the future of financial planning is promoting collaborations, and in order for advisers to collaborate, tools have to be interactive," Mr. Chen said.

Some financial advisers don't think there's any one perfect solution out there for them and their practices.

Robert Klein, founder and president at Retirement Income Center, said he uses six financial planning tools so that any client need can be addressed without issue.

"There is no single one out there that solves the needs of all of my clients," Mr. Klein said.

He said he is always trying new software, but will not commit to one until it becomes established financially. Mr. Klein also said the reason so many come and go, aside from funding, is a lack of flexibility in technology upgrades. The key to success is to take suggestions into consideration.

"The biggest thing is listening to customers, that is, the advisers, and developing the software, not only initially, but evolving over the years." Mr. Klein said.

"The best software providers spot the fact that one user might only be one user, but that if they make an enhancement suggestion, if it's really good, they'll implement it," he said.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Upcoming Event

May 16


Chicago Women Adviser Summit

The InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit, a one-day workshop now held in six cities due to popular demand, is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female adviser who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level....

Featured video


Regulators' gloves are coming off with cybersecurity. Put up your dukes with these tips

Updated guidelines and some of the first-ever rule enforcements signal that regulators are getting serious about holding firms accountable for data breaches, according to special projects editor Liz Skinner and technology reporter Ryan Neal.

Recommended Video

Keys to a successful deal

Latest news & opinion

Advisers throw cold water on FIRE movement

Millennials love it, advisers don't: Turns out, extreme early retirement is a suitable goal for almost nobody.

10 universities with the most billionaire alumni

These 10 American schools have the greatest number of alumni who are billionaires.

Top-performing ETFs of 2018

The markets took a beating last year, but these exchange-traded funds bucked the trend

Morningstar says investors rushed the exits in 2018

Net flows into mutual funds and ETFs were the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis, while money-market funds captured inflows.

Widow awarded $4.2 million by Finra panel for theft by ex-Royal Alliance broker

The former broker, Gary Basralian, earlier pleaded guilty to theft and is facing up to 20 years in prison.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print