MoneyGuidePro is breaking down financial planning into blocks

The firm and Orion announce latest products at T3 Enterprise

Oct 24, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

The theme of how technology can make financial planning easier carried from the first day of the 2018 T3 Enterprise conference into Day 2.

MoneyGuidePro presented a new product it calls "Blocks" to address pain points on the adviser side of the equation.

There are three inconvenient truths for financial planners, said MoneyGuidePro head of sales Kevin Hughes: Planning someone's financial life is hard, as is getting advisers who have built a career on investment management to do anything else. But it's also difficult to convince clients to invest in planning, Mr. Hughes said.

The idea behind Blocks is to deconstruct MoneyGuidePro's financial planning into small, bite-size components. Advisers can give individual pieces of a plan to clients for them to complete in their own time.

Mr. Hughes calls it "stealth planning."

As each piece is completed, the information is stored in MoneyGuidePro and added to the client's overall financial plan.

(More: MoneyGuidePro releases fifth-generation financial planning tool)

For example, a client may have a goal of becoming more financially independent. Blocks breaks down this larger goal into credit card debt, student loans, emergency funds and retirement money. Information will feed toward the full goal, but clients need tackle only the issues that are relevant to them.

Blocks also allows advisers to customize the planning process to different types of clients. A younger client may care more about paying off student loans, while an older client may be trying to balance paying off credit card debt while saving in a 529 plan for their child's education.

Audience members were impressed by the layout.

"I love this 'Financial Freedom' block," tweeted Carolyn McClanahan, founder and director of financial planning at Life Planning Partners. "This is what I'm talking about — planning more for now instead of the future."

Orion Enterprise

Also on Tuesday at T3, Orion Advisor Services introduced a new product it developed in conjunction with FTJ FundChoice, the turnkey asset management platform that Orion parent company NorthStar Financial acquired in April.

Orion Enterprise includes access to FTJ's menu of third-party investment strategies alongside Orion's suite of portfolio management tools and peer-to-peer investment model marketplace.

Orion CEO and founder Eric Clarke said in a statement that Orion Enterprise was designed to help broker-dealers and large RIAs who need unique portfolio management technology that is not supported by anything currently on the market. He estimates that roughly three-quarters of these firms are underserved.

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