MoneyGuide launches two new financial planning products

MoneyGuideOne will provide a simpler, more cost-effective technology option, while MoneyGuideElite is designed for advanced users offering more sophisticated plans

Jan 15, 2019 @ 2:56 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

PIEtech is launching two new versions of its popular MoneyGuide financial planning software in an effort to expand its user base of advisers.

In addition to its core MoneyGuidePro product, PIEtech will now offer a simplified, less-expensive version called MoneyGuideOne for advisers new to financial planning or who work with clients with basic planning needs. For advisers on the other end of the spectrum, PIEtech will offer MoneyGuideElite, a more advanced product with features beyond what's available in Pro.

The idea is to make the technology more relevant to different client demographics, and the advisers who serve them.

"We're trying to get beyond the traditional user of MoneyGuide, that mass-affluent person," said PIEtech chief growth officer Kevin Hughes.

MoneyGuidePro has a "fast planning" feature for basic plans, but firms have to pay the full price for the technology, which can cost $125 per month, even if they don't use the more advanced features. MoneyGuideOne costs $50 per month or $500 for a year, offering a more budget-friendly option for new advisers or veterans looking to dip their toes into planning.

(More: Technology aiding firms in adopting financial planning offerings)

The key to building MoneyGuideOne was removing extraneous bells and whistles without sacrificing any of the core functionality necessary for building a quality plan, Mr. Hughes said.

"We feel whole-heartedly that speed without quality is useless," he said.

The company analyzed how advisers use MoneyGuide to identify the most popular features that advisers use to collaborate with clients and build a plan, then removed things only used by "power users." Clients still input their goals, they can still use sliders to adjust things such as how much they save or when they retire, and it still provides stress tests for big events beyond one's control, such as a recession, long-term healthcare issue or a cut in social security.

With MoneyGuideElite, the company is hoping to go up-market and help advisers deliver plans for older and wealthier clients. Elite can illustrate income distribution, analyze annuities and provide more methods to protect retirement income. The product is integrated with insurance providers and can recommend appropriate products for a client's specific needs.

"The facts are real simple: the majority of advisers don't actually cover life insurance," Mr. Hughes said. "It's an opportunity for advisers and clients too."

(More: BlackRock integrates retirement income calculator with eMoney)

The new products will help advisers "move up the value chain," he said.

New advisers can begin with MoneyGuideOne and move to more advanced, and more expensive, products as their practice and clients mature.

"The reality is something to the tune of 80% of investors don't have any plan in place whatsoever," Mr. Hughes said.

This creates an opportunity for more people in the industry to offer more than just investment management and remain competitive in a changing industry, he said.

"The opening for financial planning services in that particular segment seems high," he said.

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