What are you non-wirehouse people, and those whose b/ds don't offer it, using as your Asset Allocation software?
Looking for something that does allocation, analysis, and performance.
Morningstar Advisor Workstation?
An in house version of Albridge. For reviews, I pull performance, allocation and account ownership detail. And use MWS for model portfolio and research. Not cheap, but very efficient.
It depends on what you want to do.
If you are looking for performance reporting that is done for the benefit
of your clients, then Morningstar is too young, and has not developed
their product yet to be competitive.
If you are looking for an all-inclusive investment analytics program that
can run asset allocation data for closed ends, open-ends, VAs, Stocks and
ETFs, then Morningstar Principia Pro (with advanced analytics) is your
They offer a complete bundle of all modules, including an NASD-
approved hypotheticals module for $3,000 per year with monthly
I'll be taking it one step further for my practice... in March, they will be
releasing a Morningstar version of the Ibbotsen optimization platform
(Morningstar owns Ibbotsen), which will allow you to build asset
allocation models/strategies and optimize the asset mixes for risk/return
using the asset classes you wish to include. The whole bundle will cost
So, yes, Morningstar is an excellent system. You can upload client data
directly to the system, run nice snapshot views of existing asset
allocations, and shortly.... be able to optimize your portfolio allocations
on a legitimate optimization platform, rather than shooting from the hip.
Morningstar also has a risk analysis questionnaire that is simple, and easy
to understand. They will provide you with a summary allocation given the
responses from your client. Then, you fill in the blanks with your fund
choices, optimize the allocation for risk, and then you have a very
effective platform for asset allocation recommendations.
I looked at Workstation, and found that it was a good system, however, I
found a better option for the 1.) monte carlo/financial planning, and 2.)
the performance reporting for my clients. That being the case, we use
Morningstar for investment analytics, however, financial planning and
performance reporting is done via two other applications.
Just my $.02.
Captain -What are your other two pieces? What do you use for the Monte Carlo and Performance Reporting?
We use Black Diamond Performance Reporting. They provide a bunch of data on a point and click basis. All of our data is uploaded daily from Fidelity (seamless) directly to their site. They allow us to do a bunch of stuff. We customized our own client performance reports based on what WE would like to see, and where we would like to see it. We pay them 2 basis points (that's nothing, by the way...) for this service. They also 'scrub' the performance data to make sure it's accurate, and AIMR compliant.
For Monte Carlo, we use Financeware. It was developed by David Loeper, and I was impressed by it's ability to generate a really nice report. You can customize the number of pages, the type of data, and amount of data, etc., depending on what type of scenerio you are reviewing. It also allows you to upload client data, if you would like.
I realize that it would be great to have one software piece that offered everthing, however, when you have the ability to provide the 'best of breed' to your clients, I see NO reason to skimp. Get what you want, and make sure it fits your practice.
Heading off to the Chicago sailboat show tomorrow and for the weekend. Good times.