Kelley Rating (one asterisk = lowest, five asterisks = highest):
- Ease of navigation, design of interface and learning curve ****
- Instructional documentation and help system *
- Carries out the goal of the product as advertised *****
- Overall usefulness ****
SunGard’s MyWealthSeries enables clients to input financial information, goals and planning choices to collaborate with their advisors. It is designed to help clients actively participate in their financial planning. Clients become engaged and informed as they work with their advisors on financial management issues. This product is designed to provide a turnkey solution for financial professionals (particularly smaller companies), charitable organizations, accounting firms and law firms at a low cost.
MyWealthSeries is a web-based tool designed as an addition to advisors’ websites. It is delivered to advisors online as a software-as-a-service facility. It offers the ability to use online tools in a pay-as-you-go environment, without requiring the use of any other platform.
The user interface includes input fields for data entry, slider bars that enable the user to adjust planning assumptions directly from the results screen and dynamically generated charts illustrating the results. Clients can easily evaluate how their financial information and assumptions impact funding for their financial goals. MyWealthSeriespages can be opened in a secondary window or framed within the advisor’s own website as part of the advisor’s brand.
MyWealthSeries consists of four online calculators including the Asset Allocation Calculator, Education Planning Calculator, Retirement Planning Calculator and Survivorship Calculator.
The website presents a brief series of screens demonstrating the operation of each calculator.
As described by the publisher: “Education projects future higher education funding needs based on current resources and calculates savings needed to fund the goal. Retirement projects retirement funding needs based on current resources, including Social Security, and calculates monthly savings needed to fully fund the retirement goal. Survivorship projects available income and determines if survivors are likely to experience a financial shortfall, and Asset Allocation calculates recommended asset allocation by analyzing current risk tolerance.” [italics added]
MyWealthSeries is a unique add-in for your website. There does not appear to be another facility available that has the basic financial planning formats and calculations that MyWealthSeries supplies.
What’s It All About?
When MyWealthSeries is installed, the advisor is able to embed links from his website to a choice of modules, such as Asset Allocation, Education Funding, Retirement Planning or Survivor needs. Each module offers simple input screens followed by a series of results screens.
The first screen displays a detailed risk tolerance questionnaire from which the client selects the degree to which he agrees with a number of questions related to risk tolerance. A results screen then displays a risk tolerance level and a pie chart showing the distribution of the client’s investment portfolio between fixed income investments and equities.
The input screens request the name of the student, the student’s birth date, the year the student’s higher education expenses are to begin, the number of years to be spent in higher education, selection of average private school or average public school annual cost, and how much has already been set aside for education funding. On the next screen, the client selects the risk level for the education fund investments. The results screen displays a pie chart with the current fund assets, proposed funding and the shortfall. The results screen then displays a bar chart reflecting the same fund components by year, with a schedule of the client’s information and assumptions. Sliders allow the client to modify the monthly savings, assumed annual cost, percent paid and risk level.
The input screens request current ages and earnings for the client and his spouse or partner, the targeted retirement age, the amount the client has saved and the amount the client saves monthly. The next screen asks for selection of risk level from low to high and presents a pie chart displaying the projected ratio of equities to fixed income securities for the risk level selected. A screen then appears with a chart reflecting the comparison of retirement assets previously entered with the retirement goals. The shortfall calculates needed savings per month in order to reach the retirement goal. Sliders enable the user to adjust retirement age, age analysis ends, monthly spending, investment style (risk tolerance) and additional monthly savings. The client may select to include Social Security benefits, which causes the chart to readjust.
The input screens ask for the client’s current age, annual earnings, desired retirement age, whether to include spouse or partner, number of dependent children, amount of current debt to be paid at death, amount of current assets that would be available for the survivor's needs, how much life insurance is currently available to the survivor and selection of risk tolerance level. The results screen displays a pie chart, a tabulation of inputs and a year-by-year bar chart of current life insurance, assets and social security, and solves for additional insurance. Sliders allow for adjustments to inputs and investment risk tolerance. The client can select whether to include Social Security benefits.
The input summaries and results are displayed on the computer screen only and do not include print or save facilities.
What About Help and Support?
The screens are clearly organized and do not require context-specific help, general help or support. The supplier of MyWealthSeries may maintain a contact point on the supplier’s website.
Where Do You Get This Facility?
This service (including the Asset Allocation Calculator, Education Planning Calculator, Retirement Planning Calculator and Survivorship Calculator) is available from:
Email: [email protected]
Pricing is based on the number of times all screens within a given calculator are completed to the point of generating a results page. The first 200 results pages are $25 per calculator with a graduated scale per result thereafter.
MyWealthSeriesprovides an easy to use and efficient addition to your website for financial and retirement related calculations. It is both a convenience to your clients as they work with you and an inducement to prospective clients to visit your website.
Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthly Technology Review by Donald H. Kelley—a respected connoisseur of the software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.
Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner Software, (Thomson – West 2004). He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Section and the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestions for articles directly to him at [email protected].