Australian-born startup Lumiant announced this week that it had received an undisclosed amount of funding from well-known financial advisor Ric Edelman.
To be clear, the investment came from Edelman the individual, not Edelman Financial Engines, the large national RIA he founded, according to Lumiant’s communications team.
Described by its founders as an “advice engagement and client experience platform,” the technology offering is meant to help advisors from their initial meetings with clients throughout the “life planning” process.
While it certainly incorporates financial planning, and can use account aggregation to gain a view of a prospect’s or client’s assets, the technology is meant to be a more holistic offering that literally helps advisors work with prospects and clients to determine life goals and objectives and what matters most to them.
In May, Wealthmanagement.com received an introductory demonstration of the platform, which began with the “Your Life Survey” and its high-level goal setting.
This digital process begins by asking about eight different “dimensions” focused on well-being and life values starting with financial, followed by intellectual, occupational, physical health and fitness, social, environmental, emotional (which touches on spending patterns, and spending time with others), and then spiritual (not just religious, but frame of mind and ambitions).
Prospects or clients are asked to rank each of the eight dimensions and how important they are to them during the process.
At the end, the participant is asked if they would like to share extra financial details, which is a subtle way of getting more information.
Following completion of the survey, the platform generates a series of color-coordinated scatter and bar charts illustrating the participant’s survey results and the weighting of importance of the many dimensions displayed.
“We ideally would like to see their life score improve over time and we would like to think people’s lives can improve over the time of their journey together with the advisor and that the advisor can take a little credit for it,” said Lumiant U.S. CEO Blake Wood.
“Already, by the end of this process, we like to think we have a much deeper understanding of the person or couple and the importance of family, their goals etc. and many other intangibles,” said Lumiant Global CEO and co-founder Santiago Burridge.
In the next portion of the process, an individual or couple would be asked to look back (“imagine it's your 90th birthday”) and focus on three aspects of their life achievements. It is at this point the eight dimensions are reintroduced. Couples will individually rank and then each see the other’s rankings, the goal being consensus building.
“The goal here is to prevent a financial plan being built that is not driven by an aligned couple,” said Wood.
And the technology is designed and meant to be shared with a couple’s family, bringing multiple generations into the process.
“Track goals over time, quantify the advisor’s value, the things we’ve [advisor and client] achieved together—helping to address that what have you done for me lately questions for advisors,” said Burridge.
The company suggests clients go through the survey every 12 months.
There are other modules, as well, all laid out simply on Lumiant’s website and each with short videos describing their use, where they fit in the process and platform and showing their look and feel.
Advisors can kick the tires and get a feel for the platform with a limited free trial as well.
Some advisors, those that either once worked for United Capital, or that might have used the white-label version of that firm’s FinLife Partners platform rolled out in 2016 might find Lumiant’s platform reminiscent of that approach and tools.
Coming back to Lumiant, the firm has completed an integration with Yodlee for U.S. account aggregation (Plaid is used in Australia) and is at work on several other integrations including with a portfolio accounting provider, a practice management technology provider and with several CRM providers, according to Wood.
An integration with MoneyGuidePro is also in development (Wood spent the last 12-plus years prior to Lumiant in executive roles at Envestnet) for advisors already committed to that application for their in-depth financial planning.
The firm said it currently serves 4,000 families globally—meaning Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.—and works with 150 financial advisors in Australia. It said it is on target to have that many U.S. advisors on board by year’s end.
In terms of pricing, Lumiant has a Starter plan that begins at $249 per month. The Professional plan costs $499 monthly. There is a simple, intuitive, interactive pricing calculator on the company’s pricing page to help decide between plans and additional modules or features (from adding support staff to white labeling).