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Orion Unveils “Five-Minute Financial Planning”

Partnering with analytics firm FinMason, Orion Advisor Services builds a financial planning tool for prospecting and assisting current clients.

Orion Advisor Services is taking one more step towards making its platform the “single pane of glass” that advisors will use. The advisor tech provider is teaming up with investment analytics firm FinMason to give financial advisors a “Five-minute Financial Plan” within the Orion Insight dashboard. The tool, which depends on FinMason’s FinRiver APIs, will be a monthly subscription. It will be demonstrated at Orion’s Ascent conference, but got a sneak peek ahead of today’s launch.

The tool runs a 10,000-iteration Monte Carlo projection on a portfolio of the advisor’s choosing. Input controls include the end-client’s current age, projected age of retirement, predicted lifespan, portfolio contributions and withdrawals, as well as whether the client is currently retired or not. Advisors can map out the impacts of large balance withdrawals, for major purchases or college costs and when they might occur. The projection returns a middle-of-the-road Expected Case and outliers of Good and Bad returns.

The tool’s value for financial advisors is twofold: besides providing a more robust financial planning picture, advisors who are prospecting can use the tool to impress potential clients, said Bob Leaper, head of business development at FinMason. While the analytics provider has other business partnerships outside of its Orion integration, this is the only partnership it has that’s focused on financial planning, he added.

While the tool is impressive and a smart addition to Orion’s dashboard, it really is a “five-minute” version and doesn’t include inputs for tax considerations, long-term care expenses or other factors that are important components of a thorough financial plan. Wealthfront’s Path tool, for example, provides an even more robust financial planning experience, including many of the same features in Orion’s tool plus expected Social Security income and calculations of projected college costs rather than advisor or end-client-generated predictions of what college might cost in the future. FinMason said it’s standing by to factor in new inputs, which would be incorporated into the tool’s results.

Orion didn’t address additional inputs planned for the tool, but suggested there would be demand for the product as-is. “Of the close to 1,600 firms using Orion today, 1,000 of them are utilizing financial planning integrations. That leaves a sizable percentage that could be potential users of tools like FinMason, iRetire and Asset-Map,” said Kelly Waltrich, Orion spokesperson. She noted that Orion already has partnerships with MoneyGuidePro and eMoney and hinted at a future integration with Asset-Map.

“We believe advisors work best, and most efficiently, when they are empowered to build a tech stack that fits their unique business needs,” said Eric Clarke, founder and CEO of Orion. “Our strong and open integration architecture enables Orion to deliver access to in-demand solutions like FinMason and supports our clients’ efforts to strengthen their relationships through financial planning analytics.”

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