Is WealthTrace the Right Financial Planning Software for You?

“If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”
Edmund Burke

The market for financial planning software has exploded over the past five years with new entrants bringing innovative approaches for managing client’s wealth and planning their retirement.  As part of my series on financial planning software, I reviewed WealthTrace, which is a relatively new player looking to find a niche in between existing products. (See Which Financial Planning Software is Right For You?)

The firm was launched three years ago by CEO Doug Carey, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), former portfolio manager and financial software developer, after he became frustrated by how difficult financial planning software was to use.

They offer two versions of their product; one for advisors and another for individual consumers.   Currently, they have over 300 paid users of the consumer version, with the advisor version supporting around 300 trial users and 50 or so paying clients, Carey reported.

What is your company’s approach to financial planning?

At WealthTrace, one of their goals is to make it as simple as possible for the user to see the results of changes to the plan, Carey responded.  And those results should be front and center on the screen and easy to access.  Also, they believe clients have other goals besides running out of money and their system should help to address these goals, he said. Continue reading

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FolioDynamix v7.1 Delivers Support for Unified Managed Households

In a previous post (6 Keys to Launching a Successful UMA Program), one of the panelists commented that no vendors currently have a complete solution for Unified Managed Households (UMH).  I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to touch base with a few vendors that offer fee-based advisory platforms to learn more about their UMH support.

For the first part of this series, I spoke with Aaron Schumm, Chief Customer Officer at FolioDynamix.  Folio recently announced a deal with Vantage Benefits Administrators, who will deploy FolioDynamix’s wealth management platform for group benefit plan modeling, rebalancing and trade order management as part of their comprehensive benefit plan offerings. Continue reading

Going Under the Hood of Models-Only Programs

This is a summary of a session from the Money Management Institute’s Fall Solutions Conference that was held in October 2013 in New York City.

Moderator: Heeren Pathak, CTO, Vestmark

Panelists:

Are some asset classes better suited for use in models-only programs?

Asset classes that are more liquid are usually easier to trade in a model, Lasker observed.  Communication is important here since some assets can become illiquid for short periods of time and the managers need to know when there are problems implementing model changes, he stated.

While some strategies are more challenging, most obstacles can be overcome so that they can be included in a model, Overway commented.  Fixed income is a good example, since the models are often provided in the from of a list of characteristics instead of individual securities.  This entails more communication between the Natixis overlay management group and the model manager about which securities would be acceptable in the model portfolio, he pointed out. Continue reading