Zach strives to help enterprise firms stay out in front of the pack with technology by helping to implement easy and repeatable internal processes. Zach enjoys learning more about a firms process to help fit technology and strategy together to achieve their goals.
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Financial plan presentation has become stagnant over time. Plans are often presented to a client in the form of a binder full of reports, text, and a few graphs – sometimes up to 100 pages or longer. I will be the first to say that being in-depth and comprehensive within your financial plan is the proper approach. However, there are now much simpler ways to convey this information without giving a client a five-pound binder.
Focusing on peace of mind in plan presentation
Checking the boxes for all areas of your client’s financial life is key; however, I believe we should focus on something a little different when presenting financial plan – peace of mind. The point of creating a financial plan is to help clients understand the process of achieving their goals and put strategies in place that help create peace of mind.
If that takes 100 pages, perfect. If it only takes 10 pages, perfect. The point should be not to take a one-size-fits-all approach to the planning process but to cater it and make it scalable to each client’s needs. That can happen through varied plan presentations strategies from the number of report pages produced or form in which the plan is presented.
Alternative 1: creating easy-to-understand, visually-appealing report presentations
The NaviPlan® financial planning software from Advicent provides advisors with that freedom but also gives them plan presentation options outside the traditional paper format. The first alternative is in a more collaborative format through presentations. The NaviPlan Presentation Module allows the advisor and client to work “on the fly” and bring parts of the financial plan into a visually-appealing presentation that is editable.
This makes it easier to update the report as the clients experience life changes. It also showcases the impact of the life changes and financial strategies on the financial plan in real time. This allows for the client to see the affects that making positive changes could have on their financial life and enables easier ongoing maintenance of the plan as well.
Too often, I see advisors provide a plan and not revisit that plan to update it and keep it current with the clients’ ever-changing situation. Leveraging technology like the NaviPlan Presentation Module can create a plan presentation process that is repeatable each year to ensure clients are on track with their goals.
Alternative 2: digitally presenting financial plans
The second alternative for delivering a plan is digitally through our Narrator® Clients portal. This alternative allows a client to access their financial plan 24/7 through a digital channel on their computer, phone, or tablet. This allows clients to see their entire financial lifeline with information derived from the financial plan their advisor created for them in an interactive format.
They can see where their goals line up on their lifeline and when they will reach their goals if they stick to the plan. It also allows both the client and advisor to understand the progress made in reaching goals and where to push for the proper behavior to meet them. This can also help in the maintenance of the plan because it can be a part of the continual communication process to update and push out their updated plan to the portal during review periods.
The traditional route of printed financial plans will always have a place in the process and is important for a client to understand their goals. However, do not dismiss new technology that can help advisors deliver peace of mind and a better client experience that keeps the client involved in the process throughout the year.
Click here to learn more about Narrator® Clients empowers advisors to create a more transparent, collaborative, and continual relationship with clients.