Imagine it’s the 1980s and you’re using an HP12C to calculate an investment return for your client. Okay, well, some of us still do this today. At least now there’s an app for that.
It’s safe to say that in the past four decades, the software most used by financial advisors has come a very long way.
At Consolidated Planning, where we too once relied on pencil and paper, our four decades of experience helping clients has led to the development of some of the industry’s leading technology, used across the country by many other firms to deliver an exceptional client experience.
If you want to best manage your practice, you need to know your tech stack. It’s important to understand what software you will be using as a financial advisor and how it can help you stay more organized and able to spend more time with clients, and less on some of those other tasks.
What Software Will I Use As A Financial Advisor At Consolidated Planning?
As a financial advisor, there are a lot of systems you can utilize to build your practice. A lot.
Our software platforms focus on two important factors:
- Ease for clients
We have found that the three most common technologies that are important to financial advisors when choosing the right firm are their planning software, investment platform, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
#1 The Living Balance Sheet
The Living Balance Sheet® is a proprietary planning software that follows a time-tested process, providing clients financial clarity, organization, and an understanding of how each financial decision affects the other.
The goal of this software is to help your clients get all of their financial information organized in one place, which benefits you and them.
How The Living Balance Sheet® benefits you:
- Easily collect client data
- Assign tasks to clients
- Capture important client financial information in a safe and secure manner.
- Access a robust suite of proprietary planning tools and narratives to lead meaningful client conversations.
How The Living Balance Sheet® benefits your clients:
- Document vault for data sharing
- Link accounts via aggregation for live up-to-date balances
- Review scorecards and monitor progress over time
- Easily communicate with advisor
- Mobile application available
The Living Balance Sheet® further supports the planning philosophy at Consolidated Planning, with a focus on protection, financial organization, and cash flow. Once you help your client identify any gaps in their current strategy, you can begin planning for the future.
Envestnet is a Turnkey Asset Management Program (TAMP) provider where you have access to many different investment programs and managers. For managing client assets, this acts as a clearing house for the various investment managers or strategies that you will use on behalf of your clients, with hundreds of potentially different risk-based portfolio models.
Based on your client’s case, you are able to pick packaged portfolio solutions off of the shelf to present to your clients or have access to custom solutions as well. Once a decision on a model is made, you can easily generate a proposal for client presentation.
From here, The New Business Hub simply logs into your Envestnet portal to proceed with opening the account. All of the client’s data housed here will automatically flow to NetX360 to start the client onboarding process.
What does this mean for you and your clients?
One continuous workflow. One set of e-signatures. Faster turnaround times. And best of all, less time spent on paperwork for everyone.
NetX360 is Pershing’s client account management platform where you will access your clients’ investment accounts. It can be accessed via the web, as a desktop application, or even by a mobile device app, which lets you mobile deposit client checks. Your activity in this software is centered around investment client servicing and includes:
- Client data
- Opening & servicing accounts
- Transaction support
- Trading – buying and selling
- Servicing tasks – money in, money out
- Document upload and access – forms and statements
Never underestimate the power of utilizing your CRM. And using it the right way.
All of the above software requires client data. That data should ideally originate from your CRM, in this case, SmartOffice.
If in fact the data for opening client accounts is originating from your CRM, that data better be accurate and complete.
Put in the extra work of data management with your prospects and clients from the start, so down the line it can be more seamless, and easier for you.
In what ways does this make it easier for you?
- The Living Balance Sheet® and SmartOffice are synchronized to share client data
- Prefill insurance applications and new investment accounts using SmartOffice data to eliminate double-entry
- Tag emails instantly to your client notes with email integration
- Create lists for marketing campaigns and other mass mail/email communications
Regardless of what firm you choose, start using the CRM in its entirety from day one. Day one.
How Will I Learn To Use This Software To Its Full Potential?
Every new advisor to Consolidated Planning will learn how to use this software. Whether that means you have never seen these platforms before, or it’s a brush-up course, there are a few ways you will learn.
Just-in-time Learning: An experienced team member will guide you through the process of accessing the software systems that you will need to be successful as part of the onboarding process.
From the functions you need to know, to how these platforms will communicate with each other.
Just like everything in the financial services industry, there is a method and process to effectively use these platforms. Especially since they are able to share much of the same data.
CP University: All new Financial Advisors at Consolidated Planning attend CPU where a portion of the time is spent on acclimation to all of the systems and processes you need to succeed.
Guardian University: In addition to more formal trainings with us, Guardian Online has learning paths for you to explore. These training videos and online learning modules include on-demand support for:
- The Living Balance Sheet
- + Many other products and services
We don’t expect you to come to Consolidated Planning with the knowledge of how these work. As a part of your onboarding experience, there are learning opportunities built into your training and development path from your first day.
Will Software Help Me Build My Financial Advisory Practice?
The learning curve can be steep when joining a new firm as a financial advisor. Learning to use a new tool or technology for the first time can be daunting.
But, we’re here to help.
We stand behind our commitment to helping you build a consultative financial advising practice that prioritizes the client experience. Utilizing necessary software to its full potential can help you do deliver that experience in a few ways:
- Keeping yourself organized will help you stay focused on your clients
- Your clients will feel confident in you as their advisor when you accurately capture and can recall crucial information
If you like the idea of building your practice with the help of these tools, reach out to a recruiter to learn more about your next steps.
2023-151755 Exp. 3/2025
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