Financial planning is not the pen and paper activity it used to be. Today, emerging technology makes it easier to trade and rebalance, monitor client portfolios, and produce meaningful reports. But along with advancements come complications as longer-term planning is critical and expected by clients. It is nearly impossible to efficiently provide long-term planning and manage all facets of client households on Excel spreadsheets and then manually execute those results on an external trading system. Something has to give to commit the time Excel requires—and that is Excel!
With the use of WealthTech tools readily available, the argument for using Excel – or not, surprisingly still exists. Some advisors argue that Excel produces the same results with significant savings, while others view the time savings when using tools as worth the expense.
At AdvisorPeak, we know that our trading and rebalancing system, along with our partner integrations, saves time and money and provides peace of mind where accuracy and compliance matter. Should advisors be Excel formula masters? We believe advisors should be ‘masters of advising’ and managing client assets, not managing Excel.
In the debate of using or not using Excel are two camps with differing opinions; the advisors that are considered financial planners and those that are transactional advisors. The industry knows the difference; one group spends more time with clients because technology provides them more time, versus producing transactions with little time left for relationship building.
“Using Excel, or another calculator, rather than a financial planning program often is telling of the services the advisor is really providing. Even when Excel — or a similar calculator — is used, much like true planning software, it is not fully applied. When considering the varying client situations advisors are faced with, a spreadsheet is not an effective way to run a scalable business.”– Brian Leitner, Advisors, Let Go of Excel. Financial Planning Magazine, March 30, 2016.
As more advisors move toward the fee-only model, technology will continue to play an important role. Advisors must evaluate what they are willing to spend, and if the cost is justifiable. Advisors need to examine their direct expenses, which produce more revenue, such as software.
“Today’s advisors need more than fancy desk calculators to construct financial plans that incorporate all elements of their clients’ lives. State-of-the-art financial planning requires state-of-the-art financial planning software.” Coryanne Hicks, How to Choose the Best Financial Planning Software. US News, May 7, 2020
Contact us for a demo to experience how our trading and rebalancing software is excelling advisors ahead of their competition.