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As mentioned in our July monthly letter, our financial planning software released a new version this week full of exciting updates.  New functionality will improve our planning process by better integrating certain variables and placing a better framework around how we segment goals.  We think it’s a big step forward in The Asset Advisory Group’s mission to enhance our clients’ well-being and help them make smart decisions about money.

From a technology standpoint, the software will now address things such as Social Security not just on it’s own, but really look at how different distribution scenarios impact the overall portfolio.  These are certainly things we’ve evaluated in the past, but having them fully integrated into our planning tool will really help frame the impact and outcomes of various decisions.

When evaluating goals, we will now segment around needs, wants and wishes.  This isn’t a major shift, but an important one.  In the past, the Monte Carlo analysis would put all goals in one pot and then determine a probability of achieving success.  While useful, providing more sound footing around needs like food, water and shelter typically take precedence over travelling first class around the globe.  Going forward, we will be able to segment these three goal categories, putting an emphasis on making sure needs are met, which then allows for more meaningful conversations around how to prioritize the risk needed to meet the wants and wishes. 

For many clients, this will mean revisiting some of the “discovery” phase of our relationship.  The purpose of this is not redundancy, but to ensure that our existing clients go through the same detailed process in defining their goals that a new client would experience.  At the same time, we’re making sure we’re using the most up to date information available from our clients and that we are asking questions specifically designed to maximize the potential of the updated process.

We continue to be committed to creating customized experiences for our clients based on their individual wishes for a financial planning relationship.  Making an investment in the right technologies continues to be an important way of executing on this commitment and in working together to make smart decisions around mitigating tax issues, taking care of heirs and building, protecting and distributing wealth.

Have a great week!