Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Web-Based Financial Planning Generates Actionable Advice

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Web-Based Financial Planning Generates Actionable Advice

Article excerpt

Many professional financial planners have their doubts about the quality of the new automated financial planning tools beginning to hit the Internet--and with good reason.

Poorly executed "self-service advice" tools can expose financial institutions to legal or regulatory problems, while confusing navigational designs or systems that are overly technical can lose even the most savvy consumer. On the other hand, well-designed systems can offer the one thing that humans cannot: consistency (and, they can factor out greed, too).

Indeed, as a recent report issued by Forrester Research, Cam-bridge, Mass., indicates, traditional financial counseling is not without its problems. Most Americans today get imperfect advice or none at all. It's precisely the underserved market of middle and working class Americans -- as well as high net worth individuals looking to take a break from their broker--that will clamor for the new technology, warts and all.

Trying to take the best from the Net while leaving out much of the uncertainty is netDecide Corp., McLean, Va. Their web-based tool for wealth management is targeted for use by financial planners or for banks to offer as self-help tools on a branded website.

There are three different "versions or presentation layers that come bundled with the entire package: AdvisorDecide, designed for financial planners to help individuals create financial plans using real-time analysis; PlannerDecide, which is for use by more advanced financial planners for high net worth individuals, and which supports the evaluation of more complex scenarios; and PersonalDecide, which is a tool that is to be placed on a bank's website. …

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