A recent report from Corporate Insight offers a comparison of aggregation-based goal planning and projection features. Goal planning tools are a crucial aspect of the digital advice experience. They allow investors to set and work toward their financial goals without needing to fully rely on an advisor. A robust suite of goal planning tools allows investors to take charge of their overall financial health. It lets them plan for major life events like retirement, home ownership and education.

Many firms across the realm of digital advice center their account offerings around goals, making these tools a central part of the client experience. Most firms provide clear charts projecting future portfolio values, allow investors to test potential funding scenarios and offer actionable recommendations to increase clients’ potential for success.

Aggregation technology has also contributed to the creation of goal tracking and portfolio analysis tools that perform financial planning tasks normally reserved for human advisors. These tools simplify goal planning and reveal key issues impacting goal progress that may not be readily understood by everyday investors. For digital advice firms, aggregation-based tools also create natural opportunities to encourage asset consolidation and position products and service as solutions.

Many firms only let clients create a single goal per account, but others go above and beyond

Some firms offer features that allow clients to track multiple goals simultaneously as part of their larger financial picture. Top firms provide multi-goal integration and dynamic projection charts with multiple potential outcomes. They also offer specific recommendations and the ability to change and preview funding scenarios and underlying tool assumptions.

Charles Schwab’s hybrid robo, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium, for example, stands out for its in-depth assessment of clients’ retirement goal priorities and range of adjustment capabilities.

Comparison of aggregation-based goal planning and projection features Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium Plan Builder
Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium Plan Builder

Startups Personal Capital and Wealthfront also both do well here. Personal Capital effectively integrates multiple goals and income events in its projections and retirement income analysis. Wealthfront offers multi-goal integration and analysis of the impact of new goals on existing goals and clients’ overall plans.

Best practices emerged in our comparison of aggregation-based goal planning and projection features

In our comparison of aggregation-based goal planning and projection features, we identified several overarching trends throughout the industry. Based on these trends, we suggest the following recommendations for firms offering digital advice:

  • Integrate multiple goals into savings projections and analysis
  • Provide decumulation analysis to help clients plan their retirement income
  • Embed goal planning tools in multiple secure site locations to increase visibility
  • Offer contextual support tooltips and disclosures
  • Allow clients to test hypothetical scenarios to see their impact on future performance
  • Offer specific recommendations to help clients reach their goals

Subscribers can view the complete report, which offers a full comparison of goal planning and projection features, on our client portal. We last reviewed this topic in June 2018. For access, or for more competitive intelligence on the customer experience that digital advice firms provide investors, check out our Digital Advice Monitor research services.