Goal planning and personal financial management features—digital advice goal planning in particular—can be helpful to investors who want assistance with budgeting or creating a long-term financial plan. This was especially true in 2020, when many individuals were forced to grapple with economic uncertainty and health concerns. Leveraging web and mobile app features, many banks and brokerages sought to help customers take steps to improve their financial situations.

The brokerage industry’s convergence with banking continues and may accelerate this year due to the challenges associated with a low-interest-rate environment and a lack of trading commission revenue. By offering a range of account types along with innovative features designed to help consumers plan out their finances, “bankerage” firms can win customer loyalty, retain assets and stand out from less innovative competitors.

Goal planning and personal financial management are a core focus for banks and brokerages

Banks and brokerages aim to improve clients’ financial literacy through scalable secure website and mobile enhancements focused on personalized guidance, actionable insights and quality digital long-term planning. These features help investors monitor their goal progress, plan for future events and manage funds spread across several accounts.

In the banking and fintech spaces, these simple tools focus on distinct savings categories that help clients earmark funds toward goal targets. Most of these features rely on a client’s willingness to set up recurring contributions. However, some firms have introduced automation in order to help people stick to a savings strategy. Examples include:

Some robos have gone beyond this to automate cash-flow analysis, investing, savings and debt payments. Some examples of this are:

Digital advice goal planning features - Bank of America Life Plan and Wealthfront Autopilot
Bank of America Life Plan and Wealthfront Autopilot Features

Goal planning is a crucial aspect of the online customer experience

Many firms across the realm of digital advice center their account offerings around goals, making these tools a central part of the client experience. Digital advice goal planning features help investors understand goal progress, take charge of their financial health and engage in positive investing behaviors. Planning tools can also enhance client-advisor collaboration for hybrid robo products, as demonstrated in Digital Advice Monitor’s Q4 2020 report on annual reviews (subscription required).

Although many firms only permit clients to create a single goal per account, others go above and beyond by offering features that allow clients to track multiple goals simultaneously as part of their larger financial pictures. For example, Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner tool features a dynamic projection chart of clients’ retirement savings that enables them to create and integrate other goals. Clients can input multiple Income Events—such as Social Security, inheritances and rental income—and Spending Goals, including education, healthcare costs, home purchases and renovations, to their overall retirement plans. The tool’s projection chart dynamically updates its retirement portfolio predictions when clients test or add a new event or goal, and it displays icons to represent each additional event.

To learn more best practices on digital advice goal planning tools, sign up for our upcoming webinar focused on best-in-class multi-goal-planning tools. During the webinar, we will review the best practices for digital advice planning features and spotlight competitor offerings.

Digital advice goal planning features - Personal Capital Retirement Planner
Personal Capital Retirement Planner