The retirement planning platform you’ve been waiting for has arrived: Income InSight™. Income InSight quickly and easily shows the impact of different decisions within a client’s financial plan. Covisum’s newest tool resolves conflicts commonly seen between loosely-integrated planning tools and deeply integrates with Covisum’s other tools: Social Security Timing®, Tax Clarity®, and SmartRisk™, to provide clients with a clear vision of their retirement.
I sat down with Joe Elsasser, CFP®, Founder and President of Covisum to ask him a few questions about Covisum’s newest software.
Q: Which Income InSight features are advisors going to be most excited about?
A: We built Income InSight, recognizing that advisors who market their firm’s unique ability to answer their ideal clients’ specific financial planning questions are more successful and grow better than advisors who market broad financial planning. Advisors using Income InSight can quickly, easily, and effectively answer their clients’ biggest questions like, “How do I manage my Social Security decisions?” or, “What do I do about healthcare?” What’s even more exciting is that after they deliver what the client asked for, then the advisor can use that modular discussion to move the client into an overall financial planning process and show them how that decision interacts with all the other decisions that they'll make. There's a very natural transition into the overall retirement income planning process with Income InSight. And the advisor using the tool can demonstrate the value they add all along the way using the actionable reporting we produce.
Q: Income InSight is fully-integrated; what is the difference between open architecture and full integration?
A: A loose linkage might push data from one system to another, but it doesn't make any effort to make sure that the assumptions underlying the two systems match up. And the worst-case scenario is when the client identifies that the results don’t match. And although each tool might be best-in-breed, there really isn't an excuse for not taking that deeper step to integration. When all of the tools use the same data, like they do in Income InSight, you’ve naturally mitigated the challenges with assumptions. As we add features and functions in the future, the main focus will be creating tight integrations where assumptions match up, and if there are conflicts in results, identifying them and providing a mechanism to reconcile.
Q: Which advisors will benefit most from Income InSight?
A: The advisor who is focused on mass-affluent and affluent people in pre-retirement and retirement transition. If an advisor has niched their practice, they're a fantastic fit for Income InSight. It's going to meet their needs in a way that other tools simply won't. This software is built to answer their clients’ questions specifically.
Also, if an advisor’s “bread and butter” client is transitioning into retirement, Income InSight provides a unique way for the advisor to create a systematic business growth engine, answering specific questions for clientele and marketing that information to grow their businesses.
Q: What specific client questions does Income InSight help answer?
A: First and foremost, Income InSight helps you answer, “Which account, when?” By answering that question well, a client can extend to how long their portfolio lasts, or they can leave more money to people or causes they care about. Income InSight also answers the smaller client questions, such as:
- Should I keep that old annuity?
- Do I need this old life insurance policy?
- What about long-term care insurance, if I have it, does it meet my need?
- Do I need more?
- Do I need it at all?
- What about reallocating my portfolio:
- Can I take more risk?
- And if I do, am I more likely to increase my estate?
- Or do I run the risk of creating a down market situation that I can't recover from?
All of these overall retirement income planning questions can be answered with Income InSight.
Q: You have four different software tools. Do you need to have all of them in order for Income InSight to work?
A: Income Insight will work on a standalone basis. Whether or not you should utilize integrations with Tax Clarity, Social Security Timing, and SmartRisk depends on how you go about attracting clients. We would suggest is the most effective way to grow a financial planning business is to give great answers to client’s most pressing questions. Think about what your client’s biggest questions are as they start planning for retirement:
- What do I do about Social Security?
- Am I going to get clobbered in a down market?
- Are there any tax opportunities?
Subscribing to each of the software options gives you a unique entry point to the overall financial planning process and makes Income InSight more effective. But can you use Income InSight all by itself? Sure, you can.
Q: What's the best way for advisors to get started with Income InSight?
A: All of our tools include a 10-day free trial. Try the software for free for 10 days, no credit card required. Our expert support team will walk you through implementation and answer any questions you or your clients have.